Top Tips For Cleaning A Bird Aviary

A bird aviary in your backyard can do wonders to the overall ambiance of the area. This can be situated within a garden as part of the design or a focal point. Many people who love to keep and breed various species of birds will tell you that this is no easy hobby to take. You will need to keep this enclosure clean at all times to ensure the health and safety of the birds and their young.

If clean-up time is a struggle for you, it is best to have a schedule and routines to follow. A daily clean-up is a must to keep diseases and germs at bay. What usually goes on during a daily clean-up are as follows:

[1] Cleaning of feeders and bird baths
Cleaning up of bird feeders, water dishes, and bird baths should be done on a daily basis. This is not just to provide fresh water and bird seeds, but also to keep away germs from developing over time. If you’ve set up a weekly schedule, it is best to still include these items during clean-up time.

[2] Set up a routine for you to follow and for the birds to get used to

Having a cleaning routine helps the birds from experiencing too much stress. It is also important that you’re the one who always do the clean up to also prevent stress and anxiety among the birds. As your pet birds become familiar and used to your presence, it will be easier to get in and out of their abode anytime.

[3] Use a corner of the aviary to isolate the birds

When things are still stressful for your pets, it is best to use a separator to isolate them from the area that’s being cleaned. Dedicate a corner for the birds whenever you need to clean up their living space and make sure it is cleaned first before they are enclosed in this portion. This usually helps in reducing restlessness and anxiety among birds, and it truly is beneficial especially when there are hatchlings.

[4] Use mild disinfectant when cleaning

You can dilute a strong disinfectant in buckets of water. If you like it chemical-free, you can use vinegar or baking soda instead. Wipe clean the bird boxes, perches, walls, and other dirty parts of the enclosure. On a daily basis, you can also do this especially on the most soiled or dirtiest portions of the aviary; otherwise, you can schedule on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule.

To help you clean up faster, it is best to put old news paper on the floor for the bird droppings and other mess. You can just collect the sheets everyday in the afternoons and replace with new sheets for the following day.

It is a huge responsibility to keep any kind of animal as a pet. If you love birds and lots of them, be prepared to do regular clean-up to help keep your pets healthy and happy.

Breeding Lovebirds in a Colony Setting

Breeding Lovebirds is a fun experience as well as a hobby for most bird keepers. If you are planning on breeding lovebirds then you have two choices, you can either breed them in small cages with individual pairs or you can put all your lovebirds in a single large cage or aviary and breed them collectively with several pairs and you can call this a colony setting for breeding lovebirds.

I have been keeping lovebirds since my childhood when I was a school going kid. I first time bought lovebirds when I was in eighth grade and that was a pair of Fischer’s lovebirds. I have the experience of keeping lovebirds both as single pairs in individual cages as well as in small colonies of four pairs. By far I can say that breeding results I achieved in colonies were far better than individual cages.

Breeding results in individual cages as well as in aviaries mostly depends on the type of species you breed. The most common types of lovebirds such as the Fischer’s lovebirds, Peach faced lovebirds and the Masked lovebirds breed better when they are kept and bred in colony settings. This refers back to their natural instinct of breeding in the wild and this behavior is replicated in captivity.

Other species of lovebirds such as the Madagascar lovebirds, which I don’t have the experience of breeding anyway, is a better breeder when kept in single pairs. So you must be very sure which lovebird species you want to keep and select the type of cage accordingly. Also how many pairs you want to keep is also a determining factor in selecting the type of cage you should purchase or build yourself.

I have the experience of breeding lovebirds in different aviary sizes. The first colony I built for my Fischer’s lovebirds was a 4 feet square colony and I kept four breeding pairs in that cage. The breeding results were excellent with four pairs and each pair was raising 4-5 chicks in each clutch. But that aviary size had its disadvantages because it was difficult for me to inspect my birds because cage height was too short.

