Bar Spacing


Staff member
Unfortunately in this day of cut backs and lack of money sometimes things don’t go according to plan and we may need to think along alternative lines. Polly is desperate for a new cage you love your birdie dearly and you want to get the best for her but finances are very tight so the only option is a second hand cage! Needs must when the devil drives sometimes.

Don’t get me wrong sometimes it is far better to save up and get the birdie castle of your dreams which is great but sometimes the bills pile up and the base of Polly’s cage drops to bits when you least expected it and it’s the straw that broke the camel’ back!

Firstly make sure it’s the biggest one you can make room for the bigger the better especially when it comes to the bigger sized birdies and those that are not let out to exercise for the majority of the day.

Make sure it’s not Zinc coated, there is no rust or sharp bits to hurt you precious much loved bird. Right now a lot of people get to this point and then the biggest problem is errr how wide should the bars be??!!! Will my feathered friend end up with her head wedged between bars which could mean she’ injured, shocked or the most horrible thing happens and she ends up at Rainbow Bridge before her time and I’m riddled with guilt??!! Or will Billy the Budgie give a wriggle and a giggle squeeze between the bars and be off like a bat out of hell at the first given moment your back is turned!

Ok here are some bar spacing tips / guidance options, always remember tho you get good info from people here on the forum.

There is a “given” list as to minimum cage sizes but it truly scared me how little space there was for the birds and people always say oh well Polly comes out for 10 minutes every day so she’s fine living in an even smaller space….sorry people not so some of these birds fly great distances in the wild and still have the energy to forage and play!

Species Bar Spacing
Finches 1/4" to 1/2"
Canaries 1/4" to 1/2"
Budgies 1/2"
Cockatiels 1/2" to 5/8"
Lovebirds & Parrotlets 1/2"
Ringneck Parakeets 1/2" to 5/8"
Conures - Sun, Gold Cap, Blue Crown, Jenday
Green Cheek, Nanday, Poicephalus Senegals,
Red-bellied, Meyer's Parrots 5/8" to 3/4"
Caiques, Pionus, Jardine's 5/8" to 3/4"
Amazons, Small Cockatoos - Goffin's, Lesser Sulphur-crested, Mini Macaws, Goffin's Cockatoos, African Greys 3/4" to 1"
Large Cockatoos 1" to 1.5"
Large Macaws 1" to 1.5"

For those of you who work in centimetres and my inches are a little on the weird side for you 1” is about 2.5cm so if you have a Large Macaw go for the 3cm bar spacing.

Bar Spacing means space between one bar and the next (the gap in between). Manufacturers may offer additional measurements as interior dimensions and overall height. Seed guards / mess catchers attach to the outside of the cage and can add approximately 3" to 6" of additional width on the front, back and each side. The dimensions of seed guards are appropriate to the size of the cage. Thickness of the actual bars is also an issue too thin can cut through the toes of large parrot species birds. For none-disabled birds species the cages should have horizontal as well as vertical bars (disabled = things such as splay leg / limb and beak deformities / missing and damaged limbs).
That's a great post as I'm sure lots of people don't think of the bar spaces :thumbsup:

Hi dizzy'

Yes, some good info there.

In general, the bar spacing should be small enough so a bird can never poke its head through the bars.

Minimum cage size should be based on the *wingspan* of the bird who is going to be housed there, rather than the size of the bird (its mere body length). Greys and Amazons wingspan is about 28 inches; cockatiels and Sengals about 16. If *all of the dimensions of the cage exceed this, and *2* of the dimensons are more thn twice this, then that could be classed as the *minmum*for that speices.

If anyone wants know the wingspan of their bird, do this: Open the wing to its full extent, and measure the distance from the tip of the longest outermost primary feather, to the middle of the birds' back; then *double* that measurement. That is the wingspan of your bird. You might be surprised at how big a birds wingspan is compared to its mere body length.
Good topic, although Louie has a cage that is a large double A G size with 20mm bar spacing and spends most the day out. I have found he would prefer to go in his old cage and be with people, than fly alone when my daughters dogs vist.

Hand rearing has its bad side. I love him to bits, but he is not my mate , he is my best friend. Cages are to protect them when it is not safe to let them fly about .
All very true and a lot of people who are new to birds buy a bird and it either comes with it's own cage (suitable or not) or they have to go get a "new" cage or buy the one that the pet shop wish to sell them.

I have known some buy the cage and then decide on the bird to pop in it.

My theory was if they have something to work towards that would be a good idea.

As I said in my post I was disconcerted by the "given" measurements by many manufacturers as to what was a suitable "good" size for the birds and therefore decided NOT to say what these where, in my books the bigger the better especially if the bird is going to be limited or never let out, as we all know this does happen whether we agree or disagree with it.

Greg - as for the bar spacing yes I understand the head and the bar issue but how many people new to birds actually know if a budgie's head is going to fit through or not or if a parrot cage is listed as a parrot cage with just bar spacing size given exactly how big each different species and sub-species of a birds skull is and if it will fit through? And how many people who have never handled a bird before do you think it is wise to say get holdof the bird and measure it actually will do it properly and without damaging their bird or scaring it to bits, plus to be able to do that they already have the bird but do they have the right cage? :dntknw:

Myk I agree with you and Henni is out the majority of the time and her cage is her safe-haven and bedtime sanctuary it's also her place she can have away from me if she so chooses. Henni is a human imprinted very needy hand rear that I took on last year due to her issues. I adore all my pets and love them to bits they are my choosen family and I am very mindful that they are entities in their own right and have needs, issues etc that I not fully comprehend or will truely understand. I may talk about her in a human way but I know she is not a human and has very different needs to what I think but we each hope to do our very best for them :biggrin:
Sorry if I seemed to be having a dig, I was not.

We all love our pet that's why we are here.

But I was writing about when they love us to much!.

It is so hard when you have to leave them for a few hours, and hear that baby cry as you leave.

Mind you I did not want to drive away from my son when he went to college .

Great post. Keep making us think about what and why we do what we do.

Thanks Myk
I didn't take offence Myk (I might take the gate but never the fence he he he!) I'm thick skinned with an errrr slightly odd sense of humour shall we say :wall: typing and reading posts can always be very difficult cos it depends on how you read them as to how they "sound" and how people are feeling that day when they read them :flowers: no worries from my neck of the woods :thumbsup:
Hi all,

I'm considering a green cheek conure (still doing my research) but baffled about bar spacing as depending on where I go online some sources are saying that 3/4" / 19mm will allow the GCC to potentially stick half its body out and become stuck... 

I'm all for the widest spacing to allow greater visibility but I'm loathed to spend a fortune on for example 'Kings Aluminium 2522 Arch Top Parrot Cage' (19mm bar spacing) to find my GCC becoming Houndini...

I've found a family breeder of GCC's so will be asking them for their recommendations.  I would really like to provide my GCC a luxurious, spacious home so hopefully can find a cage that suites like the Kings above...

Thanks in advance
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