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Old 07-20-2018, 12:21 AM
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Please stop: "buying the biggest cage you can afford is the best rule of thumb"

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This isn't the best rule of thumb, it's the laziest, and is repeated far too often when people ask how big a cage needs to be for X species.

Not only does it fail to provide a real answer to the question, it's too easily used as a convenient 'out' when people can't afford the right size enclosure.

The following site does a better job at specifying actual sizes, based on something tangible (wingspan)...

https://naturalinspirationsparrotcag.../wingspan-info

Keep in mind their 1.5 - 2x wingspan guideline is a minimum recommendation.

Bigger is better.
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:28 AM
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Re: Please stop: "buying the biggest cage you can afford is the best rule of thumb"

Can't say I disagree...bigger usually is better but life isn't so ideal at times
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Old 07-20-2018, 01:10 AM
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Re: Please stop: "buying the biggest cage you can afford is the best rule of thumb"

Based on that site, my conure is in a cage that is slightly too small... it's 32x23 in size, they recommend 36x24 minimum. First cage I bought for him was actually a 40x30, but the bar spacing was too wide... Not that it was an issue for him, it just rubbed his facial feathers off...

Also have cockatiel and ringneck. A 32x21 is the minimum recommended size. The cages they are in? 32x21!!!!


I also have a walk in aviary... it's 5' x 5' x 6'... and sadly, not currently set up... wish I had two to keep my birds in though! I'd be *MUCH* happier!
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Old 07-20-2018, 01:11 AM
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Re: Please stop: "buying the biggest cage you can afford is the best rule of thumb"

Thank you!


I always jabber on about wingspan and how they should be able te stretch and flap their wings inside a cage-


that said most commercially available parrotcages are waaaaaaaay to small, so telling people "buy them as big as you can place them-afford them" is always prefeable to "buy one by species" because then you´ll end up with a straightjacked made of metal!


(and thank you for that article: it had a picture of the cage I was looking into for Sunny, but did not have the commercial name of!)
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Old 07-20-2018, 04:42 AM
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Re: Please stop: "buying the biggest cage you can afford is the best rule of thumb"

I cant believe that, the size of cage for a CAG is enormous. My new cage is 34'x24' (W 87 x D 67 x H 140 cm (internal)) and Enzo seems tiny in it and she can easily stretch her wings out in it. Or maybe Enzo is actually a Timneh

Its hard to find her!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zQ...O48viOMG3Qw9kZ

I know some people, myself included, dont live in mansions so cant physically place a cage much bigger. I also know that some people dont allow the birds free time out of the cage at all whereas others, myself included allow Enzo as much free/flight time as possible.
What i think im saying is surely there are far more factors to cage size than wing span. Bar spacing in particular is very important so suggesting just a very large cage without considering bar spacing is simply dangerous. The larger cages, certainly in the UK, have a larger bar spacing than the Rainforest Santos that ive just bought, so they may well fit the suggested cage size, but they simply wouldnt fit Enzos head size. One other thing, a prisoner in a cell would no doubt have an enormous cage in comparison to a bird, which is a little heartbreaking.

Is it a case that cage manufacturers need to rethink things?

I must add, when i return to my home in 18 months time im going to be doing a bit of building work outside and that would be the perfect time for an outdoor flight, that would be the ultimate i suppose, and maybe its possible to do so and have an area that both myself/GF and Enzo can share.

Last edited by bigfellasdad; 07-20-2018 at 04:48 AM.
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Old 07-20-2018, 07:44 AM
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Re: Please stop: "buying the biggest cage you can afford is the best rule of thumb"

I think there’s a misunderstanding. Yes this is often said around here but I’ve personally always interpreted it in terms of having a minimum. Yes, my Ekkie needs a minimum 2x3 if he is out of cage most of the day, but if I can afford to go bigger, I should.

You have to keep this in context with other advice we give here. We’re not afraof to speak up to a new owner/poster when we see an undersized cage.

