Minimum habitat dimensions for Psittacidae

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To prepare for the arrival of one or more birds and / or to improve their daily life, I have noticed that a lot of people wonder about the recommended dimensions of the habitat (cage, aviary, nest, etc.) must have depending on the size of the birds.

I never get tired of answering when I get the chance because it means to me that the person cares about the welfare of their birds.

So that it benefits everyone, I decided to write this article in order to highlight these dimensions for proper maintenance in captivity of our birds based on a * thesis.

Cage 

My motto “The bigger the better” and preferably rectangular and in metal.

Ferplast piano cage 6

Reference dimensions: Length X width X height = (LX l X h) in cm

  •  For small birds <70 g: 60 X 60 X 60
  • For medium sized birds (70-200 g): 120 X 60 X 60.
  • For Parrots: large cages with walls favoring ascent (horizontal bars), 180 X 60 X 60. Bars with a diameter of 2.5 to 3 mm, spaced 2.5 cm apart.

As a general rule: the width is at least equal to 2 times the wingspan of the bird occupying the cage.

The cage door should be large enough so that the bird comes out of it perched on one hand (without having to bend down).

Maintenance: every day, at the same time.

Location of the cage: in a quiet, bright room, without drafts, without direct exposure to the sun. Position in height of the cage (at eye level). Stable temperature, high humidity, good ventilation.

To be avoided: the kitchen (drafts, thermal variations, toxic odors or vapors) and verandas.

Aviary

Aviary T’y Est Ris

Dimensions for Psittacidae breeding aviaries: 5 X 2 X 1.8 m.

Prefer the south-east orientation, with a hedge or a windbreak on the side of the prevailing winds.

Partially covered roof (shading, protection).

Double wire mesh.

Useful 30 cm high concrete wall (to prevent rodent invasions).

Smooth concrete floor, treated with vinegar or dilute hydrochloric acid (to neutralize the alkalinity of certain concretes and prevent birds from burning their legs, breaking parasitic cycles, and fighting against rodents). The slope of 15-20%.

To be avoided: dirt floor.

Ideal: hanging aviary or wire mesh floor.

Here are two aviary constructions by our friend Thierry (Try Est Ris) in pictures:

Transformation of an arbor into an aviary for parrots.

9 steps to building a double aviary

Perches

Wooden perches

Prefer natural perches made of shrub branches (hazel, maple, willow), the only drawback: their cleaning. To proscribe fluted plastic perches (at the origin of microtrauma on the legs and risk of being quickly destroyed by Psittacidae).

Irregular section (if the surface is too smooth and regular: leg pain and lack of wear of the claws) and oval or elliptical (better suited to the shape of the legs: prevention of plantar abscesses).

Dimensions: 5-15 mm for Parakeets, 25-50 mm for Parrots ( see table). The fingers must not be able to completely surround the perch, otherwise, they will be injured.

Of different diameters: to promote finger gymnastics. A single diameter allows the bird only one position of the fingers, which in the long run leads to the risk of leg pain.

Location: placed at the same height and far from each other (no one below the other: to avoid soiling), nor too close to the walls (the bird can damage the rectrices). At least one of the perches must be at the level of the observer’s eye (feeling of security for the bird).

Nests

Wooden nests

Must be disinfected between each breeding season.

Log type nesting boxes made of wood.

Dimensions ( see table):

  • Amazons and Gabonese: L = l = 35 cm, h = 60 cm with an entrance 15 cm in diameter.
  • inseparable: L = l = 20 cm, h = 30 cm, with an entry of 5 cm.
  • budgerigars: L = w = h = 20 cm for the, with an entry of 4 cm.

Here is an example of making a nest for large parakeets: Make a nest for parakeets in 5 steps.

To stimulate reproduction, offer several types of nesting boxes to a couple who will make their choice: horizontal, vertical, or T-shaped nesting boxes, placed at different heights.

Note: Double entry nesting boxes are recommended for the Sulfur-crested Cockatoo to allow the female to escape in case of aggression by the male.

Summary: some indicative minimum dimensions

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