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The photos below illustrate one way of making bird perches. Another option is carving or shaving the ends of sticks and branches to wedge them between cage bars and fasten with leather or material.

For the method below, select safe non-toxic wood and use stainless steel hardware, primarily the washers, or what the bird can reach - but usually the washers. There are bits of advice below to make the project go smoothly as well as for providing a safe product. The method below will work for both ends of a long perch if you take your time to measure - maybe even trimming the length twice as needed in small increments.
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After you find your perch wood, about the only other supplies needed are the hardware pieces. Those are:

1. Washers. These in the photo are called fender washers. These need to be big enough to span across the cage bars without slipping off. So measure the bars first. These have to be stainless steel to reduce or prevent the risk of zinc toxicity; a hazard with zinc fender washers. Match the center hole size to the hanger bolt - item 2.

2. Hanger bolts. That is the threaded piece of hardware with a screw or lag type thread at one end and a machine thread at the other. The machine thead end stays on the outside of the perch.

3. Wing nuts. I suppose you could use hexagonal nuts, but wing nuts are more convenient for many people.

At least in our case, the birds could only reach the washers. We bought stainless steel washers and were not too concerned about the metal content of the wing nuts or hanger bolts since those were out of reach on the outside of the cage.

These items are available at most hardware stores. You may need to go to the smaller hardware stores - sometimes the small stores have a better selection. Be sure to match diameter of the washer hole with the hanger bolt diameter. Also check to see that the nut threads on the hanger bolt before you leave the hardware store.
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Predrill a hole in the perch before threading in the hanger bolt. If you don't predrill, the perch can split. Make sure the hole is big enough to start threading that hanger bolt in. But, make sure the hole is not so large that the hanger bolt will loosen; causing the perch to rotate free. Keep it firm.
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One way to thread the hanger bolt inward is with a nut that's closed on one end. It's an option, but these are a tad bit spendy. If you will make several dozen, this may be desireable.
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You can drive the hanger bolt in using a socket on a drill attachment as seen here, or with a hand held nut driver. If you use the drill, go slow. You don't want to over drive the hanger bolt. If it went in too far, you would have to damage the machine theads with pliers or a wrench to get it back out. And these hanger bolts are not inexpensive. Probably 25 cents to 50 cents apiece.

Turn the hanger bolt and drive it in until the screw type thread disappears into the perch and maybe and extra eighth of an inch.
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You can also drive the hanger bolt in using one or two nuts and a wrench. If you don't have extra nuts at home, be sure to pick up one or two of the right kind from the hardware store before you go back home. Don't use any oils to lubricate the hardware or the hole in the perch.
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 The information below reprinted with permission from
 Used w/ permission - Copyright 2005 by Mario Vaden

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Used w/ permission - Copyright 2005 by Mario Vaden
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Once the hanger bolt is inserted, slide on the STAINLESS STEEL washers and the wing nut.

One option, in case you are concerned about your clothes getting ripped or someone getting snagged on the protruding hanger bolt:

You can get several extra regular nuts to thread onto the hanger bolt before the wing nut is threaded on.

Also, hardware stores sell a product called a "thread protector" which is a small sleeve that slides over the threads. This tiny gadget is smooth on the outside.
Natural Wood Perches
Used w/ permission - Copyright 2005 by Mario Vaden
Used w/ permission - Copyright 2005 by Mario Vaden
Used w/ permission - Copyright 2005 by Mario Vaden
Used w/ permission - Copyright 2005 by Mario Vaden
Our birds really loved these kind of perches - I just called them "bird pods" - cross cut sections from small tree trunks.

If you make these and cut the wood too thin - it cracks. In fact, you can see from this photo that a tiny crack is present.

Make sure that the wood for these is cut no thinner than 3 to 5 inches.

Also, the faster the wood dries, the worse it will crack. Dry the wood slowly. don't put it in a warm laundry room. Put it in an area where the wood will dry out in 2 to 3 weeks.

Now, about the cracks. You are almost certain to get some kind of small crack. That crack can catch a bird toe or toe nail especially where the crack tapers to a wedge.

I understand that a glue like elmer's school glue is not toxic to birds. Squirt a tiny bit of that kind of glue into the crack. Then, while the glue is still wet in the crack - rub sand paper over the top of the "pod" perch and let the fine sanded wood particles push into the glue in the crack. That will fill the crack and eliminate the toe-trapping gap. The glue will need to dry overnight before installing in the cage.

Occassionally, one of these develops cracks too large to fill. In that case, toss it away. But, if you don't cut the wood too thin, odds are your pod perch will be fine. The birds may not be able to reach the washers with this kind of perch. In that case, zinc might be okay. On the other hand, if all perch washers are stainless steel, you eliminate the hazard of mixing them up during cage cleaning or cage rearrangement.

As stated on our safe woods page - a magnet will generally pick out a zinc washer and leave stainless steel alone.
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