What I would do different

For questions about finch enclosures (cages & aviaries).
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MLaRue
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What I would do different

Post by MLaRue » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:53 pm

I'm going to write this in phases since there is so much to talk about not just in design but in regards to the species of birds you keep as well.

Let me start with space regarding species.

As many of you know I have several different species - everything from Waxbills to the silly little Societies. What each species needs in order to be successful varies greatly. Societies are happy in a small space and don't mind huddling - in fact they love to huddle. I find 10 Societies on one perch stacked like a pyramid every night even though they have 10 perches. They don't require huge open spaces for flying, breeding, or conditioning. But the Waxbills do - not only do they require huge spaces for flying and conditioning but also require ample space for breeding. Gouldians, Parrot Finches and many other species require ample space for conditioning but not necessarily for breeding itself.

My bird house was not designed to allow for many breeding cages and certainly not for large breeding cages that would best suit the Waxbills. My birds have 24' long spaces to fly with them being 8' tall and 4' wide. The flights were split into 4 flights. My original thinking was females Gouldians in one, Males in another and the other two were going to be used for other species and juveniles. But remember we started this "house" before I seriously got involved with Waxbills. Back to my breeding cages... Originally I was never going to have more than 12 going at any time and gave that space in the bird house but these breeder cages are only good for Societies, Zeebs, and Gouldians not nearly large enough for Waxbills. Since I do not breed for quantity but quality I felt 12 cages was more than enough for a season. WRONG! You see I kept thinking my Gouldians would breed in the fall as they normally do and my other species would breed in the spring. Rotation at its best. Wrong again! What I am finding is that all my birds want to breed whenever the hell they want to and do it without my say so as I proved with my Gouldians. No nests... no problem they really don't care as they will find a way to breed.

So, what would I change to accommodate my species and breeding space?

I would have made the flights narrower or the building wider to allow for specific breeding space of cages for any species ready to breed.

What was my walk space between flights and counters is now lined with my normal 12 breeding cages. The corner that was originally designed for my normal breeding cages now has 3 large breeding cages on one wall and 2 large breeding cages on the other. But I was still short space for the large breeding cages - I needed 4 more cages. So they are in front of a window and in front of the aviary flight. Looks like hell and is unorganized looking and for those that know me - order is imperative for me.

With Waxbills when they are ready to breed you make room, waiting could mean a whole breeding season gone.

Take note of the species you are working with and if you have ample enough space for the required breeding cages. This is of course if you are going to utilize breeding cages and not your flights.

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Ursula
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Re: What I would do different

Post by Ursula » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:05 pm

It's great that you share your experience and thoughts like this! Thank you for that! I'm sure that will help lots of others when they are planning their bird houses and aviaries.

Keep 'em coming... :)
Walk-in aviary with Waxbills (6 Cordon Bleu, 3 Orange Cheek, 3 Black-rumped, 1 Lavender, ), 1 European Goldfinch, 4 Gouldians, 2 Spice Finches, 6 Owl Finches, 4 Budgies and 2 male Button Quail.
I also have 2 parrotlets, 3 dogs, 1 snake and 3 freshwater fishtanks.

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Re: What I would do different

Post by CandoAviary » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:13 pm

I agree, great post idea. The one thing I would encourage aviary builders to do is try and incorporate an area outdoors that allows for natural sun basking and natural planted plants/foods, even if your climate can only utilize the area during certain seasons.
The other thing I have found true like Misty..... there is never enough room :lol:

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Re: What I would do different

Post by annague » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:03 pm

So, Misty, how big is a big enough breeding cage (in your opinion) for the average waxbill -- say a Cordon Bleu maybe?
Anna

Lots of Red Throat Parrot Finches, Forbes, Gouldians, BCCB's, RCCB's, Owls, Societies, and BB Fires. Plus, one wonderful 15 year old son, one wonderful husband and two rotten-to-the-core Border Terriers.

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Re: What I would do different

Post by lovemyfinch » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:08 pm

Thanks for sharing this information Misty. =D> Always nice when someone is willing to share what they would consider to be error in their set up, in order to avoid someone else making the same choices.

As mentioned in another post, I have now made this into a sticky. If anyone else has anythink to add, second thoughts about their set-up, I think it would be greatly appreciated by anyone starting a new project. :D
Janine

shaftails,gouldians,societies,green singers,owls,cubans, and 1 parrotlet
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Re: What I would do different

Post by annague » Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:43 pm

I've often wondered if, in the optimal aviary setting, one can fix a way to feed and water with great convenience? For instance, using pvc piping fed into a drinking valve for each cage as well as a bath bowl -- and what about seed? Chicken farms use troughs and fill them up from the outside --

What about nesting? Is it possible to fix a camera system for each boxed nest and be able to access them from the walkway?