Now I am using aviary sizes of 4’x6’x7′ in height with ten or more pairs in a single large flight. Large cage sizes with more birds gives them the sense of security and a stress free environment and the better breeding results you get. What I realize now is that the depth and height of the aviary is more important than the front of the colony. The more deep the cage the more they get focused on breeding.

The environment and place of the colony is very important for their long term health and breeding. Make sure the aviary is situated in a well ventilated place where there is a lot of air passing in and out of the colony. Do not place your lovebirds colony in a place where there is excess heat and direct sunlight on the aviary especially in South Asian countries where the summer gets too hot.

The colony should be covered well with a roof so that the rain water do not enter their breeding boxes or pots because you may risk the chicks getting wet in the rain water. The roof should be in a slope so that the rain water may not accumulate on the top of the roof and consequently enters inside the cage. I have made water holes at the base of the colonies for water drainage in case if any rain water enters inside the breeding colonies from the sides.

Wire mesh with spacing no more than 1/2 inch is ideal for lovebirds. The wire should be strong enough so that lovebirds may not cut it out and fly away because they have very strong beaks and they can cut wires that are not strong enough. Wire mesh is preferred over bars because with it they can climb easily. Cages with darker colors gives the better view of the birds inside.

Make sure that you build an aviary that is easily cleanable. I have made double doors on all my colonies, the smaller one for placing food and water dishes and the bigger one is for cleaning the cage and inspection. The colonies with more birds in them need to be cleaned frequently at least once every week so that there may not develop any bacterial and viral infection in your birds.

I cover all my colonies with a green cloth so that any direct sunlight may not enter inside the colonies in the hot summer season. It also helps to lower down the temperature in the surrounding areas of the colonies and protect my birds from extra heat in the day time. It provides an increased sense of protection and security for my birds from predators such as eagles and cats. It also protects the colonies from winds and heavy rains.

The sticks you place inside the cages should be of varying sizes and shapes to keep their feet in good shape. Sticks should be considerably thick so that they can have a firm grip on them while sitting. If you can, place natural tree branches in the aviary because they are of varying diameters and are good for their feet. Also they provide a natural living environment for your lovebirds. Place the food and water dishes away from perches so that they may not get contaminated with droppings of birds.

The cage should be constructed from iron, steel or similar material and should not be constructed from soft wood. Lovebirds have very sharp beaks and they have a habit to gnaw anything and everything that is inside the cage. They can easily chew cages made from wood and similar material and you risk your birds chew the cage and fly away in a very short time.

I made all my colonies with angle iron and with separate frames for each side. I fixed them together with welding spots which provides them extra strength and they do not move. All my cages are three sides of wire mesh and one side is fixed with the wall. I can easily detach the frames and move the cages to some other location anytime I want. Also transporting the cage is easy because each frame is separate.

If you want to breed lovebirds in a colony setting first decide the number of birds and the species of lovebirds you want to keep. Then select the size of the cage according to your specific requirements. And finally decide on the location of the colony so that your lovebirds can live happily and breed to their maximum potential.

5 Pet Birds That Make Great Additions to the Family

Birds are amazing creatures that could be a great addition to your family. When choosing a pet bird, you will want to find the bird most compatible with your lifestyle and living situation. Here are some of the most popular birds that make the perfect pets.

The Parakeet (Budgies)

This is the favorite of all pet birds. These birds are the perfect choice for new bird owners or adults with children living in their homes. Even though the parakeet is not as large as its cousins, it will still require the same type of respect and care as a parrot. Due to their size, parakeets do not require a lot of space and they are easy to maintain. You can choose from a variety of colors, including red, purple, blue and green. Parakeets are smart enough to learn various words and phrases; however, most of these birds are content with whistling and singing. The average life span of a Parakeet is approximately 12 to 14 years.

African Greys

This is one of the most intelligent birds to choose from. African Greys have a very large vocabulary, and once you learn how to care for them properly, these pet birds are easy to train. Due to their intelligence, African Greys can be very demanding pets; this species of parrots become bored quickly when they are not stimulated. When cared for and fed correctly, these birds can live up to three decades or more. If you are looking for a smart and affectionate pet bird, the African Grey is the best choice.

