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Are Flight Cages Worth the Money?

The term gets thrown around a lot, but what exactly is a flight cage? And do your parrots need one? Get the facts here.

As the term “flight cage” becomes more commonly known and used among parrot owners, more cage companies have begun advertising their products as flight cages. But what exactly is a flight cage? Are they really worth it, and do they make any kind of difference for your bird?

 

1.) Why would I want a flight cage in the first place?

In most cases, as long as a cage is safe, you can’t go wrong with a bigger one.

In general, it’s always a good idea to offer your birds the biggest cage you can comfortably afford that passes basic safety checks. It’s typically not possible for a cage to be too big.

 

There are a handful of uncommon exceptions: for example, if you own a bird with a physically limiting injury or developmental disorder that prevents them from flying. These birds will require smaller cages with modified arrangements (e.g., under 30 inches tall, with metal grates removed) to prevent injury.

 

Outside of these rare circumstances, there’s no health risk to providing your birds with a larger cage as long as it meets basic safety requirements like bar spacing.

 

2.) What is a flight cage?

A flight cage is simply a cage large enough for a bird to fly or get a few flaps in while inside.

Flight cages are generally larger and more spacious than traditional cages, and allow for more movement inside. However, because of their larger size, they also tend to be more expensive. There are a number of factors (which we’ll cover below!) that you should consider before springing for such a cage.

 

3.) Make sure it's safe first.

Regardless of the size of the cage, there are certain safety factors that are not negotiable when it comes to cages.

Bar spacing, safe materials, and properly made doors are all requirements that any cage has to meet, regardless of size. If you are choosing between a larger cage with the wrong bar spacing and a smaller one with proper bar spacing, you should absolutely go with the smaller one with proper bar spacing. The recommended bar spacing for budgies is 3/8”-1/2” (i.e., 0.375”-0.5”) wide. Any wider, and your birds may be able to squeeze a body part through the bars and injure themselves.

4.) Is it really a flight cage?

Unfortunately, you can’t always rely on a cage’s advertised name to determine whether it’s truly a flight cage.

Many companies are catching on and rebranding their cages as “flight cages.” However, just because they call it one doesn’t mean it is one. Some cages are too small or have shapes making any decent amount of flight difficult or impossible. For example, extremely tall, skinny cages are not flight-friendly. Companies may still call these flight cages, but in reality, they aren’t conducive to flight.

 

5.) What birds are living in it?

Depending on what birds you have inside the cage, a cage may or may not truly be able to support flight.

For example, both cages used with The Budgie Academy flock (the Prevue F050XL, Kings Cages SLF6421) would be considered flight cages for budgies. They are large enough for the birds to get a few full flaps inside. However, if you put a larger bird (e.g., a cockatiel) in the same cages, their larger body size would hinder flight.

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6.) Consider the layout.

Size alone isn’t the only factor you should consider when purchasing a flight cage.

If a cage is truly large enough for flight, the next consideration is layout. If the arrangement of perches obstructs direct flight paths and/or is too tightly packed, it will be very difficult for the budgies inside to fully open their wings and fly. This defeats the purpose of having a cage of that size.

 

7.) Quality of life is our main consideration.

Keep the big picture (i.e., your bird’s wellbeing) in mind when considering a new cage.

People often want to know the exact dimensions that make a cage “adequate.” The truth is, it wouldn’t make sense to say a 32” wide cage is fine, and a 31.9” wide cage isn’t. What we need to consider is a bird’s overall quality of life.

 

Some owners work from home and have very little need for caging during the day. This is very different from someone who works 8 hours outside the home and needs something much larger. It’s important to remember that what works for your flock may not work for another, and vice versa.

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Wrapping up

Have your cage, but looking for tips on things to put inside? Our articles on the perfect perches and what not to put in your budgie’s cage should give you a great starting point.

 

Don’t forget: The Budgie Academy is on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook! Join our social media flock so you don’t miss out when we post new content.

 

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