How to keep a bird aviary

Updated March 23, 2017

If you have developed sufficient enough interest in aviculture to keep your own aviary, there are a number of matters to consider if you want to maintain a healthy collection of birds. You must pay attention to pre-planning and research. Before creating your aviary, check local building and health and safety codes to ensure that you comply with them. The birds you can successfully keep will be dependent on your geographic location, whether you plan to house the birds indoors or outdoors, and the amount of space available. Some species of birds can also be very expensive. Decide your budget for shelter, bird stock, and ongoing care and maintenance, and stick to it.

Purchase or build an aviary. The type of aviary is dictated by the species of birds to be housed. Destructive bird species, such as hookbills, need metal-framed cages, since they will chew and damage wood-framed structures. The size of the mesh is also important, since hookbills can chew through fine mesh. Your birds must have sufficient space to exercise.

Select a site for the aviary, which will provide good air circulation and, at least, some shelter from high winds, bright sunlight and rain. Remember that some species of birds will also require heated shelter. Your shelter should also have a solid foundation, to prevent predators from burrowing in.

Install sufficient perches and items to stimulate the activity of the birds.

Stock your aviary with species of birds that can live together safely. Do not mix species of hardbills, softbills and hookbills. Mixing these can lead to fighting, injuries and fatalities.

Feed your bird stock with a suitable variety of foods and ensure that they have constant access to clean water.

Clean the aviary regularly. It is essential that you remove fecal matter daily and disinfect the aviary weekly to avoid disease. Clean water and feed containers daily. Use cleaning products that are bird-friendly. Relocate the birds when using bleach and disinfectant, since the fumes can be harmful.

Treat your bird stock for parasites on an annual basis.

Join local bird clubs and societies. This is a great way to get advice and tips from other aviary keepers with expertise. This will also give you opportunities to competitively show your birds.


Know the birds species thoroughly, before attempting to keep it.

Consider who will take care of the birds while you are away.

Remember some species of birds are noisy. Remember this, if positioning your aviary near boundaries with neighbors.

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About the Author

Helen Harvey began her writing career in 1990 and has worked in journalism, writing, copy-editing and as a consultant. She has worked for world-class news sources including Reuters and the "Daily Express." She holds a Master of Arts in mass media communications from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.