Bird Setup Guidelines
Setup Guidelines for Bird Enclosures
Since birds are mostly long-range animals in the wild, when selecting a size for a birdcage it is generally recommended to choose the largest size possible that you can afford or fit in your house. Once you have selected the appropriate size, you will want to make sure you have selected all the options necessary to give your pet a healthy environment as soon as you receive it. We have created some guidelines to help you so there is nothing you forget when ordering. The following will provide a good basis of information for most birds, but you should research your specific bird to find out if it has any unique needs.
Our Standard Setup
All of our standard Hybrid bird cage specials and Majestic bird cage specials are specially configured for birds. Birds require more airflow than reptiles because they move around much more and have a higher heart rate, and therefore consume more oxygen. This is why we designed the birdcage with the top and sides stainless steel wire as the standard material. Stainless steel disinfects easily, is very strong, and will not cause problems with toxins that some other materials may have. The cages come standard with a 1" x 1" wire opening. This is the most common size bird owners will need. There are other sizes available at a slight extra charge if this does not fit your needs. One of the biggest differences with our cages compared to most, is the standard acrylic front. The acrylic front will allow you much better viewing than wire, and because of the wire sides and top there is still plenty of airflow. We also include your choice of 6 wood grains and colors for the back and bottom of the cage. This gives you a much classier look than an all wire cage and will create a very attractive conversation piece in your home. The laminate panel is easy to disinfect and is very durable. If these are not the panel materials you prefer we will be happy to set your cage up with any of our other materials (see the "Overview of Cage Materials" section for more details).
In the Hybrid bird cage specials and Majestic bird cage specials section we selected a common range of sizes with a basic, deluxe and complete setup at discounted prices. The basic option is standard frame configuration without any accessories at a discounted price. The deluxe setup comes with a few additional options at further reduced prices. The complete setup will come with everything you need to house most birds in a bundled package, and the ultimate package includes backgrounds, hoods and stands, cage covers and different lighting options (if applicable) with the most cost savings.
We have a full range of custom options available with any cage (use the "Price Configurator" to custom configure your cage). One very popular option is the pull out tray and seed catcher. With this option, you must substitute the bottom of the cage with stainless steel wire. This allows the birds' waste to fall into the pull out tray without the bird being able to reach it. The tray can be easily lined with newspaper or any other disposable product for easy cleanup. You can remove the tray to clean it without needing to open the cage. This option can either be purchased with the cage or added on later. The seed catcher clips onto the side supports or front and back handle of the pull out tray. This way if the bird drops seeds outside the cage it will be redirected into the pullout tray and not make a mess on your floor. Our seed catcher has the unique option of expansion. If the catcher is not long enough you can clip on more material to add to the length.
Another option you may want to choose is to have the full spectrum lighting with custom guard installed on the inside of the cage. We can pre drill holes for both the fixture and guard so all you have to do is screw it into place when you get the cage. This option is free with the purchase of the fixture and guard and can save a lot of hassle on your end. We can also install a cord grommet so you can get the cord outside the cage without an unsightly drill hole or open space for your bird to escape. Another popular option customers choose is to have some of our Replica™ Furniture mounted to the back of the cage. We can pre-drill the holes so all you have to do is fasten 2 wing nuts when you get the cage and it is ready to go.
Proper lighting in your bird enclosure is very important. Full spectrum lighting not only helps you see more vivid coloration of your animal, but can dramatically affect the health and psychology of your pet. Many materials such as glass in windows or plastic light covers are made to filter the broad range of spectrum birds need. Even a cage placed near a window will not get a sufficient amount of UVA/UVB light by the time it reaches the inside of the cage. Birds as well as reptiles and many other animals use UVB in the synthesis of vitamin D3, a critical element for the metabolizing of calcium in your pet's body. Feather and toe picking, restlessness and agitation, decreased immune response, and shortened life span are all symptoms that can be attributed to a lack of proper lighting for birds. Some studies show dramatic improvements in breeding with birds that are exposed to full spectrum light when compared with deprived birds. Most bulbs made for personal use are not designed to emit the range of UVA/UVB birds need because humans receive an ample dose when exposed to direct sunlight on a regular basis. In addition, many fluorescent fixtures sold commercially come with a plastic protective cover. This plastic cover will filter the UVA/UVB spectrum you are trying to give your animal even if you have a full spectrum bulb in the fixture. That is why we created a series of wire guards made to fit the fixtures that we sell. This way you can protect your animal from damaging the fixture without filtering the light. (See the "Lighting" section for more details.)
Setting up Cage Furniture
We have a full selection of natural objects such as roots and driftwood, as well as our Replica™ Furniture line, and toys. The natural objects can create a very realistic and unique display. We recommend objects that are non-porous that will tend not to harbor bacteria. Hardwood and concrete perches work well for this. We also recommend using perches of several different size diameters to prevent your pet's feet from cramping and losing flexibility. Our line of Replica™ Furniture has many advantages as well. First, it can be much safer for your pet than natural objects. Natural objects that are porous tend to harbor dangerous bacteria and insects. Spider mites, for example, are a very serious threat to birds if they are introduced to your cage. Our Replica™ Furniture will not be a likely place for them to burrow and spread. Our Replica™ Furniture is also very realistic. All of the items were molded from actual objects found in the wilderness and take on the exact shape. They are nontoxic and are made with a very strong and durable material and can easily withstand the weight of large birds. The Replica™ Furniture does require more cleaning than perches because of the small diameter perches usually have. Large, destructive birds may be able to chew the Replica™ Furniture which is another point to consider. It is recommended to clean and disinfect all cage furniture often. (See the "Replica" section for more details.)
Toys are a very important part of your bird setup. Mental and physical stimulation is a key aspect to keeping your bird healthy. There are a lot of products out there, some safer than others. We do not recommend toys that can come loose or be swallowed, such as poorly crafted bells and other similar chew toys. Any kind of toys with rope loops or key rings, etc. that have the potential to accidentally strangle your pet are also a bad idea. We recommend as many safe perches and bird toys as you can afford and fit in your cage to keep your pet active and energetic. Now that you can finally afford the kind of space your pet needs, why not use it!
Our patent pending Friendly Feeder system is the perfect solution for food and water. You can access it externally without having to go into the cage. This makes a lot of our customers more comfortable having friends look after the bird when they are out of town because they do not have to risk the bird being aggressive towards them. Since food and water application would have a separate feeder, the risk of cross contamination of food and water is minimal. The external design also makes it very difficult for the bird to waste in their water. This is a very important consideration. (See the "Replica Furniture" section for more details.)