A cage is going to be your first purchase when considering buying a cockatiel or any bird for that matter. It is important to buy the right cage for your bird. A few criteria must be followed to be sure that you provide your cockatiel with what they enjoy.
What makes a perfect bird cage?
The most important thing is size. The rule is the bigger the better. I would suggest you purchase the biggest cage that you can fit into the space you intend to keep your babies in. Be sure to buy a cage that is going to be healthy for your bird. By that I mean one that contains no toxic paint or coatings. Cheap plastic covered metal cages can easily be chipped and reveal rusty metal which is lethal for your birds.
Pay attention to the bar spacing as well, the largest gap between the rungs should be no more than 1.5cm in spacing, others will say different I expect, but from my experience I hate to see the birds struggle to get around in their home. I personally have a hand made cage designed especially to fit into our place. These are made with chicken and snake proof wire, with spacing of 5mm. I find this makes the best screening and allows great ease for the birds to climb around easily, both of which are very important.
How to clean you cage
An important aspect to consider when you purchase a cage is it’s clean-ability. Can you remove the perches, and the food and water containers. Are they easy to get to to refill. Does the cage come apart, or is it a totally fixed cage. What ever you decide on you will need to clean it regularly and in detail. I’ll explain what we do and you can adapt it to suit your needs. I do this clean once a week and change the paper twice a week.
- First of all make sure all birds are out of the cage and safe, either in a spare cage or on a tree, perch or where they are comfortable.
- Remove all food and water supplies.
- Scrape off any dry droppings from the perches or wooden beams that may be in the cage.
- Now remove the paper from the floor.
- Take the vacuum cleaner and suck up all the lose seeds and feathers that might be left behind. Open any doors and suck in all the dust.
- The cage should be free from all food residue now. Take some hot water with a scrubber and proceed to scrub down all the perches and sides of the cage, take your time and remove any food and dropping stains.
- Next I take a fresh bowl of water and into this I add some white vinegar. Then I rub down all the sides, roof and bottom of the cage. The vinegar is a natural cleaner and prevention of bacteria. Allow this to air dry.
- Now you can spray the cage with mite prevention spray. (do this about every six weeks)
- Put in fresh paper to cover the floor.
- Clean all the food and water containers with mild detergent and rinse thoroughly. Refill and return them to the cage.
- Put in any additional foods and then the birds can go back in.