Want to learn how to build your own bird play gym? Here are two ideas that are sturdy and will last a long time even if you have big parrots who love to chew! The first is a table top model that lets a wire shelving unit do the heavy lifting. The second is made totally out of PVC pipe and is more or less a floor to ceiling bird play stand.
The trick to success with any bird play gym is having lots and lots of replaceable perches and toys. That way when one gets chewed up (or your bird gets bored with it) you can just pop (or screw) on another one. Then Voila! New birdie play stand!
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How To Build Your Own Bird Play Gym With Wire Shelving
Here's how to build your own bird play gym from a free standing wire shelving unit. It is a spiffy addition to your bird room! And as a bonus... it's portable!
By starting with a shelving unit you can be sure your birdie play area will be sturdy, portable and easy to customize. Just be sure you get one that is made of stainless steel and not a zinc coated one. Zinc is toxic to birds.
Pro Tip: Be sure to scroll down and watch the video for the bird play gym you want to make. Our written instructions are meant to compliment the videos not replace them. Have fun!
To Build This Exact DIY Table Top Bird Play Gym You Need...
Materials From The Hardware Store:
- Wire shelving unit.
- 5 ft of 1/2 inch PVC pipe
- 2 PVC elbows (1/2 inch)
- 3 PVC tees (1/2 inch)
- 4 PVC caps (1/2 inch)
- 3 split lock washers 1/4 inch
- Six washers 1/2 inch by x 2 inches
- Six washers 1/4 inch by 1.25 inches
- 2 Hex bolts 1/4 inch
- 3 hex nuts 1/4 inch
Ok, now that you've got all your bits'n bobs assembled it's time to get busy and build your own bird play gym.
Shelving Unit Assembly: Put your shelving unit together so that the second shelf is 4-5 inches below the top shelf. (See the image above.) This second shelf is where you place your puppy pad, newspaper or paper towels to catch most of your birds droppings, toy bits and spilled water.
Cut your PVC: You want 1 that's 13 inches long, 1 that's 10 inches long, 1 that's 3 inches long (for your coconut hut), 2 that are 3.5 inches long and 2 that are 1.5 inches long.
Attaching Your Bird Perch To The Shelving Unit
Attach your large manzanta or java branch bird perch so that it stands straight up (vertically) from the top wire shelf. Position this off to one side towards the front of the shelf. (See the image above for perch and post placement idea.)
To do this, place the smaller of the two washers on the bolt sticking out of the bottom of your perch. Place the larger of the two washers on to it next. (It may be easier for you to hold your perch so the bolt sticks up to do this.) Yes, you'll have two washers stacked on top of one another here. You want to use both of them together like this so the washers snug up to the perch AND are wide enough to spread across the wires of your shelf to form a sturdy base.
Now, keeping the washers in place, put the bolt on the bottom of your perch down thru the shelf wires and slip on first a large washer then a small washer followed by a split lock washer. Screw your nut onto the bolt and tighten well to hold it all in place. At this point you should have a lovely natural "bird tree" for your parrot sticking up from the top of your bird play gym.
NOTE: The split washer keeps things from wiggling loose as your birds play.
Adding 2 More Upright Posts
Now we need to make the other two upright supports to attach your other perches and toys to. These combined with the branch perch you just attached are the anchors for all the other toys, soft perches, ladders and toys.
To do this drill a hole in the top of two of your PVC caps. The holes need to be slightly smaller than your 1/4 inch bolts (a 7/32 drill bit works well for this). Push (or twist) bolts thru each cap so the head of the bolt is snugged right up against the INSIDE of the cap (you may need socket and ratchet or spinner for this).
Once your bolts are in place, attach a PVC cap to each of the back corners of your top shelf using the same washer and nut method as you just did for your wooden perch. Slide your 13 inch length of PVC into the cap on the same side as your java wood perch and the 10 inch length of PVC into the other cap. Then place a T connector on top of each PVC pole.
