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A simple parrot perch

Friends-Romans-Countrymen, Parrots

Anyone who reads this may remember that back in April I mentioned that I will be adopting parrots.  Well that has happened, and we now have two little feathery bundles of joy.  Along with the joy comes the care, feeding, and maintenance – a part of which is regular weighings.

Weighing a bird that is not inclined to do so is kind of like putting an octopus into a wide mesh bag so that none of the tentacles hang out.  You need to get the bird comfortable to step up onto what is certainly going to look like a small, unstable perch.  I bought a weighing perch and although I got both birds to use it a few times, in one weighing session, both birds tipped it, and now neither will use it.  Skye (Congo African Grey) is just afraid of it, and Tequila (Blue and Gold Macaw) picks it up and throws it away.  Tequila is not much for subtlety.

So I needed a new perch, and it had some design constraints. It needed to:

  • support a bird of at least 3 kg (Tequila is about 1 kg, so I wanted a good factor of safety),
  • be able to stand on the bed of my postal scale without tipping significantly,
  • be heavy enough not to be tossable by a macaw,
  • be sturdy enough to handle occasional chewing,
  • be made of non-toxic materials, and
  • be cheap with replaceable parts.

After a bunch of measurements, I came up with this design:

Click for full size.
Click for full size.

All the instructions are in that image, and if you print it out so the square is 1″ (and actually square) the diagram is to scale.  Doing that requires an 8.5″ x 11″ paper.

I constructed it on the weekend with the assistance of a friend who had the Forstner bit for drililng the 1/2″ deep holes.  Total construction time was about 45 minutes.  The cost of wood was $13 for the dowel, of which I used half, and thus could make another one if I have a chunk of 2×6 laying around.

The perch can sit on a flat surface, resting on the 2×6.  it will support my 115 kg, so unless one of my parrots turns into an ostrich, I should be good for weight on the thing.

It sits on the bed of my postal scale resting on the two lower dowels.  The design gives it about 1/2″ clearance on the sides, so if the bird wanders all the way over to one end, it can only tip a small amount before being stopped.

The final result:

Macaw perch - plan
Click for full size
Click for full size
Click for full size
Macaw perch - off angle
Click for full size

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