How to Build a Parakeet Cage

Want to learn how to build a parakeet cage? Most people buy their main parakeet cages at pet stores for year-round housing, but you can build your own parakeet aviary in your back yard or in a room in your home, if you're willing to pay close attention to details.

When building parakeet cages, it's important to remember the following important details:

  • Bar Spacing: You need to keep your parakeet safe, so be sure to use proper bar spacing. While some people have built parakeet cages using glass or Plexiglas walls, you need to make sure you provide at least two walls of barred material so the cage will have proper ventilation. Otherwise, your parakeet can get sick from the accumulation of bacteria and mold from droppings and the lack of airflow through the aviary. Make sure the bars are spaced no more than ½ inch apart so parakeets will not get their heads stuck in between the bars or be able to escape. If you choose to use netting instead of bars, choose netting with holes no bigger than 2/3 inch.
  • Size Limitations: Cages should be at least 39" by 20" by 32". Aviaries should be at least 47" by 32" by 67".These are minimum requirements; bigger is better, as long as the bar spacing or netting-hole requirements are followed. In an aviary, you want to allow the birds enough room to fly from perch to perch. In a cage, you want to make sure the bird has adequate room to stretch its wings to their full span. 
  • Room for Perches: You'll want to fill your cage or aviary with perches of varying widths and textures to provide different stimulation to your parakeet's feet. If your parakeet always grips the same perch day after day, his feet will get cramped and tired. Try rope perches, natural perches and sand perches. Perches lined with sandpaper will file nails and allow your parakeet a natural place to file his beak.
  • Line the Floor of the Cage: The floor of the cage should be lined with paper. If you build an aviary, you will want to line the floor of the aviary with sand or corncob floor covering.
  • Natural Plants: If you want to provide your parakeet with natural plants, steer away from plants with spines and thorns. Avoid the following plants, which are poisonous to parakeets: acacia, rhododendron, boxwood, privet, oleander, horse chestnut, cherry and laburnum. Do use the following safe plants: grass for the flooring, nasturtium for edible flowers, gardenia shrubs for easy perching and grapevines or kangaroo vines.
  • Bird-Safe Materials: Make sure you use materials that will not hurt your bird. This is not as easy as you may think. For example, chicken wire is coated with zinc, which is toxic to parakeets. Use plastic mesh, stainless-steel mesh, nylon aviary netting and PVC pipes or nontoxic wood beams for structural support. You will also want a length of shade cloth or a tarp.

Practical Features to Include
When you build your aviary, make sure you create an airlock of sorts for getting the birds in and out safely. Use wooden beams or PVC pipes for structural support, then tautly secure netting, wire or mesh over beams or pipes. Secure with bird-safe wire.

Make sure you line the bottom of the aviary with wire or mesh to prevent escape or entry by unwanted intruders. Secure the aviary so it will not tip in the wind. Some common ways to secure an aviary are to use cement to secure beams or posts into the ground, or to secure the aviary to a fence or other standing structure in a room. Drape a tarp or shade cloth over part of the aviary to provide shade and protection.

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