Finches and Canaries

This is a pet bird favorite to choose from. This popular bird measures at five inches or less, and it requires a lot less space in comparison to other pet birds. Finches and canaries have softbills or waxbills, unlike parrots, a species known as hookbills. Since finches and canaries prefer to travel in small flocks, and they rarely pay much attention to humans, this is the perfect bird to choose if you will only be able to provide your pet with minimal interaction. If you provide adequate care for this bird, it can live up to 10 years.

Cockatiels

These birds are a member of the parrot family and they are delightful pets to have around the home. Cockatiels are natives of Australia and they are medium-sized creatures. These birds have advanced whistling and singing abilities that your entire family will love. Even though cockatiels have the ability to speak when trained properly, this bird prefers to mimic random and quirky sounds, such as the ringing of a telephone. You can choose from a variety of diverse color options when adopting a cockatiel. The average life expectancy of this pet bird is between 15 and 20 years.

Lovebirds

If you want to choose from the parrot species, this is the smallest bird in that family. However, many people prefer lovebirds in comparison to larger parrots that are more demanding. Lovebirds are approximately six inches long and, even though they are small, they have a strong personality and great intelligence. These birds are quiet, making them a great choice for the person who lives in an apartment or condominium. The lovebird has a life expectancy of up to 20 years.

These are some of the most popular birds that pet owners love. Before you take any of these birds home, you should always choose the one that matches your personal lifestyle the most. Choosing a bird that is a good fit for your family is the best way to ensure proper care of your pet.

The Complete Gouldian Finch Birdwatching Profile

If you are an experienced Australian birdwatching enthusiast, then undoubtedly you have heard of the Gouldian Finch, even if you have not had the privilege of seeing one in the wild. This spectacular bird has gained a lot of media attention in recent years due to its declining numbers, due to reduced habitat. Many birdwatchers agree that this finch is the most spectacularly coloured bird in Australia. There are a number of organisations that have taken to preserving the habitats of this remarkable creature. Recent research has found that there are only about 2,500 Gouldian Finch’s living in the wild.

Description

The little bird gained it’s name from John Gould, the discoverer of the bird. Taken by the beauty of the purple chested bird, he named it the Lady Gouldian. With it’s characteristic purple plumage, yellow feathered chest and green back, this little bird is hard to be mistaken.

Diet

As a grass-finch, the Gouldian Finch main diet source is from the ripe or semi-ripe seeds of native grasses. Interestingly for a few months during the year the bird changes its diet to cope with the arduous task of raising its young. During these months the birds diet consists mainly of small insects, which provide it with the added nutrients needed during this stressful period.

Habitat Location

It really is a tragedy when one considers the vast habitat that the Gouldian Finch once lived in, contrasted with the small areas that it occupies now. Many birdwatchers initially thought that the numbers of the Gouldian Finch were plummeting in the wild due to individuals capturing the birds for pets. Research has since shown that reduced habitats, and irregular fire patterns are primarily to blame for the reduced habitat. Nowadays the finch can only be found in the wild in the Top End of the Northern Territory of Australia. Mike Jarvis, one of the most respected birdwatching guides in Australia, regularly takes tours through the Mary River district and South of Pine Creek in the dry season, with great success with regular spotting’s of this endangered bird. If you are able to explore this region, keep an eye out for the finch in open woodlands near water sources. There is anecdotal evidence that they are often sighted near native spear-grasses.

How To Help The Gouldian Finch

Many kindhearted volunteers regularly monitor local waterholes in the Gouldian Finch’s native habitat to keep an eye out for the sightings. The more information that organisations can gather from volunteer birdwatchers on the habitat of the Gouldian Finch, the more that they can help protect that environment. Additionally individuals can take active steps to ensure that the current habitat of the bird is protected, and report any activities that are harming the area.

