Discarded Crappy Round Cage at the Oasis Sanctuary
STATUS QUO: the existing state of affairs <seeks to preserve the status quo>
I got an interesting email a while back from a distrubutor of cages in the UK. It’s an online company and they sell bird cages. They wanted me to do a post on this blog about their company. Well, that was fine and dandy, I don’t mind reviewing products and rendering an opinion.
But there were some little problems with it. Some of the cages were just sooo wrong, I wouldn’t have used them as a towel rack. And the cage size recommendations were atrocious. They were recommending cage sizes for African Greys I myself wouldn’t have used for a budgerigar. They had round cages. They had cages with all that “fancy-schmancy” scroll work a bird could get their foot or other part of their body stuck in. I emailed them back and gave them my opinion. They changed a few things, but for the most part, it still wouldn’t fly. And they kept bugging me about it. I told them that unless they did a complete overhaul on what they were selling in their line, get rid of the band aid-box sized cages altogether and get their size recommendations in line, they didn’t have a prayer. They changed one or two things, but finally went away when I told them that they weren’t quite comprehending the changes that they needed to make. The sad thing was, they really didn’t see what the problem was.
The Cage Graveyard at the Oasis
Here’s the deal. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “Parrot Nation” is about information and education. And if I have anything to say about it, it’s about good, solid information. And if we have some fun along the way, great.
I don’t know everything and I have never claimed to know everything. But I’m smart enough to know when I don’t know something and I go to sound reputable sources to get the straight skinny on what’s correct. There are other bloggers around who write about birds and different aspects of the field. I’m in great company. And slowly but surely we and all of the people who post their ideas and methods on Facebook are slowly and surely changing the face of aviculture. We are all changing what used to come from the top down. And while I don’t begrudge the information we had before, what we know now is far better quality and far more extensive.
More and more people have become aware that an all-seed diet blows. People know that parrots need showers. That they need larger cages. Round cages aren’t the best idea in the world. Foraging and enrichment are not only wonderful concepts for your birds, they are crucial. We’ve come a long way. But we still have a long way to go. And it’s not about the things you are doing. You are here. You know this stuff like the back of your hand.
It’s those (and please forgive me for using this word, but it’s fitting) nimrods that have a bird or two, and dutifully go to a Big Box pet store, buy ten pounds of seed and call it a day. And I have heard this so many times: But he likes it! Bite me. I don’t give a damn whether you think he likes it or not.
You don’t feed your kids nothing but french fries and diet coke and get away with it for very long. It’s our responsibility to feed our birds a decent damned diet, give them decent housing and opportunities for enrichment.
And by the same token, if you see someone doing something really stupid, like feeding their birds nothing but seed, it’s your responsibility to set them straight. So you see? We are changing the status quo. We are feeding vegetables. Our birds are getting better environments, better diets, better health care and better treatment. But as I said, we still have a long way to go.