Perches that vary in diameter, mostly natural branches, are the best perches for your bird to sit on. This also provides the bird something to chew on. Safe woods are Apple, Beech, Elm, Birch, Manzanita and Willow. A list of safe an non safe woods can be viewed by clicking over here. If you can not provide this, several perches of different sizes is also a good exercise for the feet. Perches that aren't properly sized can cause arthritis.
In case you use branches from trees be aware that they are not sprayed with insecticides or pesticides.
You can easily clean the branches with a 10% bleach to water solution. Leave this on for 10 minutes and rinse very well after that. If you want to kill insects that are inhabiting the woods, you just have to bake your branches in a 350 degree oven. If the branches are too large you can put them in a tight plastic bag for 30 days. This'll kill the bugs as well.
There are also plastic branches and they are far more easy to clean than wood perches but they do not always offer the variety of diameters that natural perches do. Some plastic perches are even slippery and there for should be avoided.
There are also cement perches that groom your bird's nails. You can place a cement perch on a higher spot than the other perches when your bird's nails are extremely sharp: In that way your bird'll choose for the cement perch which allows him to groom his nails.. Don't provide only cement perches as these perches may cause arthritis and painful feet!
There are also sandpaper covers on the market, usually for budgie-sized birds. Avoid them as they are too rough and can cause sore feet due to this.
Keep your perches clean! cement perches usually can be cleaned in a dishwasher. It is little effort to take them out and put them there.. As parrots will often wipe their beaks on a perch, you'll have to clean branches regularly.
Try not to place any other perches or toys under a perch as bird's feces may land on that lower perch or toy. If you are watching where you place perches and toys you can save yourself a lot of cleaning!
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