Large Bird Cage

CGFlyer

New Member
Hello All,

My name is Jamie. This is my first post. I've been learning about panther chameleons for some time now, made the approprpriate preparations, and recently jumped in with both feet the other day. I am now the proud parent of two Ambilobes, a male offspring of Hunter from FLChams and a female offspring of Kaboom from Screameleons.

Anyways, I'm making preparations for cage upgrades and came across a nice large bird cage similar to this one...might be the exact one actaully...about 24X24X60 inches.

http://www.petco.com/product/110855/Prevue-Hendryx-Signature-Select-Series-Wrought-Iron-Bird-Cage-in-Pewter.aspx

Now I know I'd have to cup feed, which I planned on doing anyways...but I really can't think of any other real set backs to using a nice bird cage like this. Seems like it would provide better air flow and light penetration. I've researched a few threads and read that the bars could pose a threat to the Chams tongue...though that seems to be an unlikely risk. I guess that he could get his head stuck in there too...but is that very likely either. I mean, how often does your cham hang on the side of its enclosure...I'm sure it is usually in the foliage on a nice limb towards the top of its enclosure.

I can get this cage for less than $100...what do you think? Any opinions are appreciated.

Thanks!
 

lisa h

New Member
It's going to be really hard to keep any sort of humidity in a bird cage. I think there are a couple people here that have used (or are using) a bird cage.

Chameleons go wherever -- not just necessarily in the foliage or branches. Mine have hung from the top, and cling onto the sides. I would worry that a cham might shoot at something out of the cage.

In theory a great idea, but if you had to rework it by wrapping screen around, etc, etc, it might not be worth your while.
 
i would just stick with an aluminum screen cage designed for reptiles. it will be a heck of a lot cheaper, and you dont run into any unsafe hazards.

using a bird cage, you will still need to line the inside or out with screening. chameleons have been known to get their tongues caught in the bars resulting in ripped off tongues. they are great for hudge species like mellers and parsons, but still modifications need to be made.
 

sandrachameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I used a big bird cage for a few years, and it worked great.
They do climb up the bars, which is just fine (safer then climbing screen!)
Make sure the bars are not too far apart, that the chameleon will be kept inside the cage without trying to push his head out through the bars.
Make sure the heat bulb cant be touched.
I truly dont think it at all likely that a tongue will be injured by the bars, anymore than a tongue might be damaged by hitting a branch, a plant pot, a feeding bowl, fingers, etc.
UVB will penetrate better than through screen, which is good so long as the chameleon can hide in foliage when desired.
Watch the humidity - if your home has low humidity, a screen or wire cage is likely not the best choice.
 

lisa h

New Member
Sandra, is there a chance of them shooting *out* of the cage? That's more of what I was thinking could be dangerous.
 

CGFlyer

New Member
Thanks for the replies so far.

So, a screen cage holds humidity? I thought that went against the design of the cage. Also, what about all the folks that use no cage...relative humidity is that of the room...or the immediate vicinity of the plant you are misting. Also, does anyone have any proof of the whole tongue getting ripped off notion....or is it just an urban legend....I've read lots of "I heard"....

I sort of see this bird cage as an oportunity to go free range off the top, with vines that lead in and out of the enclosure. Then he can be locked up when needed and set free to roam (by leaving the cage doo open) when appropriate.

Any more thoughts or opinions?

Thanks.
 
Thanks for the replies so far.

So, a screen cage holds humidity? I thought that went against the design of the cage. Also, what about all the folks that use no cage...relative humidity is that of the room...or the immediate vicinity of the plant you are misting. Also, does anyone have any proof of the whole tongue getting ripped off notion....or is it just an urban legend....I've read lots of "I heard"....

I sort of see this bird cage as an oportunity to go free range off the top, with vines that lead in and out of the enclosure. Then he can be locked up when needed and set free to roam (by leaving the cage doo open) when appropriate.

Any more thoughts or opinions?

Thanks.
a screen cage will hold humidity but with the aid of live foliage. you need to have your enclosure misted 2-3 times a day, running water needs to be offered, or a humidifer next to the cage helps. for ones who free range all the time, their houses' ambient humidity is most likely already well or the use a humidifer in their cham room.

i've read it on here before about the tounges, i believe a member by the name of Benny or AKA Eisentrauti. I believe he was the one that was saying something like this not too too long ago. he would be able to further it, but yes like Lisa asked, they are able to shoot for things outside of the cage which is therefore the hazzard.

IMO, unless i had a big species like mellers or parsons, i wouldnt even think about using a birdcage. no offence to the ones who have, im sure its worked great for you, but it seems like a little too much extra work than i would like
 

Julirs

New Member
I would imagine with all of the misting, the birdcage would rust in no time. Even nice big screen cages are super light and easy to port outside for a thorough cleaning several times a year-and no rust!
 
