Getting a budgie is exciting, especially when it is your first one. They are intelligent and loving birds that will love you to train them and spend time with them and talk to them – and of course, you plan on giving your budgie the best that you can. One of the most important decisions you make when owning a budgie is the home that you are going to provide him with, and the best home you can give your budgie is a flight cage.
A flight cage will allow your budgie to fly and exercise its wings, ensuring they are much happier and healthier than they would be in a smaller cage.
When choosing a flight cage for your budgie there are so many points to consider: How big should a flight cage be? How many budgies can live in there comfortably? Where will I put it? What should it be made of? Where are the doors? How many doors does it need to have? Is it easy to clean? Does it need wheels? What goes inside it? Should it be kept indoors or outdoors?
Your budgies cage is going to be the single largest expense you make with regards to your budgie, which is why we have put together the ultimate guide to choosing the right flight cage. After you read our ultimate guide you will be able to choose the flight cage that is best for you and your budgie.
Top 3 Affordable Flight Cages
|Best Quality||Extra Large Corner Flight Bird Cage for Budgies with Metal Seed Skirts to prevent mess.||Prime||Buy Now|
|Affordable Quality||Prevue Pet Products Wrought Iron Flight Cage with Stand, This is a Large Birdcage Perfect for Keeping Budgies. It is a solid Metal Freestanding Standing Birdcage, in a Black Hammertone Finish Available in 2 Sizes.||Prime||Buy Now|
|Best Budget Choice||VIVOHOME’s 30-Inch Iron Bird Cage is the ideal budget-friendly flight cage to home your budgie in. If you don’t have a lot to spend, then this is the cage for you.||Prime||Buy Now|
What Exactly is a Flight Cage?
A flight cage is essentially a cage that is large enough for your budgie to be able to flap his wings for a few beats and make a short flight. You need to provide your bird with space for what he was born to do, and that is to fly!
In general, a flight cage is suitable for your smaller breeds of birds such as canaries, budgies, finches etc. Finches have very small wings and so they do not need a large cage, although again, no cage is too large for a bird.
It is not necessary for you to buy a cage for your bird to sleep in and an additional flight cage for during the day so he can exercise. The best thing you can do for your bird is to buy the largest cage you can afford. Even if it’s only for one bird. In the wild, birds are not limited in terms of space, so no bird cage can ever be too big.
Another factor to consider when you are choosing a flight cage is, how many budgies are you going to keep together? There has to be sufficient space for all of your budgies to live comfortably together otherwise they can become stressed and this could leave to poor health.
By nature, birds fly horizontally but they climb and hop to move up and down. With this thinking, your budgie’s flight cage should be larger horizontally to provide your budgies with sufficient space to fly, however, this isn’t always possible.
In the avian world, a flight cage is simply referred to as a flight.
Are an Aviary and a Flight Cage the Same Thing?
The definition of aviary as per the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: “a place for keeping birds confined.”
However, what we call an aviary is generally a much larger bird cage that is most often kept outside and is built on ground level. It is large enough that smaller birds can fly around it, hence it is also sometimes referred to as a flight cage.
Usually, but not always, you can access a flight cage and an aviary via a door.
Sometimes, depending on the space that people have, they will attach a flight cage on to their small aviary to allow their birds more space to fly during the day. Then in the evenings they close the flight cage off so that the birds will rest and sleep in the aviary through the night.
If you Have Budgies, You Need to Invest in a Flight cage
Budgies have wings and they need to fly for exercise as well as to avoid boredom. The more space you can provide them with, the better for them.
If you keep your budgies indoors it is a good idea to bond with them and to train them. Once they are trained and you no longer need to clip their flight feathers, you can leave their cage door open giving them access into and out of the cage, and allow them to fly around the room. This goes for a smaller cage as well as a flight.
Budgies are very social and love to fly around the house, making them great pets for children. However, always keep other pets in mind when allowing your budgies to fly outside of their cage, hence a bird room is a good idea if you have space.
It is especially important to invest in a flight cage if you keep your budgies indoors and you are out of the house all day. Considering your office job is keeping you at your desk for eight hours per day plus commuting time, possibly ten hours in total, that’s a long time for your birds to be stuck in a small enclosure with minimal space. Your birds need to be entertained with toys and plants and food and each other, and they need to exercise. Providing them with a large flight is the best thing that you can do for them.
Various Types of Flight Cages
Considering all of the different materials that bird cages can be made from, you are always safe constructing your cage with stainless steel. It is easy to clean and won’t rust.
Alternatively, ensure that if the cage you choose is painted, make sure that a non-toxic sealant of paint was used.
