Housing is exceptionally important in caring for your birds as well as protecting them from external threats such as the weather and predators.
When looking to purchase or construct new housing for your birds, there isn’t necessarily a ‘textbook’ answer to what your bird has to be kept in. There are certainly a lot of opinions, and certainly a lot of people who’ve found dimensions and styles that work for them. What is most important though is that when purchasing or constructing new housing that the bird’s welfare is at the forefront of your mind.
A bird should be able to achieve free, unrestricted flight in their aviary. Good physical development is through exercise, and the majority of birds exercise through flight. So ensure the housing has plenty of length and width to accommodate, as well as natural branches (eucalyptus is our favourite) for landing. If a bird has to constantly land on the wire, and carry themselves around on the wire, it can deteriorate their feathers.
Sunlight is another important factor. Vitamin D, naturally sourced from sunlight, is required for successful absorption of calcium. Calcium is important for skeletal development and egg production. We generally try to use roofing that covers around 30-50% of the aviary.
Security is also important. The last thing you want is to spend hard earned money on a beautiful new bird and for whatever reason the bird escapes. Having well constructed safety walkways is the best way to keep birds from escaping. We are currently putting new walkways on all of our aviaries, as well as securing the underneath of the aviaries to make space for rearing young game birds. Another aspect of security is ensuring you use good quality metal and wire. Although cheap, there are some aviaries that can be destroyed in a mild storm. It is far better to obtain aviaries made from steel with good quality wire – and don’t forget to ALWAYS wash your new aviary and wire with vinegar and then hot water to remove any chemical residue. Metal poisoning can be fatal.
The last important factor is maintaining cleanliness. Old food and faecal matter can build up and harbour bacteria. Hot soapy water or a good pressure washer will achieve the right results.