I had been thinking about it for awhile but last week I finally raised Perry & Lennie’s “bottom”.
Their flight cage is a good size but it has a big drop if anyone falls. The cage bottom has been padded to cushion any fall, & perches arranged to allow an easy ascent.
However, recently I noticed Perry fell off the perch as he reached around to clean his bottom (I seem to be talking about bottoms a lot in this post!) His various lumps & bumps have made it difficult for him to balance at times. He has also wobbled quite a bit when cleaning his bottom, but managed to right himself before falling. Lennie has also fallen on occasion. It made sense to me that it would be more comfortable for them if there was not so far to fall.
It was quite a big operation. They had to move into the quarantine/folding cage whilst I made the changes. I set it up as near as possible to what they were used to & anticipated they would be in there for up to 2 weeks as I worked out how to raise the floor.
I did plan to swap out Moriarty’s cage with Perry & Lennie’s clean cage & convert Moriarty’s cage, but decided at the last minute to just clean Moriarty’s cage & furniture all at once as I thought there might be some objection as the cages are different colours (grey/silver & black) & we know how finicky they can be about such things! This meant that Perry & Lennie were an extra day in the quarantine cage.
After I cleaned Moriarty’s cage (& added extra padding on the bottom) I had to work quicker than I planned on the conversion as Perry & Lennie were not coping well in the quarantine cage. Perry had the advantage of spending most of the day in with Moriarty (after an age trying to get him out through the strange door!), so Lennie was the most unsettled.
Though I had run through the conversion idea in my head many times, I could not be sure how it would turn out until I actually tried it. Firstly, I decided to split the cage at the halfway level. The bars split into three sections at that level which suggested three sets of cardboard could be slotted through. I did not have cardboard long enough so tied pieces together with string. It had to be flexible to get in & out through the door.
The cardboard would lay on a crisscross of string. This proved to be quite difficult as I had to research some different knots in order to keep some decent tension. I ended up with making a loop mid-way in the piece of string in order to thread the string through it & tie tight enough. I kept testing it by throwing a tailor’s ham on (weighs about 450g) to simulate a fall! There was also a slight gap at the front & back so an extra piece of cardboard was added. At the front, at the gap when the main door is open, I added a ridge for a little safety. All exposed edges of cardboard were covered with parcel tape.
Finally, I added some padding (not as much as before given there is less of a fall), a piece of oilcloth, then the bottom liners. All furniture was placed back in exactly the same place! (To help with furniture/toy placement I made a note of location according to bars & also took photos.) You will notice in the last photo below there is an extra perch in the lower section that was just the right shape to provide a little extra support.
So, how did they receive it? That will be in the next post!