January 1, 2012 § 7 Comments
Happy New Year!! Here’s to new beginnings in 2012. I hope you all have a very happy and healthy new year.
Since Lola has had her King’s Cages 33×25 flat top aluminum cage for over a year now, I figured it would be a good time to write an updated review. (You can read the original review here.) To re-state, this is not her normal cage, this is a temporary cage that we use only when we are visiting my parents’ house. I feel that it is too small for her as a normal cage and that a bird her size really needs much more space. As a temporary cage, however, it does a great job.
Here’s how the cage currently looks. I still like the simple shape (although I do think that the dome top is quite nice too, plus it offers a lot more vertical space). I like that it is streamlined and I like the silver on silver coloring. More importantly, it functions really well as a temporary cage because it is so incredibly lightweight and easy to move. I can’t tell you what an enormous world of difference it makes, especially in comparison to Lola’s stainless steel cage at home. It is a breeze to wheel around and even to lift, if I have to. That said, it isn’t at all flimsy, but rather it is very sturdy and strong. That’s the beauty of aluminum!
One downside of aluminum, however, is that it is the biggest pain to clean. It seems that once anything dries onto it, it is there to stay, unless you scrub and scrub and scrub until your fingers and hands are sore. I will admit that Lola is a disgustingly messy eater, but this cage is definitely more difficult to clean than both her stainless steel and her powder-coated cages.
As you can see, it’s not a huge cage, but it has ample room for at least a few different types of perches and toys. I currently have Lola set up with a grapevine wood perch, a platform perch, two ribbonwood perches (one double bolted), a safety pedicure perch, and a great cotton boing. She has a good amount of toys, and two food bowls as well. By the way, that sad looking brown and orange toy up top used to look like this:
Lola seems to have had a blast destroying the once adorable little crab. You might also remember the adorable custom Snowman toy that Lola got for Christmas, which was once very big and loaded with toy parts. Well, here’s what the poor thing looks like now:
That’s really all that’s left of the toy– that and a vineball or two underneath– and the only poor remaining Snowman head looks like he suffered a zombie apocalypse and had his brains eaten.
Anyway, back to the cage. My biggest complaint is the feeder doors. They are a real pain in the bum to clean. I have the “upgraded” stainless steel bowls, which I highly recommend for anybody purchasing this cage. They look like this:
But the way that the doors are made, with all of the ridges, make them the perfect spot for tons of little crumbs and husks and other bits of food to get stuck!
As you can see, lots of little bits and pieces can get stuck in there, and that’s after being wiped away. I had to get a toothbrush to clean these out properly (and I have to do it after every meal too). I wouldn’t bother to use the feeder doors at all and just get separate ring holders to put elsewhere, but my mother doesn’t feel comfortable with Lola’s beak and likes using the feeder doors.
Aside from the feeder doors, I have one other warning. I say warning because it’s not really a complaint, but just a warning that there is a good reason that these cages do not come in bigger sizes, as they are NOT meant for larger birds. I as well as many other people have contacted King’s asking if they will do larger sizes, but they said no because the aluminum is not strong enough to stand up to bigger beaks. I was confused by this because there is another company that makes aluminum cages for macaws and cockatoos, but apparently the anodization process is key here. As you may know, aluminum is a highly toxic metal, and poses a great danger to birds if ingested. Aluminum cages, however, are generally considered safe because they are anodized, a process that makes them incredibly hard and durable, and in some cases can make them even more hard than stainless steel. But it depends on to what extent they are anodized.
I guess that the aluminum that King’s uses is anodized, but not to the point that it is harder than stainless steel, as I would guess the other company’s aluminum cages are. I was putting together Lola’s King’s aluminum travel cage prior to the visit to prepare everything, and I accidentally slammed it against something else (I’m really clumsy). I can’t remember exactly what, but it must’ve been pretty hard because it actually chipped part of the square tubing of her cage. Some aluminum flaked off, which could have easily been ingested (and would have cause heavy metal poisoning). Thankfully it was only on an isolated part on the outside of the cage, so it’s not an issue, but it did show me that I have to be very careful with aluminum. I am fairly certain that Lola’s beak isn’t quite strong enough to chip it as she plays pretty rough and tumble in her travel and temporary cages, and thankfully doesn’t show much interest in attempting to chip it, but a large macaw or a cockatoo would be a different story.
All in all, this really is a great and very well-made cage, but please remember to keep the appropriately sized bird in it. You do not want to take the risk of keeping a larger bird with a more powerful beak in a cage this size, not only because it is too small, but because it might pose a metal poisoning risk. I would say that this makes a great cage for smaller poicephalus, pionus, conures, etc., or a temporary cage for a slightly larger bird.
I hope this updated review helps, and once more, a very Happy New Year to you and yours.
April 23, 2011 § 12 Comments
First I just want to say, THANK GOODNESS I am finally done importing entries! A lot of them, obviously, were never moved, but I think that I got all of the most informative ones over. Now I can finally write some new ones!
Some of you might remember back in January when I was very dismayed to find that the King’s Cages stainless steel bowls and ring holders that I used were not actually stainless steel– the bowls were, but the ring holders were actually chrome-plated, and mine had just begun to rust. I was especially disappointed because I had contacted the company directly asking what they were made of, and I had been told at least twice that they were stainless. It wasn’t until I called and told them about the rust that they finally admitted that they were chrome-plated. I have over twenty of these bowls and ring holders; needless to say I was not happy.
