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What to look for in a bird cage: a guide for first-time bird owners

Choosing the right bird cage is critical to ensure optimum quality of life for your bird. Generally the rule of thumb is that bigger is better.  This is all very well, but your choice of cage must take into account the type of bird(s) you have, your budget and the area of space you have available for the cage.  It should be placed away from windows and drafts, preferably in the social hub of your house.     

Choosing the right size cage

Use the table below as a general guide to how big the cage needs to be and how widely the bars may be spaced.  If your particular species of bird is not listed here, look at a bird that is of similar size; also take into account the main activities of that species. 

Note: all dimensions are given in inches

and in the format width x length x height. 

 Species 

Minimum Cage

Size 

 Bar Spacing 

Finches 

18"x30"x18" 

1/4" to 1/2" 

Canaries

18"x24" x18"

1/4" to 1/2"

Budgies

18"x18"x24"

1/2"

Cockatiels

20"x20"x24"

1/2" to 5/8"

Lovebirds

Parrotlets

24"x24"x24

1/2"

Ringneck Parakeets

24"x24"x36"

1/2" to 5/8"

Conures

Poicephalus

24"x24"x24"

5/8" to 3/4"

Caiques

Pionus 

Jardine's

24"x24"x36"

5/8" to 3/4"

Amazons

Mini Macaws

Goffin's Cockatoos 

African Greys

24"x36"x48"

3/4" to 1"

Large Cockatoos

36"x48"x48"

1" to 1.5"

Large Macaws

36"x48"x60"

1" to 1.5"

The bird cage you purchase should be large enough for your bird to walk around comfortably, and they should be able to fully extend and flap their wings.  They need to be able to perform these activities even when all the perches and toys are inside the cage.