Homemade Bird Aviaries and Flight Cages

I’ve converted several pieces of furniture into large furniture style flight cages and indoor bird aviaries. The large size allows ample room for our budgie parakeets to fly and play. The glass doors offer unobstructed viewing, easy access, and keep feathers, dander, seeds and hulls contained within.

Wood and glass display cabinet converted into 6' long x 3' high x 2' deep budgie parakeet indoor aviary or flight cage.

Above photo: I bought a wood and glass display cabinet and retrofitted it into a large flight cage. It measures 6 feet long x 3 feet high x 2 feet deep and can comfortably house a dozen budgies. I removed the top glass and replaced it with a ventilation panel and removed the back glass and replaced it with a white board. I scrubbed the wood finish with hot soapy water, then vinegar, then treated it with organic sesame oil. It currently sits on a 6′ long folding table, although a dresser or cabinet placed under it would offer valuable storage space under the enclosure.

I hung natural tree branch perches (a product called “Wacky Wood”), rope “boings”, swings and toys from the sturdy top ventilation panel using large plastic chain and zip ties. A full-spectrum light sits on top of the ventilation panel and is turned on and off automatically by a timer.

4' x 3' glass and chrome display case converted into budgie parakeet flight cage.

I’ve also made flight cages and aviaries out of a china hutch (scroll down for photos) and most recently, a 4′ long x 3′ high flight cage from a glass and chrome display case. Inside, I placed a removable homemade bird play gym, a rope boing and toys. I introduce and rotate new toys and perches periodically to keep the budgies entertained.

We removed the interior shelves from the top display unit, installed ventilation panels into both sides and on top, and filled it with perches, ladders, swings and sisal climbing ropes.

Important Safety Info: All aviary materials must be free of lead, zinc, paint and toxic wood finishes. Look for solid wood; avoid pressed MDF wood. Place or hang all perches and toys away from the wood walls to keep the birds from chewing on them. Galvanized metal and wire mesh contain toxic substances so for ventilation, I use plastic grid light covers (from Home Depot). Clean all surfaces with vinegar water or another non-toxic cleanser. Air out all new materials for several weeks so they can out-gas before using, and treat the wood with organic, food-grade sesame oil.

Cleaning: I clean our bird enclosures every other day. I replace the paper on the bottom and use a vacuum hose to remove stray food remains and feathers. When the birds are out on their portable play gym, I wipe the interior walls and glass down with vinegar water (household cleansers contain chemicals that can be deadly for small creatures).

More Budgie Parakeet Pages:

Hand-fed Budgies and Parakeets available in Colorado!: Our family raises, hand-feeds, trains and adores Budgie Parakeets. Learn more about our selective breeding program and view our gorgeous, tame birds.

Inside Our Aviary: See where our birds live — flight enclosures, breeding room, play gyms.

Our Flock of Adult Budgie Parakeets: Take a peek at our gorgeous feathered friends. Lots of photos!

Adorable Pictures of Our Hand-fed Babies: Come ooh and aahh over all the cuteness and watch them grow up!

Pre-Adoption Questionnaire: If you are interested in adopting one (or more) of our parakeets when they become available, please respond to these questions.

Budgie Baby Waiting List: I know how hard it is to wait when you’re excited but I promise you, the wait is worth it!

FAQ (frequently asked questions): What is a Budgie Parakeet’s personality like? What are the differences between American Parakeets and English Budgies? How do you tell a male from a female? Should you keep one, two or more? How long do they live? Where did the species originate?

How To Care For Your Pet Budgie Parakeet: Learn about housing, cages, homemade aviaries, cleaning tips, health, safety, nutrition, exercise, playtime activities, toys, and more.

Bird Nutrition and Food Recommendations: Malnourishment is a leading cause of premature death in pet birds. We provide lists of healthy foods, and tell you how to grow your own sprouts.

Training, Talking, Tricks: Entertaining video demonstrations and informative tips.

Colors, Varieties, Mutations, Genetics: Budgie Parakeets come in a rainbow of colors. This page has beautiful photos and variety descriptions.

Bird and Parrot Playgyms, Stands and Perches for Sale: Learn how to make your own — or order a custom one from us.

Homemade Aviaries and Flight Cages: How to converted used furniture into large flight cages and beautiful indoor aviaries.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula January 30, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Wow I and so impressed with what you have done. Such a great idea and one I hope I can convince my husband to try. How difficult would it be for people with little carpentry experience??

Puppies Are Prozac January 31, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Thanks, Paula. We love these so much more than traditional cages — they look great in our home. Depending on the piece you start with, you don’t need much more than maybe a saw to cut the plastic ventilation panels down to size. The panels just sit on top so you don’t even need a screwdriver! Pretty easy. The hard part is finding a suitable piece of furniture to start with.

