Parrots loves to climb, play and swing, and they generally benefit from occasionally getting some exercise outside their cages. What they need is a bird gym: a play station that supplies activities and climbing opportunities outside the cage. Build a hanging one at home with PVC, an ideal material that will stand up to the abuse your bird will put it through. Your parrot will appreciate it if you stock his do-it-yourself PVC play gym with accessories for him to chew on and play with.
Things You'll Need
- 3-1/2-inch-diameter PVC pipe cut into eight 1-1/2-foot lengths and four 2-foot lengths
- 2 PVC crosspieces
- 8 45 degree PVC elbows
- 1 screw-in eyelet
- Large plastic tub no bigger than 3 feet by 3 feet
- Chain or rope
- Hanging bird toys such as ladders, ropes, bells and wood blocks
Drill holes into four of the 1-1/2-foot pieces of PVC to hang toys and ropes from.
Attach the four 1-1/2-foot pieces of PVC that don't have holes to one of the PVC crosses. This will form the bottom of your bird gym.
Place PVC 45 degree elbows on the end of each of the pieces already attached to the cross. Turn the elbows so the open ends are facing up. These will serve as the bases that you'll use to connect the upright side pieces to.
Insert the four 2-foot PVC pieces into the top of each elbow piece. These are the uprights; they will form the sides of your bird gym.
Attach a PVC elbow to the top of each 2-foot piece. Turn them so they all face inward, toward the middle of the gym. These will connect the top to the gym.
Insert a 1-1/2-foot piece of PVC into each of two of the elbows opposite from each other. Connect those two 1-1/2-foot pieces in the middle with the remaining crosspiece. This will form a diagonal line across the top of the gym.
Place the remaining two 1-1/2-foot pieces of PVC pipe into the remaining two elbow pieces and connect them to the cross piece at the center of the top of the gym. This will form an X at the top of the gym, identical to the X at it's base. You'll have to push the final two pieces back, pressing the upright pieces they're connected to along with them, to provide clearance to get them into the crosspiece; the PVC should flex a bit. Once the 1-1/2-foot PVC pieces are inserted into the crosspiece, push them in securely.
Drill a hole into the center of the top cross piece and screw the eyelet into it.
Affix the bird toys to the gym using the holes you drilled into the top pieces.
Attach chain or rope to the eyelet at the top to hang your gym from.
Set the plastic tub on the bottom pieces; place newspaper in it to catch droppings.
Hang the gym from a hook in the ceiling.
Tips & Warnings
- You can cut the PVC pieces longer or shorter to customize the gym to suit your individual bird.
- The length of the rope or chain depends on how high or how low you want the gym to hang.
- You can make more than just one level on your hanging gym. Just use PVC tee pieces or couplings at the tops of the 2-foot pieces instead of elbow pieces to allow you to continue building upward.
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