Housing all the pets kept for the enjoyment of the human race is what birds probably hate the most because of their restrictions. Birds, like any other animal, will live and breed successfully only if their environment is satisfactory. It is most important intending bird purchasers obtain the type of aviary the particular bird requires. For all but canaries or budgerigars, substantial aviaries are needed and construct the aviary before the birds are purchased.
Breeding cages suitable for canaries and finches can be made yourself on any desired number. Or they can be purchased ready-made in working units. The units are separated by inserting a sheet of wallboard between the wire sections during the breeding season; the wallboard can be at the conclusion of the breeding season so that the cages can be Is small aviaries.
Breeding cages are so small, they should have a removable paper liner that can be laid on the floor and removed each time and water utensils should be attached to the outside of small cages so the water and feed being spilled on the cage floor. This allows for leaning, and discourages the bird from eating off the floor.
The large aviary will have all that is needed to meet the requirements of species, such as running water for drinking and bathing, an floor, twigs and shrubs on which to perch, and nesting materials available from the floor. It is in the smaller aviaries and cages that owners must pay particular attention to ensuring that the birds have everything necessary to make them feel at home and comfortable in their small environment.
Cages should be provided with shrubbery, either in pots or as cut pieces, for the birds to perch on, particularly in the case of finches. The shrub branches are preferable to dowel perches and must be provided during the breeding season anyway for the birds to nest in.
Where perches are used, they should not be the round hardwood dowels commonly used, but should be made of oval softwood. Hardwood should not be used because it invariably splits, allowing a hiding place for mites and lice, which can then withstand disinfection of the cage and attack the birds again at night.
Canary cages should have two perches, the first 7-10 centimeters from the ground and the second not closer that 15 centimeters to the roof of the cage; the perches should be at opposite ends of the cage. The distance of the top perch from the roof is critical during the breeding season, as mating may be impaired if it is too close to the ceiling. The cock bird must be able to mount the female, flap his wings to maintain his balance, and swing to the correct mating position freely.
Small Aviary is a problem and only a few small birds are kept. Because of the smaller space, hygiene becomes more important and it is advisable to have the aviary raised off the ground with metal floor tray at the bottom of the cage to collect feces for The floor of the aviary should be 60-80 centimeters above the that it is completely rodent-proof.
Small Indoor Cages
Indoor cages are very small, usually 50cm X 50cm X 30cm, and provide for only one or two small birds such as budgerigars or canary. Because the cages are so small, they are available ready made at different prices. They usually have a self-feeding and watering system and removable floor tray. These items make for a hygienic existence, necessary in such a small area. cage is so small, it must be placed where there is plenty of action so the bird does not become bored. Once the bird has become comfortable, owners let it out for short periods to fly in a closed room
The Large Enclosed Aviary
Tropical birds kept in non-tropical climates require special conditions. In- , stead of having an open netted flying area, birds should be totally housed, with windows suitably placed for ventilation if necessary. In the southern hemisphere large windows should be placed in the northern and western walls to catch the morning and afternoon sun. Suitable bird-proof air vents should be placed in the eaves to provide ventilation when the windows are closed during very cold weather.
Whenever glass is built into an aviary it should have bird wire on the inside to prevent the birds flying into the glass and injuring themselves. Birds tend to fly at glass because they can see their reflections in it, presumably because they assume the reflection is an intruder to be driven off.
The large open aviary birds except the canary or the budgerigar (which seem to cope with small cages) should have room not only to stretch their wings but also to fly. If you have the space available it is best to build a large aviary 2 meters wide. Small birds are very popular and meters high and up to 2.5 meters long. The bottom of the aviary should give their owners much pleasure.
The aviary should be rodent-proofed with galvanized sheeting, each sheet about a meter long. Bury one end of the sheets 70 centimeters into the ground, so that rodents are discouraged from digging their way into the aviary, and so that 30 centimeters of sheeting protrudes above the ground. Overlap any joins in the sheeting. Corrugated iron is excellent for this purpose. The iron should be nailed or screwed to each corner post and to the timber frame.
The floor of the aviary should be soil in which grasses and other low shrubs are growing. Some dry grass, hay or twigs should be made available on the floor for nesting material. A compost heap can be kept in the aviary to attract insects for feeding. For the walls, wire netting is available as `chicken mesh’. This gives an open netted flying area to the birds (but do make sure small birds can’t fly through the holes in the wire netting!). This is the ideal aviary and most species of bird can be kept in it as the environment is very similar to that in the wild.
One end of the aviary should be enclosed with solid walls and roofed, with a door that can be shut, to keep the birds inside during cold or windy weather. Any building material is satisfactory providing it affords protection. During the breeding season those birds which prefer secluded nest sites may be confined to the indoor section while outdoor shrubbery nesting birds may be left in the open section.
In hot weather, aviaries can be cooled by a sprinkler system on the roof.