Helping birds through winter?


In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 20, 2012
I have an Aviary with 2 parakeets, 2 doves, 3 zebra finches, and 6 quail. The parakeets are in a separate area which is 3/4 ft and about 6ish ft tall The rest are in a 4x8x6 area. I'm curious what I can do to help them through the winter without having to put heat on them. I'm in Fresno, CA if that helps. I'm more worried about the parakeets than anyone else. I already have the aviary covered with plastic, with one whole side that has a removable frame that is easy to remove and air out on nice days, and another area that can be rolled up. They also have nest boxes and the parakeets have a fleece sack they can go into.

I don't want to have to provide heat because if the power goes out and they're used to heat I will have really fragile birds. At what temperature would I need to provide some kind of heat? Maybe I could only if it gets really cold?

I don't remember exactly, but I remember reading something about treat cakes made with suet or lard to help the birds put on a little more fat to help keep themselves warm. Could I use that for my aviary birds? TIA
The quail (unless they are Button quail, in which case DO require heat,) do not require any heat and can handle temps of sub zero. The doves, as well, can handle quite cold temps, if allow to acclimate. However the finches and the parakeets are tropical birds and they may not survive temps below 50 or 55. Some parakeets have become pretty hardy, similar to the ones that have been released in the cities and make it on their own. But I am sure some of them don't survive. So my guess is, that if it does not get below 55, maybe 50, you might be ok. I think 50 degrees would be pushing your luck without heat.
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Interestingly enough... I've seen a few people keep parakeets in open avaries in oregon year round. I think they just tarp the aviary and make sure there are no drafts.I wouldn't do it, and don't personally know who the people are, but have driven by these avaries which appear to be unheated. I see the birds doing their thing when there is snow on the ground! So at least the strain or breeding of the two avaries of those bin-o-bugie type parakeets I see out all winter can do a few weeks of freezing 20-30F nights. They live year round out there though, so are probably acclimated.
Sea World kept parrots and other various tropical birds outside year round by protecting them from direct wind and draughts. This was in Cleveland, where temps regularly reach below zero.
My parakeets live in a back shed. Im in a cold state and its been down to 20 already and they are still fine. I do have heat lamps on two of my cages but the other one does and they are fine.
Thank you all! The reason I would rather not bring them in is because of my cats. I'm sure after a few days the novelty would wear off and they would leave them alone. Of course I would make sure the cats are out of the room during out of cage time. Anyway, it got to 39F last night and everyone's fine. I am going to try to insulate the perches a bit with some old clothes and look for some old blankets/sheets to hang in there for a little extra warmth on the side where the parakeets are. I'm not as worried about the finches because the lady I got 2 out of 3 of them from said she keeps hers outside all year in her mini aviary. She only lives about 15 minutes away. :)

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