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Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morning #402381
06/15/10 07:42 PM
06/15/10 07:42 PM
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protogere Offline OP
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This is a tour of our outdoor walk in cage for the babies and a shot of their bathtime.


And then this is the morning squawk and play time.


Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morning [Re: protogere] #402384
06/15/10 08:35 PM
06/15/10 08:35 PM
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Naperville, Illinois
cyberbud Offline
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Very nice!!!! Are your birds out year round or just in the summer?

Kathy


"Many have forgotten this truth...You remain responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morning [Re: cyberbud] #402386
06/15/10 09:29 PM
06/15/10 09:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
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Massachusetts
illusive Fantasy Offline
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That is a absolutely gorgeous outdoor flight...well done to the man who made it pat him on the back...and all the natural perches etc just lovely...

Ive a couple questions...one is where do you live?

Two is do you have some sort of side covering in case of a severe or heavy wind blow or storm?

Three is what are the wood cuttings on the ground?

and four is...Do you have a sort of saftey entry where you can open a door, close it behind you, and then open another to walk in to prevent any escapes...i did that with my outdoor aviary.

I had a good padlock too not sure why because where i live there isnt anyone who would of tried to let out the birds. I did use heavier wire too called lobster cage wire where the spacing was very small so heavy wire cutters would of had to been used to cut a way in and even then someone would of had a hard time of it because of the very small spacing and heaviness of the wire...which was also coated.

The reason i ask about the wood chipping at bottom is i assume but in case you dont realize it ill mention some wood is toxic.

But im so thrilled to see you have this splendid outdoor setup for the birds...nicely done.


CAPPY
Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morning [Re: illusive Fantasy] #402388
06/15/10 09:54 PM
06/15/10 09:54 PM
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protogere Offline OP
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Thank you for the compliments, all praise is owed my husband. We used to own rabbits when the kids were little - indoors - and after the last one died I said never again. But then the kids and the hubby teamed up on me and convinced me to get a rabbit if it was outdoors. I told him the parameters of housing a rabbit and he sketched it up and built it. All totaled I think we invested about $100 USD into it and it took him and the kids 4 weekends to get it done - four lazy weekends.
We live in southwest Florida, so temperature wise I have no real concerns as for year round, even our winters are in the 60s usually. I've thus far had them outside this spring/summer in temperatures up to around 95 and they seem to react well. I notice they do tend to dunk in the bath tub (which started out as a water dish but they use it as a bath tub more than they ever have the tub) and fly about a lot more when it gets hotter. And as my husband was quick to point out when we first contemplated taking them outside, their native land in Australia is a lot warmer than we are here.
I've not yet left them out overnight - I want to wait until Boudicea finally molts as the pet shop horrendously chopped her flight feathers and she cannot fly but 4 - 6 inches here or there. Even though I am confident of their safety from outdoor prey, I want them all to be able to fly to safety if needed and she can't. You'll notice whenever she wants to go somewhere she just shimmies down the limb and squawks until the others move out of her way LoL
In building the cage, we initially designed and constructed it for a rabbit - that we never got. That being said the entire structure is surrounded with aluminium screening sandwiching chicken wire - even the bottom of the cage. I then put down cedar mulch for the flooring. We have some paper trees and pine trees in the yard that my husband had recently trimmed, so we used those for their limbs and perches - sanding down any sharp bits, but still leaving plenty of limbs. We also left about 5 different limbs that are about 2 - 3 inches in length so I can shove their veggies on them and we spliced one thicker branch to wedge millet sprays in between.
I knew some wood was toxic but everything I have found showed cedar and pine and paper trees to be safe - if you find otherwise, PLEASE let me know!!
In regards to the heavy wind or storms, we haven't had any yet. Though we do have a mild storm rolling in this evening and I am hoping it arrives before nightfall so I can sit with them and see how they react. But in the case of a hurricane or anything very bad, I'd keep them in their indoor cages LoL
We don't actually have two doors, though I wish we had thought of that. Thus far that hasn't been an issue even for the three that do have their flight feathers. We do live on five acres of cleared land so they would have quite a ways to fly - but if they wanted to I am sure they could. What we did though is set up their branches and toys and food on the far end of the cage which sits about eight feet from the door and so far they've never ventured over when we open the door. We do have a multiple locking system though, both inside and out. We have two latches that are very snug and rather difficult to lock at the tops, which is 6 ft up to prevent any kids from opening and then two sets of hook and eye closures in and out so we can easily come and go while we are out in the cage with them.
My biggest concern still is the how hot and how cold they would naturally be able to adjust to and the best I've been able to go on is looking at temperatures in Australia (even though these babies have always lived in captivity and are still babies). Also I don't know how they would react overnight or in rain storms. I keep waiting for a storm so I can sit with them but I certainly am not staying out all night with them LoL.
They do seem to enjoy the birds outside though. There is a pair of blue jays who will walk up in the morning about a foot away from the cage and talk to the parakeets. We've also had a woodpecker come in for a peek and leave. The wild birds don't even seem to realize or mind that I am there.


Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morning [Re: protogere] #402390
06/15/10 10:42 PM
06/15/10 10:42 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,692
upstate NY
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Wow, what an awesome aviary you have there! Levi n Ziggy are totally jealous! LOL
Really..Beautiful job, and they look sooo happy.
I remember reading somewhere that pine is fine for perches etc. but it should be seasoned so the sap is dried up. Can be pretty messy for feathers. I must have read in on a safe/toxic tree site.
Seeing how they so totally love climbing around on there trees makes me want to bring in a big ole branch or little tree even more than ever!




Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morning [Re: protogere] #402391
06/15/10 10:47 PM
06/15/10 10:47 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 7,295
Massachusetts
illusive Fantasy Offline
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http://www.mdvaden.com/bird_page.shtml

Errrrrrrrm i could be wrong but i dont believe *PINE is good because of the toxins in the pitch...not sure what you mean about
**paper trees...if you mean Birch its the same with them..they also have a sappy resin type of pitch just like pine.

Above is a site which list quite a few that are ok and not ok..altho im sure its not a complete list.

I left my cockies outside here in the northeast of massachusetts to temps. at 50degrees an slightly lower with no harmful affects.
They were also outside during nite an storms...However, i did have a drop down of light weight melmar i think its called which was on hinges and just folded on top of the roof when not needed and then dropped on three sides...one on the lake side of the aviary which was the length and two on the ends...and hooked with hook and eye...

i didnt have my floor on the ground tho i had it raised off the ground about 3 1/2 feet and used more of the melmar to cover the flooring inside which made for real easy hose clean up. With the flooring being that and the drop downs it pretty much kept the worst of the storms out an wind also..as i too had my aviary close to the house, so that side didnt need protection and still let the air flow even with the sides down. I got the melmar from hardware and lumber store and just asked for slightly damaged which they usually throw out anyway and got it at a steal of a price. Again it made for super easy clean...a quick hosing which the birds enjoyed too when i did it and i would have to in the beginning hold it high on mist and they would fly thru the mist like kids in a puddle...once they got their bath giggle then they would perch and id just hose off the flooring. I set up the inside doorway so it was a slider...the outside door opened like a regular door and was like a hallway type of thing so when i got to the raised portion of the aviary, the sliding door allowed a full reach inside and with a extendable window squigee washer for tough areas it was a breeze to clean up...if any of that makes sense and you can visualize it.

I also used natural wood perches with some manzinita..or what was then called iron wood. Mine cost more than yours tho maybe because of the lobster wire and the special clips we used to secure it to the 2x4's...what are your dimensions to your aviary...mine was large because i used it as a mixed breeder flight for my cockatiels. Then loved it and it was so nice seeing them so free and content. The only wild bird i had a problem with and that was just once...as it learned its lesson quick banging into the lobster wire was a nite owl. It tried one strike an that was all she wrote giggle...the birds never flinched which shocked me...i think maybe cuz it happened so quick.

The most hardship the wild ones suffer is looking for water and food in the different seasons...it gets hot there but not so they also couldnt fly to keep cool and find shade.

Again thanks for the videos and thanks for reminding me of how much joy a outdoor aviary can be.







CAPPY
Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morning [Re: illusive Fantasy] #402392
06/15/10 11:16 PM
06/15/10 11:16 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 625
Jonesburg, MO
JeanneM Offline
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Absolutely adorable. They have got to be some of the happiest budgies in the world. So much to do, so many cagemates to pester, so little time in the day. LOL I had Chippy here by the computer and he jumped onto the keyboard to get a closer look.


JeanneM
Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morning [Re: JeanneM] #402394
06/15/10 11:38 PM
06/15/10 11:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 7,295
Massachusetts
illusive Fantasy Offline
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Oh here we go again with my P.S.'s besides the post above with the link for safe woods i wanted to ask...how is the flooring re enforced to keep out woodchucks or cats or dogs digging or snakes and chippies that sort of thing???