There have been new spotting’s of the Gouldian Finch in the Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia. Research has shown that this is not a population of birds that has moved to the area, but a population that has previously been undiscovered. This breeding population shows the importance of amateur birdwatchers reporting any sightings of the Gouldian Finch, as this area is now a protected area. With ongoing care and public awareness, generations of Australian will be able to enjoy seeing this most remarkable bird in the grasslands of Australia.

Should You Diaper Your Pet Duck?

Owning any pet can be all kinds of work to try and domesticate your pet. You want to try to get them to learn how to use the bathroom, eat from their food bowls as well as get them to do things in a proper manner so that they won’t ruin your home and just generally create messes all over the place to which your home will just be ruined.

People have now even started owning a domestic duck as pets because they love animals and even want to have ducks be included in the family. I know this may sound a little strange, but it’s true, people even own ducks that they keep in the house and train just like any other pet that they might own. Since this is the case people will have to be able to do certain things in order to get their ducks trained well so that they won’t ruin homes they live in.

Putting a diaper on your duck is something that you can do to allow your duck to be able to go all around the house without you having to worry about it making messes all over the place and keeping your home clean. The great thing about having a diaper on the duck is that you aren’t going to always have to worry about finding surprises left and right in your house and that will take a lot of worry off of your shoulders when or if you decide to get a duck for a pet in your home.

Some people are in the market for breeding ducks and a diaper is a great way to tell your ducks apart if you need to do that. A diaper needs to be the right measurements for your growing duck so that you won’t have any kind of restrictions that may be unforeseen as well.

There are plenty of reasons to get diapers for your ducks because you can never be too careful when it comes to your home or your ducks. The ducks are just like any other creature and they can leave a huge mess just like the best of them.

In order to properly use the diaper, you are going to need a diaper harness which will securely hold the diaper in place, allowing your beautiful pets to run around freely and safely while also keeping your areas of the home perfectly clean. You are going to get the best of both worlds when you order diapers along with the diaper harness for your domestic duck. You are going to feel like it was one of the best decisions you have ever made when it involves your new baby duck keeping him clean all of his life.

Tips to Train Your Pet Parrot

Having a pet is a very nice feeling especially for people who do not have enough time to relax and unwind. Pets make the lives of many people a lot more fun so to those who wish to get a pet, make sure to try getting a pet parrot. Parrots are easy to take care of and best of all, they talk. You can definitely have a great time whenever you would hear them speak.

These are just few of the things that people should do in case they wish to train their pet parrot. Parrots are definitely great pets and since they can talk, there would never be a dull moment if you have them at home.

To those who wish to get one, then check out the amazing training tips:

    • Always make sure to train your pet parrot every day. If you wish them to learn something, you have to make sure that you only spend 10 minutes to train them because birds have small brains. The best way for them to retain what you have taught them is if you do not overdo it. 10 minutes would be enough for them to retain what you have taught them.
    • You might also wish to practice training them with props. This is great for people who use their pets for shows. This would help your pet become familiar with different props that would make the show a lot more fun and interesting. Try to find the best props that your pet would be able to play with effortlessly.
    • Be sure to train you parrot in a quiet place this is to make sure that they would not be confused with the sound that they need to follow. You also have to make sure that you give them rewards so they would learn easily. Try to scratch their heads because this means that they have done something great. Parrots are smart animals so be sure to reward them if they did something great.
    • It is also important that you train your parrot same time everyday so it would be something that the parrots would look forward to. They would also imbed in their minds that at the exact time, they get to have fun and learn new things. This is definitely a rewarding experience for both the owner as well as the parrot.

 

    • Always praise your pet for the great things that he or she was able to accomplish on your training. They would surely want to be praised and rewarded with what they were able to do for the day so be sure to do this so your pets would always look forward to having a new learning session with you.

