Size of Bird
Naturally, the absolute first thing you must do when considering what cage to buy is the size of your bird or birds. While you don’t necessarily need to buy a very small cage for a smaller bird, you need to be aware that the larger a cage, the larger it’s bar spacing. Therefore, if you purchase a cage that is far too big for your pet, you’ll risk them escaping through the gaps in the bars.
When browsing for cages, it can often be difficult to determine what’s a decent size for your flock, as you’ll often find that they are merely described as ‘good for medium-sized birds’ or something equally as undetailed. So if you’re not sure what size category your particular bird fits into, consult this helpful guide below:
- Small – Budgies, Cockatiels, Parakeets, Finches, Canaries, Lovebirds , Parrotlets
- Medium – Caiques, Senegals, Lories, Small Cockatoos, Mini-macaws, Conures, Quakers
- Large – Toucans, African Greys, Macaws, Amazons, Alexandrine Parakeets, Hyacinth Macaws, Cockatoos and Eclectus
Quantifying how spacious you require your birdcage to be is even more difficult if you plan on housing multiple birds at once.
The first thing to do is consider whether getting a birdcage at all is the best idea. For large groupings of birds, you could instead purchase an aviary, a large enclosure to keep many birds, often kept outside. This is probably your only option if you plan on keeping several large birds. But if a birdcage is really what you desire, there are several on the market which can accommodate a number of smaller birds at once.
Unfortunately, to appropriately determine the size you need, you’ll need to do a bit of maths. The recommended size for each bird breed listed above is for just one single bird only, so you’ll need to double, triple or just simply add dimensions together to work out the size you need.
Any cage you buy needs to give your animal enough room to spread its wings and even fly in small beats! According to the RSPCA, the width of a cage must be three times a pet’s wingspan with a height three times the length of your bird from head to tail. The length of the cage should also allow at least 2 wing beats between perches for your feathered friend to fly between.
Naturally, this is quite a difficult thing to work out, so to spare you the maths, we’ve listed the recommended minimum cage size for the most commonly kept birds:
- 45.7cm x 76.2cm x 45.7cm – Finches
- 45.7cm x 60.9cm x 45.7cm – Canaries
- 45.7cm x 45.7cm x 60.9cm – Budgerigars (Budgies & Parakeets)
- 50.8cm x 50.8cm x 60.9cm – Cockatiels
- 60.9cm x 60.9cm x 60.9cm – Lovebirds, Parrotlets, Quaker Parrots, Conures, Poicephalus
- 60.9cm x 60.9cm x 91.4cm – Ringneck Parakeets, Caiques, Pionus, Jardines
- 60.9cm x 91.4cm x 122.9cm – Amazon Parrots, Mini-macaws, Goffin Cockatoos, African Greys
- 91.4cm x 122.9cm x 122.9cm – Large Cockatoos
- 91.4cm x 122.9cm x 152.4cm – Large Macaws
To prevent wee birdies from sneakily escaping through a gap in the cage, you’ll need to ensure you’ve chosen a one with sufficient bar spacing. This is, unsurprisingly, probably the most important feature of any cage and something you’ll want to pay close attention to.
To understand what bar spacing you need, consult this guide of bird sizes and the recommended bar spacing they require:
- Small birds – 1.26cm or less
- Medium birds – 1.26cm – 2.3cm
- Large birds – 1.9cm – 3.5cm
Old fashioned cages often had an appealing circular design, and it’s not uncommon for people to purchase these kinds of cages purely for decoration.
However, they are no longer considered the best choice for birds as it’s believed they can be disorientating for your pet. They are also often more poorly constructed and harder to clean. A rectangular cage, on the other hand, can help them feel secure and are far more sturdy and well-made.
Although the majority of cages appear to be constructed with a heavy, wrought iron structure, you will find the occasional one made of a simple and unstable wire-like frame. It’s therefore important to pay attention to the material it’s made from, especially if your bird getting out of its cage could mean a risk of escape.
Birdcage cleaning can be a long and arduous process, especially if you buy one that is incredibly difficult to clean! You, therefore, need to be on the lookout for features that make cleaning time as fast and efficient as possible! Look for pullout trays, good shapes and no awkward sections. This is why metal is the preferred material too.