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What is the Best Parrot Cage to Buy?

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Tips for determining what is the best parrot cage to buy for your bird.

When well-chosen, a cage makes a safe haven and playground for a bird when they cannot safely be out on their play gym or in their outdoor aviary. However, many  are too small, badly designed, and even contain toxic substances. The wrong cage can become a place of confinement and cause potentially life threatening health problems for the bird.

These are some key features to look for in a cage to determine which parrot or bird cage is best to buy.

parrot identificationWhat Size Should Your Bird Cage Be?

Figure out the wing span of the bird and you have the measurements of your cage.  You can find this information in parrot identification books such as Parrots of the World by Forshaw. At a minimum, a cage must allow a bird to fully extend its wings in all directions. Yes, this does mean you will have a difficult time finding an appropriately sized cage for a large macaw or cockatoo. For these birds, play gyms and outdoor aviaries are the best places to spend most of their day time hours.

Also, measure the spaces between the bars. Make sure the bar spacing is not large enough for your small bird to escape through. If the bird can fit his head through the bars, he can squeeze out of the cage.

What is the Cage Made Of?

Find out what the cage bars are made of. Buy only stainless steel, plastic, or powder-coated cages. Old wrought iron cages and brass cages have high levels of zinc and other metals. These are toxic to birds when ingested. Birds get the metal from the cage into their system when they use their beak on the cage bars to move around.

The Style

Do not buy round cages. Take a look at the top of round cages. The openings go from wide to narrow. Birds can easily get their wings, or even neck, stuck in the bar spaces of the tops of round cages.

Do not be charmed by the fancy designs. All those intricate details are pretty to you, but may pose a risk of injury for your bird, especially to toes.

Wide is better than tall. Buy a long wide cage rather than a tall cage. Birds spend much of their time at the top of cages. A narrow tall cage does not give most birds a lot of space because most birds will not use much of the space.

Cage Cleaning

Consider the ease of cleaning the cage. Cages must be cleaned every day to remove all droppings and old food for birds to be healthy.  Cages also need a good scrubbing and disinfecting every few weeks. Look at the cage to see if you will be able to keep the cage clean easily. Can it fit through your doors to get outside? A cage that can be moved easily outside is best for easy hosing, scrubbing, and disinfecting.

A Final Tip for What is the Best Parrot Cage to Buy?

An important tip to keep in mind when looking for what is the best parrot cage to buy, is that the marketing is always going to be geared towards the one spending the money, you. Since it’s not believed by many businesses that bird owners want a large expensive cage taking up an entire room, they don’t market many large expensive cages to macaw or large cockatoo owners. More often, mid-sized cheaper bird cages that tuck away in a corner are marketed to large bird owners. That is solely done for marketing to sell you a product and not done based on what’s best for the bird. However, a large expensive cage that dominates a room is exactly what a macaw and any sized cockatoo needs.  Therefore, you cannot simply read the label and assume you have purchased a good cage for your new feathered friend. Most cage labels are not appropriate. For example if the label says made for an Amazon parrot or African Grey, you can probably assume that it is too small for an Amazon or African grey, but may be a good choices for a conure or cockatiel. If the label says it’s made for an a macaw, then it may be appropriate for an Amazon or African Grey, but probably not a macaw. To confirm this, measure the cage and compare it to what you know of the species’ wingspan. The wingspan of the bird is the gold standard for minimum cage size and where you should start your search for the best housing for your beloved bird.

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