CAPPY
Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morning [Re: illusive Fantasy] #402395
06/15/10 11:40 PM
06/15/10 11:40 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 7,295
Massachusetts
illusive Fantasy Offline
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ahhhh sorry just reread your construction...and i see u took care of that issue.


CAPPY
Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morning [Re: JeanneM] #402396
06/15/10 11:45 PM
06/15/10 11:45 PM
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protogere Offline OP
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Thank you for the new link and feedback. The pine branch we took all of the bark off of, it's nothing but wood and we sanded it down so there would be nothing left so if it is just the resin - I think we're safe there. The paper trees, that's just what they call them here, they are paper maples and their bark just peels away in sheets, which we took that off too. I was more concerned about the bark getting in their little beaks more than anything really.
I notice on that link you had they have cedar as not safe, but I had found a few other places plus our vet said only red cedar was unsafe because of how strong the odor is but the sitka blend we have should be fine he said. That has me a bit concerned, but then again, they've been spending most of the day in it each day and no odd reactions at all.
The length is 10 feet, 6 feet high and 4 feet wide. We put it up against the house, so the one long side is buffered by the house and then one width is butted next to the back door steps. That leaves the west and north sides exposed.
I'll have to look into finding the melmar. Well, I'll have my hubby look into it rather. We had been talking about doing a tarp but had decided I would rather just take them inside if it got too bad LoL
That's rather reassuring about the cold because in the winter we don't even normally get that cold, though we did actually see the 30s this winter - but that was a first in decades moment.
I too love being able to let them be able to fly and feel free. It's not exactly freedom, but it is certainly a lot better than staying cooped in their little cage or getting only the inside of my house to choose where to fly to - plus with the latter I have to clean up little droppings all about the house.
Jeanne it's funny you say that because as I uploaded the video and played it back, Boudicea heard herself and began squawking and I went and looked at her in the cage and she was pressed up against the side closest to me and just trying to listen and stare. So I got her out and brought her in to watch and she sat intently watching. I think she even grasped it, or perhaps it was just coincidence, but when Briann nipped at her butt in the video, she began squawking on my shoulder. It was quite comical to me.
Thank you for all the wonderful feedback, I've a few things now to start looking in to!


Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morning [Re: protogere] #402398
06/15/10 11:52 PM
06/15/10 11:52 PM
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protogere Offline OP
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LoL at your PS, you sound like me with a million edits!
When my girls were little and had rabbits we had lost one while they were out on the screened in porch as a cat had scaled up past my 4 foot high lattice to get to the part of the porch that was only vinyl screening and with a single paw stroke he sliced the screen and was in with the rabbit in his mouth before the girls could even react or scream. So when we started this one that was one of my first stipulations, using aluminium screening, plus the chicken wire, then another layer of the screen. And since rabbits burrow, I had him do the same with the floor as well and we had planned to fill it in with top soil.
We're still contemplating getting a rabbit but I am not sure how it will interact with the birds, or they it. The vet seems to believe they won't have any issues as neither will eat meat and the birds can fly away if they feel threatened - but I have hesitations. We'll see.


Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morning [Re: protogere] #403103
07/10/10 05:43 AM
07/10/10 05:43 AM
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Mrs.Protogere,
I am new to this site and must say I am really enjoying it and have learned a lot of stuff. I also live in "The Sunshine State," and agree with the weather you described. It was a cool 99 degrees today here in N.Fla (palatka near st.augustine, but we did have several weeks of 15 to 20 degree temps. this past winter. I wasb wondering if its ok to build a fully enclosed aviary and use heaters/ac units to control the "climate?" I only have 1 budgie right now after not having any birds for over 15 years. When i got married my wife quickly informed me that NO birds are gonna be in our house. Now she plays with Chill more than me, and is trying to teach him to talk. Shes in love HA-Ha my plan worked.Being that i only have 1 bird is it even feasible to build a large outdoor aviary. I already have a much larger "restraint dwelling" (sounds better then CAGE) that he uses when I go outside in the evenings and read. Just wondering?
Also just by reading your post you sound very informed and cautious on this subject. I did want to bring up PEST CONTROL, mosquito control, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Not sure if you have thought about the 1st 2 or if you use a private pest control, but if so inform them of your birds and make it clear that NO spraying done until birds are safe. Cant do anything about mosquito CTRL,and the EEE they use chickens as "sentinal birds" to monitor these and other mosquito borne illness. Imagine 'keets are at risk to. Sorry so long My ADHD is running wild tonite.

Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morn [Re: Stickman] #403111
07/10/10 06:04 PM
07/10/10 06:04 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 295
Van Nuys, Calif.
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I'd rather have someone with ADHD that posts a lot of good information and expresses legitimate concerns than someone who posts two sentences of one-syllable words, saying nothing.

