How to Build a Bird Cage

If you are a handy do-it-yourselfer interested in building your own bird cage, there are a number of important elements that must be taken into consideration. For instance, how large it needs to be for your particular breed of bird or the number of birds you plan to house. For cages with bars, the size of your bird also dictates spacing between bars. For instance, Amazons and African Greys should have 5/8 to one inch between bars. Another thing to remember is that many breeds of bird chew, and some materials are toxic or may be a choking hazard. For the most part, if you don't know birds, I would suggest you buy a cage rather than build one. If you are knowledgeable about birds, and have the skills to build a cage, then it offers an opportunity to create a unique home for a bird you know.

 Do not use chainlink.
Do not use chainlink.

Where to Buy Materials

Most materials for building a bird cage can be purchased at your local home improvement store and online sites like Custom Cages. This includes:

  • Doors
  • Dropping pans
  • Fasteners
  • Latches
  • Pan liners
  • Selection of different types of wire
  • Solid divider panels

Plans for How to Build a Bird Cage

The first step in building a bird cage is to have a plan. Because of the variables related to the type and size of cages, I'm including these helpful links for plans and how-tos for building bird cages to get you started:

Window Frame Bird Cage: MarthaStewart.com provides steps for creating a bird cage using window frames, chicken wire, and plywood. If you use plywood in the construction of your birdcage, be sure to use untreated lumber because treated lumber contains a variety of chemical compounds dangerous to your bird.

Canary Cage: Woodcrafter.net offers plans for a canary cage complete with pictures for assembly.

Plans for a Finch Aviary: These plans offer blueprints and clear instructions for a finch aviary.

Books to Help You Build a Bird Cage

If you don't have a plan or blueprint for your cage, there are books available that offer plans and other information related to your bird's safety.

How to Build Everything You Need for Your Birds

The author of this book brings his years of experience to print with step-by-step instructions and how to build a bird cage as well as nest boxes and many other items. Illustrations, pictures and detailed diagrams are supplemented with a detailed materials list.

How to Build Your Own Aviary, Cages, Nestboxes, Etc. and Save a Bundle

This step-by-step guide includes instructions for how to build breeding cages for:

  • Parakeets and Finches
  • Cockatiels
  • Quaker Parakeets
  • Lovebirds
  • Parrotlets
  • Canaries

Plans for nest boxes, carrying cages and hospital cages are also included.

Safety First

If you are a craftsman, but unfamiliar with birds, I would recommend caution if considering the idea of building a bird cage. Many birds are natural chewers and not all woods are bird-safe. For the most part, cages constructed of wood are not suitable even for smaller birds because the wood's porous surface is perfect for growing mold and bacteria. It isn't unusual for birds to learn to unscrew screws or find other unsuspected choking hazards. If you're sure you want to build, visit a bird fair and take time to study cages similar to the one you want to build. Talk with vendors about safety features and materials used. Do your research and both you and your bird will benefit.

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Comments 4 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

I will probably never be inclined to build a bird cage, but found this hub informative. Thanks!


Donna Sundblad profile image

Donna Sundblad 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi Peggy,

Many people get this bee in the bonnet, but I don't think they realize there are so many safety factors to take into consideration. I had a friend whose cockatoo swallowed a nut used to help secure its food dish. They couldn't afford the surgery and so ended up giving the bird to the vet who did the surgery and kept the bird.


kimh56 profile image

kimh56 4 years ago

I almost choked when I saw the picture of the macaw hanging on a chain-link type fencing. PLEASE DO NOT EVER USE CHAIN LINK!! I once had a friend whose macaw actually chewed off half his foot because 2 talons had gotten caught between where the chain link twists together and he could not get free. She went out to feed in the morning and found him all bloody, just sitting in the corner at the bottom of his aviary. Luckily he lived, but it was a close call from the loss of blood. PLEASE PLEASE do not ever use chain link, and be VERY careful how you build -- consult a professional aviculturist first. It will save you time, aggrivation - and possibly your bird's life, too.


Donna Sundblad profile image

Donna Sundblad 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks Kim, I added a caption about not using it. Really, I think it is best to buy a cage designed for your specific bird breed.

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