Foot health is important to everyone, including birds. At least we don't have to have our toes curled around a perch, especially all night while we are asleep. Ouch, that could get painful. I frankly never thought about the fact their little feet and toes could be cold.
Recommend this product?
I make sure my birds are not in a draft, near a window, unless they are getting their vitamin D3 exposure for the day, (indirect light.)
I just spent the last, fifty four years of my life not knowing that I had something wrong with my toes; and that my toes could be surgically corrected. Why the doctor took this long to inform me that I had deformed toes. I am glad I didn't know when I was young; I would have hid my poor ugly toes. The cool part I can pick anything up off the ground with my toes. Anyway, I have something call hammertoes, the doctor looked at them at said I would have my feet operated on if I were you. Now, why would I want to do that, I have enough serious health problems; it is nothing short of a miracle I am still alive.
The point being, when my toes get cold they hurt. I am a real nit-picker when it comes to foot health and my birds. I have always used and have also recommended using a variety of perches, with different diameters; to help keep bird's feet healthy. If you think about trees and branches there are all sorts of sizes and shapes. Frankly, I never thought about cold feet. Most parrots come from a sub-tropical or tropical environment.
You can't use a light (for warmth) on a bird, primarily because it messes up their internal clock. The stress would lower their immune system to invite a host of problems that they certainly don't need. Besides, you would have a crotchety parrot and we really don't need crotchety parrots. They are intelligent and certainly come up with enough of their own ideas without adding stress to their situation. Another reason is that it dries out the bird and that is never a good thing.
The K&H Manufacturing Thermo Perch Medium and Thermo Perch Large were very intriguing. This just happened to be one of those products I ran into when I was looking for a cage or two, or three.
My first concern was of course cords and parrots, just don't belong in the same sentence; let alone the same immediate surroundings. That in itself was almost enough to keep me from purchasing the product. I researched the perch further, examined it a little closer, which wasn't easy considering I am stuck with mail order.
My next concern if I spent $43.42 would the bird even use it? It was $45.38 for the large- 11/4" to 2" diameter x 14 1/2" long perch. Sometimes they can be mighty funny about something new in their cage. And, that cage is undoubtedly theirs! Which is why I never work with someone else's parrot beginning inside his or her cage. I have to intention of getting bitten, at least not unnecessarily bitten.
I ended up buying a medium Thermal Perch and a large Thermal Perch. The birds varied in the length of time it took to "warm up to the perch," and to begin using it. Once they did adjust to something new and different this product took on a whole new meaning for two different types of birds. Small birds to small medium parrots, I'd say up to an African Gray, to a large bird cockatoo on up, you would have to review it as two different products.
The medium Thermo Perch for Birds does have irregular surfaces to reduce or eliminate foot cramping. I have gotten in some pretty sad birds where the owners would never let them out of the cage, and they would have but one perch in a cage; much too small or too big. They would have awful pressure sores on their feet. The perch is perfect for alternating dimension and irregular surface. The dimensional differences ranged from 5/8" to 1-1/4". The length is 13 inches. The perch does attach easily.
The conure is still in his lonely quarantine room at this point it is more for his safety than that of other birds, additional pets, or us, as we have all had a mild version of the H1N1. He is either in the cage or on top of the cage and has never ventured down the sides of the cage.
Once the door is opened he makes his way up to the top, and always goes down the same way. However, after what happened to the larger Thermo Perch I wouldn't let a bird outside the cage while the perch was in place, if no one was there to supervise the bird.
I wondered how safe the plastic coating would be, that ended up being one of my least concerns. Though, it is as advertised, bite and scratch resistant. It could have been a bit rougher for firmer footing. Though, so far that doesn't seem to be a big problem with the smaller birds, as I mentioned previously approximately African Gray and down.
The heat is carried up the cord and changed to 12 volt by a transformer. It heats at 6 watts and is thermostatically controlled. The Thermal Perches have product safety certification through Underwriters Laboratory (this is the nifty little UL you see on many different products). The cord is outside the cage, and does have a protective barrier over the cord; which has seemed fine and dandy to the smaller birds. However, these cords and protective barriers are toast when it comes to macaws and larger cockatoos, meaning the perch not being reviewed, the Large Thermo Perch.
Large birds roam much more than smaller birds, if they want to climb from their cage to the floor they are going to do it. If something intriguing is in the way, they are going to dismantle it. That is exactly what happened to the large Thermal Perch. If the bird is out of the cage this perch cannot be left on the cage - period. They didn't exactly listen to no no sweetheart either.
Because parrots are unpredictable I will not leave any of my birds out of the cage while any of the Thermal Perches are left on the cage.
Does the Thermal Perch Medium do as it is advertised? I would say yes, the birds perch on it, meaning they must like it. Since they have many perches made of Arbutus which I reviewed on December 21, 2000 and the arbutus perches are still not toothpicks. (No More Tooth Picks in Our House! Animal Lovers Arbutus.) The arbutus perches had the same irregular surfaces so I am presuming they love the warmth on their feet. They decide to sleep standing on the perch, so once again I presume the parrots like the perch and like the warmth of the perch. If the warmth keeps my birds feet healthy, thus avoiding veterinarian bills in the future I have saved money. If they are happier because of their new perches then there is no reason not to just take the perch off each time I open the cage door.
Since I am reviewing the Thermo Perch Medium, and I am just presuming something awful could happen, I will rate it as I see the product. However, if I decide to write a review on the large thermal perch I can't justify even warm toes on the fact the birds could become injured. I could however, see K&H manufacturing changing the design to make it a safer product for larger birds.