If you’re wondering if 304 grade stainless steel bird cages are safe for birds, the answer is definitely “yes!” In fact, it’s the only material used in bird cages these days that I feel 100% confident putting my bird in.
With the increasing number of powder coated brands having toxic levels of harmful components, the safest bet is to get a 304 grade stainless steel cage. Other than stainless and powder coated, the only other option I know of is bamboo or wood, and that makes me nervous to even think about putting my bird in a cage made of wood. Every time I think of cages made of wood, I worry that my bird will get splinters, or worse, find some kind of bacteria inside the wood that could make it sick.
The only caveat I would give about the safety of a 304 grade stainless steel bird cage is to make sure you buy a stainless steel cage constructed from genuine, authentic grade 304 stainless steel. If you buy a cheap generic stainless steel cage, which is supposed to be made of 304 grade stainless steel, you’ll never know if it’s genuine or not.
It is impossible to tell if an inauthentic grade 304 stainless steel cage is not toxic to your bird without having it tested by a professional laboratory. To do this, you would have to send a piece of your cage to a lab, and this would damage the cage for analysis. There is always the possibility that, to save money, the mill puts filler components into the steel mix to replace the expensive components of the genuine grade 304 mix, and those replacement components are most likely toxic to birds. Your best bet is to make sure you are buying from a reputable cage manufacturer that you can trust.
So that begs the question; “Is it worth buying a stainless steel cage?” The answer to that question is; “definitely.” If you look at the benefits of ownership between a stainless steel cage and a powder coated cage, the better choice is obvious. Stainless steel cages are much easier to keep clean and hygienic. You can pressure wash them without the powder coating coming off, and you can also scrub them with a mixture of vinegar and water to get them completely clean quickly and easily. The process is as simple as coating the surface of the cage with the mixture, waiting 5 minutes, and then scrubbing or hosing it down. Then simply dry the cage with a dry towel if you don’t want water spots.
Although ease of ownership is a great benefit, the biggest benefit is the lifespan of stainless steel cages. If you get a truly authentic 304 grade stainless steel cage that is well built, that cage could last a millennium if cared for properly. On the other hand, you could buy a top-brand powder-coated cage and take good care of it, and you’ll be lucky if it lasts more than a decade before it completely rusts away and becomes unsuitable for your feathered friend. I highly recommend stainless steel for all of these reasons, and if you can afford to buy one, you won’t be sorry you did.