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Small Bird Housing: Avoid Tiny Cages

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
Bird Cage Dos and Don'ts 
Bird Cages, How to Choose 
How to Accessorize Your Bird's Cage
for good health & great fun 

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HQ Wrought Iron Double Play Top Cages
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AandE Cages 62" x 62" x 79" Walk-In Aviary
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Though it's true small birds require less space and food than larger birds, you can get into trouble with minimalist thinking concerning their housing. Your bird cannot thrive in a compact, tedious environment. That's why we encourage you to keep these tips in mind when housing a small bird.

AVOID THE TINY CAGE Except for sleep, travel, or temporary quarantine, avoid them. They make an unhealthy long-term habitat. They don't allow your bird to climb the cage or fly back and forth for exercise or boredom relief, and they allow little room for toys and accessories. Select a cage as large as your space and budget allow. Many owners choose aviaries, which offer plenty of room for small birds to fly around, climb the cage sides, and move about.

SELECT SAFE, SECURE CONSTRUCTION Generous-sized access doors provide leeway for wing and tail feathers when moving your bird in and out. Also look for secure latches. Smart birds soon learn to manipulate those slide-style doors. Avoid zinc and lead welds, and make sure the frame is void of crevices that could snag leg bands or trap feet. Get outside access food doors whenever possible. That way, reluctant family members can help change food and water bowls safely from outside the cage.

BAR SPACING Oftentimes larger cages have larger bar spacing. To protect your small bird's head, neck, toes and beak, remember to stay within the recommended bar spacing for small bird cages.

SUPPLY PLENTY OF TOYS AND ACCESSORIES Canaries and finches appreciate a small hut to sleep in or take refuge. Parakeets and lovebirds like small toys with mirrors, or toys they can chew on or swing upon. Select toys, ladders, and swings that are sized appropriately for small birds, with materials that won't splinter or break away. Remember to rotate the toys frequently; this changes the scenery and keeps your bird interested.

CLEAN HOUSE REGULARLY Cages, toys, and accessories like food and water bowls all require regular cleaning to keep your bird's environment free of harmful bacteria. Change liners and clean food and water bowls daily. Scrub cage bars, toys and accessories weekly. Some cages make the job easier for you because they're built without crevices to trap food and debris, and they have pull-out trays and outside access doors.

STEP OUTSIDE THE CAGE Take your parakeet, lovebird, or cockatiel outside the cage once in a while. Just be careful not to let him play on the floor unless you are right there with him. You can even take him out on the town in mild weather. Invest in a lightweight playstand for room-to-room use and a well-ventilated travel carrier, and you're ready for life outside the cage.

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