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Which birdcage should you get? Pet owners had 5 favorites in 2021

Adding a bird to your home means adding a birdcage as well. You’ll find plentiful options, including multistory, outdoor, and travel cages. Different models will work for different species, and you need to ensure that the cage you wind up bringing home will fit, too. No matter what cage you buy, we recommend taking your bird out frequently to ensure she gets the exercise she needs. 

Is having a caged bird cruel?

Placing a large bird in a small cage and never letting her out would certainly be cruel. First of all, you need to buy big enough housing for your pet. Then, you’ll want to have a plan for letting her out to play and fly around. If you’re able, bird-proof a room in the house to act as her playroom where she can get in plenty of flying time and also interact with you and the family. Some especially large birds, like hyacinth macaws, won’t fit into a standard cage at all, and you should plan for one to spend much of her time free.

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Two budgies sit happily in their cage

What size cage do I need for my bird?

Smaller birds like parakeets, need a cage of only about 18 cubic inches (or of similar size but different shape), though you should increase that space by at least a foot in length and width for each bird you add. Canaries and other finches require extra-tall cages so they can fly around a lot. For larger birds, get a cage that’s double your pet’s wingspan as they need to be able to open and flap with ease. 

What cage is best for a bird?

Your perfect cage will vary based not just on the bird you choose but also on your home and the space you have. Get creative! You can find something to fit perfectly for both of you.

Yaheetech 39-Inch Roof Top Large Bird Cage w/Toys

A small flock of birds who love to fly, like budgies or canaries, will thrive in this cage. Included in the home, the ladder and swing will help fill the space and encourage your pets to hang out at every level, making great use of its dimensions. A happy reviewer describes it as “a mansion for something small like a parakeet or a finch,” although a few owners note that it was tricky to put together, which can also make cleaning more difficult.

Vivohome 59.8-Inch Wrought Iron Bird Cage with Play Top and Rolling Stand

This cage is made to be easy for you — it’s sturdy, comes with storage, and moves on wheels so you can bring your bird to different parts of the house. Unlike other cages, it’s made of iron, so you won’t have to worry about it breaking, which customers love. You could keep one medium bird or a couple of small ones here. As a reviewer says, “This is kind of like a ‘two-story’ cage!” so you can design top and bottom differently to suit your needs. 

Prevue Pet Products Lincoln Bird Cage

A more traditional and smaller birdcage, this is one you’d pick only for a singleton or just a couple of lovebirds. The best part is, it doesn’t require assembly and is completely welded together. While that certainly means it won’t break, you need a different cleaning plan since you can’t take it apart to scrub down. However, a reviewer explains, it’s simple to get in. “This cage has easily accessible food and water cups, plastic guards to keep most of the seeds in the cage, and enough room for the two of them.”

Gutinneen Outdoor Bird Aviary Wooden Large Bird Cage

For more advanced bird enthusiasts, this indoor and outdoor cage will fit a larger bird such as an African grey. It includes multiple levels and doors with accessories like a ramp, feeder, and nest. Bird owners mention that they made tweaks when assembling, so you might have to be handy to build this one, but that means you can adjust it to your own needs. The instructions do recommend two people to put it together, but a customer chimes in, “Easy to assemble with just 1 person, just takes a little longer.” The wooden structure will be more fragile than an iron one, but it looks great.

Blue Mars Bird Carrier Travel Cage

No matter which standard home you choose, you need a travel cage. Remember, this is only for special occasions, but it still needs to be safe and secure. This particular model comes in varying sizes for different birds, so you can select the one that works best for your pet. Because it folds up, you can store it easily and unpack it as needed. “Cleaning it is a breeze and I would purchase again,” says a happy buyer — you can wipe it down and take out the removable tray.

One more thing to think about: While owning a bird can be a wonderful experience for both of you, putting a wild animal into captivity is never a good idea. Research carefully so you know exactly where your bird came from and who her parents were. You can also look into adopting your pet — since these guys often live decades, you’ll still have plenty of bonding time left. 

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Determined to raise backyard chickens? 6 essential things to do before you set up your coop
Three chickens eat while outside in their backyard

Urban chicken coops are trendy and rightfully so. With a group of hens you get fun pets plus eggs — how often does the family dog contribute after all? But you can't dive in on every Instagram trend, and this one, in particular, requires a pretty big upfront commitment mixed with a reasonable amount of upkeep, especially for beginners who have never owned so much as a parakeet. Just because it seems like a lot to handle, that doesn't mean you aren't cut out for poultry farming; many find it fun and rewarding. Before jumping into backyard chickens, think through these six things and determine if a flock of birds is really the right fit for you.

