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It is no good idea to keep only one budgie or other pet bird. Most of these animals live in pairs of flocks in the wild, and therefore our pet birds also should be kept with a feathered friend or several other conspecifics. Regrettably from time to time an illness can occur in one or more pet birds. Therefore it is recommended to own more than just one cage, because a sick bird often needs rest and therefore should be temporarily kept in a cage of its own. A so-called recovery cage should contain all things your pet birds are used to. In some cases, even though they're not perfectly healthy sick birds don't feel too bad. Therefore it is important to provide a comfortable surrounding for example with a swing and natural twigs. Furthermore, a sick bird's recovery cage should be easy to handle and transport because in most cases, sick birds should be taken to a vet and therefore the cage should be suitable for a transport.

A large recovery cage for two birds
A large recovery cage for two birds

Size of a recovery cage
In worse cases it may be necessary to keep a bird single in a recovery cage for many weeks. Due to this, the cage shouldn't be too small since the bird should be able to spread its wings inside the cage of it without damaging its feathers. But on the other hand, it is not practical if the recovery cage is too large in case you have to tale your bird to a vet inside this cage. For example, a large parrot cage isn't easy to handle if one wants to place it in the back-seat of a car. And there is another detail you should consider: Vets are in trouble if they try to catch a small pet bird from a large cage. So you should choose something in the middle of the two extremes if you buy a recovery cage for your birds.

Dishes for the recovery cage
In a sick bird's cage, dishes for food and goodies shouldn't miss. Another dish filled with sand and grit may be useful in case of an illness that forbids covering the base tray with sand. Budgies and other pet birds need sand and grit for digesting their food.

Of course there should also be a dish for water. But pay attention! Birds who are concussed or suffer from a disease affecting the central nervous system are in danger of drowning in big dishes! Narrow ones that can be fixed between the bars of the cage are much safer. Natural twigs and perches are also very important, and in most of cases pet birds prefer to rest on a swing while living in their recovery cage. Please don't forget to offer an iodine bar which always is important to keep a pet bird fit and healthy or support the organism while the bird recovers from an illness.

Litter for the base tray
Depending on what illness the bird suffers from, the base tray shouldn't be covered with sand or sand sheets. If for example a foot of a pet bird is injured, sand would stick to the wound and could cause further troubles. In such cases it is better to leave the base tray blank. Place a layer of tissue into the tray as soon as your bird isn't bleeding any more. Tissues absorb the humidity of the bird's droppings. Please note: You should never cover the base tray with tissues as long as a pet bird is still bleeding. Many injured birds stand on the ground and the tissue would soak the blood even faster out of the wound or stick to it. If you try to remove such a sticking tissue the wound will most probably start bleeding again.

In case your bird might suffer from inner parasites, there should be no litter in the base tray as well. Vets need fresh and clean droppings without sand or other pollution for examining them. Otherwise, most inner parasites would be harder to recognize.

Birds who suffer from a fracture must be kept in a cage with a padded base tray. Rumpled newspaper or - what's even better - creased tissues do a good job. Please do never use wool or fibrous cloths! Tiny threads could wrap around the legs or toes of your bird and make them die off!

Budgie in his sick bird's cage

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