How many birds will fit???

For questions about finch enclosures (cages & aviaries).
Sheather
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Re: How many birds will fit???

Post by Sheather » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:11 pm

I was disagreeing on where birds like to perch.

Even when they lived only with other societies they always clumped up near the middle of the cage on the tiniest perch they could find. They never sleep at the top, though the javas do.
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Re: How many birds will fit???

Post by Barb » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:05 pm

Hi--I'm new to this forum and also have questions on cage size and number of birds housed.

I'm am in the process of getting a flight cage 30W x 18D x 38H and want to know if I can have 2 birds or two pair. I was thinking of two male Zebra and two male Society finches.

I would appreciate all and any advice.

Thank you,

Barb

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Stevie

Re: How many birds will fit???

Post by Stevie » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:13 pm

This is a great thread for me as a newbie. Thank you for everyone who has chipped in.

I'm guessing from what everyone is saying, to account for individual character traits of, not only birds, also species. You'd need some experts at google to throw together some algorithms. Then have to fill in pages and pages of variables before you click 'calculate'. :shock:

I was just looking for a rough idea of how big to make my aviary so the calculator was a blessing to me. Brilliant in fact.

That is:

I thought I was building my first aviary. Though now I'm wondering that maybe I am actually making a very, very, very long flight cage.

The space I have is 8' long x 5' high x 18" wide.

I'm wondering if anyone knows? At what size does a flight cage become an aviary?

Or is that just a dumb newbie kinda question? :roll:

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mightymarshal
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Re: How many birds will fit???

Post by mightymarshal » Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:14 pm

Stevie, I believe the rule of thumb is an enclosure is a cage until it becomes large enough for a person to enter and stand in and at that point it is considered an aviary. Does that sound right?
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Stevie

Re: How many birds will fit???

Post by Stevie » Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:45 pm

I believe the rule of thumb is an enclosure is a cage until it becomes large enough for a person to enter and stand in and at that point it is considered an aviary. Does that sound right?
Sounds perfect, very easy to understand thank you.

I can get in mine and walk from aroudn a bit, if I duck, so I guess that makes it a small aviary.

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darrenwilson
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Re: How many birds will fit???

Post by darrenwilson » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:43 am

pegstegan wrote: I typed in my aviary is 3.5 by 2 meters. But it said that it can fit 40-50 birds. Wouldn't that be a bit too much?
When I put my dimensions in of 144" (12' or 3.6m) x 60" (5' or 1.5m), it returned 3 or 4 birds!!!! I would expect it to say that for African Grey parrots or other large birds, but not for finches!
Owner of a 12'L x 5'W x 6'H outdoors aviary housing 50 finches comprising of Society's, Zebra's & Java Sparrows.

Looking to add Gouldian's and Star Finches ASAP!

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monotwine
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Re: How many birds will fit???

Post by monotwine » Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:13 am

You have an aviary and not a cage with those dimensions. The calculator is for small cages.

In an aviary the rule of thumb is 1breeding pair per square meter. You can add more if you not planning on breeding, but less is more for the health of the aviary.

Happy bird keeping.

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Re: How many birds will fit???

Post by debbie276 » Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:08 am

When I put my dimensions in of 144" (12' or 3.6m) x 60" (5' or 1.5m), it returned 3 or 4 birds!!!!
I think maybe a number was missing because if I do 144 x 60 it says 30 to 40 birds, maybe the second 4 in 144? :)
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Re: How many birds will fit???

Post by Corkysgirl » Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:20 am

Stevie No question is too dumb! :D

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Sally
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Re: How many birds will fit???

Post by Sally » Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:39 am

Corkysgirl wrote: Stevie No question is too dumb! :D
I'll second that! As one of our members (L in Ontario) once said:

"The only dumb question is the one that is not asked."
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Re: How many birds will fit???

Post by Corkysgirl » Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:45 pm

I'll second that! As one of our members (L in Ontario) once said:

"The only dumb question is the one that is not asked."
I like that Sally.
I always say, we're all always learning. One day we don't know something (a fact, a remedy, etc) and the next day we do. At some point we all had to learn it. I have areas I know things others don't and others know things in areas I am totally clueless (like genetics of birds :roll: ...and math) I love learning! Though I think I will never learn genetics and math, but that's okay! :D

Lucille
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Re: How many birds will fit???

