poorfarm, we are lucky with no predators like weasels and minks, but we do have lots of feral cats and crazy digging squirrels. The only invasion other than snakes so far has been a squirrel who figured out how to dig in. We did not bury any mesh around it as it should have been to predator proof it, but we have packed in countless bags of cypress mulch making it pretty hard to dig through for all but the most determined. Between the much layers and a dog who thinks it should guard the yard by sticking it's head through the dog door all night, we have been safe. The dog keeps most of the cats and squirrels away and the hawks can't get in, although they have tried.
My girls want a backyard aviary: Questions - Page 2
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
I have had to give up my aviary and move my budgies into a big cage for now.
They lived happily in the aviary for about a year.. then some weird bird decided it wanted to eat my budgies.
Its not a hawk.. it looks like a cross between a cuckoo and a crow.
It can't get into the aviary as the mesh is really small.. but it scared the birds by jumping and climbing all over the aviary until a budgie lands on the mesh.. then it grabs it and ribs its wings off!!!!!!!!!
I am going to double wire the aviary next week and put a couple of budgies back in there and see if they are safe then. I hate seeing them in the cage after they were used to flying about in the big aviary.
So you might want to double wire your aviary too... to protect the birds from predatory birds.
It's important to have a portion, usually the back and a portion of the sides, of the aviary that is no mesh but wood or somekind of solid framing. This allows the budgies to have a place to fly to that the predator can't get to. If it's mesh all around the predator can just go around to where the birds flew and eventually get to them.
Thanks.. I have covered the top and back with plastic and wood.
The rest of the aviary I have double wired.. with nice tough green mesh.... the colours makes it not stand out so its not too ugly.
The bird came back and had another go... but did not catch any budgies.
I have gone and bought more to increase the population back to normal.
Hopefully this will be an end to it.
Do you think the bird will loose interest and give up harassing my poor budgies when I realises it can't get to them.. or will be too dumb and keep scaring them every day?
I have two aviaries. 1 is 12x8 and one is 8 square. They house cockatiels and English budgies. I live in Florida and it can still get cold here and breezy but thankfully I do not have deal with snow. We use a heavy duty tarp which we modified to fit exactly and hang it from screw hooks when needed. We can drop it easily during the day times when it's warm and quickly put it back up in the evenings or on breezy cool days. We can also roll the tarps in spring and store them under the house until the next winter.
Although we live in florida we do get cold on rare occasions. We use oil filled radiator heaters since they are a far lower fire risk than heaters with elements and there's no where the bird can really get caught in the heater. Remember heat does rise, so having a floor heater still gets the top of the aviaries warm.
We used 1/2 inch hardware cloth on the aviaries. it's been great about keeping out predators but small snakes could still get in. I unfortunately left the door open one night when we were in there late and only discovered 3 days later when cockatiels were missing 3 red rat snakes had taken up residence. It sucked. But when having anything outdoors you will get all sorts of predators and pests. I never seem to have a mouse or rat problem. It may be because I use button quail on the aviary bottoms to help keep the seed cleaned up. I have heard of rats killing buttons but since a large rat can't get through 1/2" mesh I haven't experienced that.
I can only speak from experience on how my cockatiels and budgies act when I go in the aviaries. While a few of my tiels are tame most are not and none of the budgies are. The tiels have not got a problem with me going in and out and they have absolutely no desire to leave, even with the door open. The budgies are more skittish and will flutter around, but again they do not want to leave their flock and even if one does get out (and it's happened) they come right back and want back inside.
Wow nice! I thought hardware cloth was bad for hookbills causing heavy metal poisoning? One of the main reasons I have never built one as the stainless steel hardward cloth is pricey.
That is actually the same I've heard. But since the birds would rather chew on the branches (oak from my own yard) they do not really spend any time at all trying to eat through the hardware cloth. We have never lost one that we know of from that. We have lost some to night fright, broken necks, but we have now wired in amber trailer lights on a timer from dusk to dawn and they quit flying at night when owls or other predators are sitting in the oaks.
I think the issue with normal galvanized hardware cloth is zinc plating. There are treatments which are recommended to neutralize it, but I'll be honest and tell you we never did anything. All we did was staple it up, add mulch to the aviary bottoms and then use a sprinkler to water in the mulch, thus plain water rinsing the hardware cloth.
Plastic coated hardware cloth would probably be safer. I would imagine my chewers would find that more fascinating than non coated hardware cloth though :) I can see them striping the plastic off as if it's a forage toy and enjoying the heck out of it whereas the plain old hardware cloth just isn't fun enough to hold their interest. Too many other exciting things to see and do with being outdoors.
I would not recommend anything other than stainless steel mesh for any hookbills larger than budgies. Even with budgies, some may chew where others wont, so its still a risk.