Prevue Guide to Buying a Cage, and Caring For Your Bird

Birds are one of the most beautiful, entertaining and unique animals in the world.  Each one, each species has a personality all its own.  Before selecting a specific species of bird on your own, talk to a local bird specialist, veterinarian or hobbyist to determine what type of bird is best suited to you and your family. Many hobbyist periodicals and bird books are also available to do your own research.  Once you have made your selection, seek out a licensed veterinarian skilled in bird medicine who will take care of your bird on a regular basis. This professional will not only help maintain the bird's health, but will routinely groom the bird by trimming the nails, beak and wings.
A number of considerations are involved in the purchase of the "right" cage.
Proper Design For Intended Species
  • Vertical Bars - for Finches, Canaries, and All Climbers
  • Horizontal Bars - for Parakeets, Parrots, Cockatiels, and All Climbing Species.
Wire Spacing
  • 3/8" suitable for finches and extremely small birds
  • 1/2" general purpose for parakeets, canaries and all medium-sized birds
  • 5/8" suitable for cockatiels, doves
  • 1" suitable for all medium-to-large birds such as African grays
  • 1"+ suitable for macaws, cockatoos and other large birds
Inside Cage Dimensions
  • Should allow birds to comfortably spread wings
  • Should have ample cage base depth for birds who do not sleep on perches
  • Should have added cage height for climbing birds
  • Should provide ample room capacity for toys and related treats
Special Features
  • Seed guards
  • Soft wood perches with proper accessibility to feeder cups
  • Multiple feeder cups with ample holding capacity
  • Sufficiently large doors for easy access and to accommodate bird's size
  • A practical method of locking and securing doors
Swing Style
  • Proper dowel diameter for species
  • Proper hanging depth from top
  • An appropriate size that will not over-crowd cage
  • Possibility to be sturdily secured to top cage bars
Cage Construction
  • In most cases, cost does dictate the amount of quality put into cage construction
  • All plastic parts should have thick walls, especially in corner areas
  • Metal parts should not have any sharp edges. They should encompass solid multi-welds and should have an adequate application of plating or paint coverage
  • Generally speaking, all-steel constructed cages are preferable due to their longevity value and their ability to withstand more shock and cleaning than their plastic counterparts.
Cage Finish
  • Clear lacquer applied to all plated parts
  • Use of non-toxic, baked paints only
Cage Care
  • Plated and Powder-Coated Finishes - Clean with a soft damp cloth and immediately dry with a soft, dry cloth. Never use abrasive soaps or abrasive cleaning pads. Avoid use of extremely hot water in cleaning.  Plated items (brass or nickel) have a protective clear lacquer coating applied during the plating process. If this clear coating is worn off by excessive abrasive cleaning - or by years of use - the base plating will begin to oxidize. If oxidation does begin, it is recommended that consideration be given to replacing the entire cage or - at a minimum - the part that is oxidizing.
  • Painted finishes - should always be baked on during the painting process. To avoid future rusting, immediately use touch-up paint on any chipped or scratched areas.  All epoxy liquid paint, epoxy powder coatings, and all plating finishes used on Prevue cages are laboratory-tested to be "Child Safe and Pet Safe"... of paramount importance. Lead-based coating materials are never used.
  • Cage Placement - Be sure your bird has plenty of shade and is far enough away from any possible hazardous fumes. Always keep bird out of reach of other pets as well as small children
  • Add Toys - Keep your bird entertained and it will entertain you. After 2 weeks in the new cage, gradually add play-things. Prevent overcrowding by keeping to a minimum the number of toys in the cage at one time. Rotate the toys for variety.
  • Bathing - Birds enjoy bathing, do it often. It's also necessary to keep their feathers in good shape. Use a cage-mounted bird bath. It is also a good idea to "mist" your bird frequently using a hand-held, spray-pump applicator.
  • Provide Cuttlebones - By chewing and rubbing this helps keep the beak from overgrowing and provides essential calcium. Always keep a cuttlebone in the cage.
  • Cleaning Cage - Keeping the cage clean helps prevent disease as well as freeing your bird from dirt and oil. Wash water and food cups daily, using a mild dish-washing detergent applied with a soft cloth or soft bristle brush.
  • Help During Molting - Spring is generally molting season. As the bird loses its insulating feathers, keep the cage warm. Cover the cage for longer periods so your bird can sleep more during this stressful time.
  • Select Quality Food - High quality food helps keep your bird healthy and energetic. Use the proper mix of pellet, seed mix, and fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Select seed mix with supplemental vitamins. Pellets provide the proper vitamins to assure a natural balance. Consult your veterinarian for further dietary information and recommendations.
  • Add Grit to Food - Limited to pigeons and doves only. Grit helps grind up foot so it doesn't get lodged in the bird's gizzard. All other pet bird species utilize digestive minerals as supplementation. These are easily obtained through the addition of cuttlebone, mineral blocks, or prepared egg shell compound to the cage environment. Consult your veterinarian.
  • Ration the Portions - Provide only what your bird will eat in one sitting.
  • Treat Your Bird - Provide treats once or twice a week to add variety and stimulate appetite.
  • Food Supplement - Add fruit or vegetables to your bird's diet daily. Reference books will advise of the proper fruits and vegetables for the breed, or consult your veterinarian.
  • Add Water - Provide clean, fresh drinking water every day, in addition to the bath water. Do not take your water source for granted. The supply should be monitored on a regular basis for heavy metal contaminants which can affect your pet's health.

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