Ask Lafeber


November 3, 2021

Aviary wire mesh

I’m planning to build an aviary for my cockatiels soon, but can’t find a definitive answer on what the best wire mesh material to use. Some people say galvanized wire is made with materials that may poison birds, others say they use it just fine. Not sure what to believe


Hi Julio,

The main concern for wire is make sure it does not have lead welds. This is very dangerous. More is now known about zinc poisoning, and this can be an issue with some forms of galvanizing. The best thing is to search for wire that is specifically made for cockatiels or parrot caging. Wire made for chickens may not be safe for parrots, because chickens do not chew on the wire. Also, do not use any wood as this just harbors disease, bacteria and pests. There are aviaries you can buy now where you do the assembly, and these are generally no more expensive than buying wire, cutting it plus all the extra labor of building an aviary from scratch. And one more thing to consider – if you want to breed your birds, you can’t responsibly breed cockatiels in a group. You need to have one pair per cage. Otherwise you end up with inbreeding, nest raiding, fighting, etc. So if this is for a flock, you should never give them nest boxes or anything they can use as a nest. You also need to protect the aviary from predators – rats, raccoons, and even snakes will prey on pet birds. Feral cats and dogs are also a concern.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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