No purchase is more important when you get a parrot than the cage.
The cage is where your parrot will spend time when you’re not home, when the family is sleeping, or when you can’t pay attention to your pet.
The first rule of caging: Buy the biggest cage you can afford. Forget the generic categorizations you’ll find in pet stores. Those descriptions represent the minimum size to consider — a better bet is at least one size bigger. For a cockatiel, get a cage for a small parrot. The bigger, the better, always, as long as the bar spacing isn’t so big that your pet could escape.
Dimensions are important, too. Tall and narrow cages may look nice, but they force birds to fly more like a helicopter than in the style that comes naturally for them. Parrots like to fly horizontally as well as climb up and down in their cages, so a cage should be wide enough to accommodate both activities.
Metal is generally the best material for a cage. Wood is too hard to clean and usually won’t stand up to the abuse parrots can give out, and some manufacturers are experimenting with acrylics. But while these components can make attractive housing for your pet, they may not offer enough social interaction to keep a bird happy.
With so many cages available, how can you be sure you’re buying one of high quality? Here are a few points to consider.
Take your time and shop carefully. Many parrot species live for decades, so you’ll want the best cage you can manage since you and your bird will be enjoying it for a very long time indeed.
Don’t forget gear to go
No matter what cage you end up with, you’ll also need a carrier for safe transport of your pet parrot. Choose one made of high-impact plastic with vents on the side and a grid door on the front or top. These are marketed for cats and small dogs, but they’re just as helpful for transporting birds.
Sturdy carriers are important for reasons beyond trips to the veterinarian. In times of disaster, a carrier allows you to evacuate with your pet safely and keep him contained until conditions improve.
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