Starting my first Aviary need help.

Discussion in 'Ornamental Fowl (Swans, etc.)' started by polishmom1744, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. polishmom1744

    polishmom1744 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have recently taken the plunge into ornamental/exotic fowl...I have had chickens for years but have always loved the pheasants, doves & pigeons, lorries, quail, and small water fowl that require aviaries to be truly happy. I got a crazy good deal on a pair on red golden pheasants and a pair of frillback pigeons. They are currently in adequate sized pens but I have been considering turning my old abandoned hoop house into a large Aviary! it is 47'x 12'x 8' high.

    What I want to know is:
    #1 will the hoop house work?
    #2 what type of flooring?
    #3 I live in Tn it gets very hot and very cold ...zone 6b. what do I need to do in winter as it's not heated?
    I have read that my Pheasants should be fine and pigeons live thru much worse up north, so.....
    #4 what birds will be ok w/o heat? Can I cover in plastic and heat in winter if I add vent fans?
    #5 What other birds live well with my pigeons and pheasants as I have read they do well together.


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    What I want is...more pigeons/doves...maybe exotic fruit / Victoria crowned doves as I improve my aviculture skills.... How can I keep these warm enough? Can they winter in the barn w/ a heat light ??? I also love Wood ducks & all small ducks...call, mandarins, teals, silver pin tails being one of my very favorite! and I'd like to have another hen or two for my RG cock, and/or maybe some type of tragopan as I've heard they are more friendly. I am a big fan of vulturine guineas, small parrots , cranes too!

    Really I am open to any suggestions as long as my current birds will get along with them and I can keep them alive in my climate . I am very handy and fairly well funded so I can do the work and buy materials to get it done, I'd just really like some real advice the internet is often so vague ......

    Thanks for your time any positive feedback would be greatly appreciated and not haggled about, as I know very little ..........if someone would take me under a wing and teach me I'd love to be a sponge to soak it all up!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  2. JJRS

    JJRS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Start by deciding exactly what birds you will have. Then refurbish the aviary accordingly. I have found it is better for me, as a hobbyist, to concentrate on birds with similar environmental requirements. Birds are easy to come by, pens not so much.
     
  3. polishmom1744

    polishmom1744 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok...that's a start...thanks.

    Any good research sites you like? I've been on avian web, soft bill.com and many pigeon, duck and pheasant sites. Still have more questions that answers!
     
  4. polishmom1744

    polishmom1744 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2014
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    Ok so here is my realistic wish list and all should be ok in my area with shelter...

    Pheasants : 4 Red Goldens -I have a pair

    Water fowl: Baikal Teal pair
    Silver Bahama Pintail pair
    Pair of Woods
    Trio of Mandarins

    Pigeons: 2 pair Old German Owls
    2 pair Frillbacks - I have 1 pair
    2 pair Saxon Fairy Swallowtails
    & maybe 1 pair Jacobins
    or a pair pink necked green wing doves if I could winter them inside.


    Is this too many? Suggestions....Reservations? I'm doing my homework so somebody throw me a bone!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  5. Dr. Todd

    Dr. Todd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Domestic pigeons are like domestic ducks, chickens, etc. - a big mess compared to their wild counterparts. If you want to keep them I'd separate them from the aviary inhabitants. The vast majority of wild ducks don't trio, so get them in pairs.

    Looks at others who have made hoop houses into aviaries. Googling it comes up with several concepts. Consider http://www.alsbirdsandbees.com/house.html as an example. The key issues will be securing wire underground so predators can't dig in and preventing collapse by snow/ice load. Covering with plastic is an option but for most of those species you wouldn't need to bother.
     
  6. polishmom1744

    polishmom1744 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok great thank you soo much. I will check out that site asap!
     
  7. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

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    You should definitely check out this forum: http://www.gbwf.org/phpBB3/index.php

    Lots of serious aviculturists on that forum with many exotic birds and exotic bird knowledge as well as good experience with beautiful, well landscaped aviaries.

    For Victoria Crowned Pigeons you should check out the Florida Avian Conservancy because they breed many of these birds:
    website:http://www.floridaavianconservancy.com/index.html
    Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Florida-Avian-Conservancy/122900921231589 (their facebook has more photos)

    I think some people do radiant heating for their birds. I would try and find nearby people in your area that raise cold sensitive birds and ask them what they do. There are some very beautiful birds that come from cold climates that would do well. I would not overlook the beauty of the Impeyan AKA Himilayan Monal.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  8. polishmom1744

    polishmom1744 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am going for cold hardy...for now as I am not experienced enough to add layers of difficulty. But I did check out both sites and I thank you for your referral to them! I LOVE Monal/Impeyan Pheasants but I also want plants so I can't put them in this one as they will dig them up and kill them. Also as I am planning a mixed collection I have to wonder what might happen to my ground laying ducks nests should I put an avid digger in the pen. I will wait on Monals as I think I have a better spot for them. I'm going with Tragopans! Timminink's to be exact.
     
  9. polishmom1744

    polishmom1744 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So again I want to thank y'all for all the referrals, suggestions and advice. They have guided several decisions. Here is what I've come up with so far. A tentative design and species list.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

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    It looks very beautiful! Great plans! I see a drawing of what looks like bamboo. If you use bamboo, it is a wonderful aviary plant for me at least. In 3 or less years it will provide so much shade for your birds. I put the big water container in the shade of the bamboo and it keeps the water nice and cool even in the heat of the Florida summer. The dead leaves of bamboo are very pretty and look nice in the aviary and of course the birds can scratch through them looking for bugs.

    The only thing you have to be careful with is which bamboo type you get. There is the clumping kind and then there is the running kind. The clumping kind is what I have. It acts like a regular bush just growing into a bigger around clump but not spreading far. The running kind will pop up all over the place and can be much harder to control, but it will do better forming a bamboo forest if that is a look you are going for. You can easily kill young shoots popping up if you don't want them. You simply kick them over. I do this sometimes because I don't want the clump to get too huge. I have been letting my bamboo grow through the netting but I would not recommend that. At first it appeared to work really well since the bamboo can easily grow through the netting. Then I realized it had ripped a huge hole in the netting so I am definitely going to have to replace the netting because of many of the plants ripping it and making the netting tighter and in the future I will always trim the plants so that they do not grow through the netting.

    I hope your construction goes well! [​IMG]
     

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