Your bird cage choice should be entirely dictated by the type of bird you have. You can choose a bird based on how much space it takes, but once you've decided on a certain breed, get a cage with it in mind. Let's cover what you'll need to consider, in order of importance.
Are you shopping for a canary or finch? Cockatiel? Parrot? Lovebird or Parrotlet? Macaw? Chicken?
First Up? Size and Shape of Cage
* Follow About's breed-by-breed guide to how big you cage should be for your bird.
** Remember that these are only minimum requirements. Your bird would love as large a cage as you can provide.
* Keep in mind your breed's height, width, and wingspan. It should be more than able to stretch out its wings fully and stand tall.
** This means to remember your cockatiels with long tails, high headfeathers, and long beaks, too.
* Bars should be spaced so that your bird can climb and poke around, but not fly out of the cage.
** If you're keeping different sized birds in the same the cage, the spacing should be appropriate for the smallest birds, of course.
** Make sure the bars won't let your bird's head get stuck betwixt them. Ditto for any other limbs.
** Fancy bar-work could catch limbs as well.
* Small birds such as canaries and finches like to fly side-to-side the most, so their cages should be wider rather than taller.
* Some birds, like budgies, like to move every which way. They need tall and wide cages.
* Tall birds such as parrots, need to be able to climb vertically, but also need their wingspan room.
** These climbers need horizontally-oriented bars.
* Birds generally like angular cages more than cylindrical ones.
* Long cages (around 5') for small birds (like canaries and finches) are often called flight cages. Your small birds would love them.
* Very tall cages, suited for larger birds of a slew of small ones, are often called aviaries. They allow for much more flight and freedom and can even be outdoors!
* When thinking about the aesthetic of your cage, remember how beautiful your bird is. Do you want it to pale in comparison to its cage?
* High fences make good breeders. Want to have two birds side-by-side? Maybe you should get a double cage.
Keep in Mind
* Look at for sharp edges for the safety of all your household.
* Doors, gates, and latches should be bird-proof and not human-proof. You're going to want to get in and out without a struggle and you don't want your pet to fly around without your consent. Or, worse yet, get stuck in a doorway mid-escape attempt.
* Make sure the cage is lead and zinc-free. Your bird is going to gnaw on whatever is around and you want it to be non-toxic.
* Do you have any family members who shouldn't be trusted with a bird? Cats? Dogs? Children? Keep the cage out of reach and train the troublemakers the best you can.
* This cage is going to be a prominent part of its room's decor. Design accordingly.
* Birds create a bit of mess. Make sure your setup is easy to clean.
** A pull-out tray on the bottom of the cage allows you to clean more simply. So do mini-doors where you can take out the food and water dish without disturbing the bird.
* The bird should perch at your chest level in order to feel appropriately safe and not overly superior.