With more than 5 million households in the US owning at least one pet bird, birds are now the country’s fourth most popular pet behind dogs, cats, and fish. Birds can be highly intelligent, fun, and loving companions. But exotic animals like birds don’t suit everyone. They require specialist enclosures such as an aviary to provide them with a semi-natural environment to live in where there’s enough space for them to enjoy free flight without any obstructions getting in the way or causing them harm. For bird owners and breeders, an aviary can help to reinvigorate their enjoyment of bird ownership and provide an area where they can enjoy their birds in a nice setting.
Basics Of Setting Up An Aviary
Unlike a typical birdcage, an aviary is a large enclosure that contains the birds while providing them with a large living space. An aviary enables birds to live in as natural an environment as possible. It’s common for aviaries to have shrubs and plants, and when situated outside, the fresh air, sunlight, wind, and rain are great for birds’ health and wellbeing. An aviary must be an enclosed area that provides a dry, warm and stimulating space for your birds where there’s plenty of room to fly and exercise. Your new aviary should be well ventilated and have places for fresh food and water for your birds and areas where they can shelter, such as high perches and nest boxes.
Choosing Birds For Your New Aviary
Many common types of birds that owners keep as single pets can be kept together safely in pairs or a larger number, depending on the size of your aviary. For example, canaries, zebra finches, cockatiels, and budgerigars, you can have a selection or a single species together. It’s a good idea to have an even number of females and males to avoid any fighting or alternatively, keep single-sex males or female birds together, especially if you don’t want the birds to breed. It would be best if you kept larger birds such as parrots on their own or in a pair but without any other species in the aviary to avoid fighting.
Installing Your Outdoor Aviary
A large garden or a converted shed or summerhouse is ideal for an outdoor aviary. You can buy ready-made outdoor aviaries in various sizes and designs to complement your garden. An outside aviary will be exposed to the weather, so you should treat the wood with a water-based preservative to protect it while ensuring your birds don’t become unwell if they consume any of the wood. It’s also important to ensure that rodents can’t get in by installing and fixing mesh that’s buried into a trench so burrowing animals cannot gain access. Installing wire and covering the roof with corrugated wooden or plastic roof panels can also stop birds of prey and cats from terrorizing your birds.
An aviary provides a more natural environment for your birds to fly and interact with than a cage. But it also provides you with the opportunity to enjoy many hours of watching and caring for your birds.