Can You Keep a Pet Bird Without a Cage? (Yes And No)

Depending on the type of bird at hand, a a novice bird keeper may be trying to decide between caging them and leaving them to fly freely all over the place.

But, Can You Keep a Pet Bird Without a Cage?

Yes, but that’s going to depend on a few factors, like the kind of bird you own, if you have additional pets, and whether you are willing to stay around to supervise them. Parrots are probably the least worrisome of all birds.

I don’t know of any bird lover with a caged parrot. They are typically left alone to fly around in the home, perch on almost anything indoors, and sometimes fly outdoors unsupervised.

Pets like cats and dogs seem to get along with them easily.

However, some types of birds will be easily stressed with the sight of unfamiliar objects, animals, or sounds. These birds are the worst to let out of the cage.

Here is what to know before allowing a bird out of the cage:

1. Start by Understanding Your Bird’s Personality

Not all birds belong to the cage; not all of them should be free the whole time.

As such, the hardest thing to learn in your bird-keeping journey will be understanding the personality of each pet bird you’ll ow.

If you end up with an overly shy bird, you will need to keep them out of the cage most of the time.

If they are too aggressive, you should think twice before letting them out of the cage.

Also, you should never cage any bird for too long, or else they will pick an aggressive behavior or become miserable.

While parrots are the least erratic when allowed to wander around the house, they are prone to get agitated once in a while and can become aggressive enough to bite your hands.

We need to say something about how destructive some birds can get. My aunt had parakeets that would peck on her upholstery whenever they got a chance.

If you plan to acquire the destructive type, you have no choice but to cage them.

You can let them out of the cage once in a while when you are around. And by “out” we mean indoors – all your windows and doors should remain closed to stop them from flying out running into the wild.

Just because they seem happy at home doesn’t mean they would waste a chance to escape. So caging can be another way of preventing bird loss.

2. Free Birds Will Require You to Pet Proof the Home

It can be a bit risky to uncage a bird in a home that has fans. There are more risks than that and include hot stoves, heating systems, air conditioning systems, and home chemicals (pesticides, cleaning agents).

In fact, fumes produced by common household products like bathroom cleaners, bleaching agents, and oven cleaners may look harmless to you but could easily harm your birds. 

Your proofing efforts will extend beyond protecting your birds from harm to protecting your own property as well.

From experience, parrots seem to have an unrivaled interest in suede and leather.

They get great satisfaction from poking holes in leather surfaces (you too – don’t you like the sound?).

So before you open that cage, ensure that your fabrics, leather, and similar surfaces are bird proofed. Proceed to remove all the hazards.

Yes – Some Birds Can Be Kept Out of the Cage, 100%!

You probably didn’t know this but size can help you determine whether you should cage a bird.

Small birds are the best candidates for the cage because they can be a nuisance if you let a bunch of them fly freely.

Large birds are rarely caged except in situations where they become aggressive or start to ruin your property.

Birds with a significant risk of escape shouldn’t spend a lot of time out of the cage.

Otherwise, you’d have to keep an eye on them and take all preventive measures like keeping your windows and doors closed most of the time.

Birds like parrots, owls (yes, owls), pigeons, and doves are typically left to fly freely around the home.

If you have been thinking of acquiring one or a few of such birds, limit your choices to these:

1. Parrots

All species of parrots, including the talkative African variant, are never eager to fly out into the bush without their owners.

However, as mentioned earlier, you will need to protect your leather and suede from their beaks and even replace the overhead fan with a portable one.

Don’t mind the droppings on your table – pretty every bird does it.

2. Sparrows

They are probably the ficklest of all birds you could bring home.

They are also highly social, meaning they shouldn’t be left in the cage at all.

Also, they are less of a headache compared to parrots – less noisy, minimal destructive behavior, fewer care demands, etc.

3. Pigeons

I don’t know of anyone with a caged pigeon or dove but you could think about it.

Generally, it would be a bad idea to cage them because they are some of the most active pet birds out there.

If they don’t socialize and exercise in the open, they will get silent and droopy in the long run – not nice. They are like winged cats.

The best thing about these birds is their outstanding homing ability.

They are known to locate their home from great distances.

If they ever leave the house and fly out, you can be certain they will find their way back home on their own.

But, Can You Train Your Pet Bird to Live Without a Cage?

In one word – “Yes.” But it can depend on the type of bird.

You can train an erratic parrot, but not a sparrow. Sparrows can’t be kept in a confinement either.

Birds like finches are hard to train as well but aren’t explorative enough to fly all over the place or disappear into the bushes.


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