Cages that are made of brass, copper, chrome, lead – anything that can rust, can be the cause of metal toxicity in pet birds. Cages with a zinc-laced finish are also dangerous.
Firstly, consider if your cage is going to be an indoor cage or an outdoor cage. Then think about where you are going to keep it:
– It should be kept out of drafts
– Highly trafficked area to keep it entertained (good idea to have it on wheels so at night you can move it to a quieter room when it’s sleep time)
– Make sure there is space for water bowls, food bowls, bath bowels, toys and swings
– Look at the size of the gaps between the bars – for budgies the gaps should be smaller than 12cm
– Try and get a cage that is easy to clean. Humans by nature area lazy so if cleaning the page is difficult or a real time-killer, you will most likely postpone it and postpone it, possibly causing health issues for your bird.
As there are so many amazing options, here are two very suitable and spacious flight cages for budgies:
Highly reviewed on Amazon, this flight cage has an average rating of 4.06 stars.
It is a spacious cage on wheels making it easy to move out of the wind, move onto your porch, out of the sun, into the sun or into a quieter space in the evenings.
People love it because it offers so much space to your birds – and the fewer birds you have, the more space your bird will have for flying, but there is also a ton of space for toys and perches and swings – still leaving plenty of space for your bird.
This is a great, affordable flight cage for your pet budgie! It has a large swing door that’s perfect if you’re looking to quickly and easily change around their living space. The small pull-down doors are great for quickly removing your bird or discreetly adding in a new toy for your budgie without opening the entire cage.
The metal trays are easy to clean as well so it’ll be an easier task than ever before. The corner design saves on the amount of floor space needed; you can’t go wrong with this flight cage!
Where Should You Keep Your Outdoor Flight Cage?
Firstly, protect the cage from strong winds and drafts that would blow directly onto your budgies.
Secondly, consider temperatures. Birds don’t like to sit in high temperatures for long periods of time as it is difficult for them to naturally regulate their core temperatures during extreme temperatures. In the wild they would simply fly to a tree for shade when they got hot, but when they live in a cage their options become limited.
If you have decided to keep your flight outside, you need to ensure that the cage does have shade during the day. Observe the cage and notice how the sun moves throughout the day and how shadows and shade is cast across the cage. If there isn’t enough shade you will need to add shelter to the cage to offer your budgies somewhere cool to rest.
Many people also prefer to have their flight facing the morning sun. If it faces the afternoon sun it can get quite hot and your birds might need misting and further shade options during summer.
How to Make Your Own Flight Cage
Since the lockdown in 2020, many people have taken up hobbies to keep themselves busy while they were stuck at home. Due to time available and a desire not to go completely mad while stuck indoors, people have become extremely skilled in gardening, baking, crafts, and even woodwork.
Making your own flight cage is not that difficult and below we have provided you with easy step-by-step instructions to do this yourself. Even if you don’t won all of the necessary machinery, most hardware stores have a department which will cut your wood to size for you.
Another bonus to building a flight cage yourself is that it will save you a lot of money. Then use the money you have saved towards heating equipment, toys food, or treats.
We have put together a list of the tools you need, materials, and instructions on how you can make your own flight cage and you can build this in a day/weekend with basic tools.
Wire for the Cage Walls
Ensure that you only use stainless steel, or a stainless steel mesh. The reason is because it doesn’t rust and is therefore safe for your birds.
It might be quite tempting to use galvanized wire on your bird cage, especially because it is a cheaper material. The reason we don’t use this is because this wire will start to rust, and it will rust even faster if you are using this material for your outdoor cage.
Over time this metal will become oxidised, turn duller and eventually white that when you touch it, it will just come off on your finger. This just proves that it is very easy for a bird to nibble or lick this and injest this poison.
It is also not a good idea to use PVC coated wire as this is simply a plastic sheath coating the wire. Budgies are nibblers, they will easily chew through this harmful plastic.
Using Wood for Your Budgie Flight Cage
Only use untreated wood for your flight or aviary. Any wood that has been treated with pesticides is highly toxic for budgies, especially because they will chew at the wood.
The Base of the Cage
If you are not going to keep your budgie flight inside then you need to consider what you are going to keep the flight cage on.
Concrete is the best material to use for the bottom of your outdoor cage. It is solid and so predators cannot dig through it and enter your aviary, and it is easier to clean and disinfect.
Another option is to lay bricks which can be hosed down to clean, but they are more difficult to disinfect.
If you use wire for the base of the cage you will need to check it to ensure it isn’t rusting and replace it when you notice signs of corrosion. Chicken wire or mesh does stop rodents from burrowing into your bird cage, and you could cover the chicken wire with untreated wood shavings, river sand, or paperbark.
