Essential Bird Equipment

By Dr Eloise Bright 7 Min Read

From cages and perches to toys and food dishes, we examine the equipment essentials for caring for your feathered companion.

Birds as pets require a great deal of equipment. Thankfully, most of it is readily accessible. Safety is the most important consideration. Selecting equipment for your bird is similar to purchasing for a young child in some ways, and you must ask the same questions.Is there a risk of choking? Are the coloring agents safe? What is this made of, and if Sunny swallows some, will it harm him?

Your parrot requires two cages.

Your bird will spend his nights and possibly the majority of his days in the primary cage. It must be large enough for him to spread his wings and flap them. For finches, width is more important than height, as they fly horizontally rather than vertically. Because parrots climb, height is nearly as useful to them as width. Choose a rectangular cage because the bird will feel more secure in it, and make sure the spacing between the bars is appropriate for the bird’s species. A head or foot could be caught otherwise.

The second necessary cage is a transportable one, which allows you to transport your bird to the vet, etc. It is also a safe haven for your bird while the large cage is being cleaned.

Perches and ladders

It would be ideal to provide a variety of perches for the comfort of your bird. They should be sufficiently wide so that the bird’s toes do not overlap around them. A minimum selection to begin with for the majority of species would include a branch-style perch made of natural wood, a rope perch, a wooden ladder (textured plastic will suffice for small finches, but wood is preferable), and a swing.


A solution of half-and-half water and white vinegar is an effective all-purpose cleaner for the cage and toys. Any mild dish detergent is suitable for cleaning food and water containers. For extremely difficult messes and organic stains on rugs, walls, furniture, etc., an enzyme cleaner in a spray bottle will more than pay for itself.

Paper towels and a bottle brush should be the only additional cleaning supplies required. However, if you are ill or have a compromised immune system, it may be prudent to wear rubber gloves and a face mask.

Food and water dishes

There are two primary types of dishes for pet birds: hoppers and bowls.

Budgies and canaries favor hoppers that are small enough to fit through the cage’s bars. They have the advantage of reducing water evaporation and seed and pellet spillage. A hopper makes it more difficult for a bird to injure or drown itself, which is why it is used for less intelligent farm birds such as domestic turkeys. Some people believe that their pets will not pollute the water with food or waste if they use a hopper, but they are mistaken. The hopper still requires daily cleaning.

A heavy ceramic or metal bowl is the ideal water dish for conures and other birds that enjoy playing with their food and dunking their heads in their water. Indeed, this creates a mess. Yes, it will need to be cleaned on a daily basis.On the interior sides of cages, there are brackets that hold bowls to keep the water dish off the floor and prevent it from spilling. In addition, they prevent your bird from throwing the bowl around.

In warm weather, it is prudent to provide both hoppers and a water bowl. There is no such thing as too much water for a bird, as long as it is not too deep.

Many birds appreciate “foraging toys.” These are puzzle toys that provide food rewards for the bird. They have the advantage of simulating the type of work a wild bird would need to do in order to find food and therefore provide beneficial mental stimulation. Foraging toys are available in a variety of sizes and degrees of difficulty to accommodate the numerous species of pet birds.

The food itself merits its own article; see our tips and advice for ensuring that your bird receives the proper diet and nutrition.

Bird baths are also required. A shallow plastic basin can be ideal if you bathe your bird in your bathroom. If you prefer, there are commercial bird baths available for the many species of pet birds. Cockatiels and certain finches enjoy a fine mist created by a spray bottle with a “mist” setting.

Toys, toys, toys

In addition to foraging toys, hook-billed birds also require chew toys. The destruction of wood and wood-like objects is of utmost importance to them for display and amusement. Toys comprised of wood, twisted paper, cardboard, and plastic are created with various bird species in mind.

If a bird’s natural habitat is dense vegetation, ensure that at least a portion of its cage contains enough hiding places.

“Preening” toys are intended to be pecked and groomed, similar to how some children enjoy playing “hairdresser” with dolls. Similarly, many birds enjoy having a warm, cuddly toy to cuddle against. Clearly, a canary will have smaller snuggle toys than a cockatoo.


The largest initial investment in your bird’s equipment will be the cage, and you’ll find that replacing the toys will “add up.” However, it should not be difficult to locate the necessary components. What’s the following step? Check the specific needs of your bird’s species and ensure that you have everything covered.

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Dr Eloise is a Clinical Lead at Love That Pet and one of our resident pet care experts. She also curates the select range of vet recommended and approved products which feature on our site.
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