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Old 06-30-2020, 03:31 AM
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Ideal budgie cage

Or 'ideal'.

I adopted a budgie that already came with a serviceable cage. I have the option to order a custom made cage, wood + metal. I don't know if I should, and what is it that I should request or pay attention to.

The only non negotiable limitation is the maximum size of the new cage, which is 60x60x25. Its a niche in a bookshelf in the living area. So, for now, since the cage is lower than the available space, he can land on top of it and he discovered sliding down the roof too and he is delighted. The cage is also light and with a plastic tub at the bottom so I can easily move and wash it.

He likes his cage, but maybe he is still timid. He's been here less than a week. Even when the cage is open he sometimes sits on the open door and chirps.

If the new cage is made to fill the maximum of space, it would offer him almost double space inside the cage, but no room to play on top. The cage might also be heavier and more difficult to clean.

Help me, experienced people.
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Old 06-30-2020, 11:40 AM
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Re: Ideal budgie cage

I would never do a wooden cage for a parrot-- it's not sanitary and they can chew it..plus, the metal that is safe for chickens etc is NOT safe for parrots...zinc is common in chicken wire and even mouthing it can be toxic for parrots. Here is a link to toxic metals and parrots: http://www.multiscope.com/hotspot/ar...eavymetals.htm

You want to stick with stainless steel for your metal (or bird-safe steel with a safe powder coating)..and on top of wood being impossible to clean, it also is often treated with unsafe chemicals and certain types of wood (even non-treated varieties) can be toxic.

You want something that is made for parrots specifically...preferably one that is not made in China (as they sometimes use unsafe metals in the mix, paints or powder coats---but if you can verify that it is safe and doesn't contain any of the metals in the link above, then it can be okay). Go larger than you think, even though it is a budgie. I would look into "flight cages"...and make sure the bar spacing is suitable for a budgie---if the wires are too far apart, your bird can get stuck and injure itself.

It's super early for him to be totally adjusted--a week is really no time at all, so just take it slow and move at his pace.

Last edited by noodles123; 06-30-2020 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 07-02-2020, 05:18 AM
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Re: Ideal budgie cage

Thank you for your reply. I would like to double check to make sure i got the conclusions right.

Like i said in the opening post, the only non negotiable limitation on the cage is the size i mentioned. If my living situation changes, the little dinosaur can have a flight cage, but for now that is not possible. I want what is best for him, but i have some real world limitations.

By a custom made cage, i didn't envision a box with chicken wire. I have a contact of a craftsman who specializes in bird cages, for transport for shows, for breeders, whatever you design. It is true that he can lie about the type of wood or metal he uses, but he wouldnt have many customers if their birds kept duying, right? I can hold him personally accountable, if my bird gets sick from a pet store cage, nobody would care.

Is the conclusion that i should under no circumstance put my bird into a wooden cage? One of the nicest 'big' cages for small birds avalable in pet stores here are made of wood and i also saw wooden furniture converted to bird cages, so its a bit of mixed signals for a new bird owner.

The quality and selection of bird cages around here is a bit limited. For example i was looking into transport cages for when we go to the vet. I live in a city of 300.000 people, you'd think somebody would be selling some.

I called the vet, they told me to bring him in a box with air holes. I have no idea how is that going to go. Im quite certain he wont go in of his own free will and that he will resent me for touching his feathered parts to put him in.
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:29 AM
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Re: Ideal budgie cage

You make some good points....If you don't mind me asking, where are you located (roughly)?
I would be happy to research some online options if you want me to.
Also, to clarify, is it cost or the size of your home that is preventing you from getting a flight cage?
Some of the best options you will find are often online, but I understand that you may or may not have access to Amazon etc (depending on location).
Wood furniture converted to a cage is likely very unsafe, due to the paints/stains and types of woods used. You will find that the makers of many products (including some toys) are concerned more about looks and selling the product than what the product is intended for and its safety...so just because something is supposedly for birds, doesn't mean it is safe for them.

Here are my thoughts (sorry they are so long LOL!) :

1. People travelling to bird shows etc don't have their birds in those cages full-time (just like I wouldn't keep mine in her travel cage full time). Therefore, their exposure to any harmful substance would be less than if they were living in that cage...Not saying any exposure is safe, but you get the idea. If these people aren't using these cages 24/7, there is a difference to some extent. Also- people showing birds are often doing so to sell them, and if they do sell them, they may not have them around long enough to see the consequences of something like metal poisoning.

2. I don't disagree completely with what you said about your cage-maker's clients and the fact that they wouldn't use him if he was making birds sick, but I'm going to play "devils-advocate" for a minute here- because you mentioned it:
Let's just say (hypothetically) that the cage-maker did accidentally create a poisonous cage...A bird-owner/breeder might not ever know unless they kept the bird long enough (prior to selling) to recognize signs of illness and then:
1. The owner took their bird to the vet right away.
2. The owner had a avian specialist who knew to perform a heavy metal blood panel and toxicology panels
3. if the bird died before testing and chelation/other therapy could take place, then in order to know the cause of sickness, the owner would have to request a necroscopy within a day or so of their bird's passing in order to determine the cause of death (and sadly, many people do not do this, even when they should).

