Building an indoor or outdoor aviary is the nicest thing you can do for your birds. Birds are flock animals and enjoy the company of their own kind as well as the ability to fly freely about in a more natural environment. Aviaries are much better alternatives to small, cramped cages even if you only use them during the daytime.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Gravel or cement mixture for outdoor enclosures
- Linoleum or tile for indoor enclosures
- 12 gauge or lower wire
- PVC, pipe, or metal-covered 2-by-4 wood for braces
- Staple gun
- Staples (stainless steel)
- Natural branches or perches
Choose your flooring wisely. Indoor aviaries should be easy to wipe, sweep, or wash clean, and ceramic tile is the best choice with linoleum being a close second. For outdoor enclosures a cement pad works well. You can substitute cement for a thick layer of large gravel. Using gravel that is too small will encourage ingesting of the rock and can cause problems for your birds.
Use PVC or metal-covered 2-by-4s to create the framework for your enclosure for indoor aviaries. All wood should be well covered in metal to prevent gnawing and collapse. Be sure to provide plenty of cross bracing to support the wire firmly for enclosures that will contain any members of the parrot family, which like to climb on the wire sides of their enclosures.
Use a heavy-gauge wire that can't be chewed through by the size of birds you will be containing. Parrots are especially well-known for gnawing and using their beaks to help them climb on wire so it needs to be sturdy enough to support the weight and beak strength of such birds. Stretch the wire tightly across the supports and staple securely.
Use natural wood perches, which are the best for any type of birds. Make sure the perches you use are either purchased from a reliable pet supply source or are a variety of wood safe for birds. There are many common trees that are poisonous to many varieties of normally kept pet species. Always wash and age the wood you choose well before placing it inside the aviary.
Give parrots plenty of toys to enjoy, as they like to stay busy. Foraging toys are great fun for many types of birds, including parrots. For soft bills or other species of aviary birds provide as natural a setting as you can manage.
Creating A Sanctuary For Your Birds
Tips and warnings
- Always use powder-coated or stainless steel wire. Other types of wire may cause lead poisoning especially in members of the parrot family, which are known for tasting or chewing wire or wood products.