We’ve come a long way since the days when your grandma used to keep a budgie or two in a little wire cage. Nowadays many middle-class households increasingly often keep several exotic birds in large, roomy, and often very attractive enclosures. These aviaries range in design from simple rectangular or cuboid wire cages to eye-catching and genuinely decorative mini-houses made of fine wood panels topped with coloured conical roofs, and accessorised with swings, perches, and feeding bowls.
Calling these structures ‘aviaries’ might sound fanciful to the older generation who may associate them with natural science institutions and aristocratic estates. But consider how spacious many retail aviaries are – check out the respective dimensions of the five products reviewed underneath. Examining their covered volumes, we see that the median one is an impressive 2.18 cubic metres and the largest one is a capacious 3.05 cubic metres. Over and above covered volume, many of them are also specifically designed and detailed to house particular birds and/or small animals like guinea pigs, chipmunks, and rabbits.
Most aviaries, no matter what their shape or size, are open to the elements. Most birds that enthusiasts house in an aviary cannot tolerate British cold weather so in winter, at minimum, you would need to shield the windward sides, say, with Perspex sheets. Better yet, move the aviary indoors or into a greenhouse. Otherwise you may need to buy and install special birdhouse heaters.
Another thing that many an avian inhabitant of these abodes, however spacious, cannot tolerate is boredom! In particular, large parrots get bored in captivity and loneliness and lack of stimulation make for an unhappy pet with behavioural issues. Not only do these lovely companions require quality time (and ‘quantity time’) with you, they also need little playthings to occupy them so be sure your aviary has a little stock of the right kinds of toys.
Last update on 2020-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images / Pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API
Whether you keep large parrots or small canaries, you are sure to find just the right aviary for your beloved pets from among the following diverse selections that differ in purpose, price, and more.
Very practical and even prettier, FeelGoodUK’s aviary is a lovely garden accessory that offers the easiest of routes to housing a number of birds.
FeelGoodUK’s aviary is exceptionally well designed – there’s no two ways about that. To begin with, it is very attractive. With its multiple doors it is also very functional and ‘user friendly.’ It is very functional for another reason too: the hexagonal shape with wire mesh all round offers excellent views of the avian inhabitants.
This spacious aviary is about 108 centimetres wide and deep by 187 centimetres high though as measured to the tip of the roof. Therefore, the actual aviary is not as tall as one may be led to believe. It weighs 40 kilogrammes. It is extendable by adding on any number of extension pens that are made by the supplier. Though it is ideal for a number of lovebirds, budgerigars, and finches, it could even accommodate a couple of large parrots.
The frame is made of 25-millimetre thick wood and the panels are of 10-millimetre wood. The green felt roof is reinforced with galvanised one-centimetre wire. All said, though certainly not flimsy, this aviary is not exactly sturdy either. It is worth mentioning that the textured roof with wooden radiating rafters and the vertical wooden panelling at the base raise the aesthetics quotient of this aviary to a level matched by few others, if any. It is very well crafted indeed.
FeelGoodUK’s aviary has 6 doors, not including a couple of doors-in-doors. Hanging perches and a shelf with nesting boxes mounted in the roof is included but may be missing from some packages. This aviary is not only pretty but is also very practical.
Assembly instructions are helpful and putting it together is fairly straightforward except for the roof which is difficult to assemble and fit correctly. Furthermore, it will take two persons to lift and attach it to the top of the aviary.
You will have to put some or another material underneath the aviary as there is no floor or baseboard so you may as well select something that will be easy to clean or inexpensive to change, and promotes hygiene – for example, affordable fleece dust sheeting which can simply be replaced regularly, or hard formica sheets underneath a screen of wire mesh; then the formica sheets can simply be pulled out, hosed down and cleaned with a non-toxic cleaner.
It is a toss-up as to who will like this well-designed aviary more: you or your avian pets. But, because one and all are sure to like FeelGoodUK’s product it is our Best Pick.
- Though neither flimsy nor robust, it is really well crafted and well finished.
- Six useful doors, hanging perches, and nesting box are standout features.
- This delightful aviary is a lovely ornament in its own right and will light up any garden.
- Supplied without floor or baseboard, so you’ll have to improvise.
- The roof is quite difficult to put together and attach.
Basic and compact, Yaheetech’s wire cage is really strong and is very affordable yet has a few nifty features; it is the ideal ‘starter aviary.’
Yaheetech makes a compact, ‘basic’ bird enclosure that is very popular and is a very affordable alternative to the other items reviewed here. It measures 79 x 51.8 centimetres and is 94.5 centimetres high, not including the legs which are 37.5 centimetres. For an aviary, this is little; for a cage, massive! It weighs 17 kilogrammes. It will accomodate two cockatiels, four budgies (or parakeets), or eight lovebirds. It is rated to support up to 20 kilogrammes.