Lots of avian and exotic vets will perform these tests, but certain types of poisoning mimic other illnesses, so unless the vet is an avian specialist with a lot of experience, he/she might not even think to test for these things if the owner didn't mention the cage...and testing isn't super cheap either.
Also, metal poisoning doesn't often show symptoms right away, and the symptoms that do show can be sort of vague initially...

In terms of accountability, if the owner did find out that the bird had metal poisoning, then they would still have to prove that it was from the cage and not a toy or something else around their home)--which could be done, but would be even more work/expense.

^^^I am not saying that this cage- maker is using toxic stuff, but he may or may not know enough to avoid certain dangers. Lots of people get dangerous stuff for their birds all of the time without knowing the risk...even experienced parrot owners often make mistakes (especially people who are older and have fallen behind on research).

Consequently, if you want this guy to make you a cage, I would ask him a lot of questions up front (without telling him what you are looking for, so that you can see how knowledgeable he is)...
For instance: "What kind of metal are you using?" "What type of wood?" "where do you get the wood?" "Has the wood been pressure blasted or treated?", "are you using any glue?"...Stains and paints and other things that he might use on the would to make a cage more attractive and/or more waterproof are also very toxic. SO just make sure you know exactly what he is using if you go that route.
If, off the top of his head, he has trouble answering these questions, I would be VERY wary, because that implies that he may not even know for sure what he is using...

Again, you just want to make sure that he knows enough about birds to do this safely, because the average person has no idea.

I am not saying you can NEVER use a wooden cage (if that is your only option) but I personally never would because wood absorbs liquids etc and is very hard to clean and could mold with humidity or rot over time. Birds poop a lot, throw food etc, so when that gets on the wood, how would you remove it and clear the bacteria? If a bird gets a bacterial infection and has to be on antibiotics, you also need to clean the cage to prevent re-infection and wood would make that difficult...It also absorbs cleaners, and even if the ones you use are avian safe, you still don't want them chewing on wood soaked in chemicals.
Additionally, In a small bird, chewing out of a wooden cage is less likely, but it could still happen, depending on the bird and the wood...A larger parrot could break out in no time...My Umbrella cockatoo literally just chewed her perch in half overnight, and it was probably about 2" in diameter.


That having been said, I don't have to ever consider a wooden cage because where I live, I have lots of other options, so if your alternative to a wooden cage is something much worse, then I can see why you might want to do this---but I guess it comes down to knowing your options and making the best choice for the bird overall.

If you wanted a wooden cage for transport only (something to bring him to the vet) and you could verify that the materials were non-toxic, then in my mind, that would be much less risky than using a wooden cage full-time, just because your bird isn't going to be spending as much time in there, and probably won't poop all over the wood in such a short time. Again, for me, even if I knew a wooden cage was safe, I would worry about sanitation and structural stability overtime (with a beaky bird). BUT if you need to get a new full-time cage for your bird and the alternative to a wooden one is even worse, then you have to do what you have to do.

In terms of transport fears etc, if you don't need to get your bird to the vet right away, you should get a travel cage of some sort and start training him to use it without force...Place it in the room so he gets used to seeing it for a week or so...then move it slightly closer to his cage and leave it there until he is used to that...then put a favorite treat near it and see if he will approach it..Then eventually start putting treats on it and let him eat standing on it, then finally, start rewarding him for going inside (without forcing him in). Then at some point, move him a small distance in the cage (even just in your home) and reward that like crazy. Eventually, try a short car ride (not to the vet)...
This way, by the time you do have to take him to the vet, he won't be as scared of the travel cage.

Last edited by noodles123; 07-02-2020 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 07-02-2020, 07:20 AM
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Re: Ideal budgie cage

Wow, i really appreciate the effort you put into replying. Im in serbia.

At the moment i dont have enough space for bigger.

Im a bit anxious and a bit overthinking, but better to overthink now than be sorry later. Basically since i researched a bit and concluded that most of the things from the cage he came in can harm him, im somewhat paranoid. (Plastic perches bad for feet, he regurgitated his little heart out onto a mirror toy that was since removed...)

I dont know if the vet is urgent or not. He is not obviously sick or unhapy. Well, it is not urgent urgent, but...

1. Plenty of sources said it is a good idea to take a new bird to a vet, just in case. That sounds like a good idea. I would also like to meet and see the rare avian vet before an actual emergency makes it necessary.

2. The day before yesterday he started preening and scratching more than before and nibbling his feet. Im worried that he might have mites or something. Im also having some kind of a skin reaction where he hangs out on me, so we are both itchy and it would be nice to resolve this if possible.

Last edited by 3001; 07-02-2020 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 07-02-2020, 07:28 AM
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Re: Ideal budgie cage

It does sound like a good idea to get him to the vet- birds often hide illness, so if you are seeing symptoms, best to get him in. You are right that it is good to get a new bird to the vet as soon as you can, just to get them checked--I only suggested the possibility of waiting in the event that he was super fearful and seemed 100% healthy (but he's showing symptoms, so don't wait a long time).