Some people even use the roll-on fake grass on the bottom of their cage. To clean, you simply roll it up and dump the seeds and dirt into the compost and then hose it off weekly.
Here are some free budgie cage plans
Toys and Perches
Don’t forget that your budgies are intelligent and need to have stimulation, even if there is more than one bird inside the cage.
Perches or natural, untreated wood can be firmly set inside, as well as outside, the cage (if your cage is an indoor cage). This will give your bird a place to land and rest and climb to.
Add some cuttlefish near to the perches which provides a little bit of calcium to your budgies.
You can add natural coconut hides, a bird box, a ladder, bells, rope perches and swings. Mirrors are also a good idea to give your budgie the impression that there are other birds around and to make his flock seem bigger.
Also consider where you are going to put your food sources: a dish for seed, a dish for fruits and veggies, a water source and possibly safe plants for them to forage in.
Budgies also enjoy having a birdbath to play in and to clean themselves and a simple birdbath like this one it is made of acrylic is easy to clip onto the side of the cage and easy to remove, clean and top up with fresh water.
Lastly, I really love this wire birdcage from Vision
There is absolutely no mess with this cage. It is built in such a way that makes cleaning a breeze. You simply unclasp the top of the cage off the bottom, lift it and set it aside. All of the seeds, husks, feathers and messed food is caught within the plastic borders of the bottom.
The cage itself provides plenty of space for your budgies to move around. The Vision perches are in varying diameters and have a wavy pattern which promotes blood circulation when the birds grip the perches at different points.
Is it cruel to keep a budgie in a cage?
Birds were born with the ability to fly. Keeping them locked up in a small cage their entire life is cruel, so if you do intend on keeping budgies then you need to think long and hard about the commitment you need to make to these birds.
Keeping a budgie alone in solitude is also not natural because in the wild, budgies live in huge flocks, sometimes consisting of hundreds of birds and they love the social life.
One of the best things you can do to create best bird-friendly cage possible, is to provide them with a cage that has sufficient space for them to move about happily. If the cage that your budgies are in is small, then you should provide them with a flight or even a bird room to allow them to fly.
You will also need to provide your budgies with perches, ladders, swings, bells, non-toxic and safe chews toys and areas for foraging.
Birds kept in solitude suffer from boredom and loneliness and will likely become aggressive and stressed which often leads to self-destruction, and it’s not fair on them.
How many budgies should you keep in one cage?
The cage that you buy for your birds should be the largest cage you can afford. With birds, always thing ‘bigger is better’.
For one budgie, the absolutely minimum cage size is 12 x 18 x 18 inches, allowing him to spend most of his time outside of the cage.
For two budgies, 30 inches long should be sufficient.
For six budgies the cage should not be shorter than 40 inches in length.
Of, if easier to calculate, each budgie needs approximately 4,000 cubic inches of space in the cage, and 21 square feet of space to fly in.
Is a flight cage easy to clean?
This will depend on the cage that you have built or bought. Some are made a lot easier to clean than others. Vision has a fantastic flight cage with a plastic catcher surrounding the base of the cage – this keeps ALL feathers, seeds and husks inside the cage keeping the area just outside of the cage spotless.
If you are cleaning your walk-in flight cage outdoors and it has a concreate floor, the first thing you need to do is remove all feeders and water containers. Then sweep up and remove all of the seeds, feathers and dirt from the floor.
Use a pressure washer or a hose with a high pressure to spray the floor and possibly some of the lower branches as your budgies would most likely have flown higher up or to the other side of the cage for safety. Once cleaned and sprayed, disinfect the cage.
If you are building the cage yourself you can build in a pull-out tray system which is easy to remove and clean.
If you don’t use a grate in your tray system you should use some sort of soft, natural bedding. It is best to use items such as soft paper, untreated sawdust and the like, similar to that of what you would put in a hamster cage,
It’s also a good idea to put their food bowls on the ground as in the wild they do forage on the ground, and this Carefresh bedding is safe for them to walk on and their little feet will not get stuck.
You can use newspaper (black and white pages only), paper towels or craft paper. The reason some people prefer to use these materials is because it is easier to monitor your budgie’s poop this way.
Some people prefer to wear a facemask while cleaning the bird cage or aviary. If you do want to wear a mask, a dust mask with a valve is recommended.
The reason is to prevent you from developing ‘bird fancier’s lung’ which is a hypersensitivity pneumonitis. It is serious and potentially fatal. Often this disease is misdiagnosed as asthma or viral pneumonia as it is difficult to diagnose.
