The definition of the perfect budgie cage set up differs for everyone. In my opinion, the perfect budgie cage is the best you can provide for your bird with the knowledge and resources you have. To pick the right cage for you there are some questions you need to ask yourself first:
1. How much room do I have for the cage?
2. How much time will my bird spend in their cage?
3. How much money am I willing and able to spend on a cage?
4. How many budgies will live in the cage?
The size of cage you need
Now you know how much room you have to place the cage, how much time your bird has to spend in the cage, your budget and the number of birds that will live in the cage, you can start looking for the best cage for your budgie. The rule of thumb here is ‘the bigger, the better’. Try to find the biggest possible cage that fits in your living space and budget. However, the ABSOLUTE minimum measurements for a budgie cage that houses a single budgie is 12x18x18 inches (30,5x46x46 centimetres). A cage that will house more than one budgie will need to be bigger. Do NOT get a cage smaller than these minimum measurements. Your budgie needs enough space to be able to stretch their wings, even if they’re clipped. You also need to provide your bird with a variety of perches and toys, which also take up space. If you decide to get a cage that has these measurements or slightly above, it’s very important to allow your bird plenty of time to roam outside their cage to prevent boredom and lack of exercise.
The best type of cage
Aside from measurements the, shape and type of cage are also very important to take into consideration when buying a cage. The best type of cage is an indoor aviary or flight cage. These cages provide your budgie with a lot of space to stretch their wings and fly. Even though your bird has a lot of space, they still need to spend time outside of the cage. If you are away from home for most hours of the day for work, school or other obligations this is the best type of cage for you because your budgie can get some exercise when inside their cage. If you work from home or are homeschooled and can have your bird roam freely around the house, a smaller cage is less of a problem because your bird has to spend less time in it.
Getting the most out of your budget
Of course, we all want the biggest, most beautiful cage for our beloved pets. Sadly, not everyone can afford the big cages that are sold online and in pet stores. Some great alternatives for this are DIY’ing a cage, thrifting one, or buying one secondhand.
DIY’ing a cage might sound difficult but is very easy to do. All you need is an old wardrobe (you can find one at the local thrift store or you might already own one), and replace some panels with bird-safe wire mesh that you can find in the hardware store. I found this beautiful example you could use for inspiration!
Another great way to find a good birdcage for a small budget is looking at thrift stores. Sometimes people donate their birdcages because their bird either passed away or they got a new cage themselves. You have to be lucky to find a good one, but it’s a great sense of accomplishment when you find it.
My last tip for finding a good cage with a small budget is buying one secondhanded. You can do this by looking on Craigslist (or similar websites), checking Facebook Marketplace, or by posting a ‘birdcage wanted’ advert on one of those places.
When you think you’ve found the perfect cage, it’s time to inspect it thoroughly. These are things you want to look for:
1. The bar spacing should not be wider than 1/2 inch (about 1,25 centimeters).
2. The cage should have an opening where you can easily access your budgie in case of an emergency.
3. The cage needs to at least meet the minimum size requirements.
4. The cage needs to be easy to clean. A cage with a drawer at the bottom is the easiest.
5. This step is only for people who are looking for secondhand cages. The first thing you want to check is the condition of the cage. If the cage hasn’t been used for a while it might look dusty, but you have to look through that. You’ll want to look for damages that are not easy to fix, like broken or damaged wires. If the cage has any broken wires, it’s best to let it go and look for another one for your bird’s safety. If the cage is in good condition it’s very important to sanitize it thoroughly with bird-safe cleaning materials as soon as you get home.