The number one housing consideration is that the size of the cage should match the size of the bird.
Make sure the bar spacing of the cage is right for your bird. The bird should not be able to stick its head
through the bars! Also, try to avoid galvanized wire on cages. This can cause zinc poisoning if your bird
were to ingest some of the zinc coating. Additionally, your bird should be able to open its wings to turn
around and not touch the cage on either side. Because birds don't hover when they fly, a cage that is wider
than it is tall is a better choice because it gives the bird the best chance to fly in its cage.
Most cage manufacturers make cages to fit the needs of the owner, not the bird. With larger birds, making
a horizontal cage fit into an apartment setting may present a challenge. This is when it becomes the owner's
responsibility to exercise the bird out of the cage. Remember: birds were meant to fly, not sit on a perch
Once you know the proper bar spacing and sizing requirement for your bird, find the
largest cage you can afford. Also, determine if the cage uses special screws, clips or fasteners
to hold itself together and then consider whether your bird is likely to easily undo the screws, clips or fasteners
as many species are prone to do. Check the cage for safety features and/or concerns, especially whether or not it
will be easy to clean. Bird Talk magazine is a great resource for looking at pictures of various cages.
Small to Medium birds (finches, lovebirds, etc):
Fairly simple caging, usually more vertical, lot's of perches to hop around on. Nothing less than 18" x 24"
Conures and Pionus:
Typically 27" wide, 24" deep and 62" tall. 5/8" bar spacing with 4 mm bars.
Birds with LONG tails:
Taller, more-vertical cage with good horizontal width so they can spread their wings.
Cockatoos, Amazons and African Greys:
Typically 48" wide, 36" deep and 60-75" tall. 1" bar spacing, usually powder coated metals and welded bars.
These birds can be escape artists so the cage should also have some kind of locking mechanism on the main door
and feeding doors.
Typically 48" wide, 36" deep and 70"+ tall. 1" bar spacing, welded bars, usually powder coated, usually with a
dome top to accommodate the tail. With any macaw, the bigger the better, though smaller sizes might do if the
bird had plenty of opportunities to be out of the cage and on other perches.
There is new research being done on large cages with play top areas on top of the cages. This design may not
be a good idea, especially with larger birds at or abover your eye level outside of the cage (dominance issue).
Some people report that they cannot get their bird down and back into the cage! Make note of that when you are
looking for a cage.
Here are two pictures of how to get your bird outside. One is a fully netted (UV-Protected, high-strength netting)
on a porch. The other picture is a cart on which the bird cages are mounted to take them outside safely. Neither
one requires that you load the birds outside. They are safely protected from escape.