Covering the Cage Tips

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Should the perches all be the same size?

Perch sizes

Birds need perches of varying sizes. This helps keep their feet from getting too tired from sitting on the same perch day after day. Birds like variety.

How wide should the cage be?

Wide enough!

There should be enough room inside the cage for the bird to fully extend its wings--there should be at least a few inches of space on each side of the wings. Some birds, especially cockatiels, some conures and all macaws, have very wide wing spans.

Should I cover my bird´s cage?

Cage covers

Cover the cage at night so that your bird will have some privacy. Birds need downtime, too! The cover also provides the bird with a feeling of security.

Are round cages okay?

Round cages

Round cages are very poor choices. The bird has no corners to run to for safety and the circular positioning of the bars can be uncomfortable or difficult to climb around on. Round cages are also hard to clean.

How do I know if the cage is tall enough for my bird?

Head room

Make sure your bird's cage provides plenty of ‘head room'. If the bird has to sit hunched over, or if a cockatoo or cockatiel's crest feathers touch the top bars, the cage isn't tall enough.

How can I make bottom grates easier to clean?

Non-stick cooking spray

Spray the grates in the bottom of bird cages with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray. Messes will slide right off! The spray is safe for birds; just be certain to remove the bird before applying the spray. Never spray when the bird is inside the cage!

Are slide-out bottom cages okay?

Slide-out bottoms

Slide-out bottoms make cage cleaning easier. Simply put a layer of newspaper or cage liners in a stack in the tray. Remove one at a time as they become soiled.

How big does the cage door need to be?

Cage door size

Make sure the cage door is large enough to allow easy access to your bird.

How should I position the perches?

Positioning the perch

Don't position one perch directly under another. It won't take long for the bottom perch to become covered with droppings!

Are hinges safe?


Check the hinges on all doors or access panels. Make sure your bird can't get his toe caught in any mechanism.

What shape cage is best for my bird?

Great shapes

Oddly shaped cages might look nice but may actually be very poorly suited to your bird. Look for something square and roomy, or rectangular and boxy. Birds like to have corners to retreat to if they feel nervous.

What will make it easier to feed and water my bird?

Outside access panels

Outside access to food and water cups is a convenient feature, especially if your bird is a biter. Look for cages with outside access sections.

Do small birds need large cages?

Housing for small birds

Small birds like finches and canaries have a lot of energy packed inside their tiny bodies! Provide a cage that is large enough to allow for plenty of exercise. Never house them in round cages unless you are certain that the cages are roomy enough to let the birds fly around.

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Guru Spotlight
Lynne Christen