|Your first decision should be whether to give your birds an entire room, or a portion of a room in your house. Or, if you want to build an outdoor
enclosure, you need to find a location that offers partial shelter from the sun and weather and keeps other critters such as mice, rats, possums
and raccoons out of their enclosure.
|So you've decided on a room for your birds. You'll now need to decide if you'll cage your birds or allow them to fly free - or a combination of
Keeping birds in a room of their own helps to contain the mess and allows you to monitor or spend time with your birds in one easy location.
You'll want to make sure you've given them enough room, so if they are caged, the minimum cage sizes still apply.
If you'll be allowing them to fly free, you'll want to make sure you cover windows with something that will stop the birds from flying into them.
Simply placing blinds on the windows can reduce this hazard tremendously, but blinds - like any window covering - can block natural light and
become a tangle hazard. The idea is to break up the solid window glass with something so that the birds don't think it is open air. I have used
wooden frames and stapled chicken wire and/or hardware cloth to them. I have also used blinds. Even a few pieces of colored masking tape
across the window will help. Whatever you choose, be sure it is "bird safe", meaning it is nothing they can get tangled in yet still breaks up the
pane of glass so they don't think they can fly through.
You'll want to make sure any doors are closed (closets, entry doors, cupboards, etc.) and if you are allowing your birds to fly free, you won't
accidentally step on one or pinch it in the door when you enter or exit the room. A roll-up screen over the entry door can be attached with
velcro and allow you to leave the door open, yet contain your birds. I have also used those pretty "bead doors" the teenagers are so fond of to
keep my birds in their room. The beads sway gently and keep the birds wary. They won't try to escape through this!
|As with any other room of your home, your bird room should have the same items you would need for an average cage. You might also like to
keep full spectrum lighting if there is not enough natural light coming in from windows. You may want a humidifier or air cleaner to keep down
dust and dander and keep the humidity levels slightly higher to help keep skin and feathers in peak health. See the Accessories and Optional
Equipment links for more information!
|After years of trying to come up with the perfect solution for housing my birds, and a few failed attempts at creating a walk-in aviary, I've finally
found a simple solution to MY housing problems.
Because I am owned by a cat and dog (as well as my many birds), I wanted to have my cages up off the floor at about eye level. This would
allow me to easily sweep seed hulls and other debris from under the cages, wash the floor at will, and protect my birds from my larger animals.
Eye level is also grand when it comes to cleaning cages unless you have a cage with small upper main doors.
After much trial and error trying to build shelves to put the cages on, I stumbled across some hanging shelf brackets and the gears started
grinding in my wee brain. At first I tried to put shelves on the brackets...that didn't work, I couldn't find deep enough shelves, and the "ONE" I did
build myself caught all the seed and droppings that fell from the cage - too much more mess! Then I tried to put the cages on the brackets
themselves without a shelf beneath them. That worked out okay, but I had removed the grates from most of my wire cages and they had little
support once I removed the trays for cleaning. I liked the idea of the brackets. No mess, no fuss, and a LOT less cleaning! So I went about
trying different configurations and came to the best solution for me - literally HANG the cage from the shelf brackets! It works like a charm and
allows me to clean and sweep with ease!
|I can get two - and in some cases three - cages on a 60" wall unit with room for light fixtures in between, and I use 12" brackets to hang the cage
(photo 1). I'd really prefer longer brackets, but was unable to find anything longer at the time I purchased these. The above photos show how I
hung the cage and secured it. NOTE: MAKE SURE YOUR CAGES ARE ASSEMBLED CORRECTLY BEFORE TRYING THIS! MANY WIRE
CAGES FALL APART IF NOT PROPERLY ASSEMBLED! I realized that it was also helpful after centering the cage and hanging it, to mark the
cage bars with a permanent marker so when I took them down for cleaning, I'd know which bars to slip the brackets through! Photo 2 shows the
how the cage hangs from the bracket. Photo 3 shows how I attached washers with a screw into the wall bracket. This gives extra large flight
cages more support. Again, I've decided these were not necessary once I spaced the larger cages on additional hanging brackets. However, if
you feel the cage is not secure and may tip forward, use washers to keep them against the wall! Experiment with what works for you!
|This sneaky girl has conserved on space while giving each cage optimum lighting. I literally laid the light for each cage on top of the cage itself,
making sure it is centered over the brackets and as far back against the wall as possible. I push them all the way to the back of the bracket,
directly over the inside back of the cage, to allow the birds to get out of the minimal heat the lights put out if they need to.
|July 9, 2009 - Below are some photos of my current setup. These photos, once again, look very dark - but the room is actually very bright!
Read further for a bit more to think about when setting up your bird room! Take a tour of exactly what I see when I head down to the bird room!
|Setting Up a Bird Room
|Decide Where You Will Keep Your Birds
|A Room of Their Own
|Outfitting a Room
|The End Result
|You may recall my power was out in the bird room:
items requiring electricity; lights, the heater, the air purifier, my microscope, my shop vac, and other items requiring electricity on not
enough circuits. I have literally burned out two entire circuits on my homes main electrical panel. While attempting to resolve the issue,
my husband located several other electrical issues that must be addressed. We are now awaiting the Electrician to upgrade our panel -
my bird room will require at least 3 separate circuits to keep from popping the breakers! So for now, the timers are running via
extension cord from other parts of the house. My desk and shelves are full of extra items that would normally be stored elsewhere so
that I can "see" them, and I've had to unplug many of the items I usually have running in the room. Since the birds are molting, the
lesser light won't matter too much - but once they are ready to breed again, the lighting will be extremely important! This problem is just
one of many you may want to address if you decide to keep many birds and/or breed them! Be sure your electrical system can handle
IT'S BACK ON - WOOO HOOOO! My birds are so very happy! And so am I!!!
I hope you've enjoyed your tour! Videos with courtship rituals and male Gouldian song will be here soon!
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|Straight ahead - Dishwasher
& Quarantine Cage - The
papers hanging above are my
notes for supplements - what
day who gets what!
|To the left - Bird fridge &
|Take a peek in the
|To the right - Geez, I
didn't realize I was such a
|To the right - Ahhhh, my favorite
room in the house! This note is
designed specifically for hubby!
|View from the entry
|Quick peek over at the juvenile
|Quick peek at the ambient
temperature of the room.
|Check the humidity levels...
|First thing I always do is take a quick
scan of the room to make sure no one is
on the cage bottom! Breeders 13-15 &
Boarding cages 1-4.
|Aidan (9yrs old) checking on his
breeding pair. His BH/WB/GB Cock
took 5th best in show, Fall 2009.
|Breeders 7-12. Bottom two
breeding cages are still
empty - waiting for my
breeders to finish molts!
|Resting flights with breeders 4-6 above
them. The nest boxes are left on the
outside until the birds are completely in
|Breeders 3-6 and Resting Flights.
|Breeding records and
|Breeders 1 & 2 and Juvenile Hen flight.
|Work table, lab seed
|Frequently used equipment.
|View from the furnace room door.
|More view from the furnace room door.
|Heading back to the entry door...
|And back out! These are more breeding records.
The molt log and medication journal usually
reside here too...they are down for reprinting.
|July 2010 - Every single item was removed from the bird room. Walls were washed & repaired, then received a fresh coat of paint. All cages &
furniture were rearranged yet again for better efficiency and to facilitate the breeding of more pairs.