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Birds can make great pets, but they can be very noisy. If you’re thinking of getting a pet bird but are worried about noise levels, you might be wondering how to make a soundproof bird cage. Here’s a quick answer:
The best method to make a soundproof bird cage is to use animal-friendly plexiglass. The plexiglass should be thick enough to block most of the sound coming from the bird cage, but obviously be sure to leave enough holes for ventilation.
In this article I’ll go over the method for building a soundproof bird cage in more detail. I’ll also look at ways to soundproof an existing bird cage, which is useful if you need to make your current one quieter.
Building a soundproof bird cage
The basics for building a soundproof bird cage are different from other soundproofing methods because you have to take a living animal into account.
Please note, this means you’ll never have a completely soundproof bird cage, as there still needs to be an airflow to keep the bird alive.
Granted, there are some materials you could use that would soundproof a bird cage, but these would prevent light from reaching the bird, which is why I suggest using a transparent material.
Because you’re dealing with a live bird, you’ll need to make some kind of sacrifice in the level of soundproofing you can expect. A 100% soundproof cage would either be pitch black inside or not let any air in. Neither of these conditions is acceptable for keeping a bird.
When choosing the right material, you need something that’ll attenuate, absorb, or block the sound coming from inside the cage. However, as I mentioned, you’re restricted in what products you can use because they either need to be transparent or breathable or both.
For building a soundproof bird cage from scratch, I’d recommend plexiglass as the best material. This is because it’s very durable, is generally scratch-resistant, and is fairly good at blocking sound. What’s more, acrylic is safe to use around animals, so is a worthwhile option.
Why not normal glass? More than anything, glass is fragile and so isn’t a great option for use around pets. Also, standard glass doesn’t have the best soundproofing properties, as anyone who’s tried to soundproof a window will know.
Finally, it’s much more expensive to buy than acrylic, even high-quality acrylic. Plus, if you’re working with it, acrylic is much easier to cut and stick. Here are the main advantages of using acrylic:
- Easy to clean. Acrylic is really easy to keep clean compared to cages with bars.
- Non-toxic. It’ll be almost impossible for your bird to eat some of its cage, but if it does then the acrylic will just pass straight through them.
- Durable. Acrylic is almost impossible to scratch, both inside and outside.
- Good at blocking sound. Thick, high quality acrylic is a surprisingly good soundproofing material – better than glass anyway.
- Unobstructed view. Many bird owners report their birds being happier with the lack of bars in their field of vision.
- Shatter-resistant. If the cage ever gets dropped, you can be confident it won’t cause any major damage.
As you can see, acrylic/Plexiglass bird cages are a great option, even if you’re not trying to build a soundproof bird cage. What’s more, building your own is fairly easy with a few tools and a bit of knowledge.
How to make a soundproof bird cage
Now that we have a greater understanding of our materials, it’s time to look at the method. This is a fairly straightforward job, but you can obviously customize your bird cage in terms of style and shape.
For this job you’ll need:
- Plexiglass – enough to build a cage to the size of your choice. Thicker the better
- Solvent glue
- Measuring tape
1. Measure and cut your pieces
The first step in this process is to decide how large you want the cage to be. Ultimately, this is dependent on what birds you have and how much space you have. Remember they’ll need plenty of room to fly.
Here are some approximate sizes to help you get an idea:
- Finches: 18 x 30 x 18 inches
- Budgies: 18 x 18 x 24 inches
- African gray parrot: 24 x 36 x 48 inches
- Cockatoo: 36 x 48 x 48 inches
Bear in mind that these are minimum sizes based on the size of the bird. If you can go bigger, do, but consider how much this’ll cost in materials. Obviously it can help to cost everything up before you buy.
Measure your acrylic to the correct size and mark it up on the surface. You can cut acrylic with a saw, but this can get a bit smelly. Refer to this guide for more information about working with acrylic.
While you can just build a box out of acrylic, I’ve found it’s much easier to build a wooden frame and attach the acrylic to this. More than anything, this allows you to attach a door and floor, and you can turn it into a stand too.
Finally, drill air holes for ventilation. The more you can add the better, but obviously this’ll reduce the level of soundproofing you’re getting from the cage.
2. Arrange and stick your pieces
Start by building the wooden frame, which should be an upright for each corner, and possibly a floor. You can either nail or screw these together, but secure the joins with some wood glue too.
Next, stick the acrylic to the inside of the wooden frame using solvent glue. This needs to be left to soften the acrylic, and then you should leave it for a few days to harden once stuck in place.