The wires are quite thick and strong and are spaced 1.5 centimetres apart. Wires, frame, and base are made of good-quality welded metal coated with a non-toxic hammertone paint. It has an upper and a lower door of a good size at 27.3 x 20.6 centimetres. Many units have a hook-and-clip closure with a safety chain on the doors but these catches and latches can differ from batch to batch. This aviary-cage is strong and well made and can tolerate some abuse.
Yaheetech’s kit includes 4 plastic feeders and 3 cross-wise wooden perches. Unfortunately, the plastic feeders are not strong or durable. The four legs rest on roll-along ball casters making this product unusually easy to move around. These casters are a really useful feature and make for a premium touch on a budget-priced item. Another useful accessory is a full-sized storage shelf between the base of the cage and the casters.
At the base of the cage is a slide-out, slide-in tray underneath a wire grate. This feature makes cleaning a breeze and the grate means that your pets will not come into contact with droppings.
The instructions are unclear and cannot be relied upon; DIY novices may get in a tangle. However, those with a modicum of DIY skills can, with a bit of trouble, put this together by their lonesome selves.
Don’t buy this one if you’re looking for decorative value, but for the quality, sturdiness, and ‘furnishings’ that you get, at the price Yaheetech’s two-tier cage is a ‘Bargain of the Week’ – 52 weeks of the year! As you may guess, it’s our Value Pick.
- This simple little thing is sturdy and well made – solid quality.
- The very helpful roll-along ball casters are an unexpected bonus.
- Very affordable, and for what you get, an excellent value.
- This plain jane wins no points in the aesthetics sweepstakes.
- The feeding trays are not durable.
Very simple and very large, 4Fil’s cage-cum-run is not remotely a ‘looker,’ it earns all its (many) points by being solid, practical, and capacious.
4Fil makes a very large simple cage or, more properly, a ‘run.’ Not by any stretch a decorative item, it is purely functional; it will not light up your suburban home’s garden and is more suitable for rural settings or the backyard. It is not an aviary as commonly understood but is a plain large cage-cum-run that is just brilliant for bird lovers and pet owners who want maximum room for minimum expense.
This seriously large enclosure is approximately 91 x 183 centimetres, and is 183 centimetres high. It is made of 25 x 38-millimetre wood which has been pressure treated and painted with a non-toxic stain. The netting is of 19 gauge wire with 1/2 x 1-inch openings. Though not rated as being ‘cat safe,’ most cats will not be able to chew their way out of it. It has quite a large door secured by a small cross-bolt. The hinges are quite solid and durable.
The materials are of good quality and after assembly you get a solid, robust, dual-purpose cage-cum-run that is suitable even for large birds and also for small animals: besides flying birds, this cage is also good for flightless domestic fowl, and also small animals like rabbits, chipmunks, and guinea pigs. It is spacious enough to accommodate quite a number of smaller birds and can house even a couple of larger birds such as Amazon Parrots.
No instructions are supplied but how to assemble 4Fil’s cage-cum-run is, one might go so far as to say, obvious. You can assemble the panels per the picture or according to your own design and specific needs. It is also highly customisable because you can enlarge it or simply join two together.
4Fil also custom-makes variants, in terms of size and configuration, of this basic animal enclosure. And you may well take them up on their offer of bespoke cages because they excel at customer service.
- Really huge and capacious enclosure gives your birds and animals acres of room.
- The shape and size is configurable and customisable to your preferences.
- Surprisingly firm and sturdy.
- Not much to look at – no ornamental value at all.
- Purely practical, it will not work out in suburban front gardens.
Of lightweight build quality and not too robust, Pets Imperial’s fir-wood aviary is easy to assemble, oh-so pretty, and very reasonably priced.
Pets Imperial’s hexagonal aviary is made of good-quality fir in an attractive light-golden shade. It has a waterproof green asphalt roof which is reinforced with decorative radiating wooden rafters. Add the neat vertical wood panelling at the base and you get an aviary that scores very high in the ‘Prettiness’ column. It is 150 centimetres in diameter and 160 centimetres high, and weighs 30 kilogrammes. The fir is ‘treated’ and ‘animal friendly,’ and the mesh is made of 12-millimetre wire.
Pretty this aviary may be, practical it isn’t. The lower doorway (and also the upper one, for that matter) is so small that you have to go through contortions to get in and out of the aviary to clean it. Getting in and out takes effort and time – and this could be enough for birds to escape.
Pets Imperial’s aviary may work out, in view of the small doorway, for responsible children and young teens, besides slim, short adults. However, the poorly-designed doorways disqualify this aviary for normal-sized adults and also for keeping ‘escape artist’ avians; therefore, it would be most suitable for birds like pigeons and doves. Size-wise it would accommodate two medium-sized parrots or four budgerigars (or parakeets), or six or seven lovebirds or zebra finches. It can house small animals including even cats.