These "uprights" are the "bones" of your parrot play stand. At this point you can get creative or follow the assembly instructions in the video below to place the rest of your connectors for your bird toys, soft boing type perches and your water/food bowl.
Remember that any bird toy or item that is made to bolt onto your bird cage can be attached to a PVC cap and slipped onto an elbow or T connector on this kind of bird play gym. Just drill a hole in the cap that is slightly smaller than the width of the bolt on your bird item. Screw it into your PVC cap. Apply the bolt tightly. Then slip it onto any available connector.
Video: How To Build Your own Bird Play Gym From A Wire Shelving Unit
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How To Build Your Own Bird Play Gym With PVC
If you want to learn how to build your own bird play gym from PVC we have got you covered. The video below walks you thru the process of making a floor to ceiling parrot playground for your birdies to romp on and enjoy. It is similar to the one pictured above.
Folks like to use PVC for bird play stands because it's inexpensive, non-toxic, easy to work with and hard for even big birds to destroy! But remember, your pet bird play stand is only as interesting to your birds as the toys you attach to it! Take a gander at the image above and go crazy! Your birds will thank you for it.
As with any DIY project, the trick to making it go smoothly is having the right tools for the job. To make this bird playground you need...
- A drill
- Drill bits and driving heads
- A good PVC pipe cutter.
If you're the handy type you probably have most of these in your home already.
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For this bird play gym we are not going to write out a step-by-step blueprint for you to follow because we think the video does a better job of that. We also know that once you understand how to cut and assemble your PVC pieces you're going to want go crazy and personalize the construction to make it fit your home and birds.
Instead we are going to help you with a set of "general" steps and info on how to build your own bird play gym from pvc. Here we go.
Step One... Designing your birdie play stand
Sketch out the configuration of YOUR parrot playground before you go shopping and for sure before you start cutting your PVC. We recommend you use graph paper for this so you can more easily measure the length you need to cut your PVC pipe and that way you'll know how many pieces of each length you need.
Step Two... What To Buy
Carefully add up the length of all your pieces so you know how much PVC pipe to purchase. Count the number and type of connectors you need. Count TWICE before heading to the store. It really sucks to be short one tee or elbow connector and have to go back.
Step Three... Measure & Cut
Carefully measure, mark and cut your PVC pipes into the lengths required by your design. Be sure to label each piece as you cut it. This makes assembly a breeze.
Pro Tip: You definitely need a PVC cutter for this step. They are not expensive and will save you hours of work trying to saw thru the pipes.
Step Four... Assembling your bird gym
Using your diagram assemble the PVC portion of your bird play gym. Just slip the cut pipes into the tee and elbow connectors. No need to glue them in place unless you want to. A bonus of not gluing them is being able to change things up from time to time and easily replace damaged bits.
Once you have the PVC portion of your play gym constructed, double check that it fits your space and is sturdy enough for your birds. After those things check out it's time to start the really fun part... adding Bird Toys!
Pro Tip: Wrap PVC in colorful VetTape so your birdies can get a good grip. As a minimum you should wrap your perches but many people wrap many of the upright PVC posts too.
Step Five... Decorate Your Bird Play Gym
Now it's time to add bird toys, soft perches, wood perches, water bowls and more to your play stand. You know how birds are, more is always better, right? So, get creative and have fun with this part. Zip Ties come in real handy for this part of the process. Don't forget to spread news papers or pet pads under your bird stand to collect the inevitable fall-out of all your birdies fun!
Note: See the instructions in the previous section of "how to build your own bird play gym" for how to add screw on type perches and toys.
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Whether you are wanting a floor to ceiling or table top birdie play stand you should be all set now. Just follow the tips, techniques and ideas you found here and you'll not only be building your own bird stands but you'll be able to teach others "how to build your own bird play gym", too.
Other Bird Play Gym Ideas
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