Look up local laws
Even if you see chickens roaming nearby, you'll want to thoroughly check up on the laws of your area, as well as any HOA regulations. You'd be surprised how many very specific rules might apply to setting up your little farm. Think about the coop itself, the rules for owning fowl, and the noise ordinances. Specifically, if you intend to have a rooster heading up your group as they can crow at decibels you wouldn't imagine and at hours you don't usually see.
Find your perfect spot
Next, scope out your yard and start planning. You need a large space for the coop itself (more on that in a minute) but that's not the whole picture. Since you started with a relatively small space to begin with (remember chickens often roam over many acres in a more rural habitat), you want both an indoor structure and an outdoor run. Altogether, you might need a sizable portion of the yard to accommodate them. If you plan to add other birds like ducks, you must calculate too where the pool will go and how they will access it.
Design your urban chicken coop
There are probably a few laws governing how big this can be, and you might need to apply for a permit, so you'll spend a decent amount of time in the design phase. Decide if you want to buy something pre-made or build a structure that perfectly fits into your yard. Either way, you should allocate about three square feet per chicken, so your building will get big quick, even if you want to start small. And that's just indoors. They need to be able to come out sometimes but still stay safely nearby.
Research breeds
Think all chickens are the same? Think again. Get ready to narrow it down from the 500 chicken breeds out there. The local climate will slim that as well as the available space, but you still have a bit of your own studying to do. And it's not just breed, you can impact what types of eggs you get based on what chicks you get (along with the food and environment).

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Try out these 6 different kinds of best bird feeders to attract your feathered friends
House finch eats at nyger feeder

Bird feeders come in multiple shapes and sizes because birds do, too. Each feeder accommodates a different feeding style, and many are enticing to a particular species. Before setting up your feeders, think first about what kinds of flyers you want to attract — and which ones are likely to oblige. Then, once you have a good bird-watching list, scout out the right locations and the best feeders to attract them. You can put out all these for the widest array of visitors or focus on a few types and get the best setup for just those eaters. Here are the six best bird feeders and what feathered friends you'll probably see feeding at them.

What are the different types of bird feeders?
You probably have a bunch of different dishes in your home — plates, bowls, maybe a gravy boat. Our avian guests have the same needs. After all, some birds eat seeds, some animal fat, some flowers, and some nectar. Take a look through these top types and figure out which one — or ones — belong in your yard.
Hummingbird feeders
Putting up a hummingbird feeder all but ensures you'll add a splash of color to your life. This one will bring in gorgeous birds and look nice in the window. Of course, the drawback is that you need to clean it often by hand. Don't worry: A little soap and water will do the trick, and its glass construction means it will last a long time. Feeding hummingbirds saves your wallet, too, since you can make all the food yourself. Boil 1 part sugar and 4 parts water to create this concoction and refrigerate any left over right away. It'll take your neighborhood birds a minute to find their new restaurant, but once they've discovered it (and given a rave review to their friends), you'll never run out of visitors, provided you keep the food flowing. 
Hopper feeders
This is a classic bird feeder that adorns nearly every yard at one time or another. You'll get large birds — and probably large squirrels — as regulars at this one. Try hanging it from a strategic spot or mounting it on a pole to avoid squirrels, but that might be a losing battle. Instead, focus on attracting the birds you do like with the proper seed for them (don't forget to keep it full). We suspect you'll spot a menagerie here, especially jays and cardinals since it's welcoming to bigger animals. Unlike the hummingbird feeder, you won't bring this one indoors often, and should make sure it's reachable by hose or bucket for proper cleaning. 
Tube feeders
The smaller birds of the community will thank you for this tube feeder, as the little perches and openings go well with tiny feet and beaks. Watch for a mix of sparrows, chickadees, and titmice who enjoy having a spot of their own, and look at purchasing a blend that encourages them. However, a small feeder means you have to fill it regularly. It might take a few weeks, but you should get an idea of how often the birds start begging for a refill. Finding a spot can prove tricky because you never know when the guests of honor will alight on the other side. Place it between windows to best see every angle. 

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Myth or fact: throwing uncooked rice will hurt birds (you might guess wrong)
Sparrows eat rice out of a man's hand

Everyone knows of a few things that pets can't eat: cats and lilies, dogs and chocolate, birds and rice. Or wait, is that actually a problem? Is rice bad for birds? While you may have been to a wedding where the classic tradition was replaced with a bag of Feathered Friend, that might in fact not be necessary. After all, our happy singers eat other seeds and grains with no problems all the time. So can birds eat rice and how would you feed it to them? Here's what you need to know about offering a snack to your little birds.

Can birds eat uncooked rice?
The myth goes that you can't feed birds uncooked rice because it will absorb all the water in their stomachs and kill them. Depending on who you heard it from, you may even get the version where it causes them to explode by cooking inside their stomachs. One minute, they're eating a grain of white rice and the next it has blown up to many times its size and taking the bird with it. It sounds a little out there, and it should give you pause cause it's not true. Remember that when you make rice on the stove you boil it at 212 degrees; if a bird's stomach was that hot, it would have much bigger problems. Plus, keep in mind that seeds and other grains like corn and grasses are all bird food. In the wild, many birds eat rice as well and they certainly don't blow up because of it. 
Can birds eat cooked rice?
Yup, just as with uncooked rice, cooked rice is also fine for our backyard visitors. Some species like pigeons and doves will enjoy it a lot and it works well for them in winter especially (when they want easy-access, filling food). It doesn't really matter what type you go for as birds won't notice the difference between short vs long grain. The one thing you need to consider closely is that the meal should be totally unseasoned. That means no salt or other spices, not even herbs. Lastly, don't give the birds warm food since you won't want them eating something fresh out of the pot, but otherwise, they'll certainly enjoy sharing your meal when you have stir fry for dinner. 

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