While a cage can provide a safe refuge and home environment for pet birds, most cages are too small to allow birds to fly freely and can severely restrict the bird’s ability to exercise and express normal behaviour. For this reason, they should have access to a flight aviary or be given regular opportunities to fly in a safe indoor environment outside their cage.
Housing must be large enough to contain multiple food and water sources, perches, and toys for enrichment. Owners should provide as large a cage as possible for their birds given financial considerations and available space.
The following guidelines will help you to work out the minimum size of the home cage environment you should have for your pet birds:
- The minimum width of a cage for a pair of birds should be three times their combined wing span (the wing span being the length from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other wing, when both wings are stretched out).
- The minimum length of a cage should permit at least 2 wing beats (the more the better) between perches. Perches should be placed far enough from the ends of the cage to allow the birds to turn around on the perches without scraping their tail feathers against the cage.
- The minimum height of a cage should be three times the length from head to tip of tail of the largest bird to be confined in it, and should be increased accordingly if more than one pair or more than one species is kept in the cage.
- The cage should be constructed or positioned such that at least one perch is at standing shoulder height (for the sense of security of the birds).
- The cage should provide room for the bird to fly between perches in an approximately horizontal plane.
- There should be sufficient room for the bird to fully extend his/her wings and to fly without damaging wings or feathers on the walls or ceiling of the cage.