When choosing a cage, you should ask these questions:
- How big is my bird, and how much room will it need?
- How often will I be able to socialize with my bird?
- Is the cage right for a hookbill or a softbill bird?
- Does my bird enjoy interaction or typically prefer to fly around in its own area?
- Why should I never use a round cage?
- What kind of transport cage will I need?
Bird Size and Cage Size
The size of your bird will determine not only how big the cage needs to be, but also how far apart the bars should be spaced. You can have the best intentions while getting your bird a large cage, but if the bars are spaced too far apart, then your bird may escape, or become stuck.
Smaller birds, larger birds, it doesn’t matter… They’re all active and need lots of space to enjoy playing and flying. All birds need enough room to stretch their wings out fully and flap without hitting the sides. If there are multiple birds in the same cage, they should not have to take turns to stretch out. Give them a little extra space for good measure.
Social Time Outside of the Cage
If you are going to spend lots of time socializing and playing with your pet, then a huge cage isn’t necessary. If you have the space, it probably won’t hurt, but it might be better instead to invest money into things like play stands and interactive toys. Committing to a few hours daily of free flight for the bird will mean that your bird is happier, and you don’t need to buy a cage the size of a house. Both cage costs and the time your birds spend locked in them can be lessened.
Flight Cages and Aviaries
Some types of birds, like finches and canaries, are generally less interested in playing with people, but are lovely to listen to, chat with, and watch. The cage type for these birds will be different than parrots, cockatiels, and parakeets. They will need a large flight cage or aviary in order to thrive. Just because they are small birds doesn’t mean they don’t need much space. They enjoy a nice wide cage to fly back and forth in. A tall cage will not be the best choice for finches, canaries, or doves, as they have straight beaks and cannot climb like hookbills do. Room to fly around, and enough perches to give plenty of landing places without overcrowding will be important for this setup.
Say No to Round Cages!
Round cages… they are a thing of the past. They do our birds more harm than good. The difference is that without corners, birds feel less safe. They want to find a corner nook to back into and retreat if necessary. Without corners, they tend to feel more exposed. They are left in a more anxious and stressed state as a result. Also, the center point at the top of round cages, where the bars all converge, has been known to cause accidents. Many birds have gotten their feet or other parts stuck in between the tiny angled bars, and when they become more upset at being caught, flail about and frequently injure themselves. With these known flaws, round cages are better off not used for housing any birds.
Transport cages need to meet the same criteria when it comes to proper bar spacing. You don’t want to be transporting your bird and have them squeeze out through the bars. Transport cages/carriers will be handy for the times you might need to take your bird to the vet, when you’re moving, going on a trip, visiting a friend, or even if you just want a safe place for your bird to wait while you’re cleaning their cage.