Photo Credit: Paul Williams via Instagram

You’ll find several organizations decrying the cruelty of keeping pet birds like cockatiels,  a parakeet, macaw, cockatoos, or other animals in a small cage. They argue that it robs birds of their natural instinct of flight. Some organizations argue that it’s best for birds to roam free, far from human contact.

The debate is a flawed one. 

While it may have been wise for our ancestors to admire birds from a distance, that didn’t happen. Instead, birds from the Amazon moved into homes, taking away their ability to survive in the wild. 

That makes pet ownership an essential need for some birds. Keeping a bird without a cage or aviary can be harmful to humans and to your pet bird. 

Risks of Keeping a Bird Without a Cage

While it is true that birds have the instinct of flight, cages don’t take this ability away. Letting your pet bird roam free in your home has potential problems. Like it or not, our ancestors bred birds to become pets, and pet birds don’t have survival instincts. 

You may think letting your bird fly around your home is the next best option. Some risks come with that decision. 

Becoming Lost or Escaping

Keeping your bird out of their cage exposes them to the danger of becoming lost or escaping out of an open door or window. Your bird might not survive in the outside world.

Sanitary Reasons

For sanitary reasons, it is unwise to let your bird roam free in the home. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), losing track of bird poop or droppings can make a dangerous situation worse as bird droppings can carry bacteria that are harmful to people. 

Risks to Home and Guests

Homes aren’t ideal for birds to fly around. A free bird is sweet, but it can take a toll on furniture and other items in your home that may be fragile. 

While bird owners may love the freedom of their pet bird’s flight, others may not. Many people have phobias of flying birds. 

According to Healthline, ornithophobia affects 12% of adults. It causes intense episodes of anxiety. 

Out of fear, people could let the bird out, or hurt it.

How to Humanely Care for a Bird in a Cage

While it would be nice to let your bird roam free in the living room, it’s not practical. Your pet could take off in free-flight and end up running into ceiling fans in your home. For the reasons mentioned above and more, it’s safer to keep your bird in a cage. 

Here are a few ways to care for your pet bird humanely. 

Let Your Pet Fly a Little Each Day in a Bird Room

The natural balance between letting your pet bird roam free in the house and keeping them in a cage all day is to give them a safe space to fly each day in a bird room. Open up that cage door of the bird cage and let those small birds roam around the place for the first time.

You can set some perch areas with a play stand in this part of the home for your bird to rest. Better still, you can manage the space to be perfect for your bird, and away from fragile items. 

Having a dedicated bird room makes it easier to keep it clean. 

Make Your Bird a Family Member

Bird owners should interact with their birds. Make sure to talk to your pet and let your bird cuddle and interact with you while it’s out of the cage. 

Have the bird’s cage in an area of the home where they can be a part of the family. 

A Suitable Cage

Make sure to provide a suitable cage for your pet bird. It should be a large cage, big enough for your pet to move around. The cage should be clean, and your bird should have toys and other enrichment items.

There should be an area for food and water and a view for them to interact with the family.  Consider putting the cage up, as birds like high places. 

A Balanced Diet

Make sure you are caring for your pet by giving it the best diet it can have. Include birdseed, pellets, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables as staples for their balanced diet. You can use stainless steel bowls to keep food in your bird’s cage. Make sure to clean up the uneaten food daily. 

Check for Signs of Distress

Whether you are a parrot owner or an owner of another large bird, it’s essential to check on them frequently.

Make sure to look for signs of distress or anxiety in the bird. If you notice your bird acting peculiar or having mood swings, they may need more time out of the cage, more attention, or a bigger cage. 

Pet Birds Require Balance

Keeping a bird without a cage is nice, but remember some dangers come with this decision. 

A balanced life where your birdie feels loved in their cage provides a stable environment for your bird, home, and guests. Consider your cage carefully when choosing a new home for your pet at a pet store. 

Whether you own a large parrot, an African grey, budgies, lovebirds, pionus, conures, pet parrots, or wild birds, a humane existence is possible for caged birds with the right care, love, and the right cage. Good luck!