Canary Cage Recommendations
by Ginger Wolnik

Click Here for article in Birds USA 2008 annual issue of interview with Ginger!

Books and articles recommend that a pet canary be kept in a cage that is at least 24 inches wide. This size is needed so the bird can fly for exercise without risking the dangers of being allowed loose in the house. However, the pet industry offers mostly smaller cages because they take up less room and can be priced for less.

It is not as important how tall or deep the cage is. Canaries benefit from flying back and forth, not up and down. Avoid round cages because canaries prefer corners to give them a sense of orientation. A tall, round cage may look nice with your decore, but a wide, rectangular cage is much better for the bird's physical and mental health.

Bar spacing must be close enough so the bird's head cannot get caught. Many larger cages are meant for parrots and have spacing too wide for a canary. Choose a cage with spacing no more than 5/8 inch between the bars, most are half inch.

Avoid wooden cages or excessively ornate cages if you want to have an easy time cleaning. A plain, rectangular, metal wire cage is best. The bottom tray can be metal or plastic. A bottom wire grill is not needed for an adult canary and adds to the cleaning work. Such a grill does not hurt them, though, and may keep the bird's feet cleaner if you do not change the bottom cage paper daily. Avoid cages with the grill permenantly attached, they are difficult to clean and I do not recommend that type in a home.

Cage color is mostly a matter of personal preference. Canaries sometimes spray their droppings out and the uric acid may dry as white powder spots on the bars, so white painted cages hide this better. Any cage will eventually look dull with dust and droppings, so occational thorough cleaning is needed to keep it looking nice. Dried droppings and dust on the bars will not hurt the bird, though.

Clean the cage with biodegradable detergent and warm water. Soaking the cage in a bathtub or shower will soften debris, then scrub with a sponge or soft nylon brush that will not scratch the metal parts. There is no need to sterilize or disinfect a cage that is going to have the same bird returned to it if the bird is healthy and has no parasites. A smaller carrying cage is useful for housing the bird while the main cage is being cleaned.

It can be time consuming and frustrating to find an appropriate cage in local pet shops. The following mail-order companies sell large cages that are the right size for one pet canary and have ½ inch bar spacing or very close to that.

Abba Seed Co.
Model C2416 is an affordable canary breeding cage that can also be used for a single pet canary or a pair.

Hagen (manufacturer's website)
Any of the Hagen "Regal" models would be suitable for one pet canary. They are all 23 ¾" wide. Note, many of Hagen's "pet" canary cages are too small or the wrong shape (round). Contact Hagan and ask for a distributor or dealer near you.

Model B-4261 Hagen "Avian" Parakeet Villa is 32" wide, 14" deep, 19" tall. Comes with a stand.

Get Bird Stuff
Mini Aviary 26" wide, 22" deep, 5 feet tall

Drs. Foster & Smith
They bought out Pet Warehouse and Hornbecks.
They have many cages and some are suitable, check their website for current models.

Prevue Hendryx (manufactures cages and only sells directly to distributors, but you can see their cage models here)
Prevue Hendryx models to consider:
1803 23 ½ x 15 x 19 ½
1804 23 ¼ x 15 x 20
F088B 23 ½ x 14 x 20 ½
F099B 30 x 14 x 29

King's Cages
Napoleon Top Model #106 (20 in. Deep x 32 in. Wide x 62 in. High) Inside Height 41 inches

The Country Roost Cages
model #795XS 25"x21"x28"
model #0594 39"x24"x70" aviary
model #058432"x28"x73" aviary
Model 2411 is similar to the Higgens RB-35, but Must order in sets of 4 stackable cages.

Mayer's Pet Shop Toronto, Canada
They carry Hagan cages, including the Regal models (23 -3/4" long) and the Avian model (32" long). All prices are in Canadian dollars.

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