A Beginner’s Guide to Canary Cages
Few people can resist the brightly colored song birds displayed in canary cages at their local pet shops. Canaries have been a popular cage bird for pet owners and serious collectors for many generations. A canary’s melodic song and easy of care makes them a beautiful addition to any home.
If you are considering purchasing your first canary, proper thought to its care and housing should be given before you take the plunge.
Types of Canary Cages
Canary cages are available in several popular styles. Unfortunately, many of the popular styles are not ideal cages for canaries. Many people assume that the small size of a canary means it requires a small cage, but this not true.
Most of the cages that you find in pet stores are tall and narrow. These cages are perfect for a parakeet, cockatiel or small parrot because parrots exercise by climbing. Canaries and other small songbirds exercise by hopping and flying. With this in mind, it is easy to see that a proper canary cage will provide more horizontal space instead of vertical space.
Even if you plan to keep just one canary, you should purchase the largest cage you can accommodate in the space you plan to place the cage. In the wild, these little birds spend most of their time flying from tree to tree. As a general rule, the more space your canary has to move around the happier and healthier he will be.
Cages with wire bars are the most common choice due to their low cost and the wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors available. It is important to make sure that the wire cage you choose has bars that are placed no more than 1/3” apart to prevent your canary from getting his head caught between the bars.
Box cages are typically made of plastic or wood and have bars or glass on the front. These provide a more secure feeling environment for your canary, but ventilation is a concern. Wood is also very difficult to keep clean, which can result in harmful bacteria growth that can harm your bird.
There are several manufacturers of plexiglass or glass aviary systems that are not only beautiful, but also equipped with ventilation to ensure the proper air quality is achieved. While these make excellent choices for canary cages, they are often quite expensive.
Features of Canary Cages
There are several features you should look for in any canary cages you consider purchasing. The most important feature is a removable tray. All caged birds are messy, and droppings can quickly mold if not properly cleaned.
A tray that slides out of the cage provides the ability to clean the cage without putting the bird through the stress of being caught and transferred into a holding cage while you clean.
Canaries can move quickly and are very hard to catch if they get loose from their cages. A cage that has easy access to food and water dishes is beneficial, as you will not have to leave the cage door open to feed and water your canary.
The most popular feeding doors have an overlapping window that slides up to remove the bowl. This type is best for preventing escape.
All domestic varieties of birds kept as pets tend to be messy eaters. The shell of the seed is discarded in favor of the meaty inside of the seed. These shells typically get tossed out of the cage as the canary digs in the bowl for fresh seeds to hull.
Some cages have built in seed guards to prevent the shells from being scattered outside of the cage. If the style of canary cages you prefer does not have a built in seed guard, they are generally an inexpensive investment to consider.