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Homemade Acrylic/Plexiglass cages

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Homemade Acrylic/Plexiglass cages

Postby banuvatt » Sun Jun 07, 2020 3:51 pm

I am planning on building a birdcage for my friend since he wants one for his future Myna bird. I would appreciate any advice or information on building one. I have somewhat of an idea I was going to build it like how people build acrylic aquariums except using stainless steel hardware cloth for ventilation instead of holes on the side of the cage. Also wooden framing on the sides, top, and bottom of all the acrylic. I was wondering about the thickness of the acrylic panels though and what is the least I can get away with?
banuvatt
Cockatiel
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Types of Birds Owned: I don't own any birds currently.
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Re: Homemade Acrylic/Plexiglass cages

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:00 am

I'll be 100% honest with you, Brian, I do NOT like homemade cages. But I will give you my opinion on the materials you mentioned: I would not use wood, it's impossible to keep it clean (too porous) unless it's painted - and paint and birds don't mix well even when you are using the non-toxic one. I do not like acrylic for cages. I know that this sounds weird because, after all, a transparent wall should give a better impression of 'freedom' than bars but it strikes me more of a sensory deprivation tool than anything else. I think it's bad enough that we keep birds in jail, if we add a wall that completely separates them from the rest of the environment, it cannot be good for them. Stainless steel mesh is good in the sense that it is the only material that it is safe for birds in terms of heavy metal poisoning but I do not like to keep birds contained by little square holes because there is more danger of the bird getting something stuck in one than there is with just bars (a mynah would require vertical bars like passerines do).

I once got a pair of Brazilian Red Crested Cardinals that came in a homemade cage. It was a BEAUTIFUL piece of furniture with polished finished wood at the bottom, plexiglass walls and a lid of metal mesh and wood. I hated it! The poor things look like if they were in a display case instead of a comfortable habitat, they couldn't grab the plexiglass sides but they certainly messed them something terrible with their food every single day which required daily scrubbing of it, it was real hard to clean the bottom because the lid was at the top, you couldn't stick any type of container or produce on the sides because all birds bowls are made for cages (as are the good perches, mineral supplements, etc), there was no fresh air circulating in there and you could hardly hear them when the male sang. I bought a nice flight cage for them and threw the homemade one away.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Location: NE New Jersey
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Flight: Yes

Re: Homemade Acrylic/Plexiglass cages

Postby banuvatt » Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:28 am

Well, I thought of several solutions to the problems you mentioned. Thank you for your honestly though I appreciate it.
1. I am only using wood for the outside of the cage it's going to be like the trim you see on aquariums. The cage is essentially going to be a plexiglass box with maybe three or more cage mesh or panels as ventilation holes. The bird will never have access to the wood trimming or frame so there is no worry of it getting solid and rotting whether it by it pooping on it or dropping food or water on it. So there is really no danger.
2. The problem with I guess the grid shape of hardware cloth. Well I could get rectangular stainless steel wire the largest I found was 2"x1/2" or I could buy birdcage panels. The second option may be sturdier since the wire gauge is thicker. Also, it may be cheaper since I could buy two of them for slightly more than the roll. This is the link to the company that is selling the panels. https://www.wingzstore.com/diy/wire/rea ... panel.html
3. The cage panels will be on the side and on the top of the cage. So you can hang stuff from the top or put perches and food/water bowls on the sides. If I really wanted to I could drill a hole in the back of the cage. Put a stainless steel bolt to whatever I want to hang on it, washer, also a wingnut. This would work if the perches I were using relied not on a notch, but a bolt, washer and wingnut. But, me adding the panels to the sides should be enough I think. Another thing I could also use is a suction cup so I eventually could put it anywhere on the cage as long as it's on the plexiglass.
4. To make it easier to clean the bottom I am going to put doors on either of the sides and put a slide-out drawer.
banuvatt
Cockatiel
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 78
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Re: Homemade Acrylic/Plexiglass cages

Postby Pajarita » Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:31 am

Well, in all honesty, the design you propose means a HUGE amount of work and I doubt it will be cheaper or even the same price as a good commercial aviary which would be much more practical and even prettier (the panels look like something one would use for a chicken coop). Also, those panels have very small openings and they are not made out of stainless steel (if they were, they would say so - when wire doesn't state that it's made of SS, the default is galvanized and I would not recommend using galvanized wire for birds).
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Location: NE New Jersey
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Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Homemade Acrylic/Plexiglass cages

Postby banuvatt » Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:25 am

Well, I just wanted to make it because I love to build things. Don't get me wrong it's nice to be able to buy things pre-made, especially if you are a person with a busy schedule. But, I think there is something about making something yourself and having it look nice, and work well that it can't beat. Sure, things that are made by industries are probably more reliable, they look better because they are more uniform. But, there's not really care put into them when making them. It's all about meeting a certain standard and making sure that if there is aberrations within the parts it's only within a certain number.
banuvatt
Cockatiel
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 78
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Types of Birds Owned: I don't own any birds currently.
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Re: Homemade Acrylic/Plexiglass cages

Postby Pajarita » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:03 am

Yes, but although there are still cages that are completely inadequate, we now have cages that have been designed by engineers specifically to be safe and comfortable for birds and homemade cages made with galvanized chicken coop wiring do not meet the necessary standards no matter how much care and work you put into them.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17446
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Homemade Acrylic/Plexiglass cages

Postby banuvatt » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:07 am

I am aware that galvanized wire(due to zinc) is toxic to birds that's why my initial plan wasn't to build it with hardware cloth. Cages must be made from stainless steel or aluminum.
banuvatt
Cockatiel
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 78
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Types of Birds Owned: I don't own any birds currently.
Flight: No

Re: Homemade Acrylic/Plexiglass cages

Postby Pajarita » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:17 am

Correct!
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17446
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Homemade Acrylic/Plexiglass cages

Postby banuvatt » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:32 am

I understand why people use galvanized wiring because it is cheaper, but I think it's still risky I wouldn't keep a songbird in it let alone a parrot. Songbirds have somewhat of a risk of getting poisoned by the zinc coating on the galvanized wire. Parrots definitely have a risk since they climb with their beaks. I heard of ways to remove the galvanized coating using vinegar and a metal wire brush, but I don't know how effective that is.
banuvatt
Cockatiel
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 78
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Types of Birds Owned: I don't own any birds currently.
Flight: No

Re: Homemade Acrylic/Plexiglass cages

Postby Pajarita » Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:19 am

But the thing is that you would not want to remove the zinc covering because aluminum by itself is toxic. You are too young to remember this but aluminum cooking pots used to be the norm many years ago and, once you exposed it to water (as when you boil pasta or make a stew, for example), it would produce an oxide that made the surface of it turn dark so housewives used to scrub the 'dark' out of the pot with stainless steel 'sponges' -they used to be called 'aluminum sponges'- every single time they used one of these pots because, if you cooked again without getting the dark out, you could end up poisoned by it - you also could not leave food in them for too long because of the same problem.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17446
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

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