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Updated Info - Post #1 Cage Brand Information

lotus15

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Perhaps the single most expensive purchase we make as parrot owners is the investment in a cage. I know that cage shopping drives a lot of parrot owners, including me, nuts-- finding exactly what you want from tops to doors to feeder doors to paints to quality and of course, to cost, seems nearly impossible. But with such a big purchase, you really want to gather all the information you possibly can before making the plunge. Thus I've compiled the list below.
This list is an alphabetical collection of my online, word-of-mouth, and in-person research and experience into cage brands. None of the following is endorsed by any cage company, and I do not receive any sort of payment or compensation to advertise or disparage any of the companies below. I also do not intend to encourage you to buy any one cage over another, but simply to compile some of the comments you might find on the web, were you to scour and interrogate online reviews and forums, bird stores, and all of your parrot-owning friends as I have. The few cages brands I do or have owned, I am able to go into a bit more detail with, and I welcome you to further question me should you be interested in more information.

I hope this doesn't seem overly negative, but I do focus on the cons, because a cage can have a million pros but if it has one bad enough con, that could be all that I need to know. This is not to say however that any of these cages or brands are bad, I'm just compiling all of the possible problems you might run into when doing cage research. I have scoured forums and spoken to tons of bird owners and cage manufacturers for all this info, so here goes!

A&E (Made in China; Warranty: 3-6 months on powder-coats; 2 years on SS)
An economy cage company. I have found several complaints about their cages, the most serious and alarming being extremely high levels of lead in their paint. This I found on a few sites but the most thorough is probably Happy Birdy. I have heard some people express concern that their SS cages weren't actually medical grade, but haven't read any proof of this. A lot of cage store owners that I've spoken to say that A&E is like a cheaper quality version of HQ, even though they appear to be manufactured in the same factory in China, along with King's Cages. That being said there are many happy A&E customers too, but generally most agree that you get what you pay for. The company is however making a big effort in the customer service department as of late which is promising.

Animal Environments (Made in the USA; Warranty: 5 years on powder-coats; lifetime on SS) 
They used to be the "gold standard" for cages back in the 80's, but apparently the company's owners went through a divorce and it has never quite been the same. If you are lucky enough to get one of the original cages, apparently, they can't be beat. More recent customers, however, report awful quality, flimsy cages, problems with peeling paint and rust since then. Terribly quality packaging and almost always shipping damage. Even more complaints about possibly the worst customer service ever, which I can personally speak towards.

Avian Adventures (Made in China; Warranty: 6 month on powder-coats, not including damage to the paint even if it occurs as a result of shipping; 3 years on SS)
Many people mistakenly think that they are made in the USA because their corporate headquarters are in the Midwest, but they outsource their manufacturing to China. So far I have read no reports of toxicity but several people have complained about rust after as little as two years. In general, most people that had experience with A&E, HQ, and AA all preferred AA. Ever since they were bought over (relatively recently, perhaps in the past two years), however, it seems that quality has definitely taken a nosedive.

Blue Ribbon 
Still researching.

Cages by Design (Made in the USA)
They have a few lines of cages, including "furniture-style" cages (which I personally don't care for) as well as outdoor aviaries and such. I've only met a few people with them but they say they are generally pretty decent. Not rave reviews but pleased customers. I think they cater a little bit more towards corporate clients though as their furniture-quality cages look like they belong more in a showroom and are not quite as functional for the discerning bird owner (they include things like acrylic panels, mesh screens, wood exteriors). The few owners of these cages I've found say they definitely aren't quite as solid as your standard bird cage but are still solid. I did however find a scathing review of one of their outdoor aviaries (horrible quality, misaligned panels, not enough screws, etc.).

Expandable Habitats (Made in the USA; Warranty: lifetime) 
More simplistic (re: boxy) in design, but very high quality. They only do SS, but have the option of non-magnetic 304 (medical) grade or 316 (marine) grade. They make each cage custom, but they are somewhat limited in their options (you have to stick pretty closely to their stock cages in terms of design). Their bowls are supposedly the best in the business. I have yet to meet somebody that is disappointed by their cages. I have one myself and am very pleased. Feel free to PM me for more info.