It’s quite astounding to me how little options there are for stainless steel food bowls and crocks on the market. I use exclusively stainless steel bowls because I feel that they are the most sanitary and safe, but almost every single stainless steel bowl comes with a non-stainless ring holder. The only company that makes 100% stainless steel bowls and ring holders is Expandable Habitats, but their line is rather limited. They only come in two sizes: 24 and 46 oz. I do use and love their 46 oz bowl (and it even comes with a lifetime guarantee), but it is huge and too deep even for Lola, so it is really a bathing / dunking water bowl for her only. Their 24 oz bowl, though more appropriately sized, is more deep than she prefers for food, especially her mash for some reason. And then, of course, there is the fact that both of these are much too large for the budgies.
I began contacting various cage makers and other people in the parrot industry and finally even local stainless steel welders and whatnot when I realized how difficult it would be to find somebody willing to take on this custom project. I had some very nice companies try and make a custom ring holder for me to fit my existing bowls, but always turn me down. Apparently, it is very difficult to bend stainless steel, especially in a tiny perfect circle as was necessary for the small 5 oz bowls I wanted for the budgies. But I finally found somebody willing to do it!
The bad news: After only making a few of them, the company told me that they would NOT be willing to make anymore of these after they finished what I’d originally asked for. They were actually quite a pain to make evidently and were not worth the trouble for the money, despite the fact that I paid an arm and a leg for them.
The good news: They are PERFECT! They are 100% 304 grade stainless steel, custom-built to fit into the King’s bowls that I already have. The best part is, they even fit the little notches on the sides of the bowls so that they will lock into place and cannot be dumped by mischievous parrots. I purchased a whole bunch for Lola and the budgies, and even some special ones to fit into the aluminum cages.
Then I decided that new bowls meant that I should rearrange cages! 😀
This is Charles and Sabrina’s new cage setup. They’re roommates on nights and weekends for now, but I might give them a trial run during the week. They’ve been doing very well together, plus Sabrina likes Charles’s cage so much more than her own.
There are two “feeding stations,” each with two of their beautiful new stainless steel bowls and ring holders. They’re close enough together that the two of them won’t fight over who gets what bowl, as long as they have the same thing in them. Then a ton of great natural wood perches with different configurations, and of course a ton of toys.
Up top is my very favorite perch: a very branchy and gnarly sandblasted grapevine wood perch that is so great for their feet! There’s a single water bowl, placed high up so as not to get soiled. I’ve learned that it is wise to put the less messy, less shreddable, or all stainless/plastic toys up top with them so that they don’t shred a ton of balsa or paper into their food and/or water down below.
Lola also got a cage rearrangement in honor of her new bowls and ring holders, although I am not sure if I am 100% happy with it right now. I will probably move a few things around during the course of the week (and add more toys).
All in all, I’m so happy that I can finally say that every single metal item in their cages are 100% stainless steel, ring holders included!
April 21, 2011 § 2 Comments
I get so very many questions about this cage so I will try to address them all here in my review, but feel free to ask any more you’ve got! This is the very beautiful King’s aluminum cage. It is the flat top model and its dimensions are 33″ wide by 25″ deep. The bar spacing is exactly 3/4″ of actual space, and the entire cage body is drilled (not welded). There are four feeder doors on the lower sides and one removable “door” (with screws, not a swing out) for a nestbox for breeding birds. There is also a shelf underneath. It is made of anodized aluminum and is not only incredibly sturdy but also VERY lightweight and easy to maneuver.
I use this cage as Lola’s temporary cage when we are visiting my parents. It is a teensy bit small for her which is why it is temporary only. If they made bigger sizes, I would seriously consider it as a permanent cage as I am very pleased with the construction and quality. I got this cage for a great deal– only $300 (normal price is around $600!). It supposedly will not rust either which is definitely a major plus! It also comes in flat top and dome top models.
Here are some more up close photos for more detail of the locks, doors, and feeders.
My one complaint is that for a cage this pricey, it comes with these terrible black plastic feeder bowls, and you have to buy the stainless steel bowls separately. They also only come in one size, and can only be ordered directly from King’s so as to have the special brackets. I strongly recommend that anybody considering this cage replace the bowls, as the plastic crocks are awful and belong in the trash.
Otherwise, I am very pleased with this cage and I highly recommend it to anybody with medium-sized conures, the smaller pois, pionus, etc. Lola and I are quite pleased!
[This entry has been imported, with some edits, from my previous blog.]
April 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
I bought Lola a wonderfully sturdy King’s aluminum carrier, the medium size. Would you believe I got this for only $90?! Such a bargain! (I got her full-sized aluminum cage for a similarly fantastic bargain!) It is now decked out with the stainless steel replacement bowls and a beautiful custom double-bolted perch made out of chunky, barky willow for extra tight grip by PPBN (which is unfortunately no longer in retail business). I’ve decided not to use the grate with it to keep the weight as light as possible.
And here’s Lola getting acquainted!
Edit: Since the original time of purchase, I have used this carrier many, many times and I am very pleased with the quality and durability. It is also very easy to knock down, clean, and store. I find that the medium size is perfect for Lola for longer car rides. A longer stay, however, would require the large size.
[This entry has been imported, with some edits, from my previous blog.]