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Is it permissible for me to put my pet bird in its cage on Shabbat?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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Firstly, all living animals or birds are Muktzeh on Shabbat. Therefore it is obviously forbidden to pick up the bird in order to put it back into the cage.

If you are not actually handling the bird, but only verbally coaxing it, or chasing it, into the cage, or if it is already in the cage and you just want to close the door, then it depends:

All living animals or birds are muktzeh on Shabbat. Therefore it is forbidden to pick up a bird to put it back into its cage.
If the bird is domesticated to the extent that it does not resist you when you try to put it back into its cage, and the room where the cage is in is small enough that even if the bird wasn't domesticated you wouldn't have a tough time catching it, then it is permitted.


If, however, the bird is not domesticated or if the room is larger than abovementioned, then it is forbidden to get it into the cage or even just to close the door on it when it is inside.


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RELATED CATEGORIES

Miscellaneous » Animals/Pets

Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Muktzeh
An object which may not be moved on Shabbat or Jewish holidays, usually because it serves no permissible purpose on these days.