It can be expensive to own a bird, but not everything has to cost so much. While you may not be able to cut costs in areas like veterinary bills, food or cages, you can save some money by making your own concrete perches. Perches make your bird's cage life more enjoyable, and they can benefit your bird by trimming their nails also.
Before you begin making a concrete perch, decide how many you want to put in the cage. Keep in mind that perches may need to be thrown away at some point, so consider making a few extra. Next, take a look at some perches in your local pet store to get an idea of what size will fit your species of bird.
Materials to purchase
One of the key materials, besides cement, is PVC tubing. This will be the mould for the perch, so get tubing with the diameter you determined earlier. You will also need a 2-inch lag screw, one wing nut (that fits the screw) and two washers for each perch you make. The washers should have a larger diameter than the PVC tubing you're using, and the diameter should be larger than the width of the cage's wires.
You should also have something to cut the PVC tubing (like a saw), wire cutters or strong scissors, tape (duct tape or masking tape), a jar or can in which to dry the moulds, sandpaper and one bag each of all-purpose sand and cement.
Preparing the mould
Cut the PVC tubing into pieces so that you wind up with a number of perch moulds--however many you determined you want to make. Take each piece and use scissors to cut down through its length. You are making a long seam so you can open the mould when the time comes. Tape the end of the tube and the seam.
Making the perch
Next, make the cement mixture using a three to one ratio--sand to cement. Stir in water until the mixture isn't lumpy and is easy to pour. Pour the mixture into each mould. Make sure the mould is in the container where it will eventually dry, open side up. Fill it to the top, even allowing some overflow.
Assemble a lag screw with a washer and wing nut. Put the assembly into the open end of the mould with the screw enters the cement mixture, the washer covers the opening and the wing nut is on top. And now you're almost done.
Let the moulds dry for days. When completed, peel open the tubing after removing the tape and push out the dry perch. Sand it some so the bird will have some traction, and screw it into your cage.
Concrete perches can be a problem for your pet birds, even though they help their nails. Concrete is not warm or smooth, and this can cause your bird's feet to become stiff and uncomfortable. It's a good idea to offer other perching surfaces for variety, and monitor how long your bird sits on them. Birds often like to perch on the highest spot in the cage, so don't put the concrete one too high. You may also need to remove the perch from time to time.