I have purchased two table top play gyms, and I am in the process of looking for a floor gym or something else because I need several spots for my various sized birds. I have to admit that I am pretty disappointed in what I have.
I know, pictures, but I don't have any right now.
The first one we got is acrylic, and it is good for our linnie and green cheek. The linnie is especially able to enjoy it. It is a bunch of ladders that you can take apart and put together like tinker toys. Cannary likes it, too, so it was well worth what I paid for it. Actually, I guess I'm pleased with it for them.
All birds are individuals, and I think it has just taken me a while to figure out what my various birds can or will do.
I bought what I consider to be a pretty expensive table top gym for the bigger birds, and I am NOT pleased with it. I thought it would be better than it is, and now that I see its pitfalls, when I look at others of similar type I see that they would, in many cases, be inaccessible to my birds, too.
The gym I'm referring to is made of java wood, or coffee wood. I don't know if they take the bark off of that or it grows this way, but it is very, very slick. It is so slick that none of my birds can make it up many of the inclines, so they can't use many parts of the gym. I can put Roni and Daisy on certain parts, and they can play on that part for a bit, then I have to move them myself to another part if I want them to be able to enjoy that other part. I have put a boing on that gym hoping they could go from one spot to another, and it works somewhat, but not has I had hoped.
The water/food dish that came with the gym is inaccessable because the branches are too slick and too steep for either bird to navigate. (I've also put the little birds on this gym, and even Elisa can't navigate those branches, and that is saying something because she is by far the most agile of all of my birds. I finally just started giving them a ceramic water and food bowl on the base of the gym, because they can get there by using the boing. Even with the boing, though, they can't get to and from most of the branches.
I have thought of wrapping the branches in vet wrap, but that will quickly become soiled with droppings. I guess vet wrap isn't all that expensive.
Someone suggested using sand paper to roughen the surfaces. I haven't tried it. I know it would need to be a very course sand paper, but the wood is very hard. I don't know that it will work. It won't hurt to try.
I am now looking at and strongly considering a play gym in the bird store that is made of small powder-coated wire panels. I think it will work well. I got one of those wire "shelves" for Roni's cage, and it is wonderful in there. She can run all over it, and I can hang toys from it in the middle of the cage so that she can play at various levels.
I am also in the process of making the small cage we had purchased for the birds to visit school in into a play pen for Roni. I got a smaller one for the birds to come to school in, because they had one that is small enough to easily also use to transport the birds in, so this way I can just take the whole thing back and forth whenever I want to take the little guys to school. (I will need to get something else if I want to take Daisy. Roni is inappropriate for a school setting.
Roni can and easily does climb all kinds of cage bars, so right from the get go she has all of the outside area of that cage to climb on PLUS that same amout of climbing space on the inside of the cage. So far, I have put a perch with three branches on the top and a ladder from the acrylic gym, and she can navigate those well. I'll add other stuff later. Daisy will also be able to use this, but with some modifications for her size. I will have to watch that she doesn't bend the bars with her beak. All the little birds will also have full access to everything on there, except for Stanley, but he has his own unique issues. He'll still be able to do some things, and we can move him around.
I've looked at the bottle brush gyms online. I think they look interesting, and I think they would work well, but I haven't ordered one, and I'm not sure I want to order online.
I think we just need to invent some better play gyms. I wish I were handy, but I can't even get posting pictures, soooooooooooo.
What have been your experiences with play gyms?
I must admit I think those of you who have simply purchased cages with play tops and who let your birds just go in and out of their cages have the best solution, but I cannot move the cages back and forth from room to room daily due to the layout of my house and the sizes of my cages, and I must keep the cages in a room I can shut off because of our other pets and family members.