Pet Birds and Parrots - Choosing The Right Cage
Birds are meant to fly, and many bird owners are realizing the benefits of allowing their birds to have time to fly freely around the house.
But, even if your bird spends hours flying around the house, she still needs a safe haven where sheíll eat, sleep, and spend some time. Choosing the best cage for your bird is going to be one of the most important decisions youíll make for her.
Whether you have a finch or a parrot, get the biggest cage possible for your breed, if you can afford it. If you canít afford the largest cage, purchase the largest that you can afford. Your vet should be able to give you advice on the exact size bird cage that would be best for your individual birdís emotional and mental health needs.
Putting your bird into a cage that is too small for her can have adverse affects. She may begin biting you, screaming, or pulling her feathers out, all behaviors that you want to avoid. As a rule of thumb, a bird cage should allow your bird enough room to fully spread and flap her wings. Additionally, she should have plenty of room to walk around the cage.
Keep in mind that your bird(s) isnít going to be the only thing in the cage. Her bars and food bowl and water bowl will also take up space. Of course, you also want to provide your bird with plenty of toys to keep her occupied and happy while sheís spending time in her cage, so take into account that toys will also need room.
In addition, some bird experts recommend avoiding cages that have a dome or round shape, citing studies that have found such shapes to be harmful to a birdís mental and emotional health.
The importance of the bars
Different breeds of bird require different spacing between bars. Small breeds of bird Ė like parakeets Ė should have cages with bars that are no more than one-half of an inch wide. Any wider, and you risk your bird trying to escape from the cage.
While it might be amusing to watch your bird try to escape through bars that are too wide, itís a risk you simply do not want to take. Your bird may well try to escape through the bars when youíre not around, get stuck, and get seriously injured or die.
Where will you keep your bird cage?
Before you head to the store to buy a bird cage, determine where youíre going to keep it. (Make sure you donít put your birdís cage directly in the sun or where she is easily exposed to a draft.) For example, if you plan on keeping the cage in a corner in your living room, be sure to buy a cage that will fit in that corner. Again, however, make sure the cage is large enough for your bird.
Consider whether you want the bird cage to sit on a stand (some cages do come with stands). Many bird owners opt for placing their birdís cage, provided itís not too large, on a stand. In addition to making it easy for you to reach food and water bowls and to change the cage bottomís paper, your bird will have a better view of the room.
Choose a high-quality cage
Your birdís cage should be strong and sturdy. Steer clear of painted cages because your bird may pick at the bars and ingest the paint. Bird experts recommend stainless steel cages for several reasons. In addition to being easy to clean, stainless steel doesnít chip, and itís not harmful to birds.
Inspect the cages youíre considering to ensure there are no sharp edges on which your bird can hurt herself. You also want to be on the lookout for cage parts that your bird could easily swallow.
A good bird cage should also have food bowls, water bowls, and a bottom that are all easy to remove, clean, and replace.
Take your time and really check out your options when you go shopping for your birdís cage. After all, even if your bird has an abundance of free flying time, she is still going to spend considerable time in her cage, and you want her to have a comfortable, happy home.
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