Bird breeders need plenty of cages for separating parents or newly hatched babies. Prefabricated cages are desirable but expensive. Do-it-yourself bird cages are inexpensive to make and allows you to build a cage to your specific size needs. Built from wire mesh, DIY bird cages are strong enough to hold a nesting box. You can easily clean and sterilise wire mesh cages. The construction makes the cages lightweight and portable. You can even stack the cages for quick storage.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Non-galvanised wire mesh - 10 foot roll
- Wire cutters
- J-clips - 1 pound
- J-clip pliers
- Metal coil spring - 2 inches long
- 14 gauge wire - 2 pieces 3 inches long
- Needle nose pliers
- Protective gloves
Cut four square pieces of wire mesh, 18 inches by 18 inches. Use the wire cutters to the wire as close to a weld as possible. Wear gloves and goggles to protect yourself from scratches.
Lay two of the cut pieces of wire mesh directly on top of each other, on a flat surface. Notice the wire from the top piece matches up with the wire on the bottom piece. Insert a j-clip into the j-clip pliers and wrap the j-clip around the outer two wires of the mesh pieces. Use one j-clip at the top and another at the bottom of the mesh pieces.
Connect one entire side of the top piece of wire mesh to the bottom piece by wrapping the j-clips around the outer edge wires, every 6 inches. The result is the wire mesh pieces opens like a book. Set the connected wire mesh pieces aside.
Join the other two sections of wire mesh in the same manner as the first two. Stand the four sides together to form an open-end box. Use the j-clips to secure all four sides together.
Cut two sections of wire mesh for the top and bottom of the bird cage. Each section should be 18 inches by 18 inches. Lay the top on the open-end wire mesh box. Fasten the top to the box using the j-clips to join the ends to the sides. Repeat the process to attach the bottom to the cage.
Cut a 6 inch by 6 inch opening in the middle of one of the cage sides, using the wire cutters. Cut a piece of wire mesh that is slightly larger than the 6 inch opening. Line up the top of the larger piece with the top of the opening. Attach the piece to the cage using the j-clips. The "door" flips up when attached at the top. If you prefer to have the door flip down, attach the edges to the bottom of the opening.
Attach a 3 inch piece of wire to each end of a coil spring. Twist one end of the wire onto the bottom of the cage door. Form the other attached wire into a hook so it grabs the wire mesh of the cage and keeps the door closed.
Tips and warnings
- The dimensions used (18 in. by 18 in.) were for a cockatiel cage. You may use smaller dimensions for parakeets or larger dimensions for parrots.
- Galvanised wire is usually coated with zinc. Zinc is highly toxic to birds. Stainless steel wire mesh is non-poisonous, but more expensive than non-galvanised. You can wash the wire mesh with vinegar and then coat the entire cage with a coat of enamel paint. Re-apply the paint as necessary to keep the wire coated and the birds safe.
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