So you just bought your first bird. Congratulations! One of the first tasks that you and other new bird owners must complete is to buy bird cages. There are many choices available today and most of them are of good quality and quite affordable. Here are four birdcage characteristics that can make the biggest difference in how safe and comfortable you make the home for the newest member of your family.
Cage Dimensions – What size bird cage is the best fit for your bird?
Experts tell us that you should buy as large a cage as you can afford that can also fit into the space that you have allocated. You want to make sure that your bird can flap its wings freely and walk around in the cage. You also want to ensure that your bird’s tail will not touch the bottom of the cage when it’s sitting on its perch. This is after you have added perches, food bowls and toys. Putting your bird in a cage that is too small can result in undesirable behaviors such as feather plucking, screaming and biting.
Small birds like finches, parakeets, and lovebirds usually need at least 18-20 inch birdcages. Medium-sized birds such as conures, amazons and greys need 24-32 inches or more and larger birds such as cockatoos and macaws need at least 36-40 inches.
Bar Spacing – What is the largest amount of space to allow between the bars of the cage?
This is one of the most important characteristics of a birdcage. If the space between the bars is too large, your bird can push its head through and potentially get hurt. On the other hand, if there is not enough space, you will not be able to see the bird.
Small birds like canaries, finches and doves need about half an inch of space between the bars. Medium-sized birds such as the cockatiel need five-eights to three-fourths inches and large birds like the macaw need three-fourths to one inch spacing. Extra large birds should get one to one and a fourth inches.
Bar Gauge – How thick should the bars be?
You want to make sure that the bars on the bird cage are thick enough. If the bars are too thin for the size of your bird, you may find that your new resident can bend or dent the bars and possible escape.
Small birds such as canaries and parakeets need 2mm or less. Cockatiels and lovebirds are better off with 2.5mm while medium-sized birds like amazons and goffins require about 3.5mm. Larger birds need 5mm or more.
Quality and Craftsmanship – What is the overall quality of the birdcage?
Make sure that your bird’s new home is a safe place to live. Is the birdcage solid and sturdy? Is the cage made out of non-toxic material? Will it be easy to clean? Does it contain paint that could easily chip? Are there any sharp edges or loose parts?