A search in various online stores for a budgie cage unfortunately brings up lots of unsuitable models. In the beginning, I too tended to look for the right dimensions and relied on the statement that this one was suitable for budgies. The result of my first purchase now adorns my basement, as it’s not even really suitable as a quarantine cage.
Leaving aside the fact that a budgie cage can’t be big enough, there are also some important points to consider.
- Grid spacing from 10-12mm
- Lattice bars must run horizontally (across)
- non-toxic coating of the bars (no plastic, no galvanized bars, etc.)
- No very bright or shiny grating bars (light reflections!)
- large cage doors at the front
- Cage doors on the sides
- no fixed openings for feeding bowls
- sturdy pull out bottom tray
- no (or a removable) floor grid
What is there to consider?
Basically, a budgie cage should be as large as possible, with the width being the most important factor.
Apart from that, the free flight available is crucial.
Here are some guidelines:
- Daily much free flight or 24h a day: approx. 60-80cm width.
- Little or only from time to time free flight: at least 100cm width
- Hardly or no free flight: at least 150cm width
One of the most important things about the cage grid is the proper grid spacing of 10-12mm, because if the spacing is too small, the budgies might get their feet or beak caught while climbing, and if the spacing is too large, they might try to put their head through it.
Since budgies are good and like to climb, the bars must necessarily be horizontal, that is, transverse. It is very frustrating for them when they try to climb up vertical bars and just before they reach the next crossbar with their beak, they slide all or half way down again.
Since budgies like to gnaw on everything, including the bars, they should have a non-toxic coating. A plastic coating cannot withstand a budgie’s beak, for example, and there is a risk that they will swallow small plastic pieces. Other materials, such as galvanized bars, can cause poisoning in the worst case.
Very bright or even shiny bars are not dangerous for budgies, but the light reflections from them can irritate or sometimes maybe even frighten them. In addition, one should not ignore the fact that such bars are also disturbing to the human eye. When looking inside the cage, for example, bars in a dark gray are hardly noticeable, whereas in a bright white the bars are in the foreground and not the birds.
The budgie cage must have at least one large cage door at the front, through which you can reach every corner of the cage with your hand.
Sufficiently large cage doors on the sides facilitate access to certain areas on the one hand and on the other hand they make it possible, for example, to install a bird bath without blocking the front door.
I advise against fixed (especially not closable) openings for food bowls and the like in the cage grid, because then you have to rely on the (not recommendable) plastic accessories of the manufacturer.
The benefit of a pull-out bottom tray should be obvious. Hardly anyone wants to have to reach for the shovel (or the vacuum cleaner?!?) when changing the bird sand to get it out laboriously.
However, it is important to be able to remove the floor grille if one is present. It is important for budgies to also be able to get on the ground to peck in bird sand, for example (ingesting bird sand and grit helps budgies with digestion).
Criteria for unsuitable cages
- too small size to fly (depending on free flight)
- wrong grid spacing (<> 10-12mm)
- vertical bars
- very bright or shiny bars
- harmful coating of the bars (e.g. galvanized or plastic)
- Floor grille (not removable)
- round cages (not suitable for animals!)
Examples of suitable cages
I have had good experiences with the company “Montana Cages” and my current budgie cage is also from them. Not only is the cage very sturdy and has a non-toxic coating on the bars, but I also received a replacement for a damaged front grille (defective solder joint) with no problems.
However, due to an acute lack of space, my cage is rather the lower limit in terms of size (flight distance diagonally about 80cm) and requires the possibility of free flight.
- Montana Cages – Paradiso 60 (60 x 60 x 124 cm)
These budgie cages do not meet the current recommendations in terms of width and thus require the possibility of free flight. Without free flight, the recommendations are at least 100cm wide.
- Monatan Cages – Paradiso 90 (91 x 60 x 132 cm)
- Monatana Cages – San Remo III (85 x 48 x 96 cm)
- Montana Cages – Madeira II (82 x 54 x 85 cm)
Additional sources of information:
- Around the aviary (WelliPedia)
- Indoor aviary (WelliPedia)
- A species-appropriate cage for budgies (PizPon.de)
- Criteria for suitable budgie cages (Welli.net)
- Cages and cage equipment (budgie blog)