So my cage setup has been the same for years, with lots of perches of different sizes and textures to make sure its good for the birds feet. However, I just found out that having moving perches/swings are very good to build abdominal strength for birds. I have one swing but my budgie just likes to sing to it, not sit on it. Id consider removing one perch (its a smaller cage, 18 x 18 x 30 inches, so there isnt too much I can do inside of it), and replacing it with a swing, but I know that in that case my budgie just wont sit on it at all. She usually likes to stay on her rope perch that extends from front to back.
Anyways, i have a ladder that goes from top to bottom to make it easier for her to move around. It was very helpful when she was a baby because she was all clumsy, but now im wondering if its just making her lazy. My previous budgies wouldnt mind jumping/flying to the top if it was faster, or climbing on the side bars of the cage. But my current budgie only likes to use the ladder. Im wondering it it might be a good idea to remove the ladder completely so that she has to put a little more effort to get around, and not be lazy.
She also cant fly right now because she had clipped wings when I got her, so she isnt getting a lot of exercise.
The only thing im concerned about is if she will just decide not to go to the bottom of the cage to eat or drink, simply because she doesnt know how. Shes still getting used to the place, and getting used to being a single bird (my precious male passed away unexpectedly 3 weeks ago), so she is sometimes hesitant to do things that require vulnerability (like being at the bottom of the cage).
I tried to change the cage around with my previous budgie but he hated it and was scared of everything and couldn't sleep because he had the same setup for his whole life. So i had to keep it the same when I got my new budgie (he was still alive when i bought her). But shes only a few months old so i dont think she would mind the change as much.
Id like to get others opinions on this. Should i leave it so i know shes eating for sure (she is not super food motivated. If something is too far or inconvenient she usually will ignore it) or should i remove the ladder so she has to be more active?
If she was mine I would not remove the ladder, since her wings are clipped it aids her in getting around. If you are concerned about her not going to the bottom to eat then get some food dishes that can be secured to the upper part of the cage. Birds generally like to be at the highest point in the cage that they can get to. Just make sure wherever the food is that she is eating.