That's my way of saying welcome, Stickman. smile

As far as your questions about an outdoor aviary: If you are planning to have lots of budgies, that's probably a better option than trying to keep them indoors. Just make sure you have covered these key points:
  • Make sure the aviary is constructed of keet-safe wood, and hasn't been chemically treated. If it were me, I wouldn't paint the inside wood, only the outside.
  • A totally enclosed structure isn't really as good for budgies as one constructed with fine wire mesh. The whole point of the aviary is for them to get fresh air (and I would also be concerned about venting for a heater).
  • However, you will want to check the prevailing wind and locate the aviary so any drafty breezes don't rush through the entire structure, just corners or small sections. Make sure there are areas sheltered from wind so if it really starts blowing the birds can take refuge from it (if you can put a living tree of a leafy type that isn't poisonous to budgies, they'll naturally gravitate to it to perch when it gets too windy). Believe me, you won't have to worry about A/C if you do this part right; your little ones will find cool places when they need them.
  • Cover the floor area with something budgie-friendly. If not a solid wood or linoleum floor, a thick coat of wood chips is good. You don't want them ingesting dirt.
  • Make sure there are multiple food dishes and water bottles. In an aviary, every bird is going to want to find his or her own favorite feeding spot.
  • Design the aviary with a double-door entry compartment, so you can enter without opening a door directly to the outside. Better to have the inconvenience of having to open and close the outside door before opening the one to the aviary itself than to run the risk of someone getting out.

Feel free to ask us more questions.



Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morn [Re: Kymber] #403115
07/10/10 06:16 PM
07/10/10 06:16 PM
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Massachusetts
illusive Fantasy Offline
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Thats exactly what i did with my outdoor aviary as i think i posted earlier somewhere here...the DOUBLE DOOR..veryy good to do...i just put a sheet of melmar...cheap stuff especially if you get your lumber yard to sell ya a sheet of what they call seconds..slight damage to a corner...anyway i put a sheet of that on top for shade and also to protect from torrential downpours...worked well...my floor was off the ground..so again i put sheets of melmar inside over the wire which made it a snap to hose off and clean in less than ten minutes...and then would turn the nozzle of the hose to mist and the birds would go wild flying thru the mist lol.


CAPPY
Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morn [Re: illusive Fantasy] #403124
07/10/10 11:14 PM
07/10/10 11:14 PM
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protogere Offline OP
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As Kymbe said, I can't imagine enclosing the aviary, it really defeats the purpose of taking them out to enjoy the fresh air and could get drafty or stuffy inside of it with the heaters or fan or a/c.
For mosquito control, as well as critter control, we sandwiched chicken wire between aluminium screening. I don't know if you guys have flyovers up there, but mosquito control flies over at least once a month during the rainy season, sometimes more than that. I've chosen to spray down the wood and screen afterwards to reduce any risk to the birds, though supposedly what they spray is safe for wildlife. Outside of that, we live out in the country, so pest control isn't out of our control.
We used untreated lumber, which will surely warp with time, but I've read too many bad things about using treated lumber to risk it.
For the 'floor' we used cedar mulch and have had no issues. Only once have they even tried to go down to the ground level, and that was when I was trying to ween them off of seed and onto pellets and we were playing the uncle game. I've thought about getting pine chips, as it is cheaper, but they tend to be very dusty when I've used them in my garden whereas the mulch has stayed in place and wasn't dusty.
I've let them stay out during a few rainstorms and sat with them and they were completely un-phased by the weather. They are able to move to a more inward branch and avoid getting wet and not even the thunder or lightning seemed to bother them. But if it is windy, we are right off the river and the gulf and the winds kick up good sometimes...when it has been windy and rainy, I've brought them back inside.
I wish we had thought to do the two door system, though we've not had any issues at all, if we could redo any one thing, it would be that. We do have all of their branches and dishes on the far end of the "cage" and thus they've not ever even been interested in coming near the door.
I wish you luck with it.


Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morn [Re: protogere] #426157
03/02/13 01:29 AM
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Pest control is not as easy, importantly in birds. As the wit mosquitoes and bees transferring the germs in bird which is very difficult to control continuously. The transfer through the breath is also happen in some cases.

Re: Our outdoor bird cage & the babies in the morn [Re: protogere] #426163
03/02/13 05:21 AM
03/02/13 05:21 AM
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Massachusetts
illusive Fantasy Offline
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please show us where you found this information james...


CAPPY
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