Birds are rewarding, friendly, silly, and often comparatively less expensive pets. If you'd like a pet that sings with you and rewards your effort to become close to it, a bird may be the best pet for you.
However, they're a bit unique, and you may have some questions about proper care and equipment for your pet bird. The media often depicts birds in an inappropriate bird cage for the size and needs of the bird. So if you're getting ready to buy a bird cage, you need a proper guide.
Let's look at some of the basic components of a bird cage and what makes it appropriate for each caged bird species.
The most important thing to consider when buying a bird cage is the amount of space between the bars. Too much space and your bird will either be able to escape or will attempt to escape and get caught in the bars which can lead to injury and even death.
This is more important with smaller birds because a big bird cage for larger parrots is unlikely to have bars big enough for them to try to get through. But you may be tempted to buy a larger cage for your small bird to have plenty of room to move around only to discover that the bars are too wide for your bird species.
For smaller birds such as canaries, finches, and even lovebirds, the spacing between the bars of the cage should be no more than half an inch. For cockatiels, ringneck parakeets, and conures you can go up to five eights of an inch. And for larger parrots, they can be as large as an inch to an inch and a half. But it's pretty rare to find cages with that much bar space.
The orientation of the bars is also important. Finches and canaries can thrive in cages with vertical bars because most of their ambulation is walking, flying, and hopping. But parrots also like to climb using their beaks and feet.
Any parrot or parakeet bird cages should have horizontal bars so that they climb around to get to their toys and food. They should have room to spread their wings but will do less flying and more climbing while moving about their cage.
Bird Cage Dimension
Different birds require different cage dimensions. Smaller birds will expect to fly about their cage more than large birds so they'll need a cage that is wider than it is long. On the other hand, a large bird may feel crushed and unable to stand up straight in a cage that is too short. They'll want to feel like they have room to move upwards.
Small birds such as finches, parakeets, and canaries should have long cages of about 18 x 18 x 30 inches. Sometimes these are referred to as flight cages.
Although lovebirds are smaller, they fall into the category of medium-sized birds when it comes to their cage needs. Conures, cockatiels, Jardines, and parrotlets need cages with at least 20 to 24 inches in height and width and 24 to 36 inches in length. When looking at a cage, consider if (even filled with toys and food bowls) your bird will be able to comfortably spread its wings and fly to the other side.
Large birds such as macaws and cockatoos require a big bird cage. Expect to buy something at least 36 x 48 x 48 inches.
With any parrot, you should give them plenty of time out of the cage as well. No matter how large your cage is, it won't make up for their natural desire to explore spaces and take longer flights.
Most bird cages available today are rectangular instead of round. This is for good reason. Round cages lack corners which make great natural perches for birds. They also can make your bird feel more exposed and rarely have the right length for flight ability.
Once you've selected a cage, you'll need a place to put it. Some larger cages come with a stand so that your bird is at the proper height.
But smaller bird cages often don't come with a stand and you'll have to make a choice for yourself. Consider rolling or stationary options, and make sure that the dimensions of the stand match the dimensions of your cage.
When considering whether you want a stand for your bird cage, think about where you will place it otherwise. Some cages are small enough that they can go on top of a piece of furniture you already own, but it's important to consider whether that piece of furniture is high enough. Remember that birds naturally live in trees, so the higher they are the safer they feel. Anything lower than chest level will make them feel low and exposed.
A hanging bird cage is rare these days, but if that's your preferred stand you can still get hanging stands.
Where to Put Your Cage
Even when you've picked out the best cage and stand, you'll still need to decide where to put it! Birds are naturally social and want to be where the action is. So make sure that the room you choose is one where people are regularly moving through. They'll love to watch you throughout your day.
It's also important to find a place with natural light because without sunlight a bird can become depressed. But also make sure that the cage is against at least one wall. A cage out in an open space will make the bird feel overly exposed to threats. It should have a corner of the cage where it can feel pretty hidden.
The Right Bird Cage
With the right size, shape, bars, and location for your bird cage, your bird will feel comfortable and secure in its home. And the more comfortable they feel the more likely they are to want to be a companion to you.
Start off on the right foot with your pet bird by getting them the best cage possible. Take a look at all our bird cage options!