It's easy for new bird owners to become a little bit disoriented when it's time to shop for their new pet -- there are literally thousands of different bird products on the market! Unfortunately, not all of the products that are available are as effective as they claim to be, and some can even be harmful to your pet's health. Concrete perches and sand perch covers are just a couple of those items.
Many pet shops sell sand and concrete perches and claim that they will help keep your bird's nails neat and short, so that you can avoid having to endure a nail trim. While that might sound like a pleasant idea, the rough, scratchy surfaces of those perches can do real damage to your feathered friend's feet.
Sand and concrete perches can cause painful abrasions on the underside of your bird's feet and toes. To add to the problem, bacteria and debris from the perch can be introduced to those wounds every time your bird perches, causing a constant threat of infection.
The shape of the perches can also be an issue. Many concrete and sand perches are straight, and do not vary in width. This can cause stress to the delicate bones in your bird's feet. Pet birds need to be supplied with perches of varied widths and textures in order to maintain normal foot health.
As far as perches go, the best thing you can do for your bird is skip the concrete and sand and opt for a natural wood perch, like Manzanita. These perches will not only feel great on your bird's feet, but they are safe to chew on and provide beak exercise as well! While it's unfortunate that they don't wear a bird's nails down, you can always seek the help of a qualified avian vet for those pesky nail trims -- your pet will be much healthier and happier for it!