Like all pets, birds also require nutritious and breed-appropriate nutrition, lots of care, and a good home they can feel safe and comfortable. If dogs have kennels and cats have kitty homes, birds rightfully have birdcages to make them feel right at home. As such, choosing the right cage for these feathery pets is essential to ensuring their optimum wellbeing. We’ve prepared a list of the 10 best bird cages so you can get started right away.
Bird Cage Buying Guide
Buying an enclosure for your pet bird is not really that difficult especially if you already have a basic idea of what is at stake. Here we have prepared some of the things that you will have to consider to help you narrow down your choices of the best bird cages.
Most of us have this idea that the best shape of a birdcage is a rounded or circular one as the absence of corners allows us to have unrestricted views of our pets. Unfortunately, this line of thinking is outdated. It is believed that certain bird species may actually feel insecure if they are placed in a round cage as they will think that their movements are being restricted. Today, rectangular cages are definitely in. The length of the cage matters a lot more to birds than its height since birds would rather fly forward and back in a horizontal plane rather than up and down in a vertical plane. That being said, you may need a cage that is longer than it is higher, although a combination of the two won’t hurt.
Orientation and spacing of the bars
The orientation of the bars of the cage also matters. This is often dependent on the species of bird that you have. For example, parrots love to climb up the sides of the cage using their claws and beak. As such, bars that oriented in a horizontal manner will be more ideal for these types of birds as they are given a ladder-like presentation of the bars. For other birds that do not exhibit such behaviors, the orientation of the bar will not really matter.
Equally important is the space in between bars. We will have a separate section for this later. Suffice it to say, you don’t want a cage with unusually large bar spacing, otherwise you risk losing your pet altogether.
Most cages today are constructed of heavy duty steel materials. However, there are still those that use flimsy wires. It is important to look into the overall construction of these cages and invest only in one that will last several years of use.
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Ease of maintenance
All pets eliminate, birds included. This means you will also need to clean this on a regular basis. The ease of cleaning and maintaining the integrity of your bird cage is thus, a very important consideration.
What Cage Size to Choose
One of the most important determinants in your choice of the most appropriate enclosure for your avian pet is the size of the cage. In fact, this is one area where many newbie bird owners fail at for the simple fact that they do not understand the implications of an inappropriately sized cage. Birds need to spread their wings and although clipping the wings is a very common practice, being able to stretch these is tantamount to optimum avian health.
There are a few things that you simply have to keep in mind whenever you are looking at the most appropriate size for your birdie.
Size of bird
The size of your birdie is one of the most basic considerations when it comes to choosing the right cage. Smaller birdies will require smaller cages, although it is not uncommon to get larger enclosures so they have greater freedom inside. Unfortunately, as the size of the birdcage increases, so does the space in between the bars. And if you have a small birdie, it can easily get through this space and escape. As such, if you really want a more spacious cage for your small feathered pal, then you will need a large cage with smaller bar spacing. We will talk about the bar spacing in the next section.
Having one species of bird in your cage is one thing. But if you have mixed species, then the size requirements can be quite complex as you will have to take into consideration the individual behavior of every avian resident in your birdcage. While most pet owners and experts would recommend looking at the size of the largest bird species in your flock, you will still have to consider the other species.
Each bird requires a minimum space in which it can fly. For example, a single Parakeet requires about 6,500 cubic inches or about 3.76 cubic feet of space. Compare this with a cage that will house 6 parakeets and you will need about 23,000 cubic inches or roughly about 13.3 cubic feet.
If you’re entertaining the idea of having multiple avian pets of various species in one enclosure, an ordinary birdcage is never enough. What you will need is an aviary. Remember that for every bird species you add to your flock, you will also need an additional 4,000 cubic inches or roughly 2.3 cubic feet.
To help you get started, here are the following size recommendations for the more popular pet birds. Each of these dimensions is for a single bird only, so you might have to do a little math if you require more than one bird per cage.
- Finches – 18 x 18 x 30 inches
- Lovebirds and parrotlets – 24 x 24 x 24 inches
- Budgies, canaries, and parakeets – 18 x 24 x 18 inches
- Cockatiels – 20 x 24 x 20 inches
- Amazons, African greys, and mini Macaws – 34 x 24 x 36 inches
- Cockatoos – 36 x 48 x 48 inches
- Macaws – 36 x 48 x 60 inches
Best Cage Size Spacing
Just as the space in between the bars of a hamster cage can injure the feet of your pet hamster, inappropriately spaced birdcage bars can also injure your feathered pal. As such, experts recommend adhering to certain recommendations regarding the size of spaces in between the bars or rods of your birdcage.
- Small-sized birdies – The space should not be larger than half an inch
- Medium-sized birds – The space should be at least half an inch but not more than 7/8 of an inch
- Large-sized species – The spacing should be at least ¾ of an inch to not more than one and 3/8 of an inch
Looking at these spacing recommendations, the sizes are proportional to the size of the head of the bird. Additionally, these size recommendations also take into consideration the possibility of having the wings of birds inserted through the space. These are guidelines, though. As such, you may have to understand the fundamental anatomy of the type of bird that you have for a pet. If you can measure the diameter of its head, then you will need a birdcage that has wire spacing which is not larger than half the diameter of your pet bird’s head. For instance, if you have a pet whose head is about an inch across, then you will need a cage that has bar spacing not more than half an inch.
Here’s a list of some very popular bird species and how they are classified according to their size. This should give you an idea as to the most appropriate bar spacing for them.
- Small birds – Budgies, Cockatiels, Parakeets, Canaries, Finches, Lovebirds, and Parrotlets
- Medium birds – Caiques, Lories, Senegals, Mini Macaws, Small Cockatoos, Conures, and Quakers
- Large birds – African Greys, Toucans, Macaws, Amazons, Alexandrine Parakeets, Hyacinth Macaws, Cockatoos, and Eclectus
Cages are important to birds as crates are to dogs. These are your feathery friends’ home inside your home. As such it is important to look into the design and construction of the cage including the appropriateness of its size and the spacing between its bars relative to the size of your bird and the number of avian species you intend to place inside. And with these 10 best bird cages, you’re one step closer towards ensuring better and safer existence for your feathered friends.