Fact Checked

How Do I Choose the Best Aviary Wire Mesh?

Rebecca Mecomber
Rebecca Mecomber

Exotic birds are personable pets but must be housed in cages lest they flap around the house or encounter dangers in the outside world. Aviary wire mesh is manufactured specially for large cages. The mesh is constructed of a durable metal material, and the hexagonal or square shapes provide a perfect perching and climbing material. Wire mesh sizes vary, so select the smaller diameter mesh to contain the smallest birds. When selecting aviary wire mesh, look for powder-coated or vinyl-coated wire and avoid mesh that contains sharp barbs as well as plain galvanized metal.

Not all types of wire mesh are alike. Some metal mesh is constructed of stainless steel or wrought iron, some of galvanized metal, and others of coated metal. The stainless steel is the best wire mesh for bird cages, as it resists bacteria growth and rust, and does not contain minerals that are toxic to birds. Wrought iron is safe, but the material does corrode and is heavy. Stainless steel and iron mesh can be expensive, however, and so many bird owners select the more affordable galvanized mesh material.

Aviary wire mesh is constructed of durable metal material that is intended for large cages to house exotic birds.
Aviary wire mesh is constructed of durable metal material that is intended for large cages to house exotic birds.

Galvanized metal contains zinc. This type of metal is used for outdoor projects, because the zinc plating resists corrosion. Zinc, however, is toxic to birds. Prolonged exposure to heavy metals, such as zinc, lead or tin, build up in the bird's body, causing symptoms like cyanosis, feather plucking, liver dysfunction and, in severe cases, death. Some owners wash the galvanized wire mesh with a vinegar solution to remove zinc flakes from the metal, while others avoid galvanized metal altogether.

Some aviary wire mesh is constructed of cheap metal dipped in vinyl or coated with a special paint, called powder-coat. This mesh is very durable and prevents the possible poisoning of the bird. The bird still may chew through the coating, or the coating may wear away from outdoor exposure. Once the coating develops tears or holes, the mesh becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and corrosion.

Aviary wire mesh is usually manufactured with smooth metal. You should always check to ensure that the mesh is tightly would and welded. Small barbs or nicks in the joints or wire can snag a bird's sensitive foot and cause bleeding. Look for wire products produced by a reputable manufacturer. Such a manufacturer usually wishes to maintain a good reputation and will therefore make quality products and answer consumer concerns more readily.

What is the best wire for an aviary?

The best wire for an aviary provides a sturdy and safe enclosure without blocking light and air. Since people want to enjoy the birds, the mesh should provide plenty of open spaces to see through. The mesh must also be strong enough to protect the birds from outside predators and falling debris such as tree branches.

The wire mesh should be suitable for the type of bird in the enclosure. Macaws and African Greys have much stronger beaks and biting power than finches and need a thicker gauge wire for the pen. However, small parakeets may fit through larger holes, so a thin wire with small openings allows onlookers a better view while preventing the bird's escape.

Weather also determines what type of mesh is best. Locations that receive heavy snow during the winter require a thicker, more robust gage of mesh to withstand the weight. Bird owners that live in areas that get a lot of rain may want to consider a product that resists rust. On the other hand, people who live in areas with extensive heat should think about using a coated metal product to prevent burning when touched.

Which companies are aviary wire mesh suppliers?

Both International and American companies sell wire mesh products for aviaries. Many of these suppliers market their products to various industries, such as manufacturing and construction. Most companies offer an online catalog on the business’s website, while others allow customers to come onsite to choose a product.

Buyers should consider purchasing from a company that guarantees their product when ordering wire mesh online or from out of the area.

How do you join aviary wire mesh?

When creating big aviaries, it is necessary to use a large quantity of mesh. Since the product may only cover a portion of the aviary frame, the builder needs to join the mesh pieces to create a seamless side. Builders must connect the mesh sections to prevent gaps where birds can escape and without sharp parts that can injure them.

There are several different ways to join wire mesh. The first step is to bring the two pieces together, so they overlap. Then builders can choose one of the following methods for securing the fencing:

  • Weld them together
  • Use thin pieces of wire to tie the fence together by looping the wire around both parts at a joint and twisting the ends together
  • Use c-clips, a small metal clip that wraps around both pieces of mesh

The vital step is ensuring builders connect each link to prevent gaps where birds can escape and smoothing down any wire edges that might injure a bird.

How do you repair worn pieces of aviary wire mesh?

Storms and accidents can damage wire mesh despite its durability. Replacing mesh over the entire aviary can be expensive and time-consuming, so repairing it is a better option.

Owners should first remove the birds to prevent their escape during the repair of the aviary wire mesh. Once the birds are out of the aviary, the steps to fix the mesh are as follows:

  1. Measure and cut a new piece of wire mesh slightly larger than the area that needs replacing.
  2. Cut away the damaged mesh at the intersection of each wire. This practice keeps sharp pieces to a minimum.
  3. Lay the new piece of wire mesh over the hole, centering it and lining it up with the mesh pattern of the existing fence. 
  4. Join the two pieces with c clips, wire ties, or welding them together.
  5. Ensure the replacement piece is secure and that no sharp parts remain. 

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Discussion Comments


We had a really big aviary when I was a kid, which my dad built himself. It was large enough to walk into and we kept all kinds of birds in there.

It was a real learning curve though, as you can't just plunk the wire down and expect the birds to stay in. Parrots in particular are really good at prying up wire, so you need to make sure every join is going to stay and that part of the mesh is folded over at the bottom so they don't force their way out there either.

The other thing to consider, depending on where you live, is that bird seed (and birds!) is quite sought after in the animal kingdom, so you might have other animals trying to get into the aviary as well.


You might like to consider what kind of birds you're going to have in the cage when you're looking at the kind of wire mesh to choose.

If you're planning to have small birds, particularly if you are having only finches and canaries and that kind of bird, it's OK to have a smaller mesh if you want.

But, if you are going to house parrots, particularly larger parrots, or a combination of different types of birds, you really need to have a mesh that the parrots can climb without hurting themselves.

Parrots need to fly, in order to exercise their wings, but they also need to be able to climb, because that's a part of their natural activity as well. Perching birds, like canaries, just need a few different sizes of perches and that's enough for their feet, but parrots will suffer if they don't have something to climb.

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    • Aviary wire mesh is constructed of durable metal material that is intended for large cages to house exotic birds.
      By: helenedevun
      Aviary wire mesh is constructed of durable metal material that is intended for large cages to house exotic birds.