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What kind of enclosures for our birds?

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens

Whenever I am asked about bird caging, I usually respond with an opinion that the larger the enclosure for our parrots, and other birds, the better. I have known breeders who talked about their ‘aviaries’ where the birds were housed, but when I ask about dimensions, they show me photos of 4ft x 4ft cages in which African Greys and other Amazon sized psittacines are being housed. That is a bit of a shock to me as I consider that such wire boxes are not adequate enough or diverse enough to be called aviaries. This brings up the issue of when is a cage a flight and when is a flight an aviary?

Obviously the cage is an enclosure of limited size and although more portable, can be restrictive for the parrot; the second is usually a longer, narrower area offering hookbills the pleasure of full flight, even if sometimes in a straight line back and forth; while the third is often used interchangeably with a flight, but suggests an even larger space with many lifestyle enhancements designed for the gratification of the occupying birds and for pleasing the eye of the beholder.

Now that is not to say that every cage must necessarily be boring and uninviting for its parrot. Many pets in a home prefer to eat, sleep, nap, chew, and just hang out in the security of their own cage. Where cages lack sufficiency, is usually in the realm of potential exercise. There just is not enough room to burn off calories at the high rate natural to avian species. Climbing for birds is like crawling for humans and has few cardio-vascular benefits, whereas flying for avian species is like running for humans, strenuous, athletic, and beneficial.

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