It’s not only pigeon keepers who could become affected by this, but also people who keep budgies, cockatiels, and parrots. The disease is caused by exposure to feather dust and protein particles in some droppings.
Heating and security considerations of a flight cage
The cold can be a literal killer to a budgie and budgie owners need to think about temperature control for an outdoor cage as well as an indoor cage.
Luckily, there are so many options available to assist you in monitoring and maintaining ideal temperatures suited to your birds.
Budgies naturally live in a tropical/desert climate. However, in captivity, they happily survive at a temperature of between 20 – 30 degrees Celsius range. Budgies can tolerate colder temperatures for up to six hours but hypothermia can set in between 12 to 24 hours.
Obviously, it will be easier to monitor and maintain ideal temperatures in an indoor flight cage but you also need to realise that the room temperatures indoors are set to temperatures that humans are comfortable with, and that this is not necessarily the same as what budgies like.
Ensure there are no drafts blowing over your budgies
Your budgies do adjust quite well to a wide range of temperatures. Budgies who live outdoors can even tolerate temperatures in the 5 degree Celciust range, as long as there is a heat source and they are protected from the wind.
If your budgies are in an outdoor flight cage, you will need to monitor the weather conditions more closely. Besides not being happy in temperatures below 15 degrees Celcius, budgies also cannot handle harsh 20 degree shifts in temperature in a short period of time.
Tell-tale signs that your budgie is too hot
If your budgie is too hot, you will notice him trying to do a couple of things.
1. He might be trying to seek out shade which is not usually likely in a cage
2. They try to remain still in an effort to reduce a further body temperature rise
3. He might open his beak and stretch their wings out away from his body to try and get some airflow going (which is also something they do when they are aggressive)
4. He will also most likely hop into his birdbath.
How to cool your budgie down
If your budgie is displaying these symptoms you can help him to cool down by moving his cage into the shade, misting him with water, switching on your air-conditioner, providing him with a bird-bath or creating an airflow. If you are using fans do not have a direct cold airflow onto your bird.
If your bird is outside of his cage, don’t switch the fan on if it does not have blade guards as this could seriously injure or kill your bird should he accidentally fly into it.
Tell-tale signs that your budgie is too cold
If your budgie is too cold, you will notice him trying to do a couple of things.
1. He will fluff up his feathers to try and trap the heat between them. This is also behaviour of a sick budgie as well as preening behaviour so if it is not too cold then monitor your budgie.
2. He might also put his head down and tuck his beak into his chest.
3. You might notice your budgie shiver
How to warm your budgie up
Pest and predator control
Depending on where you live, there are a variety of pests and predators around that will be attracted to your bird cage. This could be to either get at the bird seed, the fruits and vegetables, or the birds and the eggs. Besides being opportunistic thieves, these wild animals could bring diseases into your aviary and infect your birds.
You will notice when your birds get spooked they flap around and usually end up on the floor. If the cage is outside, a predator can squeeze his paw through the bars and pull your bird to the edge of the cage and pull chunks from him, piece by piece.
If snakes get into your flight or aviary, then any chicks or eggs that might be on the ground are easy prey for them.
* One option is to place an outer layer of wire (the cheaper one on the outside here will be fine), or use plastic panelling. This will stop an animal such as a raccoon or cat from sticking his paw in and grabbing your budgie.
* Another option is to bury wire 1 foot into the ground around the perimeter of your flight, and extend it quite high up to deter cats, snakes, mice, raccoons, chipmonks. ¼” wire works well here.
* Another point to consider is digging plastic panelling into the ground surrounding the cage to stop the seed messing everywhere. Seed on the floor will attract mice and rats which will in turn attract snakes.
* Avoid using insecticides in and around your bird cage to deter ants, cockroaches and other smaller creatures as this is harmful to your birds.
* Trim trees back away from your aviary to stop wild birds perching close by and possibly infecting your aviary with their faeces. Cutting the trees will also stop cats and snakes from having easy access to your budgies.
* If you have decided to use concrete flooring, you need to be aware that rats are known to tunnel and nest underneath this flooring so you need to do what you can to prevent them tunnelling.
Choose your cage wisely
Once you have decided if you are going to buy or build your cage, you can consider your indoor and outdoor options and figure out where you are going to keep your budgie. Now you can have a lot of fun!
Options for cages, bowls, baths, toys, perches and swings are endless and as long as you purchase items that are non-hazardous and non-toxic. But more items that you need and rotate the toys on a weekly basis so your budgie doesn’t get bored.
Just most importantly when buying a cage, don’t get overwhelmed and just remember to buy the largest cage you can afford and you will have a very happy budgie, or budgies, for many, many years.