Cages


Aria From A Bird Cage

American Singer Canaries 

 

  According to Webster Dictionary:     a-ri-a. (ń΄rēַə), noun,  1. an elaborate melody sung by a single voice    2. a striking solo performance  [Italian, from Latin ǎera, literally means air]

Cages
 

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Modern cages are usually made of an easy to clean coated wire with pull out bottom trays.  They come in all shapes and colors, as manufacturers try to appeal to a variety of people and different kinds of pet birds.  The cage shown here was chosen particularly because it is a good example of a cage that is suitable for a canary.   

This cage is 18" long, 12" high, and 14" deep.  For canary cages, longer is better than higher.  A canary moves side to side in his environment, so he needs the length rather than the height.      The design of this particular cage is nice because a swing can be hung in the gable section of the cage, up and out of the way.

A nice modern cage for a canary

     

Notice that the main body of the cage, ignoring the plastic bottom tray and the gabled roof, is longer than it is tall.  The 18" length is the minimum requirement for a canary, and a longer cage is better.  You want to allow for flight from side to side, and anything shorter than 18" will only require the bird to hop from place to place.

Notice the rectangular cage body

             

Also watch where you put the perches in the cage.  This modern cage came with two perches that were 18" long, running from one side to the other.  This is the wrong placement for a canary cage.  Perches should run from the front of the cage to the back of the cage, and should be placed at each end of the cage to encourage flight between them.  You don't have to set up the cage the way the manufacturer designed it.  If you get a cage with perches running the wrong way, simply trim them to a shorter length and set them correctly.  Save the leftover piece of dowel, as it may be long enough for you to use to make a swing.

Steer away from cages that are tall and narrow.  A tall cage forces the bird to have to "helicopter" to perches and doesn't provide him the kind of movement he needs. 

 

Antique cages are often beautiful, especially those made of brass.  Most are on the small side, so if you are drawn to an antique bird cage, you can use them IF you also plan to have a larger flight cage that you can periodically place your bird into for some rest and relaxation.

Being confined to a small cage can be stressful.  I compare it to having us humans being confined to a 6x8 room for our lives.  Could we live there?  Probably so.  Would we be happy to spend a month, a year, or our entire lives in that small room?  Probably not.  An antique cage can really add character to a room in your home, especially when there is a canary singing away in it.  It's that "aria from a bird cage" that brings us lots of joy.

This antique Hendryx cage has housed a canary since my great grandparent's era.  Many of the older cages are about this size, and canaries were enjoyed in this style of cage by families throughout the years.  The size of the cage is similar in square footage to our American Singer show cages, which house our male singers through most of the show season.  As long as you don't use this type of cage for a permanent home, I see no problem in setting one up and enjoying  the history of the cage, and seeing it come to life again with a new singer in it.

A lovely antique Hendryx cage

 

Just remember to never let a bird occupy the smaller cage for more than just a few days without providing them time in a larger flight cage to give them space to fly, bathe, and generally decompress.

             

 

 

Decorative cages are best left to be decorations only.  Ornate cages may be difficult to clean because they are designed for looks and not functionality.  They also may have sharp corners or decorations that canaries can get their tiny toes caught on.

The bar spacing is the only thing that is good about this cage.  It would not make a good home for a canary.  Besides being too small, it would be difficult to keep clean without having a removable tray.

It's lovely to look at, but not a suitable home for your pet.

This is an example of a BAD cage for a canary

             

 

 

General Cage Tips:  When selecting a cage for your canary, look for bar spacing of 1/2 inch, though if you have a larger canary, a cage with 5/8 inch bar spacing will work fine.  The wire on most new cages is powder coated and is available in basic colors.  White wires always looks clean, but black wires allows your eye to not be distracted by the bars of the cage and helps you to see the inhabitant easier.  The coated wire cleans easily and stays nice for years. 

You can paint your cage if you really want it to be a certain color.  Just choose non-toxic spray paint and let it dry completely.  Be aware that some paints leave a residue that will get on your bird's feathers and make him look dirty, so either wash the cage before using it or apply a coat of clear sealer.  Another way to paint a cage is to use a good latex or enamel paint, thinned with water to an ink like consistency.  You can use a small roller to coat all surfaces of the wire.

Look for a cage that has an entrance door large enough for your hand to pass through, which will be nice when it comes to cleaning time, or for the occasion when you need to catch your bird.  Also look for cages with easy access doors for food and water replenishing.  You can also find feeders and drinkers that fit on the outside of the cage, which are more convenient to service.

Cages stands are nice, but be sure it is sturdy and stable, especially if you have pets or small children who will be tempted to investigate the cage and want to play with the canary inside.  Canaries are allergic to cats and some dogs, so keep the cage out of the reach of other pets.

A cage cover is a good accessory, as it not only keeps drafts out of the cage at night, but blocks the light from televisions or light fixtures that may be on after dark.  Remember that canaries are very light sensitive, and having your bird in a room that has lights on after it is dark outside can disturb his system and cause him to molt out of season. 

How often should you clean your cage?  The best answer is... when it's dirty.  When I kept a single pet canary, I changed the paper in the tray daily, and wiped out the cage once a week.  Every so often I would take the cage outside for a good scrubbing, letting it dry in the sun.  It is nice to have a small cage to place your bird in while you are cleaning his home cage.  It is frightening to most canaries to have a human hand with a cleaning cloth moving around in his environment.  Save him the stress of this by catching him and placing him in another cage.  Cover the holding cage to quiet him, as it will make him feel safer.  If you don't have a separate cage, use a shoe box with a few air holes poked in it.  Be sure to set it out of the reach of other pets or children until  your bird is safely back in his home cage.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Copyrightę 2005-2017 Brenda Varhola.  All Rights Reserved.  No portion of this website may be copied without the express written permission of the author.  Contact this site's webmaster.                                          

This page last updated: 01/17/2017                                                                                                               

 

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Quick Pick

Here is a Quick Pick Guide to some useful tables, instructions and forms available on this site.

Conversion Table
Pedigree Form
Breeding Cage Card
Singer Evaluation
Bird Swing Plans
Color Pairing Chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Aria From A Bird Cage

American Singer Canaries 

 

  According to Webster Dictionary:     a-ri-a. (ń΄rēַə), noun,  1. an elaborate melody sung by a single voice    2. a striking solo performance  [Italian, from Latin ǎera, literally means air]


 

 

American Singers Club, Inc.

Member

 

 

Florida Canary Fanciers

Member

 

National Colorbred Association

Master Breeder Award

 

 

American Singers Club, Inc.

Member

 

Florida Canary Fanciers

Member

 

National Colorbred Association

Master Breeder Award

 

 


Copyrightę 2005-2017 Brenda Varhola.  All Rights Reserved.  No portion of this website may be copied without the express written permission of the author.  Contact this site's webmaster.                                          

This page last updated: 01/31/2017                                                                                                               

 

 

 

 

American Singers Club, Inc.

Member

 

Florida Canary Fanciers

Member

 

National Colorbred Association

Master Breeder Award

 

 


Copyrightę 2005-2017 Brenda Varhola.  All Rights Reserved.  No portion of this website may be copied without the express written permission of the author.  Contact this site's webmaster.                                          

This page last updated: 01/31/2017