Choosing the right budgie cages.
Choosing a budgie cages can be a minefield of choice. When you are confronted with budgie cages of every shape, size and colour how do you know which one is best? Well – read on —
The most important feature of your new cage will be pet safety. The whole point of having a cage rather than letting your budgie live free is to make sure it doesn’t fly away, get eaten by a cat, eat something poisonous or drown in the toilet!
Establish which cages are designed for budgies. There are some good looking cages for larger birds or for rodents which may or may not be safe for your bird, so start with the ones that are specifically for budgies and go from there. You may find a different type of cage that fits all the following guidelines and will work perfectly.
You will really need a wire cage; the last thing you want is your little friend chewing itself to freedom! The wires can run vertically or horizontally. It does not really matter but a cage with some of each is probably a good choice (then your bird can climb the horizontal ones and slide down the vertical ones if it likes). The most important thing about the wires is that they are close enough that the budgie cannot squeeze its head through. This will mean about 12mm or a half an inch spacing is ideal, anything larger and you run the risk of a small budgie getting stuck.
I would avoid any cages with bars that are not parallel, i.e. they get closer together at some points. Your budgie could slip its foot into a tight gap, panic and hurt itself badly.
Have a feel around to ensure there are no sharp edges or pointy bits that your budgie can get caught on or cut by.
Check how the door opens and closes, budgies learn how to open the doors that just slide up and down without a catch to hold them. If you do end up with a cage like that then stick something like a clothes peg on the door so the inmate can’t open it. This also applies to the little doors some cages have to put the feed containers in through.
And, of course, your budgie cage will get chewed on so make sure there are no toxic materials about.
It needs perches for your bird to sit and sleep and play on. These should be of varying thickness so that the pressure is not always on the same points of the foot. Make sure there is one at least that the budgies toenails will make contact with so they are worn a bit and need less trimming. I like to use branches from non-poisonous trees. These allow plenty or variation in size and texture to exercise the feet, and budgies love to chew them too, which is why they must not be poisonous, and also not sprayed with anything toxic. If you can get eucalyptus branches then all the better, remember they are what the budgie would search out in the wild.
The next necessary items are the feeders in your budgie cage. You need at least three, one for seed mix and one for water, and also one for veggies etc. The most common ones are the simple bowl shaped ones or the font type, where the seed comes out of the tube into a catcher at the bottom. I don’t mind either one but you must always check to see that the budgies have seed available and not just the empty husks! The easiest way to do this is to blow the seed; the empty husks are light and will blow away.
Check where the feeders sit in relation to the perches. The budgie must be able to get to the feed, but you really do not want it sitting above the feeder pooping into it!
Ease of cleaning
Now you have narrowed the choice down to a few budgie cages that are safe and practical it is time to think about yourself! You are going to be cleaning this cage out regularly, and hopefully for many years. So how easy is it to remove the base and replace any lining your use? How easy is it to remove the perches for an occasional scrub or disinfect? What about wiping the bars, are there many difficult to get to corners? These are real concerns as if it is fiddly to clean you may end up doing it less than you really need to, so make sure your budgie cage suits you too!
You will want somewhere to hang a toys and maybe a swing. With this in mind, do you think the cage is big enough? The biggest budgie cage you can afford, with the features we are discussing, will usually be best for your pet. The more active they can be the happier and healthier they will be; budgies are very active and intelligent little creatures. So I also find that cages that are longer horizontally than they are vertically are best; as the budgie can get a bit more flying space.
I would recommend buying some little clips to hang greens, millet sprays and cuttlefish. These can be moved around so your budgie has to perform some acrobatic feats (and think a little bit) to eat the yummies. Some types of clothesline pegs can be suitable, and cheap too. So once you have found the budgie cages that fit these requirements you can happily pick which ever one suits you and your house… have fun!
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