Post by Lucille » Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:23 am

I have done quite a bit of looking around as far as cage size and number of birds. (I would never take an online 'calculator' as gospel, in fact I rarely take anything as gospel.
I think the guides are just that, depending on the particular situation there may be room for more or less birds. The important thing in my opinion, which a good owner would do anyway, is to keep a close eye on their birds.
All the calculators in the world won't help if you happen to get The Finch From He** who fights with everyone.

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Re: How many birds will fit???

Post by Sojourner » Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:45 pm

The Finch From He** isn't germane to this discussion.

The cage calculator provides a good rule of thumb for cage selection. A rule of thumb is an approximation, a good guess. It gets you in the ball park. Especially in the face of the totally inappropriate cages offered for sale in droves in most pet shops, it is a useful tool to help one find the right cage.

The estimate might be a little low for Bengalese - if the calculator says 3 birds, 4 Bengalese would likely be fine. The estimate may be a little high in some cases for Zebras - if it says 3, 2 is probably the max. Bengalese being on the low end for aggressiveness and Zebras on the high end of that scale.

But if you put 4 Zebras in a cage that the calculator says will hold 3 birds, they're not going to kill each other. Most likely they'll be OK. However if the calculator says 3, 6 is likely way too many for anything but Bengalese and the Bengalese will likely feel the crowding as well.

The problem is, without better information and education, people will put WAY too many birds in a cage that is way too small. Nearly every cage in the PetSmart where I bought my birds was too small for even 2 lowly Bengalese finches - the one I ended up getting was the longest cage they had at a whopping 25" x 21" (29" high). Yet people will walk in and buy a much smaller cage than that to put 6 or 8 birds in.

According to the cage calculator, my 25x21x29 cage will suit 1 to 2 finches. I have a pair in it now and putting any more in there than just the 2 would be insane and a bit cruel. No matter how much they like each other, more than 2 birds in that cage would be stressed and unhappy. Even 2 birds is not great because the cage is simply not long enough to give them a good wing workout.

But people come along and see a dozen finches in something the size of a small aquarium and think they can crowd them together like that at home. Plus (as I said before) every freakin' cage in the place is already too small for a pair of finches, and many are too small for a lone finch - but people don't know that. They think that because those are the sizes they sell, those are the right size. Or, they get a tall cage thinking that will be good for finches, when those tall cages are really only good for birds that like to climb, like budgies and cockatiels.

I KNEW I needed a longer cage, but there were none in the store. Petco, on the other hand, DOES carry an appropriately sized cage for finches (30x18x18) but I wasn't in a Petco, I was in a PetSmart, and for some reason even though they were still selling the 30x18x18 cage, Petco had taken it off their website - so, I bought the longest cage I thought I could find locally. Which is really totally inadequate for finches even so. I wouldn't put a cockatiel in this cage either, its simply too small, though the manufacturer seems to think it is cockatiel-sized.

More room is better than less. I cannot imagine why someone would suggest ignoring the cage size calculator or any other reasonable recommendations for population vs cage size.
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Lucille
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Re: How many birds will fit???

Post by Lucille » Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:51 pm

Lucille wrote: I think the guides are just that, depending on the particular situation there may be room for more or less birds.
Sojourner wrote: The cage calculator provides a good rule of thumb for cage selection. A rule of thumb is an approximation, a good guess. It gets you in the ball park.
It seems to me we are saying the same thing here.
The point I was making, and that you made as well, is that a calculation is not gospel, and there can be some variance.

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Sally
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Re: How many birds will fit???

Post by Sally » Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:48 pm

As we've all seen, most pet shops do not carry cages that are great for finches. The problem is that most of the cage manufacturers aren't aiming their product at finches. You can usually find adequate cages at bird marts, because those vendors realize that finch owners are looking for something completely different than a typical cockatiel or parakeet cage. I get especially upset when on craigslist, I see a tiny cage listed as 'perfect for finches', when it is a cage that I would only use for travel. People think tiny bird, tiny cage.

The cage calculator is simply a guide, meant to help new owners in how best to keep their new little pets. I have kept more birds in a cage than recommended by the calculator, because I know which birds can tolerate this. A lot depends also on whether you are breeding your birds or not, as a breeding pair may be much more territorial. Breeding success is often compromised when there are too many birds sharing the space.

Owners always have to keep an eye on their birds and be prepared to move or separate or switch out birds if there is any sign of aggression. I would always suggest that a new owner have at least two cages, as it never hurts to have a backup.
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