How to Build a Small Bird Cage

Written by robert preston
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How to Build a Small Bird Cage
A simple bird cage allows you to store your pet bird without spending a lot on a commercial cage. (small bird image by MAXFX from

A bird cage is a must have for any owners looking to care for a small companion bird. As nearly all pet birds fly horizontally, not straight up, a cage which is wider than it is tall is ideal for housing a bird. A common misconception about bird cages is that they must be made entirely of open wire. However, a cage can be built entirely of plywood, except for one wire mesh face.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Plywood, 1/2 inch thick
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Cage front, 36 inches by 12 inches
  • 4 Wood dowels, 2 inches long, 1/4 inch diameter
  • Wire mesh, 1 inch by 1 inch openings
  • Wire cutters
  • Light spray paint
  • Dark spray paint

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  1. 1

    Cut a piece of plywood 36-inches long and 15-inches tall, to be the back of the cage, and two pieces 12-inches long and 15-inches tall to serve as side pieces.

  2. 2

    Drill pilot holes down the left edge of one side piece, and down the right edge of the other side piece. All holes should be 3/8 inches from the edge they are running down, with a hole in each corner, and three more holes spaced evenly between the corners on each piece.

  3. 3

    Secure the back piece to the side pieces by aligning each set of pilot holes with one 15-inch tall side of the back piece and hammering nails into the back piece.

  4. 4

    Place the three-walled structure atop the plywood, and trace a rectangle onto the wood going around the three outer walls, and connecting the two open corners. Cut two pieces of plywood in this shape to be the top and bottom of the cage.

  5. 5

    Mark pilot holes around the three edges of both the top and bottom, which will align over the side and back pieces. When putting pilot holes to attach to the back piece, place the first holes in each corner farther in than the length of the nails, or else the nail driven through it will strike the nail used to secure the sides to the back.

  6. 6

    Secure the top and bottom of the cage to the walls with nails.

  7. 7

    Drill holes in both side pieces for the mesh front plate. The plate will feature collapsible pieces which can be pressed in, then allowed to spread out again through the holes to secure the front in place. The height of these holes will depend on the placement of the arms on the cage front of your choice.

  8. 8

    Drill two 1/4-inch diameter holes into each side piece at a height just above where the bottom of the cage front will reach. Position one hole approximately two inches from the front of the box, and the other two inches from the back.

  9. 9

    Insert a wood dowel into each hole so that one end is flush with the outside of the box, and the remainder of the dowel extends into the box.

  10. 10

    Cut a piece of wire mesh 36 inches wide, and deep enough to just reach the inner edge of the cage front when the cage front is installed.

  11. 11

    Spray the box with a light coloured paint, and the wire mesh and cage front with a dark coloured paint, then leave to dry.

  12. 12

    Insert the wire mesh into the cage atop the dowels, to serve as the bottom of the cage, and place the cage front in position to complete the containment area. The area below the cage can hold a dropping tray when in use, that can be easily removed, as it does not require opening the cage to access it.

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