Do I need a hospital cage: You can make one up as an emergency thing by just using a warm lamp outside a small cage and covering 2-3 sides of the cage, in an emergency. any of us with a quantity of budgies or intending to breed budgies make sure we have a hospital cage at the ready for sick birds or for baby budgies needing warmth.
What purpose does a hospital cage serve? hospital cage is necessary for warmth for a sick budgie. Any sick budgie benefits greatly from being put in a warm cage prior to a possible vet visit.
What temperature should the hospital cage maintain: temperature for a hospital cage is between 27C- 30C
Testing Your Hosptial Cage: It is a good idea to test out the cage before you need it so you understand how it work. Run the whole thing with monitoring the temperature and leave it on for the whole day and check temps every half hour to see how the temperature either builds up, or not.
Here is the hospital cage my Dad made for me. Its not a thing of beauty but it works really well.
The box is around 2 foot wide by 12 inches deep by 15 inches high. The top comes off for ease of access and is attached to the body of the hospital cage by latches on the sides. There are carrying handles as well.
There is a main perch that runs across the width of the cage. A lamp fitting fitted into the cage and accessed by the bird on the lefthand side. The electrical components are simply a lamp fitting from the elctrical plug right through to the bayonet section that holds the light bulb. There is an external switch.
You may recognise the electrical components from any old lamp you may have. The bayonet section with globe also is fitted with an old style metal shade which assists in directing warmth downwards.
The perch running across the width of the cage allows the bird to move under the heat source or move away from the heat source as needed.
The perch is a maximum 2 inches above ground level. I put paper in to line the base and change the paper 3-4 times a day for health reasons. I also often have a diagonal perch in there running front to back...from floor level to the food and water dispensers that would be clipped to the front of the cage.
The diagonal perch helps any sick birds who can neither perch not reach up to food dishes..it allows them to walk from ground level up to the main perch and access seed and water. The water is put on the right hand side of the cage and would be medicated with whatever is necessary for the sick bird at the time.
As there is a cage front and not perspex, it seems to maintain a constant temperature with no chance of over heating. In this cage I use a 25 watt globe.
As I said...it is no thing of beauty but it works really well, is easy to make and I could NOT do without it.
Thanks to my Dad.