Featherland (Made in China; Warranty: 6 months for both) 
One complaint about the powder-coat rusting, but overall decent reviews on quality and workmanship. The company is no longer producing their powder-coated cages anymore, however, and will only be continuing their SS line. For the SS cages, one owner did say that he cut open a bar and his cage wasn't actually solid SS bars but plated because it was hollow, and another owner also expressed doubts that her cage was also not 100% SS. Other owners however said they felt solid and very high quality. I contacted the company and they said they were solid. Several reports of extremely sharp edges that need sanding. They distinctly do not warranty their SS cages against rust. They also seem to have several issues with shipping damage. Just about ever person I've spoken to has had their Featherland cage arrive with damaged parts. My powder-coated cage arrived with broken bars, but the company was very good about immediately sending replacement parts, free of charge. I have heard, however, that they are not always so good about it if the part isn't distinctly broken but rather is simply damaged. A few months later though the powder-coated cage has tons and tons of chipped paint, rust, ill-fitting panels, etc.

Freedom Cage (Made in the USA; Warranty: 6 months on powder-coateds; lifetime on SS) 
Great reviews on their model (off the rack) cages, which apparently are extremely high quality. Most people seem to love the Freedom Buffet as well. I know a few people with model cages from the 80's that are still going strong with no rust or wear. Many variable reports on their custom cages and customer service though. Feel free to PM me for more info as well as I used to have a custom one.

HQ / Laviva (Made in China; Warranty: 3 days) 
Made in the same factory as A&E and King's Cages in China. An economy cage company. Also found to have extremely high levels of lead in the paint of some of their cages. Some others tested, though, were safe. So, probably very variable quality due to a lack of quality control. Generally good reviews though except for the fact that they do not stand behind their cages at all (that 3 day warranty is pretty abysmal).

Kaytee/EZ Care (Made in China) 
I'm doing more research but so far the reviews I've read all agree that they are very easy to assemble and clean-- the entire front part of their cages open like a door so that it is very easy to access the entire interior of the cage. The only cons I've read so far are about the plexiglass fronts-- definitely a design choice for the owner, not the bird's sake, and not recommended by any means. I would love to hear more on quality and durability from any owners of these cages though.

King's (Made in China; Warranty: none whatsoever)
They used to be manufactured in Europe, but now all of them, including their "European" line, are manufactured in China. Before the switch they were tested safe for lead/zinc, but I have not read any more recent reports of paint safety. I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't though because they are coming out of the same factories as HQ and A&E. I have however read several complaints about the paint on both the Economy and European line peeling off and the company suggesting to their customers just to "spray paint" it... Notoriously bad customer service (but then again I know the owner and he has always provided me with great customer service). No complaints about their SS cages though. 
I owned one of their economy line cages, which I really do not like (poorly designed bar patterns and such, not the easiest to clean). I own their aluminum cages as well (both travel and full-sized), however, and am very happy with them. My one complaint is that the plastic crocks they come with are terrible and should most definitely be replaced.

Mango Pet (Made in the USA; Warranty: 5 years on powder-coateds)
I have yet to find anybody who owns one but they seem pretty good from what I have read? A very limited range (powder-coats only) though. One of the few however with an impressive lifetime warranty on workmanship, and a 5 year warranty on the powder-coating.
Marvelous Pet (Made in China; Warranty: 6 months)
They are a very new company so it is hard to get any info about their staying power and their durability, but several people have told me they have very good powder-coatings on them. I have seen a few in person and they appear very sturdy and high quality. So far all positive reports on these cages. I would like to see some better design choices though (funny shaped legs, open tops).

Northwest (Made in the USA; Warranty: lifetime against welds, workmanship, and rust)
They seem to be pretty much the highest quality and most expensive custom cage company out there, and they work only in 304 medical grade SS. The cages they turn out though are beautiful and the owner can really do just about everything custom, right down to the smallest details, because the owner does everything himself. Super pricey though and because it is one guy running the company, the lead time is quite long and there may be unforeseen delays during the process. His customers are all incredibly pleased though.

Prevue Hendryx (Most [all larger cages] are manufactured in China) 
I've heard awful things about their cages for smaller birds (their Featherstone Heights line is downright dangerous and inappropriate, their large flight cage is supposedly incredibly flimsy). But I have heard very little about their larger cages and their quality. A few complaints about the fact that none of their bowls are dump-proof, and one person that said their cage is flimsy and that the parts don't fit together well.

YML Cages
(Made in China)
They make a lot of the smaller wire cages you see all over pet stores. One thing that really bothers me is that they make a lot of ridiculously small cages, as well as round cages. As for their larger parrot cages, I've read some complaints about latches and lack of food doors as well as the food holders-- most owners agree that they are not appropriate for macaws and cockatoos. One complaint about the plastic bowls not holding up too well and yellowing as well; another about the spot welds on the grates breaking easily. I did however read about one person that had the paint tested for heavy metals several years ago and they came back clean. In general they have a decent/good reputation as an economy cage.