Cleaning the cages? It would be great if there were a way to design an aviary so that drainage allowed for use of a high-powered spray to clean the cages -- cages would have to be built so that you could partition off parts of them to clean and to capture, etc.
Anna

Lots of Red Throat Parrot Finches, Forbes, Gouldians, BCCB's, RCCB's, Owls, Societies, and BB Fires. Plus, one wonderful 15 year old son, one wonderful husband and two rotten-to-the-core Border Terriers.

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Re: What I would do different

Post by bluebutterfly213 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:20 pm

Positively, absolutely, definitely have a safety cage on every aviary!
I chose to do without one on my main aviary thinking at the time I would rather have the flying room for the birds.
Im in the process of correcting this now.
The other two aviaries I have I made sure they have safety cages. Also the the new one I have just ordered has been specially constructed so that the safety cage will be able to be used on the new aviary and the main aviary. All I have to do is connect the new one to the main aviary.
So when that gets delivered I will finally be able to go into the main aviary without my heart in my mouth each time!
Diane

Winter, the season in which most people try to keep the house as warm as it was in the summer, when they complained about the heat.

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Re: What I would do different

Post by Sally » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:13 am

annague wrote:So, Misty, how big is a big enough breeding cage (in your opinion) for the average waxbill -- say a Cordon Bleu maybe?


Anna, my CBs have bred in cages that are 40x20x20. This year, all those cages are filled with Grenadiers and Strawberries, so the CBs are in cages that are 34x18x18. I'll see how they do, I have three pairs of Blue-caps sitting now.

My Strawberries are in the 40x20x20 cages, except for three pairs that are in HQ flights that are 32x21x35, one pair to a cage.

If I were building cages, I would make box cages with only the front open, and if space allowed, I would make them 48x24x24, with one pair per cage. The waxbills need as much space as you can give them. I'm sure aviaries would be better, but that's not always possible.
3 Purple Grenadiers, 1 Goldbreast + 1 cat.

National Finch & Softbill Society - http://www.nfss.org

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Re: What I would do different

Post by poohbear » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:15 am

Sally wrote:
annague wrote:So, Misty, how big is a big enough breeding cage (in your opinion) for the average waxbill -- say a Cordon Bleu maybe?

If I were building cages, I would make box cages with only the front open, and if space allowed, I would make them 48x24x24, with one .


We'll make a European of you yet Sally. :D
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Re: What I would do different

Post by Sally » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:47 am

poohbear wrote:We'll make a European of you yet Sally. :D


I practically am already, Paul. Great grandfather came from around Durham, Great grandmother from Glasgow, and I spent so much time in London in the 70's and 80's as a flight attendant, that the blood centers won't let me donate blood--scared I might be carrying mad cow disease! #-o :lol:

Sorry, Misty, here I go off topic again! :wink:
3 Purple Grenadiers, 1 Goldbreast + 1 cat.

National Finch & Softbill Society - http://www.nfss.org

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annague
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Re: What I would do different

Post by annague » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:36 pm

Misty, those 40x20x20 cages are pretty long! I've never seen any like that for sale -- did you make yours?

Why just the front open (for more privacy, less drafts?)
Anna

Lots of Red Throat Parrot Finches, Forbes, Gouldians, BCCB's, RCCB's, Owls, Societies, and BB Fires. Plus, one wonderful 15 year old son, one wonderful husband and two rotten-to-the-core Border Terriers.

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Re: What I would do different

Post by Sally » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:08 pm

Anna, I will start a new thread about the 40x20x20 cages, with pictures, as they are a whole different subject. As far as building box cages, having only the front open gives needed privacy, especially for many of the waxbills.
3 Purple Grenadiers, 1 Goldbreast + 1 cat.

National Finch & Softbill Society - http://www.nfss.org

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Re: What I would do different

Post by redcomrade3 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:20 pm

I apologize for posting here but I am desperate for some advice and I need someone to see my post here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12014

If this isn't allowed, I apologize but this will be the only time.

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Ursula
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Re: What I would do different

Post by Ursula » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:35 pm

bluebutterfly213 wrote:Positively, absolutely, definitely have a safety cage on every aviary!

When you say "safety cage" do you mean a double door where you have a small extra space to go in before you enter the aviary?

I guess it depends whether your aviary is indoors or outdoors. Mine is a sunroom separated by a sliding door from the dining room, and I have a curtain in front of the door that I close behind me before I enter. I never had a problem with any of my birds escaping into the house.
Walk-in aviary with Waxbills (6 Cordon Bleu, 3 Orange Cheek, 3 Black-rumped, 1 Lavender, ), 1 European Goldfinch, 4 Gouldians, 2 Spice Finches, 6 Owl Finches, 4 Budgies and 2 male Button Quail.
I also have 2 parrotlets, 3 dogs, 1 snake and 3 freshwater fishtanks.

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Re: What I would do different

Post by GOULDYGIRL » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:40 pm

Although my flight cages could use some tweeking, I made them closed on all sides except the front and so glad I did. I think my birds love them as well. I think it really helps make them feel more secure.

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Beautiful Gouldians!

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