I agree we shouldn’t shy away from providing minimum esitmated requirements, which is something we could be better at explicitly stating exist, but given the posting and advising environrment of this forum you would never successfully argue that the meaning of this is “if all you can affford is an undersized cage, by all means go ahead!” We’d sooner tell someone they can’t afford a bird than even imply an undersized cage is ok.

So the advice itself is sound, but perhaps needs qualification.
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:19 AM
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Re: Please stop: "buying the biggest cage you can afford is the best rule of thumb"

Quote: Originally Posted by bigfellasdad View Post

Yup, that's about the average size of moderate cage people who care about their parrot's welfare buy... no worries for someone who's bird also gets out daily... it'll do.

Unfortunately people still plop their bird in smaller ones, just because it said "parrot cage" on the label in the petshop.

Mine are (still) in a (devided atm, because the season) https://static.mijnwebwinkel.nl/wink...152c14aec3.jpg and they're both able to really "flap-flap-away" their frustrations/ pent up energy etc. if they feel like it.
And yes it is *exacly* like having an adultsized bunkbed in a smallish livingroom: big bulky and always very present and sort-of in the way but well ...

(adding some samesized macaw-quarters is going to be a challenge!
And I really hope it is going to be needed soon -- when/if she decides to trade her penguinflippers for some real parrotwings )
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:03 AM
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Re: Please stop: "buying the biggest cage you can afford is the best rule of thumb"

I do agree. We should more often provide the actual minimum cage size requirements for different species, however if the buyer could afford and has the space for a larger cage/enclosure it should be stated that bigger is better.
I don't live on my own, I instead live with other family members and I have a single room where I keep all my stuff, including my birds (if I had my own place I would dedicate a whole room to them) so I understand the frustration of asking for cage advice only to have an uninformative statement thrown my way.

Though this doesn't mean we should be OK with someone providing far to little space for a bird. If you don't have the space or money to afford to house a large bird you shouldn't own it.

Thank you for the link to the website with the measurements. This sort of information is useful and welcome.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:15 AM
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Re: Please stop: "buying the biggest cage you can afford is the best rule of thumb"

I think cage size is highly highly dependent on how much out of cage time. My mom's amazons cage is very small by todays standards for a large amazon. That said, her amazon basically only sleeps in there or gets put up if food is cooking. Otherwise, she's free all day long and has a 3000 sq ft house that's hers to roam. A large cage is not required for a bird with that much freedom. My dads little goffins cockatoo, on the other hand, is untrustworthy and therefore caged most of the day in a HUGE cage due to not being out except in the mornings and evenings. Both birds are content and happy with their respective cages despite the fact the larger bird is in the smaller cage because she has more out of cage time than the smaller bird who only spends a few hours a day out of his cage.

My amazon has a huge cage, but is free roaming and TBH, he really doesn't need as big of a cage as he has (and it's not even close to double his wingspan) because he chooses to spend time in it or not. Obviously not everyone is in a position to allow their birds to be free range all day long, so I think a better rule would be that cage size should increase every waking hour on a typical day your bird will spend in the cage. And if someones bird genuinely *needs* a giant aviary sized cage to get adequate exercise and comfort in because they spend so little time out of the cage and able to spread their wings, then one needs to reconsider owning a parrot.
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Last edited by Kiwibird; 07-20-2018 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:38 AM
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Re: Please stop: "buying the biggest cage you can afford is the best rule of thumb"

I purchased a new cage this year for my one cockatiel and I researched for a couple weeks. It's measurements are 30 inch long x 19 inch wide x 36 1/2 inch tall on one side (its a double cage with a divider I plan to take out) which really makes him seem pretty tiny. But there are other things to take into consideration. Bar spacing is also important, as well as out-of-cage time and how much time the bird will actually be spending in the cage. I don't think its necessary to buy a room-size aviary for a macaw if the said mac has free roam of the house all day.

Whenever I recommend a cage, I try to give examples and try to actually give them a picture of what an adequate cage should look like.
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