Other Companies

I would add California and Innovative Cages but it seems they are no longer in business, sadly. They were two non-Chinese-made cage companies (made in Mexico) with great reputations. Centurion Cages is also out of business but they were made in China too. Aviantelligence (also China made) is currently stopping production. Unfortunately the owner of Broadwell Cages has passed away and they are no longer in business. However, they were manufactured in the USA and were supposedly extremely high quality, top of the line.
 
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Brigidt36

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Thanks, Coco. Phew, you've done a lot of research. Very helpful information. Buying cages can be a very confusing and daunting experience. I researched and looked for months before finally deciding to get my Featherland SS cages. I really wanted Freedom SS but since I was replacing 4 cages I couldn't handle the expense and really couldn't wait any longer to save up more money since the cages I had were getting to be in pretty bad shape. Thanks for helping all of us out by doing the research.
 

lotus15

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No problem at all!! I have been driving myself nutty over cage safety lately in anticipation of my new bird, so I figured I would save you guys the trouble.

Well, if I had four birds that needed homes I don't think I could afford SS Freedom cages either!! But you're very happy with the Featherlands, right?
 

birdlover82

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Thanks for all the great info. One other brand would be Reliance. The bird store here actually sells that brand and I've wondered how good of a cage they are but haven't found much on them.
 

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I'm still waiting on my tax check so I can place my order on a new cage for Clancy. This is great info to have! Thanks!
 

lotus15

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Thanks for all the great info. One other brand would be Reliance. The bird store here actually sells that brand and I've wondered how good of a cage they are but haven't found much on them.
Great question, I had never heard of them but I just did some searching and they are manufactured in China. I can't find any warranty info yet but I sent out a few emails to their retailers and hopefully I will have some more for you soon!! :)
 

Brigidt36

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Overall I'm happy with the Featherlands. I've only had them since Sept. We'll see how they hold up. I got 3 of the 1827 series for my GCC, BCC and Sennie and 1 2842 series for my YNA. Things I dislike: the 1827's are for smaller size birds but the perches were dowel perches and HUGE!!!! Way too big for little feet. I contacted the company and they were nice enough to send me some smaller perches, which was nice, but since I got the foldable cages, the main HUGE dowel perch seemed to be needed for stability reasons. I kept that perch in in all three cages and added the smaller perches through out the cage. The YNA's cage came with the same size diameter dowel perch. I only used the main perch, again to keep the cage stable and added different size and texture perches through out his cage as well.

I do keep finding sharp edges and spots in and on the cage that I've had to file down. I must be missing some because everytime I clean their cages I come up with scratches. I don't feel them when they happen, just notice when I'm done I'm scratched and bleeding places on my hand. The foldable cages are easy to assemble. I'm a dunce with stuff like that, but I was able to do all 4 cages by myself. There are places that don't seem to fit quite right, so again the company very kindly sent me replacement parts. Their customer service has been excellent! I also went ahead and ordered the outside feeding stations for each cage. The plastic seems a bit flimsy and I'm afraid I'm going to accidentally break the plastic covers while cleaning them someday, but they do make it easier for family/friends to feed my birds when they aren't really bird people, lol. The square feeding dishes I am also careful with, very breakable, and again, way too large. When cleaning, I do have to be very careful to wipe them dry and not let them air dry or they appear spotty and a bit dingy. I do want to see about ordering more toy hangers, which are also clamps to keep the dome top together.
 

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lotus15

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Thank you for the very thorough review!! I am actually thinking of getting the 1827 for my budgies but it is always great to hear from people who actually own them first. And thank you for the photos, they sure are beautiful. Good to know about having to be diligent about sanding. I was thinking the same thing about the exterior feeders... the bowls seemed huge for small birds.

Question: with the folding cages, your reviews makes it seem like without the big perch that comes inside, they aren't very stable? Would they fold in on themselves or are they just wobbly?
 

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They are stable enough without the huge dowel, but since I move them in and out of the house during the warmer temperatures I just feel better with the bigger dowel in there for added support. The dishes are huge, but my 3 little guys love the huge dish for water, they love to take baths in it, lol. I had trouble deciding between the folding cages and the non folding cages, but then the decision was made for me....none of the non folding cages were available at the time and I knew if I didn't spend the money I had saved right away, it would end up going to unexpected bills and I'd have to start saving all over again, lol It took me forever to save and squirrel away money. I did make sure that the size of the big cage would still fit through doorways. If I had gone the next size up it would have been a no go. Most people don't like the dome tops because of hanging toys and stuff, but my guys love them. They like having the extra head space to perch way up high at night and I personally like the looks of them. The dome has not stopped any of my guys from hanging out on the top of their cages. They seem to enjoy climbing up them and then sliding down the vertical bars like a fire pole, lol. They do it over and over again and look like they are having great fun. You can purchase the playtops separately for each of the cages, and I considered saving up for them, but then decided not to. They are usually on their playstands and they have no troubles playing on top of their cages. Are there things I would change about these cages if I could. Yes. I wish the door openings could be reversable and that they would open wider. Would like reversible feeder doors as well. And on the big cage, it would be great if there were other openings to make adding perches easier. It's hard to do with the bigger cage by yourself, and I'm always rearranging things when no one is home to help lol
 