It is not robust or solid, and due to its lightweight build quality it will not do to keep shifting it.
The aviary has no floor or baseboard so you will need to improvise a ‘floor.’ As for the FeelGoodUK aviary, you could use replaceable fleece dust sheeting or easy-to-clean formica sheets. You could rest the aviary on a ring of tiles or sunk pavers such that you can pull out the ‘flooring’ but leave no room for any bird to squeeze out.
A plus point is that this kit is fairly easy to assemble except for the roof, which is a chore and calls for two persons to attach it to the top of the enclosure. Another plus point is that Pets Imperial’s hexagonal birdhouse is very affordable and not a bad value.
- One of the prettier and more attractive aviaries with its light-gold fir wood and overall design.
- Among the ‘proper aviaries’ it is just about the easiest to assemble.
- For what you get, it is not expensive and works out to good value.
- The doorways are poorly designed and too small for normal-sized adults.
- Though certainly not flimsy, it is not exactly robust and will need careful handling.
- Comes without baseboard or floor.
Though it has some ‘rough edges,’ literally speaking, PawHut’s cage that wants to be an aviary is still good value – a bit pretty, a bit practical.
An upright cuboid with a moderately sloping roof, PawHut’s product is a kind of a cross between an aviary and a cage – call it a bare-bones aviary or a deluxe cage. It measures 63 x 68 centimetres and is more than twice as tall as either side with a height of 165 centimetres. At only 0.71 cubic metres this one’s a small enclosure and is perfectly sized for indoor use. It has enough room for three or four budgies (or parakeets), or a handful of lovebirds or canaries. It is a very light 15 kilogrammes.
The materials used galvanised metal wire and soft pine, and the wood is of a pleasing gold-brown shade. The green roof is made of asphaltic felt and is water-resistant. It has two doors; one is 30 x 44 centimetres and the smaller one is 17.5 centimetres square.
The knock on this kit is that it is not well-finished. The wood is too soft and may be unsuitable for some hard-peckin’ avians. Worse, here and there some sharp or pointy wiring is exposed. Though PawHut’s aviary is not flimsy, it is definitely not robust. It is of acceptable build quality – and at the price one can’t complain. If you house the right avian inhabitants in this aviary, you’ll be more than satisfied. The inhabitants too will be happy with a thoughtful feature: a little angled ladder on which birds can perch, play and exercise.
Another helpful feature is the sliding baseboard with two knobs. It makes cleaning droppings very convenient. However, the design is not fully-thought-out because when the baseboard is removed the gap at the bottom provides an escape route for jailbreaking jaybirds! You could trim and shorten the legs to significantly reduce the gap or attach a sheet of wire netting to the frame just above the baseboard.
PawHut’s aviary is quite simple to put it together. A single intermediate DIYer can do it by himself with time to spare.
For what you get, at the price it’s an attractive value.
- Small in size and with a small footprint, this aviary-cage is perfect to keep inside the home.
- Exercise ladder and sliding baseboard – your pets with appreciate the former; you, the latter!
- As they say, ‘the price is right’ – very right.
- The wood is soft, and may be too soft for some of the naughtier parrots.
- It cannot be called flimsy but it is certainly not sturdy either.
- Not well finished – you may run into a rough edge or a wire sticking out.
What Plants Can I Put In An Outdoor Aviary?
The cardinal and critical rule is that in an aviary you can keep only such plants that are not poisonous or even harmful to the birds or animals that reside in the aviary – or that you may put in the aviary in the future. Next, avoid such plants that have been treated with insecticides and pesticides. Finally, do not put any chemical fertilizers as these are poisonous to birds and small mammals. You can use organic fertilizer and compost.
As to which plants to put in an outdoor aviary, you have a vast selection to choose from. However, you would want such plants that your pets will enjoy, that have decorative value, are easy to maintain, and that do not grow too rapidly. Examples of plants that tick these boxes are various ferns, some herbs like dill and parsley, aloe vera, marigold, petunia, and dandelion. If you introduce this whole lot into your aviary, your birds will love the mini-garden in their home!
What Birds Can You Keep In An Outdoor Aviary?
It depends on the size, shape, and design of the outdoor aviary. Even large avians like emus and ostriches, and carnivorous predators such as hawks and falcons, can be kept in the right kinds of aviaries that are custom built for the rich and famous.
Where the home-and-garden aviaries reviewed above are concerned, you can keep such birds that are not large and are not predators. Top candidates are canaries, lovebirds, finches, pigeons, doves, budgerigars (or parakeets), cockatiels, cockatoos, macaws, and other parrots. You could even keep an African Grey in one of the larger aviaries.