How to build an aviary in your garden

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How to build an aviary in your garden

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Aviaries can increase your bird’s quality of life. Birds tend to thrive when they have room to fly and are contained in a natural-looking environment. Aviaries are much larger than a normal bird cage and can be built for both indoor or outdoor use. Homemade aviaries can be as unique as the birds they house.


Step One

Start with the floor - If you use concrete as recommended, lay 12 inches for the foundation. You can add a layer of sand, gravel or pine to the concrete to sweep up with waste during cleaning. You may also want to "plant" non-toxic foliage in the concrete while it's setting or at least leave enough space.


Step Two

Build the frame. Stone, metal, plastic or brick piping work, as well as treated lumber.


Step Three

Construct the walls and roof with welded wire. Parameters and wire spacing are dependent on the size of birds you want to house in the aviary. You'll want to make sure the wire is heavy enough that your bird can't break it, usually 10-gauge or heavier.


Step Four

Make an entrance. Whether you make the entrance or purchase a ready-made door, make sure it is a double-door to prevent escape.


Step Five

Provide shelter, especially if it's an outdoor aviary or a portable aviary for indoor and outdoor use. At least one-third of the aviary should be enclosed. Fasten material--plastic, Plexiglas, cloth or hardwood--to two or three sides of the aviary and the roof. You can also add insulation and a heater.


Step Six

Protect your bird from predators. Add another layer of wiring or mesh to prevent predators from getting too close to your bird. A 1/2-inch-by-1/2-inch wire will thwart opossums, rats and cats. Even smaller wire can prevent snakes and mice from accessing the aviary. If you set the aviary on the ground, you'll also want to make sure that other animals cannot dig to get inside. Digging 6 inches down and around the perimeter can help.


Step Seven

Make the environment fun for your bird by adding in perches and trees that it can climb, as well as several nest boxes. Make sure perches are far enough from the edge of the aviary that it won't invite predators.


Step Eight

Add on an area to store food and tools for easy access.


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