Planning a project: Handicapped play gym.
Posted 28 October 2009 - 07:06 PM
Posted 28 October 2009 - 07:29 PM
This is the first draft, I'm going to either use his current table, or make a new table out of wood, the elevated platform will have some head room under it and I'll put his food and water bowls there, so that they don't get in the way of the main floor space. The ramp will have a shallow incline and be covered in some kind of grippy material, rubber or the like, I''ll look in the craft section of some stores to see, unless someone has ideas. The floor of the base will be covered in the same stuff I would say, and most likely the elevated platform too, so he can get good traction.
I already have an updated idea for the toy rail, I will have two tall rails with cross beams, 2 or 3 and have 3 or 4 eye bolts in each one so I can change the location of any toys (there won't be toys on ALL the bolts, that would be too crowded!!!). They will hang low enough to almost touch the base. The top platform will have a tall safety rail so he doesn't fall off and will have a few beak and foot toys, treats or whatever, maybe the nesty area, I don't know, I just want to add one so he gets more exercise. Tell me what you think!
Posted 28 October 2009 - 08:08 PM
P.S. Make sure to take pics!
Posted 28 October 2009 - 09:58 PM
:i.muroko: Neko (painted conure) :Tafrgrey: Mosley (CAG) :greencheek: Nathan (green cheek conure)
Posted 29 October 2009 - 12:14 AM
Posted 30 October 2009 - 11:39 AM
Does Zephyr pull himself along in any way. If so, any kind of "grippy material" would not be helpful to him. Observe how he gets around now so you will know whether a rough base or a smooth one will benefit him more.
The ramp will have a shallow incline and be covered in some kind of grippy material, rubber or the like, I''ll look in the craft section of some stores to see, unless someone has ideas. The floor of the base will be covered in the same stuff I would say, and most likely the elevated platform too, so he can get good traction.
Since as you say, Zephyr is "differently abled", I would think a lot of different things could be 'tried' to see what Zephyr prefers and is capable of playing with and using.
Here's a question: After he gets more adept at using it, since he IS differently abled, I was thinking about letting him spend the VAST majority of his awake time on it, so what size should things be? I don't really know about sizing for different birds, this would be the first play gym i've ever done. It can't be gigantic, because I want to be able to move it around the house depending on where I am, but I want him to have room to be comfortable on it.
So in essence, a lot of trial and error and observation will be needed.
You also need to consider building something that is 'adaptable' to lots of changes as you see what works and what doesn't, and what Zepher prefers.
You're a wise and kind person to be doing what you can to enrich the life of this bird. I bow to your kindness of spirit.
Posted 30 October 2009 - 03:01 PM
Posted 30 October 2009 - 03:15 PM
OK, I gotcha'. Thanks for the additional info, makes perfect sense.
He uses his legs, but he can only BARELY use them, he uses his beak some for stability. He doesnt' pull himself around WITH his beak unless he wants to climb (my shirt for instance, he starts grabbing with his beak to climb, but he can't so I kind of boost him up my shirt and keep my hand under him. I was just thinking of the grippy material since he slips around some where he doesn't use the pads on his toes for traction, he only uses the side of one leg and the bottom/back of the other, no toenails or anything are used at all. I wasn't going to use STICKY material, just something with a little... grip.
Please keep us updated. Through your learning experience with Zephyr and how you learn to help and provide for him will help many others along the way with their birds who are challenged in different ways.
Again, thanks for looking after Zephyr in such a kind and caring way.
Posted 30 October 2009 - 03:52 PM
As a side note, he's really tamed down fast, I don't know if his previous home worked with him any, they may have, but they told me that "you can't hold the cockatiel" when I got him from them, so I don't think he was, but in only a week he's turned into quite a love bug, I guess a little kindness and love will do it.
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