Denise Wright Reinhardt May 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Wow..these are amazing…exactly what I’m looking for my canaries..thank you so much for posting this!

sheila bell June 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm

i there, i love your ideas. the reason i want to switch to a glass flight cage is i just can’t stand the mess of seeds my lady gouldian finches make every day. the thing i am worried about is i want the glass to look really pretty also, how can i keep it clean? Since my birds are up against a window now, i can see what a mess they make. i can’t use a separate cage while cleaning, like you did, i wish the glass would slide out so i could clean it…..help!

Heidi February 8, 2012 at 4:09 pm

We were completely inspired with your idea. We bought a cabinet with doors and converted it into a small aviary for our two cockatiels. We just love it and it looks so beautiful (much less messy too).
Thank you!

Lizz March 3, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I love this idea and had to try it. I just bought a wood armoire hoping to install a plexiglass door front. How did you install the ventilation panels in your china hutch? Also what kind of lights did you use?

Puppies Are Prozac March 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Lizz, I used a jigsaw with a fine blade to cut the holes. On top, I simply place the ventilation panels without fasteners — the weight of the panel and/or light fixture keeps it in place. I use full-spectrum bulbs.

Lizz March 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Hi thanks for the tips, did you use the jigsaw remove the top of your china hutch as well?

Lydia May 3, 2012 at 7:43 am

What is the material, and where do you get it, for the ventilation panels/tops?
Love what you have done and I am still thinking about logistics with an old entertainment cabinet with 2 front glass doors–not sure if I ventilate the top or make panels in the sides. I removed the wood back and thought about plexiglass there but do like the white backing you have used.

jeramey May 10, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Do you make cages for other people.will pay top dollar.

Puppies Are Prozac May 22, 2012 at 10:11 pm

We used plastic lighting panel grids available at Home Depot. Definitely ventilate the top and if the cabinet is small, cut out vents on each side as well.

Leanne May 28, 2012 at 4:05 pm

I love what you have done here – we have been thinking about doing exactly the same thing, but have been unsure about many factors. For example, do you have trouble with birds chewing on the wood? We have a conure and I worry that any exposed wood surface might prove too tempting. Also, what is the purpose of the sesame oil. I would also be curious about how easy it is to clean the corners of the cages, especially if bird droppings find their way in there. Finally, did you install the glass fronts yourselves and if so, did you use tempered glass and do you find that a particular sort of door (sliding or hinged?) works best.

I’m so glad to have found someone with experience in this sort of project.
Thanks so much,

Bonnie July 15, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I am hoping to convert our china cabinet into a parakeet cage similar to your china hutch pictured above. The enclosure will measure 32″ wide by 31″ tall by 14″ deep. Do you think it is large enough for 2 parakeets. Also, should I replace the single glass door front with chicken wire? Won’t the birds fly into the glass door? I’m also nervous about the birds flying out whenever I change the water and food. Should I try to carve a smaller door into the side of the hutch? Thanks so much. Stumbled upon your website and learned more here than from the pet stores! Bonnie

joanne birch August 21, 2012 at 7:12 pm

hi there,
I am hoping to build a flight for my budgies. could i use perspecs instead of glass as long as it has vents? and small battery operated push light at the bottom of the flight slightly under the wood chip?

Pam October 22, 2012 at 5:29 am

I am almost ready to sit my tv on a stand so I can use my entertainment set for my budgie “Pearl”.. :-)

Janis Wattenburger October 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Hi – I was wondering if you sell just the cages w/o all the extras? It says $55 but I couldn’t find an order form. I would like to purchase a white one & some of your seed mixes. Thanks, Janis

Kathi December 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Love the china cabinet idea. Where do you get the vents for the to?

Rick & Marci Bastin December 9, 2012 at 9:10 pm

As we build our new homewe have decided to turn a bedroom into a flight aviery for our finches (60 in total) the room is 11′ by 11′. We plan on adding some live plants natural tree branch’s and some type of monkey grass, there will be a shallow flowing stream with a few shallow pools all coming from a 2′ high waterfall. Just so you know there will be a safe room for entry to avoid any excapes.
This is all still in a plan form, we would appreciate any ideas and safe guards that you may have.

Shelley December 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm

This is very cool. I am building one out of an old armoire. What kidn of lights do you use in the tops of the cages? And where do you get them from?

janice March 26, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I too am in the process of converting an old wooden china cabinet into a cage for my cockatiels. I hope this project turns out as well as your cages. Thanks for the tips. Vinigar and water, how much vinigar to how much water? Thanks again…

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