Everything You Wanted To Know About Cages But Were Afraid To Ask

The cage is the most significant piece of “furniture” for your bird. Although your feathery companion should spend a substantial amount of time outside its cage under supervision, the cage offers a secure sanctuary inside your house. It’s where birds feed, sleep, and play.

Choosing an appropriate cage for your bird may be a daunting task, particularly when confronted with so many questions and options – decisions that will effect both you and your bird. Don’t be afraid; the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask!

Does it really matter what type of cage I get?

The size and personality of your bird are the most important factors to consider while choosing a cage. What role does personality play in this? If your bird pal is a mechanically minded cockatoo or an escape artist conure, a cage with extra security elements is required. A cage with multiple horizontal bars is crucial for a bird that enjoys climbing.

Is it OK to buy a used cage?

Used cages sold at antique stores or garage sales may have been repaired or repainted using dubious materials, or the last inhabitant may have died from a dangerous sickness. It’s best to presume the cage is inappropriate for your bird without knowing its history.

A cage purchased in an antique or department shop may likewise be suspect. These elaborate cages were most likely made as ornamental cages and are not designed for use with live birds. Such cages may be too weak for your pet, and decorative decorations may capture little toes, necks, and wings. The materials used in beautiful cages may also be hazardous to birds, and in general, these cages are inconvenient, particularly when it comes to cleaning.

Are imported cages safe?

Buying a bird cage made in a developing nation might be problematic since the standards controlling the use of lead and other harmful metals are generally less severe than in the United States. Many cages, however, are made abroad to the requirements of US cage firms. Imported cages built under the auspices of renowned manufacturers from industrialized nations (U.S., Canada, Germany, Great Britain, etc.) are typically up to safety requirements.

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact the company directly. Inquire if lead or zinc is present in welds, paint, or bars. Inquire with your merchant regarding product warranties. Connect with other bird owners and get particular guidance from your avian doctor.

Why do cages come in different finishes?

In the late 1970s, when the exotic bird hobby became more popular as a consequence of the availability of hand-tamed, domestically-bred juvenile parrots, it was difficult to obtain adequate cages for huge birds. Rust was a common complaint, and black wrought iron was a common offering.

Manufacturers reacted to increased demand for cages by employing a variety of materials, including cold-rolled steel. In response to consumer preferences, many techniques of coating these cages arose, and the powdercoat process (a method of electrostatically applying paint to metal) became fairly popular owing to the longevity of the finish and the diversity of colors available. Bird owners may now match the colors of their cages to their birds or house décor.

“Hammertone” treatments that merge metallic paint with a color offer the benefits of longevity and attractiveness. They also do not attract dirt as rapidly as other finishes. Nickel-plated and brass-tone cages have also long been popular, and certain colorful metallic finishes, as well as high-gloss, powdercoat decorator colors, are also available. These painted finishes are fairly durable, although some wear and tear is to be anticipated over time. Damage from your bird’s beak may occur at the spots where it climbs in and out of its cage, and friction from hanging toys may also create wear.

Daily cage care aids in the preservation of whichever finish you pick. Keep the cage clean and dry to lessen the chances of rust, discoloration, and corrosion.

Because pet birds are often lifelong friends, customers sought “lifetime” cages, and the latest option is stainless steel. It resists corrosion and has a good, clean look. It goes with practically any decor. Rust is not a concern here, but stainless steel still has to be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. If your stainless steel has to be repaired, visit a welder who is familiar with this kind of metal, since it requires a unique welding method.

The cage finish is chipping. Can I just touch it up?

How serious is the chipping on the cage? Because birds use their beaks to climb about their cages, some wear and tear is to be expected. Abrasions from dangling toys, as well as some degradation from splashed water and thrown food, may all contribute to a less-than-perfect finish. Touch-ups work miracles if the damage is minor.

Contact the cage maker for paint suggestions and possibly a tiny container of touch-up paint. Some cage manufacturers will re-powdercoat your cage. Alternatively, paint metal cage trays, aprons, and other smooth pieces using a paint labeled “nursery safe when dry” and designed for use on metal. The term “nursery safe” refers to paint that has been certified for use on children’s furniture and accessories. Before using, read the label directions.

Sand the afflicted area of the cage before wiping it off with a paper towel dampened with white vinegar. Paint should not be used around your bird. Wait for nice weather before painting in a well-ventilated garage or outside. Make certain that fumes do not infiltrate your bird’s living space. Although such paints are safe when dried, they may be dangerous to your bird if breathed. Allow the paint to cure for at least 48 hours before placing your bird into the cage, so have a backup cage ready.

I never paint cage bars since they are the most likely to get nibbled on. Even though the paint is harmless when dried, birds should not be given non-food things. Because most paints and chemicals are not regularly tested on birds, it is hard to assure safety.

The cage itself is in decent condition, however the door lock is damaged. Is it repairable by the manufacturer?

Replacement cage components may be difficult to find at your local pet store, but some manufacturers sell them. If your merchant can order the component for you, be prepared to wait. Many stores place orders via distributors, and if the component is not in stock, the distributor must purchase it from the manufacturer.

Contact the manufacturer instead to check whether the component is available and if you can buy it straight from them. Take the cage to a skilled welder who will utilize and certify lead-free materials if welding is required. Make sure all resultant welds are smooth and inconspicuous.

Save yourself time and trouble by obtaining replacement components (such as additional dishes, perches, gratings, and trays when they are available) when you purchase your cage.

What can I do to get rid of the excrement that seems to be stuck to the cage?