Tips You Need to Know for Spring Bird Feeding

What to Feed Them

Now, it’s important to remember the significance of the breeding season. Over winter you can throw out whatever food you like and the birds will merrily peck it up, but in the spring there are children to think of!

Usually, birds will frequent feeders less as long as there are plenty of invertebrates lounging around for feeding. They’ll be able to sustain themselves easily and return to the nest to feed their children. Now, if the weather turns and creates a food shortage you may find yourself seeing many more visits from mature birds. The risk is they’ll not only use the feeder for themselves, but take food back to the nest. Fat, bread hunks, and large dry foods like peanuts can easily choke an infant bird.

Hand out high protein foods, including grated cheese, black sunflower seeds, mealworms and raisins. Sliced fruit such as apples and pears also respond well.

Keep One Eye on the Weather

At least in the winter you know what you’re getting. It’s going to be cold, and birds will need feeding. In the spring weather varies a lot more. For the most part food will be abundant and you can leave out minimal amounts, but a change in the weather can quickly result in food shortages. For insect-eaters, a bout of extremely wet weather will cut down their food source substantially, and you might want to leave out a few snacks appropriate to the species. A lengthy drought will harden the ground, and remove access to earthworms, a sizable loss for birds attempting to feed their young.

It’s incredibly different for humans to detect a food shortage. Rather than adjusting your feeding practices dramatically just keep track of your local visitors’ frequency. If they’re coming with regularity it may indicate an immediate food shortage, so be sure you’re not leaving out feed inappropriate for their young.

Keep it Clean

Unlike the winter, you’re likely to see a much slower turnover of feed. Keep your unused seed in a metal container to keep it from spoiling, and consider investing in a covered feeder for the garden. The combination of rain and heat can quickly create mould and disease in your seed, and you don’t want to be responsible for any health problems.

There’ll be more wastage, so try to keep the amount of feed out at any one time to a minimum. Clear up the debris left on the feeder or grass, as well. Hardily shelled black-oil sunflower seeds will slowly kill your grass, though fruit and sunflower chips will spoil extremely quickly. Try and give the feeder a healthy scrub around once a week, perhaps more.

The Right Way to Take Care of a Pet Parrot

Getting a pet parrot may turn out to be a highly worthwhile investment, in terms of time and money. Such a pet proves to be very fascinating to some people, especially with the numerous abilities they have. One can simply be entertained with the gesture of teaching their parrot a bunch of tricks, and a ton of time is to be dedicated into providing proper care for this type of bird. There are so many things, though, that one has to make sure of, such as cleaning its cage properly, changing its water supply as well as ensuring that it’s always provided enough company. Below are some additional things to ponder upon when it comes to taking care of a pet parrot.

  1. One has to decide carefully if they really want to have a parrot as a pet, and this includes looking into their cage’s size and getting it a perch, since it’s quite a sociable creature to have. One should also realize that its most unique trait is the ability to mimic any sound it hears, including how the owner talks. Owners should have enough time spent on schooling it and ensuring that it gets the proper training in order to develop into a well rounded pet that everyone can have fun with and appreciate.
  2. Getting them the right kind of food is also essential. Parrots are often fed seeds which contain a lot of nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, all of which can help them grow and acquire healthy bodies. However, this isn’t always the most appropriate choice. Considering that most seeds are being commercially manufactured, and may even include all those various nutrients, there’s also a lot more freedom in choice. One can simply purchase pellets which these birds can chew on, and the owners won’t have to worry about husks of seeds scattered all over the cage.
  3. It would also be essential for the owner to take it out of its cage and be properly groomed. There needs to be utmost caution when doing so, since these creatures can be very fidgety, thus increasing the risk of injuring them. Their beaks must be properly cleaned in a delicate manner, toe nails should be trimmed carefully with the right sized trimmer, and wings have to be clipped properly to avoid nasty falls during flying play sessions.

A pet parrot may not be the least complicated type of birds to handle, yet they are pretty fun to have around the household. It also teaches owners how to be responsible in taking care of fragile creatures that will end up leading to a whole new experience.