I would imagine with all of the misting, the birdcage would rust in no time. Even nice big screen cages are super light and easy to port outside for a thorough cleaning several times a year-and no rust!
im still in favor of not using a bird cage all together, but in this issue, arent bird cages made not to rust?
 
true, julirs i totaly agree with you, i would still imagine though that they could take a good degree of water contact though. some people leave birdcages outside as well.
 

Manik6

Member
Itll be fine till the paint starts to chip then there goes the rust or what us car guys like to call "cancer", then it will become unsafe.
 

lisa h

New Member
im still in favor of not using a bird cage all together, but in this issue, arent bird cages made not to rust?
No, they rust! If there's an area where the bird poops all the time, the bottom will rust. Scrubbing to get droppings off will eventually weaken the finish and allow them to rust. They are meant to be changed or refinished (professionally) several times throughout the bird's life. Especially the cheaper kinds, like the one the OP was considering (for that price I'm pretty sure it's a knock off).
 

Texas Panther Man

New Member
If you want a custom screen cage build your own. Then you can make it however you want. Bird cages work, they were used alot back in the day. Before commercial screen cages were sold. I personally dont see why you'd choose one over a normal screen cage. If you ever want to feed flies, moths, grasshoppers, katydids, roaches, etc... Good luck! Your home is going to be over run with escaped feeders. ;)
 

CGFlyer

New Member
This cage retails for $350+ new, I have a line on one that I can buy used for less than $100. It is powder coated, so I think it will withstand water well enough. Though, if that chips, which hopefully wouldn't happen, the cancer is sure to set in. A lot of bird enthusiasts are using misters, like the mist king, these days. I think the bird industry is working towards that marketability in larger/nicer cages like the one in the OP.

The dimensions seem ideal, its 24w X 22d X 65h. It's on casters for easy transport. It has drawers for easy clean-up...top and bottom.

On a side note...do house windows block UVb rays?
 

CGFlyer

New Member
Also, one thing I really don't like about my current screen cage is how the horizontally crossing twings are simply wedged into the screen to stay in place. I wasted about an hour today rearranging the current set-up to ensure that the branches were secure and would not collapse. I think a bird cage would be a lot more stable.

I do have a roll of screen already standing by for a future home built cage...I guess I could line the inside of the bird cage with screen if I needed too...though that's not my intent in the idea of acquiring this cage.

I like things to be aesthetically pleasing...not only does it have to be functional, it has to look good too.
 

Texas Panther Man

New Member
If you have the screen and you have the ability to build a decent cage. Why buy a cage that wasnt designed to house the animal being kept in it? There is a reason its called a "bird cage". Its designed for a bird not a reptile.

And again what about any flying insect feeders youd like to feed? Impossible to hand feed flies. ;)
 

Lil nasty

Member
Also, one thing I really don't like about my current screen cage is how the horizontally crossing twings are simply wedged into the screen to stay in place. I wasted about an hour today rearranging the current set-up to ensure that the branches were secure and would not collapse. I think a bird cage would be a lot more stable.

I read on here about using the plastic push pins through the outside of the screen into the pieces of wood to hold them so u dont have to wedge them. I havent tried it yet tho
 

CGFlyer

New Member
Oooooo....plastic push pins sound like a great idea to secure the branches. Thanks!

I understand that the cage in question was originally marketed for a bird...but why would that prevent someone from thinking outside the box and being creative? If I saw a nice tree snake (or insert some other animal) cage, and saw that it could effectively be used, I would consider using it as well...despite that it was designed for "snakes".

I think the aluminum cages have become so popular, simply based on the price point...it seems the biggest advantage to these cages is their ability to contain food. If the normally used aluminum cages were $350 like the bird cage in question...I don't think there'd be much of a debate. The bird cage is of much higher quality...and if you can feed your Cham without a screened in enclosure...I think you'd be good to go.

Just thoughts of course. I love a good discussion.

Shoot, I might get it to use for a bird...it's a great deal.
 

Texas Panther Man

New Member
Im not saying it wont work. It will. What Im saying is its going to be more complicated and more stressful on the cham moving him from one cage to another for feedings. Seems like your making things more dificult than hey need be.
Now I'd be more apt to use that bird cage as my outside sunning cage than I would my everyday enclosure. In fact its a good choice as an outdoor cage. Its alot more secure than a standard scrren cage and would be able to keep out cats and raccoons or the occasional rat that might come around. I wont let my chams stay outside if Im not home for that very reason. If you do pick it up I'd use it outside and put a divider in it so that I could let two of my chams sun in comfort and security. Jmpo
 
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