Parrots are just like any pet; they need love, affection, and care. A part of their care is to give then the chance to exercise, to work out those fine feathers, and to keep them fit and trim. Parrots are also like other pets as they can become lazy and overweight. If you don’t provide mental and physical stimulation, your pet can become lazy and develop many health conditions out of being overweight.
One way to physically stimulate pet parrots is to give them toys, things that can challenge their abilities. One of these is using a parrot climbing net. Think of a mini version of cargo nets found in ships and ports; your pet can climb, perch, and hang from a cargo net. It’s a fun and stimulating toy. Your pet can also nibble and climb on the rope to condition its beak and feet.
Parrot climbing nets are mostly made from rope. Regular rope made from hemp, Manila hemp, cotton, jute, coir, or straw can be used. Some ropes are also made of nylon and polyesters, but these are not recommended for parrots and other birds because your pet may bite and swallow bits of the rope.
Climbing nets can be placed inside a bird’s cage if you have a big and spacious cage, but you can make a gym or an area where your pet can play outside its cage with the net as the main piece of furniture. Some pet owners like to stimulate their pet’s physical capabilities and enhance their mental faculties as well by adding more toys to nets.
Someplace colorful wooden beads, colorful woven baskets, pieces of wood, and fabric. Parrots love colors and can see the world in full colors, even better than what humans can see. With these beads and other toys, it will love to move and stay on its climbing net.
Make your own parrot climbing net
Although you can buy ready-made toy ropes for parrots in most avian pet supplies stores, you can make your own and save money. Also, making your rope toy ensures that you are going to use a rope that will fit the space you have provided for it inside or outside your pet’s cage.
Making your own rope is easy. First, you need the following materials
- Natural fiber rope, lots of it
- Wooden posts
- Additional toys
1. Measure the size of your net.
Use a tape measure to get an accurate measurement of the area where your net will be installed. Once you get the number, measure the length of rope you will use and about half or ¾ of the length more. This is because you won’t just need the length or width of rope, but you also need more to tie the ropes together. It’s better to have a longer rope than to use a shorter one. You can always trim down long pieces at the end.
2. Cut and fold the rope
Start by cutting a 16-feet long rope and fold this in half. Tie a basic knot in the end to make a 2 to 3 inches loop. The length of rope will be the border of all the sides of the net. It will be a piece that is longer than the other ropes.
The loops that you made on each corner of the climbing rope will be used to hang it on a wooden post when you are done.
Consider making a net with at least 3.5 X 3.5 inches squares, which is the ideal size for parrots and other media to large-size birds. This size is also important when you want to make a climbing net.
To make a toy hammock use a rope with a thicker diameter so that your bird can easily perch from it considering its large feet. You can also create a smaller grid to around 1 to 2-inch squares if you have a smaller bird. A small bird will surely be able to get around on this size net. And If you are making a net with smaller grids, you will need to use more rope or twice as much than what you will use to make larger nets.
3. Cut and attach pieces of rope
Cut 14 pieces of rope about 5 feet long each. Take note that this length is enough for a net that measures 24’ x 30” net. Once the pieces of ropes are ready, start to attach these to one side of the lengthy rope with the looped middle. Start from the loop and work down, keeping the ropes evenly spaced with 3.5” space.
4. Making the knot
This structure is the most important part of a parrot climbing net. You might think that this looks very complicated, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be making these flawlessly. You can practice making knots from a pair of shoelaces or some extra rope.
The knot will hold the two pieces of rope together without moving the spaces. Make sure that the knots can remain in place and won’t be moving and affecting the size of the spaces.
5. Proceed to make the net
As you start to weave the second row and the other rows that follow, you will need to take the end of the rope in the knots to get the tail of the rope to end up outside of the net. Again, this is a bit harder, but once you are done with another row, it will be easier to do.
6. Keep the grid even
As you move through the end of the net, you will notice that some of the areas of the grid may not be that even. Correct this by moving the ropes. You must try to keep the grid somewhat even, but don’t have to worry about this. Anyway, your pet won’t even notice that one of the squares is not equal. You will be adjusting the grid as you go along. Tighten every knot to create even squares is usually the most difficult part of making the net. But over time, as you gain experience with making the knots and the rope, you will eventually find this very easy to do.
7. Attach the net to the wooden posts
Attach the newly made net to the wooden posts using a screw eye or screw hook hardware, which is similar to hanging a potted plant. You may also attach a quick link from the rope loop, and a chain on the quick link. Since you are using metal hardware, be sure that this is safe to use for your pet. Some metals like lead, copper, and zinc are toxic to birds, so don’t use these on anyway.
8. Attach toys to the net
Attaching parrot toys to the net is an optional step, but consider this if you want to further create a stimulating and fun area for your pet.
Use wooden beads, shells, baskets, and irregular-sized wooden pieces. Your pet will love to climb up on the parrot climbing net and play with his new toys.
Here are some tips and suggestions for making your net:
- If you’re making a climbing net for smaller birds, use a smaller diameter of the rope. With this, smaller birds will be more comfortable climbing and playing on a rope that they can easily hold.
- Add plastic and wood beads on the rope as you go weave it. This is different from attaching toys on a finished net because you will be weaving the net and placing beads and toys through the spaces. Your parrot will love all the colors. It will hang upside down by one foot from the bottom of the net, and these bright and colorful objects will be a feast to look at.
- You can dye the cotton rope using special non-toxic dyes. Try the different colors of VitaCritter. To dye ropes, do it before you weave them together. Follow the instructions carefully and make sure that the ropes are dry before using them. You can dye each piece of a different color or dye the rope one color. Your pet parrot will likely love a multi-colored rope rather than a plain-colored, or non-dyed rope.
- To hang the rope, try doing it at an angle. If your pet is new to using a climbing net, hang it for a low angle, but if your pet is an expert or it has used a climbing rope net before then, you may use a steeper angle.
- You can also weave smaller nets that have a smaller grid to be used as a sleeping or preening hammock. To install it inside the cage, place it high and in a corner only so this won’t tangle with other toys inside the cage.
- If you are installing the net directly from the ceiling, you must remember that your pet can easily climb to the ceiling and cause damage. To avoid this, you must place deterrents. You can place a thick PVC pipe over the chain that installs the net to the ceiling. The pipe has to go from the ceiling down to the rope loops.
- You can disguise the chain by hanging another oversized toy. Your pet may climb on the toy, but it will be distracting and more likely to play with it rather than climbing it. Finally, you can also make sure the climbing net is hung low so that your pet won’t be able to access the ceiling.
- Wrap masking tape along the ends of the ropes to keep these from fraying while you work. You can also burn the ends of the rope to keep these from opening and fraying as well.
- Check the ropes you’re buying to make the net. Use only natural hemp or other natural materials because ropes from hardware stores are most likely treated with chemicals to prevent them from deteriorating. Also, color coated nets should be avoided since you don’t know what kind of paint was used. This paint could have lead in them, and this can be toxic to your pets.