Unfortunately, on the subject of “budgie cage”, buzzwords such as “helicopter cage ” or a “cage must be wider than high” are always thrown around the ears completely unreflective.
In view of these claims, I would like to take a look at the corresponding scenarios:
Scenario 1: The cage is at least 120cm wide and 180cm high
In terms of width, the budgie would have enough room to fly, but with a height of 180cm, this would clearly be higher than wide and would therefore actually be a “helicopter cage”.
But what sense would it make in this case to reduce the height to e.g. 100cm so that it is wider than high? This would definitely not serve the welfare of the budgie.
Scenario 2: The cage is only 60cm wide and 180cm high
From the width, the budgie barely has room to fly and with the height, it would again be higher than wide and thus a “helicopter cage”.
To meet the “wider than high” requirements, you would have to reduce the height to less than 60cm, which would definitely give the budgies even less space. Why not use the height to at least provide them with an “obstacle-free” flight level?
As the 2 scenarios above show, “just throwing it out there” demands for cages that are“wider than they are tall” and thus not “helicopter cages” not only make little sense, but in these cases would actually be detrimental to the budgies.
So what is a suitable cage size?
Of course, the basic rule is always as wide or as large as possible.
But, of course, there are numerous recommendations on this:
- min. 80cm wide and 45cm deep(Welli.net)
- min. 100cm wide, 50cm deep and 80cm high(Sittiche.de)
- 150cm wide, 60cm deep and 100 cm high(ZooRoyal)
However, recommendations usually assume that budgies need space in the cage to fly. However, if the budgies have a lot or 24h free flight every day, this would be rather irrelevant, since they can then fly sufficiently outside the cage.
The minimum width of the cage is therefore mainly dependent on whether the budgies need space in the cage to fly or have sufficient or 24h/day free flight.
Apart from the fact that a budgie cage can never be wide or large enough, the two main criteria for the appropriate size are firstly the width and secondly the possibility of free flight.
A greater height can only be advantageous, as the cage then not only provides more space, but also easier to different levels such as an “obstacle-free” escape level. After all, what good is the widest cage if the “flight path” is blocked by furnishings?
To return briefly to the title of the post. I have indeed observed my budgies flying almost vertically (like a helicopter) upwards, but this can of course in no way replace normal flying.