Is there any chance you could just take him to the vet in his normal cage?
If not, a box with a towel in it could work...or a non-used cat carrier (as long as you could make sure the bar-spacing was safe).

It will scare him probably, but he will get over it eventually if you keep building trust and are patient with him.

Can you order things off Amazon there?

In case you are new to owning birds:
What are you using to clean around the house? Chemical cleaners shouldn't be used around them...or even in rooms near theirs.. You will want to figure out some safe alternatives because most standard cleaners are terrible for them due to all of the scents and chemicals that get into the air when they are sprayed etc.

I am guessing you already know this, but just in case you don't, products that heat up and contain Teflon/PTFE/PFOA/PFCs (common in non-stick pans, griddles, irons, space-heaters etc) can be very deadly when heated in the same home (they produce an odorless gas that is deadly to birds and just because you do it once and your bird is fine, doesn't mean that the same bird won't have problems in the future (the off-gassing can depend on the heat, age of pan, contents of food, temperature etc...so it's just not something to use in your home at all and it has killed birds in other parts of a home (because, air circulates).

Also, make sure you aren't using any scented air fresheners, scented oils/waxes, paints, aerosols, candles, incense, vaping, smoking, and never use a self-cleaning oven's self-clean function They have very very sensitive respiratory systems which is why they used to take canaries into coal-mines.

Last edited by noodles123; 07-02-2020 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:01 PM
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Re: Ideal budgie cage

Too lazy to read through everything but wood cage with a parrot is just not a good idea. Sure you could use a good hardwood but even a little budgie will chew through that. Here in Australia where the budgie is from we have some of the hardest woods in the world and they chew nests in it. I've watched budgies destroy wooden perches in minutes.
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Old Yesterday, 04:38 AM
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Re: Ideal budgie cage

Ok, so there are a lot of good points raised in the thread. I already thought about some, some I didn't even consider. Like the chewing part, he is extremely disinterested in chewing anything for now. He only takes millet sized bites of broccoli or apple, no interest in cuttlefish bone, so I didn't consider his potential for destruction.

Enclosed are some samples of workmanship for possible new cage and what he arrived in. To be fair, for now I'm more unhappy about his home than he is but I want to think ahead because both the order online or have it made options come with a significant waiting time.



I almost never order things from abroad. Some sellers send things here, some don't. It is not unusual if the price of the shipping/handling is higher than that of the item itself. There is an import tax for items costing more than around 50e and the price of the shipping is included in the worth of the item. So for example if an item is 30e, shipping+handling 30e, i would pay either import taxes for the total of 60e or i pay for the certificate that says i dont need to pay the import tax. Okay, not relevant to the budgie at hand but a pet peeve of mine. Its all very kafkaesque.

I suppose this is publicly admitting that I'm not a model housecleaner, but there is not a lot of hardwood floor polishing or air freshening going on around here. Or any. I bought some strong disinfectants at the beginning of this virus craze, but I felt unsafe using them so I gave up after once. So its alcohol, vinegar, baking soda and a vacuum cleaner for all purposes. I said goodbye to the use of the cupcake trays and the pancake pan and I thought of investing in a cast iron skillet.
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Old Yesterday, 08:09 AM
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Re: Ideal budgie cage

lol @ Kafkaesque!

The first image seems like a better size. The other 2 are pretty small (even though a budgie is small, you want them to be able to fly around a bit in there. The nest boxes are really bad though--- you would need to remove those (birds shouldn't have those unless you are breeding on purpose).

Bar spacing looks too wide on the 2nd (aside from how small it is)

3rd one- I know that is what A LOT of people keep a budgie in, but again, it's really not enough space. That is like the size they sell a lot of to first-time bird owners at the pet store chains around here, but they should ideally have a lot more room than that.

Do you know what all of these are painted with?

I'd shoot for something about this size if you can't get a flight cage (which would be bigger than the one I am posting)


Even though budgies are tiny, they are super active and so they need a lot more space than people often give them--- so get the biggest space you can within your price range while keeping the bar-spacing appropriate for a budgie-- remember, you don't want them being able to stick their head through the cracks or get their feet stuck when climbing


Open seed cups are also safer than those ones that have the covers- a member said yesterday that their mom's budgie (I think) broke its neck somehow due to a covered dish.
Try to get some toys other than plastic ones---
This girl has a really elaborate setup for her birds, but it shows some good ideas for set-ups, toys, etc..Not saying you need to get this elaborate lol!


Last edited by noodles123; Yesterday at 08:32 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 08:42 AM
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Re: Ideal budgie cage

I was trying to find toys that could work and I did find a website (desertcart.com) but I see what you mean about the price hike for imports-- this says "free shipping" to Serbia, but it looks like they jacked up the prices in order to account for that..So a 10 pack that you could get in the USA for $20 is closer to $50 there (I converted the currency to compare)..dang...

Do you have any places that sell bird toys near you?

Last edited by noodles123; Yesterday at 08:53 AM.
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