“Perma-poop” is the bane of all bird owners! An enzyme or citrus-based cleanser can frequently soften the obstinate lump enough to allow it to be removed. I’ve found that soaking a cotton ball in either cleaning chemical and putting it on the muck for approximately 20 minutes yields decent results. White vinegar is also effective. Steam cleaners and pressure washers are also useful. There are other bird items available that are particularly intended to keep the cage clean. Prevention is often the best defense. Wipe the excrement away daily, before it has a chance to harden, and you’ll save time in the long run.

The cage no longer goes with my decor. Can I use a complementary color to paint it?

It is hard to ensure that any paint you buy is completely safe to use among birds. Contact the manufacturer to see whether the cage can be repainted at the factory.

Unless the cage is a glaring contrast to your new color scheme, why not try to integrate it into the area in some way? Add some pillows in the same color as the cage. Toys and cage accessories should match the colors of your room. I’m sure the cage will look better than you thought with a little creative thinking.

How does the type of cage I choose affect my bird? 

Pet birds need large cages for their physical and psychological well-being. Small, flighted birds need space to fly back and forth, whereas bigger birds demand space for wing flapping, toy play, and avian acrobatics. Long-tailed animals need cages that are tall enough to accommodate their long feathers.

Choose the biggest cage that you can comfortably fit in your house. Make sure the bar spacing is small enough to prevent the bird’s head from becoming stuck between the rungs, yet broad enough for the feet to traverse the bars. Prevent toe and limb entrapment by avoiding cages with converging bars (those that have broader holes at one end and become small at the other) (those that have wider openings at one end and become narrow at the other). Make room within the cage for extra dishes, toys, perches, and other decorations.

When shopping for a huge cage, inquire if it is welded or “knock-down.” Welded cages are often one piece, whereas the knocked-down kind are frequently built at home. Set up the cage in the room where it will be utilized. A completely built cage may not fit through a tight entryway! To avoid surprises, measure the ceiling height, floor area, and width of inside and outside entrances and compare them to cage specifications. Remember to make area for projecting feeders and flaring cage aprons.

How can I make the cage match my home?

There’s no reason why you can’t have both aesthetic and practical cage maintenance features. While elaborate curlicues are difficult to clean and may even be dangerous if birds thrust their heads and limbs through them, they may nevertheless have a charming appearance. Large cages with curved “Victorian” type tops are available, and specialized habitats are becoming more popular.

Furniture-quality cages integrated inside wooden cabinets may complement your décor well. Look for bottom grates to prevent birds from tearing cage tray liners and consuming stale food. For rapid dish changes, use outside-access feeders. A stiff, flared apron around the cage base directs cage fallout into the bottom tray.

Improve your bird’s style by matching or contrasting the cage color with your décor or the bird itself. We’ve progressed beyond seeing birds as just decorative additions to our homes. They share many parts of our existence, but that doesn’t mean your bird and its surroundings can’t compliment each other.

Consider the elegance of a cockatoo in a white cage in a largely white environment, or an African grey in a stainless-steel cage in a lavender-walled room. Cockatiels in a white flying cage would look lovely against pale yellow walls. A scarlet or green-winged macaw in a black cage in front of a stark black and white room would be rather striking.

Color match cage accessories and toys to take it a step further. Your bird won’t mind, but you’ll appreciate the uniformity. Multiple bird owners may create harmony by employing cages of the same type or finish, but in varying sizes as needed. Enhance your bird’s environment by faux painting the walls with washable paint or adding a mural with a jungle theme or a Victorian garden vignette.

Is there any such thing as a mess-free cage? 

In a nutshell, no. The elegance and beauty we seek come at a price: time, energy, and invention. Birds eat, shed, bathe, chew up their toys, and excrete more droppings than you may expect. Even if all of this garbage were completely confined inside a cage, the cage would still need to be cleaned on a regular basis.

Despite creative mess-management tactics, most of a pet bird’s daily mess winds up beyond the cage. Flared cage aprons aid in directing cage debris back into the tray. Hooded feeders help to keep seed hulls and pellet crumbs off the floor. Pre-cut cage tray paper makes routine cleaning a breeze, while gratings discourage birds from shredding the paper and kicking it out.

Nonetheless, feathers, dandruff, and seed hulls escape. Food fragments and sticky fruit ultimately adhere to cage bars and our walls. Projectile feces makes its way into our carpets and tends to pile up on cage bars and gratings overnight. The bad news is that

The good news is that basic forethought and regular maintenance may cut down on your cleaning time. Choose a cage with as many mess-containment elements as feasible, and then meticulously maintain that cage. Remove messes while they are little. At least once a week, clean the bottom gratings. Every day, clean the cage aprons. To keep my stainless steel cages glossy and clean, I use a mix of white vinegar and water. (Never put metal polish on cages since the components are toxic to your bird.)

To further decrease dust in your home, utilize an electronic air filter or a window fan that blows outside. Keep spare bowls and perches on hand so you can easily replace dirty ones.

How can I tell if a cage is safe for my bird?

Look for a cage with no sharp edges or poor welding. Examine the edges of plastic and metal trays and enclosures to ensure they are smooth. Be sure that bar spacing is appropriate for your bird and that the bars and welds are sturdy enough for the occupant of the cage.

A detachable grating is a crucial feature; ensure that it fits correctly. To prevent escape, the cage’s doors and feeder access ports should have secure locks. Avoid flimsy cages with loosely fitting components. Inquire about the finish on the cage and avoid those of questionable origin.

Many of us have hectic schedules and may be gone for 40 hours or more every week. Even if you’re pressed for time, make sure your bird gets some supervised quality time outside its cage every day. Bring the bird over to the table with you when you have breakfast, or let it play on its stand while you get ready for work. Plan some extra time in the evening. Set up your bird’s cage or stand in a location where it can watch household activities. After all, your feathered companion is a member of the family.

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