Being a bird owner entails certain responsibilities that you need to fulfill, to properly care for your feathered friend. One of these responsibilities is providing your pet with a suitable birdcage.
While some species of birds require special considerations with regard to their birdcages, there are basic requirements that apply to all species.
Size and shape
When choosing a birdcage, the first thing you need to consider is its size: the bigger the cage, the better it is for your pet. Birds need as much space as possible to be able to fly freely inside the cage-but you also have to think about how much space you can spare for a cage in your home.
Additionally, between a tall cage and a wide cage, the wide one is preferable, because birds often fly from side to side rather than up and down. So avoid cylindrical cages, since the most they allow is up-and-down movement. Tall birds need a tall cage, of course, but the width should still be given importance.
Bar spacing and orientation
Make sure that the bars of the cage are spaced appropriately for your bird. You do not want a cage with bars so wide apart that your bird can easily squeeze through and fly out, or worse, get its head or another body part caught or stuck in between the bars.
The space between the cage bars depends on the size of your bird, and the orientation of the bars depends on the bird species. For birds that use their beak to climb the sides of the cage, such as parrots, the bars should have a horizontal orientation to allow the beak to latch on. For bird species that don't use their beak to climb, the bar orientation isn't as important.
Safety and security
To make sure your bird will stay safe inside the cage, there are certain safety and security considerations that you need to make. One of these is that the cage should not have any protrusions inside that can expose your bird to harm. This especially applies to cages with fancy designs.
Another consideration is the material of the birdcage. Make sure that the cage is made of stainless steel or powder-coated wrought iron. Both materials are nontoxic, especially important for birds that tend to gnaw on the bars of the cage. Plastic cages and some older cages have zinc and lead in the paint used on them.
Lastly, make sure that the cage door is secure when closed. A simple hook may not be sufficient; you shouldn't underestimate the intelligence of birds.
Ease of maintenance
Look for a birdcage that is easy to maintain. A pullout tray underneath the cage will make it easy to clean up your bird's waste. Additionally, when you open the doors, it should be easy for you to clean the inside of the cage without allowing your pet to fly out. Similarly, you should be able to remove your bird's food and water trays without leaving an opening big enough for your bird to escape through.
A built-in perch will help make the cage more like home for your bird. However, you'll have to consider the size of your pet's feet: a perch that's too small or too big can cause injuries.
A birdcage can have perches at various heights. A perch near the feeding trays will make it easy for your pet to reach its food and drink.
Get the biggest birdcage possible, to allow your pet to move and fly freely inside. The width of the cage is more important than its height.
The space between the bars of the birdcage should be appropriate for the size of your bird. Birds that climb using their beaks need a cage with bars that have a horizontal orientation.
The cage shouldn't have any protrusions inside that can harm your bird.
The cage should be made of stainless steel or powder-coated wrought iron, since these materials are nontoxic.
The cage door should close securely to prevent your pet from escaping.
The birdcage should be easy to maintain, with pullout trays and doors that allow you to clean inside and change your pet's food without giving it space to escape.
Built-in perches will make the bird more comfortable and feel more at home in its cage.