They say you get what you pay for, so if the previous cage’s design couldn’t get you past the flimsiness, try this ultra-sturdy option. Built more like a large bird cage, this cage is great for small birds up to conures and quakers. The wide base will eliminate any fears of it tipping.
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While stainless or powder coated steel cages are ideal, less expensive methods of preventing corrosion are commonly used in bird cages designed for smaller psittacines, whose owners tend to be more cost conscious. The most commonly used method involves electro-plating steel wire with an inexpensive metal to prevent oxidation and corrosion. Zinc is probably the most commonly used metal for electroplating. Some manufacturers will layer different metals over the steel to achieve the desired result. The resulting wire is usually a shiny silver color but can also be shiny gold. Most electroplated finishes contain at least some zinc. An informal survey of commercially available cages (8 randomly chosen) for smaller parrots revealed zinc levels in the plating from .5% to 42%. Electrostatically applied plating is unlikely to be consumed by a bird as long as the finish is smooth. However, once the cage shows signs of oxidation, pitting, loss of sheen, or white rust, the cage poses unacceptable risk of zinc ingestion, and should be replaced. Cage grates are likely to show degenerative changes first because of the constant exposure to droppings and food waste. Oxidation of these surfaces often result in deposits of elemental zinc. These deposits appear as white burrs or pits. These imperfections can draw the attention of birds. When removed and ingested by birds, these deposits can result in potentially dangerous zinc exposures. Birds that develop behaviors involving chewing, mouthing, or biting the cage are at increased risk and would be safer in a zinc free enclosure.
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A used bird cage should be in good condition. Unfortunately, many cages that have housed parrots are likely to have suffered significant wear throughout the bird’s lifetime. Buyers should avoid used cages that show such heavy wear. They should check each bird cage that they are considering in person if possible, or they should request photos that show every part of the cage. Chipped or dented metal, bent bars, rusty areas, worn places, and similar signs of wear make the cage less attractive and could be hazardous to the pet. Instead, buyers should opt for a used cage that shows very minimal wear. The cage should be well-built, stable, and sturdy.
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