Hang around with a bird for a little while and see how they love perches, and you will soon begin to ask yourself the question, “Are heated perches safe for birds?” because after all some of us live in cold climates and want to keep our pets comfortable-and the good news is that they are safe if they are used properly and safely.
Are heated perches safe for birds? The answer is that yes, heated perches are safe for birds so long as you use them safely. Drafts are dangerous to exotic birds, and these animals should not be exposed to constant drafty environments. These perches keep the cold away and being cold is a big factor in avian illnesses.
So, that is the fast answer in case you really needed to know-but to really get the scoop on these great perches for your pet, please keep reading and you will have a good understanding of just how and why heated perches are safe for birds.
A Closer Look
As the owner of an exotic bird-or any bird, really-you have likely kept a close eye on your thermostat for a few different reasons.
First, you want to make sure the temperature in your home is safe for your feathered friends, keeping them cozy and comfortable.
Secondly, you also want to be sure the heat is set at a level you can afford-expending too much heat can be a drain on the wallet as well as bad for the environment.
You may even see your pet fluffing his feathers in an attempt to stay warm. This can certainly be troubling, as your exotic bird is not like birds that are native to cold climates, such as cardinals.
As we have learned, birds should never be exposed to cold and drafty conditions as this leads to illness in the animal.
The answer, combined with keeping your doors and windows sealed so that no drafts get in, and keeping the thermostat at a regular and comfortable temperature, is to provide your pet with a heated perch.
These perches are a great place to have a consistent and warm place to sit and rest the feet.
They keep the environment of your bird stable and comfortable.
The best quality ones are designed with irregular shapes and sizes, so they help birds alleviate cramps in the foot as well as sores that may result from pressure.
It not only answers the need to perch but also the need to have a warm place to sit and relax.
What Other Benefits Can A Heated Perch Provide?
Birds Feel Comfy
Us humans often feel pretty good at 70 degrees when inside the house. It is a mild and comfortable temperature, often you might need just a sweater or blanket to really feel cozy on a very cold day.
But your exotic bird is quite different! He may be freezing his feet off when it comes to that temp in the house. After all, birds do not wear socks or shoes, so their feet are exposed to the elements.
Imagine how you would feel if you had no access to socks, slippers or shoes on a cold tile floor!
That is where these great perches come in. It is almost as if you asked a bird what would make them feel comfortable and they actually responded in English.
Providing your bird warmth is the first step in making them feel well and healthy, say avian experts and vets.
Birds Feel at Home and Stay Healthy
Exotic pets are much happier in warm climates, so they can easily replicate that feeling when you supply them with a heated perch.
Many of these perches, such as the K & H Pet Products, are controlled via a thermostat. It warms right up to their natural body temp, so it never gets too hot or too cold.
This particular product is made of quality material and it is also scratch-resistant. We touched on this a little earlier, but the way in which it is irregularly shaped makes it nice and comfy for feet of birds.
If you combine this particular perch with a perch that has a sand-coating, you can also aid in the health of your bird’s nails and beak.
It helps keep their nails and beaks healthy when they have a perch that does the trimming for them right in the cage-plus it helps aid them in play and good health and provides a place to sit.
You Can swap these out on a weekly basis to keep things interesting and healthy!
Don’t Forget to Check Them
Now, let’s talk safety: Do not offer ONLY this perch in your cage to your bird. Always be sure you offer an unheated perch, too. When you get too hot, what do you do?
You walk away and find some cold air-conditioned room or at least some cool water to drink. Your bird cannot simply walk into air-conditioning-so be sure you have a place for him to stand if it gets too warm.
You can test out your perch by placing it between two pillows when plugged in and leaving it there for 20 minutes. Then, come back and see how it is. It should feel warm and not hot to the touch.
You should always check on these heated perches periodically. While it is likely your perch will serve you well when you get it, there does run the risk of it getting too hot.
Some reviews that were found on a popular online retail site had some bird owners relaying stories of the perches becoming too warm, and the feet of the birds getting burned.
So, be sure you keep a close eye on your pet and learn how the perch works. Many customers were absolutely satisfied with their purchase, but it is better to be vigilant until you see how it really works.
Clean Them, with Care
You will also need to clean the heated perch once in a while of any droppings or debris. You cannot submerge this perch in water, as you may have already guessed.
The way in which you clean up this particular perch is by using a damp paper towel or cloth on it, wiping away any debris.
You can lightly mist it with some safe cleaning solution and then wipe it dry. Do not spray the area where the cord comes into the actual perch.
Why Perches Matter
Perches to birds are akin to chairs for us humans. Us humans like to stand sometimes, but mostly we like to sit and watch TV, eat with the family, and sit while we work if our job calls for it.
Imagine if you had no place to sit after a long day of garden work, or you had to stand at your desk all day at work with no option to sit down.
You would feel pretty agitated! The same goes for a bird. Much like us humans like a variety of chairs, birds like perches of varying shapes, sizes, textures, and lengths.
You should purchase the right size perch for your bird. A small perch would not be comfortable for a macaw, and a huge perch would not make a budgie very happy.
Perches should always be big enough so that the toes do not touch. If they touch this could lead to lacerations, and then cuts which could lead to infection.
You should also make sure that you get a variety of perches. Not just two perches of the same type. You need to have a mix to ensure healthy feet in your birds.
Here are a couple of perches you should get or stay away from:
- Why rope perches are so good for parrots! Read our article on rope perches here!
- Are dowel perches really bad for parrots? Read about the truth about dowel perches and how you can repurpose them here.
- Why you should stay away from sand perches – We explain why sand perches are so bad here!
- Read here why you need to get a swing for your parrot! A swing is a perch, too – and it is so much fun for your bird!
Are Dowel Perches Bad for Birds?
You should always choose a perch that is made of natural branches or other natural material for your pet bird. Wooden dowels are often far too smooth, and they do not offer good traction for your pet. Sometimes dowels can be treated with chemicals or finish, so that is not something you want your pet chewing on.
Why Do Birds Perch?
Birds perch because they can be up high and have a clear understanding of their surroundings. Perching is also like taking a seat for a bird. They can see everything that is going on around them.
Why Don’t Birds Fall Off Their Perches When They Sleep?
Perching birds can easily stay right in their place when they nap on a wire or a tree, or their cage perch. They are able to do this because they have flexor tendons that go from the leg muscles all the way down to the back of their tarsus bone and are attached to their toes. In other words, they have a really good grip when they decide it is time to sleep!
Why Do Birds Sleep with Head Backwards?
Birds are not tucking their head into their wing when they do this. Rather they are letting their heads rest on their backs while they put their beaks into their back feathers. This allows them to give their neck muscles a rest and conserve some heat in the process.
All in all, heated perches are fine for birds, however, you have to be mindful of how you use them. Just like an electric blanket for a human, care and caution must be exercised so this great tool is used in a safe way.