Small wicker laundry baskets can be made into parrot hanging play gyms. You can hang toys from the baskets and the baskets themselves provide chewing and shredding opportunities in addition to being another place to perch.
I created a pamphlet with instructions on how to make a hanging basket play area.
This is the parts list for making a 1/2 inch diameter perch. The length of pipe you need will depend on the size of your chair.
Hanging Basket Perch
Photo Credit: Diane Groth
We have Diane and Bill Groth to thank for this great idea that Diane posted on Facebook at The Parrot's Workshop group. Diane says she puts a tall white garbage bag over the arm chair, sticks the front of the frame down inside the bag, then stuffs it down between the cushion and the arm and pulls the bag forward to catch waste and food. She sent the parts list for this project:
One 8 foot length 1/2" PVC pipe
10 each 1/2" PVC elbows
2 each 1/2" PVC T's
1 drywall mud tray
4 L brackets (to connect to sides of tray, 2 on each side)
8 each screws (smaller than 1/4" for screwing the L brackets to the drywall tray)
Natural sisal rope to wrap the perch
PVC glue - Note: Bill glued the PVC parts together with PVC glue which is safe to use on perches and playstands. Just be sure to let the glue dry thoroughly before letting your bird on the stand.
Zaz's Armchair Perch.
Perches and Playstands
Perches that move, such as swings, boings, atoms and ropes require extra balance and provide exercise for your parrot. Laura Ford has an excellent presentation at her blog, A Bird's Best Life, that will give you some ideas for creating perching areas in a variety of locations in your home. In her Perches and Playstands presentation, Laura shows you how to make your own perches including the orbit pictured here.
Ariel on the Orbit Laura Ford made out of flexible PVC.
Alternate Perching Sites
Parrots Need To Go Places
In her article, The Optimal Environment Part Three - The Creative Cage, Pamela Clark, www.pamelaclarkonline.com, writes about alternate perching sites:
"Companion parrots also need perching areas in other rooms of the house. Parrots need to go places. They are very "visual" creatures. . their overall experience and satisfaction with life often is increased and augmented in captivity just by moving them from room to room with a family member or from perch to perch in the same room.
The same swings and coiled rope perches that can be used on a hook over a cage will also serve as alternate perching sites around the house, if hung from the ceiling.
Play stands come in all sizes and shapes, and having both freestanding and tabletop versions adds more variety to a parrot's life experience."
When we moved into our new home, the parrots were particularly interested in chewing on the banister outside the loft area above the living room. Part of me wanted to think of a way to protect the banister to keep the parrots from destroying the looks of the lovely wooden railing. But a bigger part of me wanted the birds to experience the joy of flying up to the banister to perch and play.
I decided to let them have the upstairs banister as a play area. In an effort to preserve the wooden rail, I did wrap the top rail in natural sisal rope. This was wishful thinking on my part. It did not stop them from chewing on the posts or corners of the wooden rails or the stair rail. But it does give them a nice firm place to land and I can tie other toys to it. I never get tired of watching them fly up there to play and I realize they won't be able to chew through the railing enough to render it unsafe, it just looks a little different today than when we moved in.
I created a pamphlet with step by step directions and photos of how I make a PVC play stand.
DIY PVC Play Stand