I’d generally avoid screwing the acrylic, as this can cause it to shatter. Instead, apply pressure to the join with a vice and just leave it to dry.
3. Add a door
You’ll need a door to be able to access your birds, but you can make this simply by attaching one piece of acrylic to hinges. However, bear in mind that doors allow sound to leak out, so try and keep it fairly small.
4. Build a stand
It might be worth building a stand for your bird cage, unless it’s going to sit on the furniture. However, you can find a range of cage stands on Amazon, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that matches your needs.
You might also want to consider lining all the joins with something like Green Glue too, as this will help to reduce the amount of sound that leaks out. Other than that, this job is basically complete.
If you want a better idea of what this’ll look like, watch this video on how to assemble an acrylic cage. You’ll basically be doing the same thing but with your own materials.
How to soundproof an existing bird cage
If building a soundproof bird cage seems like a lot of effort, there are ways you can soundproof an existing bird cage. Obviously these might not have the same results, but they’re worth trying if you don’t want to spend loads of money.
Here are my top suggestions for how to soundproof an existing bird cage:
1. Use a cage cover
Fitting a cover over your bird cage will add an extra layer of noise protection. However, it also tricks the bird into thinking it’s night, and most bird are less likely to make noise when it’s dark.
If you want to go one step further, consider making your own bird cage cover out of a soundproof material, such as these moving blankets from Amazon. They’re fairly heavy and so will help to absorb sound.
Just bear in mind that you can’t leave the cover on all the time. That said, bird noises cause most issues at night, so this is a good way of reducing the problem.
2. Use acoustic panels
In much the same way as you can use a bird cage cover, you could consider making one from acoustic panels. These are fairly thick and dense material that do a good job of absorbing sound.
There are 2 things to consider for this solution:
- Don’t use foam panels, as these are for acoustic treatment. You want a product that’ll absorb sound.
- Be sure the product is non-toxic. Generally, this means staying away from fiberglass products, but also from some types of foam.
Many brands will state whether their product is non-toxic, so be sure to look out for this. It’s particularly important if your cage is bars, as the bird could reach through and bite off some of the foam.
The easiest way to add this foam to your bird cage is to build wooden frames that you stick the foam inside. You can follow this video for how to build acoustic panels, but obviously just build them to the right size for your cage.
Also, only use them in the evening or at night, as you can’t really keep them on all day. If you want to use them during the day, limit it to no more than an hour or so.
Tricking your bird into thinking it’s night too often can mess with their daily cycle, and could result in them becoming depressed. Therefore if you want constant noise reduction, consider an acrylic cage because this still lets enough light through.
3. Try soundproof curtains
Soundproof curtains certainly won’t deliver the same results as acoustic foam, but they’re a more attractive option. They do offer some level of sound attenuation, so can be worth a try.
There are plenty of options available, but ensure they’re fairly heavy and thick. Anything less and they won’t be any more useful than a normal set of curtains.
You can simply clip them to the bird cage when you want to reduce noise levels, or you could try fitting a curtain rail to make things easier. Using curtains will block out light too, so don’t overuse them.
Check out my recommended soundproof curtains.
4. Move the cage elsewhere
While this isn’t technically soundproofing the cage, sometimes it can be enough to make a difference. Ideally, you should move it to a room far enough away that it’s no longer a distraction.
The other option is to surround the cage with some heavy furniture, as this’ll reduce the amount of noise that travels from the cage. Things like bookcases, armchairs, or sofas work quite well for this.
Of course, if you’re moving the cage somewhere else, make sure it’s a good environment for your bird. This means it needs to have enough light and warmth to keep them happy.
5. Train your bird to make less noise
Another option if you’ve got the patience is to try training your bird to make less noise. This takes commitment, however, and isn’t really possible for all species. It works best with intelligent birds like parrots or cockatoos.
- When your bird is next making a lot of noise, simply leave the room.
- Only come back in when it’s stopped making noise.
- Give it a treat to acknowledge its good behavior. It won’t take long until it associates the treats with being quiet.
- Repeat until your bird learns that being quiet is good.
Obviously this won’t work if you need your bird to be quiet all the time, but it can be a useful method if, for example, you need quiet for work meetings or want it to be quiet in the evenings.
Some final thoughts
Hopefully, I’ve shown you some options for how to soundproof a bird cage. Just remember though, you’ll never get it truly soundproof because otherwise, your bird won’t survive!
The bottom line is that birds can be noisy pets, which is why some people like them. If this isn’t the case for you, it might be worth considering a different pet that makes less noise.