Blue & Gold Macaws

Don’t think of a bird’s cage as a prison. A cage is a safe place and a refuge for your bird. It should be attractive and interesting with lots of safe things for your bird to chew and do.

A bird’s cage should be regarded as a refuge and a safe place, not a prison. A cage should be as large as possible and practical for your situation. Cages should be long and wide (rectangular) not tall and high (vertical). Birds are not helicopters; they do not fly up and down. They fly horizontally.

Cages should be cleaned daily. The best type of substrate (floor covering) is newspaper. Newspaper can easily be changed daily and it keeps the cage floor clean. Newspaper should be placed over any bars on the floor of the cage. The bars are for humans, not birds. Birds like to fossick around on the floor of the cage. The bars are uncomfortable to walk upon. Never use sandpaper sheets on the floor of the cage. The sandpaper damages the bird’s feet and makes them susceptible to secondary infections when they walk in faeces.


Should be wide enough for the bird’s feet to spread evenly over the surface. They should be made from rough, bark, native trees. (Paperbark, bottlebrush etc.) Rough bark perches massage the feet and give the birds something to chew on. Regard perches as disposable. When the bird has chewed all of the bark off, replace them. Never use sandpaper perches for the same reason as you don’t use sandpaper sheets on the floor of the cage. Shop bought, dowelling perches are too narrow for most birds. Birds on narrow perches are like people with shoes that are too tight.

Cage decoration

Parrots are hard-wired to chew. They need healthy material to chew on to fulfil their foraging instinct and to keep the beak in trim. Plastic and metal toys do not provide suitable ‘chewable’ material. Give your birds green, leafy branches from Australian native trees. (bottlebrush, lemon scented ti-tree, melaleuca, lilly-pilly, banksia etc.) Pine cones and the seed pods from gum trees, bottlebrush, wattle etc. also provide occupational therapy and foraging opportunities for your bird.


The best treat that you can give your bird is fresh, wild seeding grasses. Other wild food includes milk thistle, tropical chick weed, dock dandelion etc.

Cage covers

Birds are prey species and their instinct is to be constantly on the look out for predators. During the day, it is best to part cover a cage to provide a sense of security for your bird.

We sell a wide selection of natural toys made by the Parrot Rescue Centre. These toys are made from native branches and seed pods, naturally tanned leather, and stainless steel wire. They are “bird safe” and are regarded as disposable. They are meant to be chewed and enjoyed. Parrots need to chew to keep their beak in good condition and to satisfy their foraging instincts.

Perches play an important role in maintaining the health of a bird’s beak, feet and claws. They also play an integral part in providing mental stimulation and occupational therapy for your pet. Parrots are “hard-wired” to chew. They need to chew to maintain their beak in tip-top condition.


What is the appropriate size cage for my pet bird?

The size of the cage you need for your pet bird will depend on the size of the bird. As a general rule, the cage should be large enough for the bird to fully extend its wings and move around comfortably. For smaller birds such as finches or canaries, a cage with a minimum of 50cm in length, width, and height is recommended. For larger birds such as parrots or macaws, a cage with a minimum of 90cm in length, width, and height is recommended.

What materials should the cage be made of?

Cages for pet birds should be made of safe, non-toxic materials such as stainless steel or powder-coated metal. Avoid cages made of zinc or other metals that can be toxic to birds. The bars of the cage should be spaced appropriately for the size of the bird to prevent the bird from getting stuck or injured. If this happens you will most certainly be searching for a “bird vet near me open now”.

How often should I clean the cage?

The cage should be cleaned regularly to keep it hygienic and prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria – if it is not kept clean your pet may end up in a hospital for birds. How often you need to clean the cage will depend on the size of the bird and the type of bedding you use. As a general rule, smaller cages should be cleaned at least once a week, while larger cages can be cleaned every two weeks. Any uneaten fruits or vegetables should be removed before they spoil.

What type of bedding should I use in the cage?

There are several options for bedding material that can be used in a bird’s cage, including wood shavings, newspaper, or paper-based products. Avoid using clay-based cat litter or pine or cedar wood shavings, as these can be harmful to birds, resulting in you needing to search for “vets that treat birds near me”. The bedding should be changed frequently – at least every other day, preferably every day, in order to prevent the buildup of droppings.

Can I put a bird cage outside?

It depends on where you live – birds are sensitive to extreme temperatures and can be affected by weather conditions such as rain or wind. So if you live in a temperate climate it is fine to put a cage outside, as long as you provide plenty of shade and shelter to protect the bird from the elements. You also need to take into consideration the threat of snakes, as they can easily enter through the bars of medium or large cages and kill your pet bird.

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1 Comment

  1. Is there anywhere on the Gold Coast that builds acrylic bird cages? We have wired our ekkies bird cage for his day time play while we are at work but twice now he has been attacked by a snake that has managed to get in. Luckily we were home both times. Our Ekkie loves being outdoors to talk to the passing cockatoos I would hate for him to just be an indoor bird from now on and take that away from him.

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