Outdoor aviary birds, any advice?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by tiffanyh, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    I am planning/building an outdoor aviary in CT. I am looking for birds that tolerate cold weather well. I am finding conflicting info on the web. I originally planned on society finch but now am wondering if that is the best match.

    I am willing to add supplemental heat over the winter. The aviary will also have button quail but those will come in over the winter as I plan on only keep a few. I would rather not transport all the birds in over the winter. I know birds live outside all winter so I know if I provide draft free/extra food they should survive well and be comfortable. i just want to find birds that will be the most comfortable in this environment.

  2. morelcabin

    morelcabin Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
  3. Lophura

    Lophura Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    Holden, Missouri
    Quote:The best choices would be Society and Zebras for your first winter. Provide a heat lamp and block off as much of the north wind as you can. Gain a little experience with these hardy little guys before jumping to the more expensive finches. Another possibility, European Goldfinches.

    I currently keep waxbills and weavers outdoors from March through November, the aviary does have a solid section with a heat lamp. During the coldest part of winter, I move them into my barn which is partially heated. I have had cordon bleu outdoors when temps hit 17 at the zoo, they refused to come in and other than being a little puffy the next morning, did just fine.

    Check out the Finch Forum - http://www.finchforum.com/

  4. poultrykeeper08

    poultrykeeper08 Songster

    Feb 12, 2008
    Agawam , Ma
    have you thought about doves ? I know of a guy who has an aviary with ringneck doves and they live out in the aviary all year .
  5. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    I had considered doves. But felt that they may like more room than this aviary overall....Ill keep that in mind.

    Lophura (Dan)-I had considered society but read they dont do well in cold. I know people keep aviarys in NY and farther up nprth so I know it is possible and thought they would be hardier than others......but was starting to questions using them......I will giove this a go for this winter!

    thanks for the info, it is nice to get some first hand experience!
  6. Lophura

    Lophura Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    Holden, Missouri
    Quote:The beauty of this hobby is that everything changes. We learn from the birds. I have a finch manual that says Cordon Bleu would die if kept in temps below 65. We debunked that at the zoo and currently have a pair outside here, doing fine at 59 (as well as 35 last night). Some of the suggested temps in these books are perhaps for newly imported birds.

    I would try it first with the Society or Zebra. These guys are mostly domesticated by now (in fact the Society is all domestic) and when compared to other small seedeaters, are affordable, hardy and readily available - should a mistake happen. I would make sure there is some protection from the elements and a heat lamp, but other than that, these two should do fine. Have spoke with other finch keepers who do nothing more than add a bunch of more millet, more nests and extra coconut husk for the birds to "burrow" into. They are tougher than most authors give them credit for.

  7. wilded

    wilded Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    They will need nest boxes to get out of the wind and cold to have any chance in northern climates.
  8. RioLindoAz

    RioLindoAz Sleeping

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yuma, Arizona
    Pigeons are very hardy in cold weather. You can also try adding a variety of different quails and doves.
    Box perches are very helpful iun the cold weather because the birds can roost on them but be insulated at the same time.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2008
  9. damionlake

    damionlake In the Brooder

    Oct 10, 2011
    Diamond doves are a great addition to any aviary, they are relatively easy to find, fairly affordable as well as theya re beautiful and easy going birds!
  10. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

    Oct 24, 2009
    The diamond doves don't tolerate cold weather very well. Small birds like zebra finches also have a hard time in winter due to short day lengths and not enough time to eat all the food they need for energy to keep warm.

    I would recommend BUDGERIGARS (can keep in groups and are very playful).

    Other birds to consider are:
    Rosellas (keep only one pair to an aviary and can mix with budgies).

    Lovebirds (Can keep in groups)

    Cockatiels (very gently and calm - can live with the budgies no problem)

    Japanese Quail (can keep in groups and the eggs are delicious)

    What ever birds you decide to get I think you MUST provide an indoor shelter area with lighting attached to the flight. The birds can get into it at night through a pop hole (which you can close in bad weather). Providing extra light in the dark winter months give the birds more time to feed and keeps them nice and fat to help protect from the cold.

    Covering 2 thirds or all of the outdoor flight roof with some kind of transparent plastic will stop rain and snow getting into the flight and so the birds can still enjoy outdoor time even if its raining.

    If you get the Chinese painted (button) quails only get one pair (not a few) as they like to live in single pairs. Groups will eventually fight - and they can seriously injure each other and even kill each other overnight!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: