- Buying Mistakes
- Cage Size
- Cage Shape
- Bar Spacing
- Bar Direction
- Cage Construction
- New or Used
- Owner s Guide
- Top Dangers
Consequences of Buying the Wrong Bird Cage
Having the right home for your bird will ensure a long, happy, and healthy life. An inappropriate environment will negatively affect your feathered friend s personality and well-being. If a bird becomes bored or overly-confined, it will develop destructive behaviors and health issues. Here are some signs you should look for that convey your bird cage is not a good match:
- Your bird starts pulling out its own feathers
- The bird starts aggressively biting its owner or other birds in the cage
- A bird that starts anxiously shaking
- Troubling behavior that includes increased pecking at cage bars
- Exhibiting signs of distress through loud and alarming vocalizations
- Birds who engage in agitated pacing
Bird owners, as well as avian experts, all agree on the fact that your pet s happiness and health (mental and physical) can be directly correlated with its living quarters and environment.
Living quarters and environment are meant to describe any place where your feathered friend will be spending extended periods of time.
Birds are very active creatures. They enjoy moving, stretching, and playing. At bare minimum, a bird cage should easily accommodate your friend s need to hop while standing up straight and to spread their wings to the full extent of their span. Your bird s cage should not be a prison, it should be your bird s home. A place to feel comfortable and safe.
Bird Cage Size
When researching and shopping for a bird cage, the size and species of your bird are equally important to consider. Different species have unique needs that need to be met in order for them to be fulfilled and healthy. The size of the cage should be larger than minimum guidelines both in width and height to ensure a happy bird. Small birds, like finches, generally need long cages to fly back and forth. You should purchase the biggest cage that you can afford and fit in your home. The smallest possible size will be at least one wingspan of the bird without contact with any part of the enclosure. Ideally, the space will have room for three full wingspans. This common list of pet birds and the absolute smallest acceptable cage size requirements will help you get started. Read our reviews onlarge and small cages to find the one that is right for you.
Budgies, a type of parakeet, are small to medium birds that are a popular choice for first time owners due to their manageable size. They come in many colors and are highly intelligent and active pets. Their true color is green and all other variations have come about through breeding. In the wild, they fly miles every day and eat a varied diet. To foster an active lifestyle, the smallestcage you can house a budgie in is eighteen inches wide, eighteen inches high, and twenty-four inches long.
This nine-inch bird has a long lifespan of fifteen to thirty years. As with all pet birds, their cage should be placed away from drafty areas and direct sunlight. You should interact daily with your caique to prevent behavioral problems. The minimum cage size for this bird should be twenty-four inches wide and deep, and thirty-six inches tall. As always, the largest cage size you can manage is recommended for all pet birds.
Canaries are classified as extra small birds. The pets are generally referred to as domestic canaries. People love the cheerful songs that only male canaries enjoy to sing. They have been kept as pets since the 1400s. The average cost of a canary is twenty-five to one hundred fifty dollars. Natural lighting is important in order to keep canaries on a normal schedule. They are solitary, territorial birds that do not need as much human interaction as other breeds. The minimum cage size for a single canary should be eighteen inches for both width and height, with a length of twenty-four inches.
African Greys are the perfect pet for anyone who wants a talkative bird. They are medium to large in size and can look similar to pigeons. They average around twelve to thirteen inches in length. It is recommended that only experienced bird caretakers take on an African Grey as a pet due to the complicated care they require. They tend to be nervous and develop feather plucking disorders with more frequency than other birds. These pets will need to spend a couple of hours per day out of their cages. When confined, their space should be no smaller than thirty-six inches wide, twenty-four inches deep, and forty-eight inches high.
Finches are extra small birds known for flying back and forth across their cages. Length more so than height will be important in a cage for these pets. They will also need many perches to land on as they move about. Finches are social birds and should be housed together. They can live up to seven years. The minimum cage size for a pet finch is eighteen inches wide, eighteen inches tall, and thirty inches long.
Conures are medium sized and native to South America. Due to their active nature, their cage should be at least twenty-four inches tall, twenty-four inches deep, and thirty-six inches long.Their homes should contain a variety of toys. You can expect these toys to be broken during play, but there should not be any small pieces that can be swallowed. They also love to bathe so include a separate bowl with one to two inches of water.
The Amazon parrot is nature s stand up comedian. They also love to play aggressively and wrestle with their owners. If you wish, they may even shower with you. They love food and tend to pack on the weight, so exercising your Amazon is very important. For a single bird, the cage should measure at least thirty-six inches wide, twenty-four inches deep, and forty-eight inches tall. If you are not able to give your Amazon all of the attention it needs, getting a mate for your pet may be a good idea. When increasing the number of birds housed together, increase the cage size as well.
An adult poicephalus is a medium-sized bird between eight and thirteen inches long, also known as the Meyer s parrot. They are ideal pets for those who are looking for a quieter bird who might even be a little shy. Meyer s parrots do well in households with children or apartments and buildings with close neighbors. This bird is all about climbing both horizontally and vertically. It can play independently with its toys for hours. For the healthiest living environment, a cage for a poicephalus should be at least twenty-four inches on all sides.
Lovebirds are another species of small parrot that measure five to six and a half inches long. They are affectionate and easily learn tricks. Their enclosures should have multiple perches and a variety of exercise equipment. To allow enough room for flying, all dimensions should measure at least twenty-four inches. A pair of lovebirds that have bonded should not be housed with any other birds or fighting can occur.
Cockatiels are small parrots that measure up to fourteen inches tall. They are known as easygoing with a long life span. With good care, they can live twenty years or more. Cockatiels need more human attention than other species of pet birds. They also have a tendency to be nervous. Their cage should be at least twenty inches tall and wide, and twenty-four inches long. Placing toys in areas that are hard to reach will provide stimulation and exercise.
Having a pet macaw is not for the faint of heart. This large bird has a reputation for being loud and destructive. Because of their great height, their cages should be taller than they are wide. They also love to climb, so horizontal bars are a must. A good starting place is forty-eight inches wide, thirty-six inches deep, and sixty inches tall. A general guideline is that the bird must be able to fully extend its wings without touching any part of the cage. The durability of the metal will be extra important because they love to chew the bars with their strong beaks. The best choice would be stainless steel.
Cockatoos are big and beautiful white birds that can reach up to twenty inches in size. They make great companions to humans but can be especially needy. Their strong beaks require extra security measures such as stainless steel bars and locks for the door. To keep them occupied, give them lots of toys, a place to climb, an abundance of attention, and possibly another cockatoo companion. Minimum cage dimensions should measure forty-eight inches wide and tall, and at least thirty-six inches deep.
Eclectus parrots make great pets due to their calm nature. Males and females will have distinct color and personality differences. The females are the more dominant of the species and can be described as territorial and bossy. They love natural wood perches and swings. The best cages for this loveable bird are made of powder-coated metal or stainless steel. A single Eclectus needs a space of at least thirty-six inches wide, twenty-four inches deep, and forty-eight inches high.
Keep in mind that caged birds will still need access to safe areas to fly in your house or an outdoor enclosure as they cannot be confined one hundred percent of the time. They may need as many as one to four hours of supervised freedom per day. Be aware of common bird hazards such as exposed wires, aerosol chemicals, and Teflon kitchenware coating. If your pans get too hot during cooking, the fumes could be deadly to your feathered friends.
When considering the shape that you want for your bird cage, you will be able to choose between two popular options.
Dome cages offer more vertical height. They are a beautiful addition to your decor and there are many styles available. Dome bird cages are ideal for birds who climb, like parrots, or larger birds who need extra head space, such as cockatoos. It is important to avoid dome cages that are round on the sides. Birds feel more secure next to corners and living without them will lead to psychological distress. The best bird cages have rectangular sides with a domed ceiling. Another benefit to the dome cage is the ability to let your bird exit and enter through the top.
Rectangular bird cages have the option to turn the roof into a play area. Good playtop cages will have a slide out plastic grate to catch bird droppings. The cleanup will be easy and the interior of your buddy s home will be kept out of harm s way. Rectangular top cages are excellent if you plan to hang toys down for your bird to play with.
Bar spacing is one of the most essential parts of a quality bird cage. You need to make sure that your bird will not be able to get his head, wings or feet stuck between the gaps. If there is excessive spacing, your bird may even be able to escape! Make no mistake about it, birds have a lot of time on their hands to figure out puzzles. To prevent these fates, there are standard spacing guidelines already in place to help you shop for the best cage.
Bar spacing for small birds should be no larger than five-eighths of an inch.
Recommended bar spacing for medium-sized birds can range between one-half to seven- eighths of an inch. For large birds, three-quarters to one and three-eighths is an acceptable range. Here is a list of common pet bird types and suggested bar spacing.Small Birds: 1/2 to 5/8 bar spacing
- [Smaller] Conures
*1/2 bar spacing is ideal.
Medium Birds: 1/2 to 3/4 bar spacing
- Mini Macaws
- Ring Necks
- [Smaller] African Greys
- [Smaller] Amazons
- [Smaller] Cockatoos
Large Birds: 3/4 to 1 bar spacing
- African Greys
- Alexandrine Parakeets
- Hyacinth Macaws
Use your best judgment when deciding what the right size cage and spacing of bars is for your pet.
The direction the bars run is also an important factor. To allow your bird a place to climb, horizontal bars are preferred. Vertical bars cause less damage to feathers should your bird rub against them. Due to the benefits of both, most bird cages are manufactured with a combination of horizontal and vertical bars<. They can be combined in a variety of ways. Some have vertical bars on two sides, and horizontal on the other two. Others are constructed in a grid pattern all the way around. Grid patterns should not be larger than one inch by one inch for safety reasons. These cages are stronger and come with a reduced opportunity for your pet bird to bend the bars and get stuck. The reduced open space also protects birds from predators.
Bird Cage Construction
Bird cages are made from all different types of material in order to please all price points. The problem is, not all of these are good enough to stand up to daily use by your bird. Having multiple cages will provide your bird with the proper amount of stimulation and interaction with family members. Having an outdoor enclosure will provide your bird access to fresh air and sunlight.
Wire Bird Cages
Wire cages are suitable only as temporary transport devices, if that. They are flimsy, break easily, and can contain toxic metal dust and flaking. Most bird cages of this type are made for decorative purposes only, showing how they are prized as beautiful additions to homes and special events. Buying your bird s cage from a reputable retailer will ensure that it was made for pets and not for displaying candles.
Metal Bird Cages
Metal bird cages are a step up. The finest options have powder-coated metal that resists rust and is easy to clean. This finish can wear down over time and will have to be touched up or replaced. If you don t want a silver cage to clash with your home decor, powder-coated cages come in a variety of colors like snow flake white or cornflower blue.
Stainless Steel Bird Cages
The most expensive option, stainless steel cages are built to last. Galvanized steel is a more affordable option that still provides a sturdy bird cage. Risks of using galvanized steel include zinc toxicity from the plating process.
When touching up damage or scratches on your cage, make sure you consult the manufacturer to get recommended paints and other tips. Just picking up an item at the craft store could cause you to unknowingly expose your precious bird to a number of poisonous substances. Quality control of bird cages made out of the country is more difficult to regulate. If possible, buying an American made cage will give you the peace of mind that it has been through a thorough inspection and testing process.
New or Used Bird Cages?
New bird cages are always preferable because you can guarantee the quality of construction and materials. Used cages may have been repaired with inferior or toxic metals and finishes. Older cages were not built to be as secure as the ones today. If a used cage has not been disinfected properly an infectious disease from another bird may be transferred to yours. Some cages were made for decorative purposes only. Without access to the specifications, it may be hard to determine if a cage is suitable for your bird or not.
Owner s Guide
Once you have your birds purchased and settled into their new home, it is important to clean and maintain it properly to keep them healthy and prevent your house from smelling like a rainforest. Bird-proofing your living space will also be an important step. Pet birds need time out of their cage as well as good air quality to prevent respiratory distress. Food and water will need to be rotated regularly to avoid bacterial growth. Innovative Cages has compiled a bird cage owner s guide to give you all the steps to follow so your bird has a happy and long life.
Bird Cage Cleaning
Every week, the entire bird cage will need to be cleaned. You should designate a safe place to put your pet bird during this time. All toys, water, and food bowls have to be disinfected. If regular cleaning does not take place, your bird will be susceptible to disease and infections. Using bird-friendly cleaning products is important so that you don t unknowingly endanger your pal. All natural options, like a vinegar and water mixture, are always a safe bet.
Safe and Unsafe Cleaning Solutions
- No aerosol products in the home or oven cleaners (air freshener, furniture cleaner, hairspray, etc.)
- Mild dish soap diluted with water is OK
- Pure steam and water with no solution will kill mold
- Laundry detergent is ok for your bird s towels, but no fabric softeners or dryer sheets
- Baking soda mixed with water into a paste is a safe gritty and deodorizing cleanser
Underneath the Cage
Cage liners need to be changed every day to prevent fungal growth and ammonia fumes. Appropriate cage liners include:
- Newspaper with non-toxic ink
- Plain paper towels
- Waxed paper
- Butcher paper
- Brown paper bags
Don t use:
- Wood chips or shavings
- Crushed walnut shells
- Corncob bedding
- Cat litter
- Dirt or sand
Any of these liners can kick up dust that can irritate your bird s respiratory system or be ingested.
Other Cleaning Tips
- Wash food and water bowls daily
- Purchase a plastic bottom tray liner and clean weekly. Consider using a top grate as well to further separate your bird from the droppings.
- Rotate and clean toys weekly
- Scrub cage bars once a month
- Make sure the cage stays dry as birds get cold easily
Top Indoor Bird Dangers
Bringing a bird into your home requires numerous lifestyle changes. If you are not ready to adjust to all of the following limitations, another type of pet may work better for you and your family. Birds are extremely sensitive and mobile. Keep this in mind when engaging in activities in your house that may not be on this list.
- Cookware fumes Avoid Teflon and non-stick pots and pans. Safe cooking products include stainless steel, aluminum, copper, glass, and cast iron.
- Spray cleaners and aerosol can products
- Candles Due to flame and respiratory hazards
- Ceiling fans
- Open windows and doors Can escape or be crushed when they are closed
- Cigarette and cigar smoke as well as nicotine on feet and feathers
- Electrical wires
- Lead paint on walls and other household surfaces
- Small items that can be swallowed
- Chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, avocado, garlic, onion, sugar, salt and processed snacks. Apple seeds contain cyanide. Beware of pesticides on fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Vitamins and medications
- Cats and dogs
- Toxic plants
- Fly zappers, sticky paper, mouse traps, poisonous pest control chemicals
- Human saliva can cause illness in birds
- Household cleaners
- Perfume and cosmetics
- Hair dryers, curling irons, coffee makers and other appliances and electronics can contain material that gives off deadly fumes when heated.
- Toilets, sinks, bathtubs, boiling water, pet water bowls
- Cheap toys may break or contain toxic materials
- Mirrors and extra clean windows
- Carbon monoxide Have a detector and test it regularly
- Fireplaces, electric heaters, and hot stove tops
- Overheating due to direct sunlight or being left in a car
- Dehydration Check water bottles for obstructions and keep water dishes filled.
- Gas leaks or fumes
As you can see, bringing a new pet bird into your life is an exciting adventure. With the proper care, they can be lifetime companions. Keeping your friend safe and healthy starts with setting up a proper home for him or her. Innovative Cages reviews the best possible cages by Avian Adventures and Prevue Hendryx. The perfect cage will be large enough for your pet bird with the proper spacing. The quality construction will keep your new family member safe, as well as last for many years. It will be a gorgeous addition to your home decor. Owning a bird requires proper care with a diligent eye for possible hazards. Innovative Cages is here to give you the best information possible on cage reviews and how to be the best possible pet bird parent. Once you experience the joy of owning birds, it will be hard to stop at just one.