Post pics of your outdoor aviaries...

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by arherp, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. arherp

    arherp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, I am planning on building yet ANOTHER outdoor aviary.. would like to see some of you guy's pics to get a little inspiration!
     
  2. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What do you use for materials for yours? I'm going to be building one soon for my two budgies.....

    There's so much conflicting information on the internet. Some say no chicken wire at all... some say it's fine, so long as it's small openings and if you douse it in vinegar first.... I don't know who to listen to.
     
  3. benjoycei

    benjoycei Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2011
    Wilmington
    Why would you douse it in vinegar?
     
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Galvanized wire can be an issue for birds that climb or chew on the wire, because of the risk of zinc poisoning. Stainless steel is great, but expensive and hard to get.

    If you use galvanized wire for an aviary, I think it's really important to have a lot of perches and things for the birds to climb on, so they stay off the wire. Give them ways to travel around in the aviary without climbing on the wire. Toys to chew on, also.
     
  5. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is quoted directly from www.avianweb.com:

    "Galvanizing is used to coat steel or iron with zinc. This is done to prevent galvanic corrosion (specifically rusting), therefore increasing the durability of a product.

    Removing Zinc Powder from Cages / Wires: Galvanized materials are left with a powdery film of zinc which needs to be removed (also in preparation for painting). Although washing will remove the loose zinc powder from the finish, it will not remove the zinc plating. A mild acid, such as vinegar can be used to remove zinc powder without harming the zinc layer. However, neither vinegar treatment or washing will neutralize the zinc.

    Therefore, birds are still exposed to the zinc. Particularly at risk are heavy chewers, but even non-chewers will be exposed to zinc resulting in heavy-metal poisoning if they grab the wires with their beaks.

    Removing the Zinc Coating: Zinc coating can be removed by soaking or sandblasting. However, once that has been done, the wire will rust quickly. To prevent that from happening, you would need to apply another protective finish to the wire, such as non-toxic paint."


    I hope we're allowed to quote so much from an external source. I know they say not to use chicken wire or hardware cloth... but there are so many people/sites I've seen where people do use it. Parrots and Parakeets have a different susceptibility to chicken wire (and what it may be coated with) than chickens.

    I've heard of using the stainless steel, but I'd have no idea where to find it in a store. I couldn't find any at either of my local big box hardware stores.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
  6. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    That's true-- parrots (parakeets/budgies are parrots) are very susceptible to zinc poisoning and heavy metal toxicity from cage wires, which is why most indoor cages are made with powder-coated cast iron or if you can afford it, stainless steel. Because hookbills (parrots) use their beaks to climb on the bars of any caging, they are very prone to ingesting trace metals from the caging material. Heavy metals build up in the body; they don't get flushed out, and thus over time they can develop health problems from it. Severe illness and/or death is not at all unheard of.
    Especially bad are parrots that are prone to chewing (many of the larger ones are!), as they will actively bite the caging and inevitably ingest small shavings of the metal. I once fostered a caique, which is a smaller parrot, and she managed to completely chew off the powder coating on the cage she was in the matter of 24 hours. Luckily I had invested in a well made cage (which she ruined... $600 later!! Plus an expensive vet visit to make sure she was okay. Aren't parrots grand?!) and she did not suffer from it.

    The choice is a hard one because safe materials are so much more expensive (not that hardware cloth is cheap, yikes!). For some, the risk is acceptable. For some, like myself, risks like this are not okay because I love my parrots and want to give them the best life they can have. There are plenty of folks that do okay with it, but I also have known plenty of folks that have had large vet bills due to poisoning or worse, loss of a bird. The choice is a personal one and I am not attempting to guilt or scold anyone that would use galvanized caging materials.

    Anyhow sorry for the slightly off topic post! I don't have an outdoor aviary (yet)... just mammoth cages inside. [​IMG]
     
  7. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your insight! I didn't mean to hijack this thread..... I hope that folks show photos of their outdoor aviaries!
     
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I built an indoor aviary for a pair of lovebirds, using 1/2" hardware cloth. She was a real shrew, so they needed more space. Her mate really suffered in the smaller cage they originally came to me in. I named them after my parents, which made everyone who knew them laugh uproariously. [​IMG]

    They didn't have a problem with the galvanized wire, which I cleaned thoroughly before using. It was full of branches, perches and ropes to climb on, in addition to their toys. The preferred to use the branches, perches and ropes to climb around on, rather than climbing on the wire. If they had insisted on climbing on the wire or chewing on the wire, I would have needed to do something else. Sometimes, it just depends on the individual birds, as well as the set-up.

    I've only seen stainless steel meshes available online. Maybe it depends on where you live, though.

    I have my African grey in a stainless steel cage we bought for him 20 years ago. It was more expensive than other cages, but we knew we'd never have to buy him another cage. Parrots live a long time and can go through a lot of cages, so it seemed like a good investment, as well as being safer. He does climb on the bars. You don't have the space in a cage that you have in an aviary, to set up all the different transit routes for the birds, with alternative materials. Plus, I think cage bars are usually spaced to make them easy to climb.
     

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