At home, birds are kept mainly in cages, less often in large enclosures – indoor, balcony or garden. For a bird’s cage to be a home, not a prison, its shape, size and equipment must meet the needs of its inhabitants. In this case, the cage should be convenient for cleaning and feeding. Successful proportions of the cell and the material from which it is made can make it an adornment of the interior of the apartment. But for the bird to look good in it, its beauty should not obscure the glare of nickel-plated twigs or the bright colors of the cage itself.
On sale you can find cells of various shapes: rectangular, round, trapezoidal, with domes, in the form of pagodas, houses and medieval castles. Simple cages of a rectangular shape with a flat top are most convenient for birds and caring for them. In round and domed cages, birds feel uncomfortable, there are no angles where they like to relax, feeling the security of their rear. Cells tapering to the base, in the form of inverted truncated pyramids and a rhombic shape, are not very convenient. In such cells, the lower part of the side walls and the space under them are always dirty with droppings.
The proportions of the rectangular cells must correspond to the habits of their inhabitants. Birds that spend most of their lives running on the ground (larks, plantains, quail, and others) need small but spacious cages. Tree birds, prone to climb branches and walls of cages, for example, most parrots, crossbills and nuthatching, feel better in tall cages with poles in several tiers.
For most passerines, rectangular cages with three to four two-tier perchs are preferred. The size of the cells must correspond to the size of their inhabitants. It is necessary that, jumping from perch to perch, the bird should slightly flap its wings. In addition, the behavioral characteristics of individual species are taken into account. For example, a fidget’s wren needs a larger cage than larger, but not so mobile goldfinch and siskin.
The sides of the cages for granivorous birds should not be lower than 8-10 cm. Otherwise, a lot of husk and sand flies from the cage into the room. The sides of the cages for insectivores can be lower, since these birds do not peel the food and are often found not on sand, but on paper litter. Lark cages are mostly made with high (10-12 cm) sides, since these birds like to swim in the sand and scatter it very much. But such cells have their inconvenience, because the bird sitting at the high side does not see a person approaching it in advance and each time it is frightened even of its owner. Therefore, the author prefers to keep his perched larks in cages with low (6-8 cm) sides on a paper litter, and sand for bathing is poured into bathers suspended from the outside of the cell doors. Some of our and especially foreign lovers keep birds in cages of the box type, in which the lattice is only the front side. Less litter flies from such cages, and even shy, uninhabited birds behave calmer in them: they don’t upholstery, they do not spoil the plumage.
But in box cells, illumination sharply worsens, they need to be made somewhat narrower and higher than ordinary cells, and installed mainly on balconies or near windows facing the sunny side. The material for the manufacture of cells can be different: wood, plastic, metal. The most common are wooden cages with metal rods, as making them all easier. Individual craftsmen, and in recent years organizations, have been making cells with metal rods on a plastic basis. Their advantage is that they are hygienic and do not dry out. But faceless plastics, of course, do not please the eye like a tree that is unique in every vein.
All-metal cells are durable, hygienic, their openwork walls allow a lot of light to pass through, and they do not succumb even to the mighty beaks of parrots, crossbills and oak-trees. However, they also have their inconvenience. Cages with metal rods are unsuitable for freshly caught, still wild birds, especially for insectivorous singers and larks, which are distinguished by their shy temper and sharp movements. In addition, the sheen of nickel-plated, anodized or stainless steel rods hides the appearance and colors of the plumage of our pets. And every bird jump is accompanied by a metallic sound.
That is why many, especially fans! domestic insectivorous singers prefer wooden cages with sides and battens of oak, beech, ash or linden and with bamboo twigs. Such cages are very beautiful, bamboo twigs gently spring, even with a sharp throw of a frightened bird, and for the just caught plump singers, larks and quails, they are made with a soft cloth top.
The beads and crossbars of metal cells are nickelized, anodized or coated; nitro paint muted tones. In wooden cages, these parts are coated with colorless varnish. Any coatings of cell rods | irrelevant, since the glare of reflected light and bright colors clog the natural beauty of the bird and simply interfere with the observation of it.
It is advisable that the cell doors be liftable. It is better if there are three of them – one on the front and two on the end walls. This device allows you to give food and water in a hanging feeder and bathing, not to mention the fact that greatly simplifies the cleaning and washing of the cage. Doors should be located below the upper tier of the poles. In violation of this rule, birds often fly out of their cages when giving food or water. A retractable tray in the cage is absolutely necessary, as it facilitates cleaning and allows less disturbance to birds.
Most cells are made with retractable feeders. They are made shallow (1 – 1) 5 cm) so that during feeding the bird could not fly out of the cage through the opening of the removed drawer – feeder. They are well known for giving or replacing feed. But since the poles cannot be placed above the feeders, this reduces the span between them. Therefore, many people prefer cages without retractable feeders, and put the food in jars or trays or, for fearful pets, put it in feeders and bathtubs suspended from doors outside the cages:
Along with cages of reduced sizes, birders and avid bird-lovers use cages reduced by about a third. They place birds temporarily, after capture (acquisition). Wild, just caught bird less damages plumage in a small cage with wooden twigs. When she is somewhat upset, will sing, show her temper, and it will become clear to the owner whether it is worth keeping her, the bird is transferred to a more spacious room or released.