lotus15

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Thanks SO much. I also like dome tops, though I didn't like the way their bars were because like you said they tend to make hanging toys harder, but I found these little toy hangers that attach to cages just like that to make hanging from any point in the domes possible, so I'm not too worried about that. I was actually thinking of getting the playtop or the separate gym altogether just to use as a playstand, even if I don't get the cage, they are pretty much the only SS one on the market!

As for rearranging the cage, I definitely hear you there, but I think that's always an issue with any cage. You should see the way I have to contort my arms and body sometimes to reach all around the back of a cage just to try to screw in some perches!!
 

lotus15

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Update: Just found out that Marvelous Cages are manufactured in China.
 

rkuntze

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Freedom Cage has a new owner Mark Mann. The cage is now manufactured in China. I purchased one (not knowing it was made in China) because I had heard such great things about them. It took almost one year from the time Mark charged my credit card until the cage was the way I ordered it. Months to ship it. When it came broken welds, incomplete welds, wrong panels, warped panels. Mark did respond and it was ultimately fixed, but what a headache.
 

lotus15

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Freedom Cage has a new owner Mark Mann. The cage is now manufactured in China. I purchased one (not knowing it was made in China) because I had heard such great things about them. It took almost one year from the time Mark charged my credit card until the cage was the way I ordered it. Months to ship it. When it came broken welds, incomplete welds, wrong panels, warped panels. Mark did respond and it was ultimately fixed, but what a headache.
Wow, I'm so sorry, that's terrible-- the first bad thing I've heard about Freedom Cage.

Is Mark Mann not the original owner? As far as I knew, he had always been. I also have just recently spoken to him and he told me all of their cage parts are manufactured in the UK, but built in the USA. All of his custom cages are both manufactured and built in the USA.

This is very strange; I will check into it.
 

saroj12

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The Avian Adventures I am buying these days are made in China!
 

atvchick95

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I just sent them a Email asking where exactly their cages are made at.

this is what I Emailed them
I was reading on a bird forum that your Avian Adventure bird cages are actually made in China, I was under the impression they were made in Muncie,Indiana not in China?

So I thought I'd E-mail and ask exactly where your Avian Adventure cages are made at, if they are made in China, I will be tossing mine in the trash and Getting a brand that isn't made in China, because cages from China always end up being made of Toxic Material and I'm not trying to kill my Parrots.

I'll let y'all know what they say when they reply.
 

lotus15

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I've emailed them as well in the past; their warehouse is here in the US but their cages are manufactured in China. That doesn't mean however that they are necessarily toxic-- in fact their powder coatings have a pretty good reputation.
 

atvchick95

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I know the factory down the road makes them there, because you can drive by and see them in the dumpster, they toss them out if something isn't right - even if its just a food dish holder is made wrong they throw the entire cage away

if the perches that come with their cages didn't get the notches cut out right they get thrown away

they just toss the stuff no matter how little the imperfection is and they could easily fix it!

if one bar is not right they throw out the entire cage :omg:
 

lotus15

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they just toss the stuff no matter how little the imperfection is and they could easily fix it!

if one bar is not right they throw out the entire cage :omg:
Hmm... how strange... To my understanding, Avian Adventures was owned by another company until just very recently (I believe in the past year?) when MidWest bought them. MidWest has its own factory where they manufacture a bunch of their own line of pet stuff, but as far as I know, they have not yet incorporated the parrot cages into their factory. I've spoken to them a few times, all within the past few months, and they've told me their cages are made in China. Also the statements you said above would lead me to believe that they are manufactured in China because it sounds like they don't have the equipment maybe to fix such small imperfections??

In any case, I'm interested as to how they respond to your email!
 

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Just a quick note to say we have talked with customer service at Kings cages on multiple occassions and have found them to be very helpful and kind. They were able to put us in contact with the right people to answer our questions and we found them very compitant. This was very recently over the last year. Just wanted others to know. ;)
 
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