Guide To Installing A Bird Cage

To protect your birds, you need a cage.

Best wires to use

There are many types of wires you can use with the most popular being:

Galvanized wires: A galvanized wire is one that is coated with zinc which is highly toxic. The main role of the coating is to prevent corrosion thus increasing durability. To protect your birds you should consider removing the coating. You do this by soaking or sandblasting the wire. To prevent the wire from corroding apply non-toxic paint to the wire.

PVC coated wire: From its name, this is the wire that has been coated using PVC. The coating is usually very thin and can be easily removed. Due to this, you are advised from installing it in a cage with chewing birds. You should use it in areas with non-chewing birds such as softbills and finches. If you want to use the wire in chewing birds, you should go for a powder coated wire. A powder coat is a cooked coat that is difficult for the birds to remove. The wire will be expensive but the coating will be sturdier thus the birds won’t be able to remove it from the wire.

Stainless steel mesh: This is the best material to use. It will protect your birds without rusting. It also doesn’t require a lot of care. To buy it you should head to your local hardware store.

Installing a bird cage

After you have settled on the right wire, you should go ahead and install the unit. To completely keep predators from your birds you should place an outer layer. As rule of thumb install a tough material. This calls for you to avoid plastic netting as predators can easily tear through it. Larger birds can also easily chew holes through it. For peace of mind, install a 14 gauge 1″ x 1″ grid wire.

You can install a cage with a wooden frame or go for an all-wire unit. It’s all about your preferences. If installing an all-wire cage, you should go for a mesh wire or chain-link fencing. You should go for a pattern that the birds can’t easily pass through. The pattern should also be able to hold the perches and bird toys.

Conclusion

This is what you need to know about bird caging. You should choose a material that is strong and durable. You can install the unit on your own but for ideal results, hire a professional to help you out.

Exotic Birds: All About Purple Martin Housing

Purple Martins are the largest breed of swallows that nest typically in North America. These beautiful and exotic birds mostly depend on man-made or artificial housing like wood and aluminum houses mounted on poles or natural and artificial bird house gourds.

If you are thinking of being a host to these species of exotic birds you will not be disappointed. Setting up individual houses or even a small colony in an open space near your house like the back yard can be a highly rewarding experience.

Here are some of the different housing options that Purple martins prefer to nest in.

Aluminum Houses:

As far as housing Purple martins go, selecting the right size house is essential. Aluminum houses for martins are not only heavy duty and durable but also have openings on all four corners. Providing spacious housing like this for the birds to perch on not only increases the potential of occupancy by them but also does away with territorial issues.

Wood Houses:

Many Martin hobbyists also prefer to go with wooden houses, mainly because it has two design features that help attract them. The first one is that wooden houses can be lowered or raised vertically without making it tip over. Secondly, the nesting spaces inside are easily accessible, which allows a person to remove any unwanted pests or other species of birds. This also allows the houses to be monitored without disturbing or damaging the nests.

PVC Plastic Houses:

For the first time their hobbyist, going with the plastic houses will be the perfect and cheapest way to start off your Bird’s colony. PVC houses are made out of hard plastic that is durable and pleasant to look at. They are also extremely easy to assemble and provide UV protection.

Gourds:

Bird house gourds have always been popular among Purple’s hobbyists. Today, you can easily grow natural gourds in your backyard with proper information. The advantage of having a gourd is that they do not attract other bird species like sparrows or starlings that can cause problems for the Purple martin colony.

Gourds are usually painted white to reflect heat and provide a cool environment for them to nest in. Plastic gourds enable the owners to access inner reaches of purple martin houses by way of a movable vent cap and extra access entrances for regular clean-ups and nest checks.

Most of the Purple Martin houses have Starling or round openings, door plugs, front porches and internal predator guards. By carefully reading and understanding the importance of getting the right kind of housing you can ensure that the Birds will come to nest in your colony every year.