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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.
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:
- Dropping pans
- 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.
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.
This step-by-step guide includes instructions for how to build breeding cages for:
- Parakeets and Finches
- Quaker Parakeets
Plans for nest boxes, carrying cages and hospital cages are also included.
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.