Rabu, 29 Desember 2010

How to Cut Small Chain Links for Bird Toys

How to Cut Small Chain Links for Bird Toys

Birds can be quite clever and rewarding pets, but they require stimulation to be happy and healthy. Toys can be very entertaining for a bird. While bird toys are easily purchased, you can use your own creativity to make some yourself just as easily. Chains are very useful for making bird toys and can be easily cut to custom lengths, but some caution must be taken to ensure that your pet does not harm itself on a toy.

Instructions

    1

    Spread the chain out on a smooth work surface.

    2

    Pull out the link you want to cut using a jewelry pliers. It is easier to see what you are doing if you hold the link so that it is at a cross with the other links in the chain.

    3

    Snip the link with a wire cutters using your other hand. You can use the jewelry pliers or a needle-nose pliers to remove the link, depending on the strength of the metal.

Senin, 27 Desember 2010

How to Make Your Own Forging Toys

How to Make Your Own Forging Toys

Forging toys, also known as foraging toys, are one type of enrichment toy important to pet birds. Chirp n Squawk advises, "Forging enrichment is perhaps the most important thing that you can provide your parrot to reduce behavior problems." Research has found that these toys "led to a significant decrease in the incidence of feather-picking, obesity, pacing, bar chewing and other health and behavioral problems seen by vets." Color, size and material of an enrichment toy will determine whether a parrot will play with it, so experiment making different toys to see what your bird likes.

Instructions

    1

    Cut four small rectangles of paper and glue them in the jewelry box as walls to create five compartments. Make the paper rectangles -inch taller than the open box and -inch wider, so you can fold tabs to glue to the box. Cut five different shapes out of the box lid, such as a circle, square, triangle, rectangle and heart, spacing them so that each shape matches up with a corresponding compartment. Puncture the top of the box using a scrapbooking paper punch and insert the scissors to cut the shape. Cut a piece of bright tissue paper to size and glue inside the perimeter of the box lid, covering the shape cut-outs. According to veterinarians, Doctors Foster and Smith, "Hand-crafted cardboard forging boxes provide birds with an outlet for natural chewing and foraging behaviors. Clever cut out windows pique bird curiosity with glimpses of tempting toy pieces." Fill each compartment with a different type of bird treat, such as seeds, millet, pine nuts, berries or corn. Tie a sisal string around the box and hang it from the top of the cage.

    2

    Cut a Wiffle ball in half with a jigsaw or tin snips to make a homemade buffet ball. Fill it with fresh vegetables, like broccoli, zucchini, cucumber and carrot slices. Glue the ball back together with quick-drying glue, but avoid getting any glue on the food. Place the ball on the floor of the cage, so the bird can roll it and peck at the food inside.

    3

    Fill an empty bathroom tissue roll with a variety of bird treats to make your own fun barrel. Place the filled roll horizontally on top of a sheet of tissue paper. Gather the tissue paper to the center of the top and tie a sisal string around it. Wrap the string around the fun barrel a few times, tie it around the top of the tissue paper again, and hang it from the top of the cage.

Minggu, 26 Desember 2010

How to Make a Cage For Two Parakeets

How to Make a Cage For Two Parakeets

Parakeets are delightful birds to keep in your home but truth be told, they are somewhat destructive when it comes to traditional wooden cages. At the same time, the commercially available cages frequently are pretty but if you have an ultra modern home design they just do not fit in. Instead of foregoing the joy of feathered companionship altogether, why not combine your penchant for modern minimalist design with your love for parakeets, and learn how to make a cage for two parakeets? You will be using an inexpensive piece of modern furniture and a few readily available materials your local hardware store and pet shop are sure to stock.

Instructions

    1

    Obtain a metal stand alone shelf that measures about the length of four parakeet wingspans, is about two wingspans deep, and about three wingspans tall. IKEA is a perfect place for such shelving but you might already have something else in mind. The trick to choosing the right kind of shelf is to find one that is basically open on four sides.

    2

    Measure the sides of the shelf and write down the height and width. These measurements will vary, depending on the kind of shelf you are using. Subtract 1/10th of an inch from each side but not the tops and bottoms.

    3

    Visit your local hardware store and ask to have four sheets of Plexiglas precut to your measurements and the edges smoothed. For a small fee, the odds are good that a customer service professional will be glad to do this. While you are there, buy a tube of clear Liquid Nails for small projects.

    4

    Glue the Plexiglas to the exterior of sides, front, and back of the shelf with the Liquid Nails. Measure carefully and ensure that the sheets are centered on the shelf, thereby leaving a 2/10th of an inch gap at each corner. This provides some much needed ventilation from all sides.

    5

    Purchase a screen cover with hinged doorsuch as they are commonly used for reptile cagesfrom your local pet shop or online. Be sure to measure the top of your shelf first so that you are certain you get the right size. This will be the top of your cage for the two parakeets. Secure the top with the clips provided or buy them separately if the cover does not already include them. If you cannot find the right size, make up the difference between the biggest top and the cage with stainless steel mesh.

    6

    Buy a flexible screen cover. This will be the bottom of your cage. Since you are working with a shelf, the flexible screen will sit on top of the shelving and provide the foundation for the cage liner you might use to catch bird droppings. Since it is made of mesh, it allows for sufficient airflow to discourage the growth of mold. Secure it tightly so the parakeets will not get their little feet caught.

    7

    Install the water by hanging it over the side of the cage as you would in a terrarium. This is the advantage of using a small animal water bottle. Place the cage liner on the bottom of the cage and place the tip proof food dish filled with parakeet feed on the bottom. Place the bird perches into the cage by either securing them in the corner gaps of the cage or by using a coil that hangs from the top.

    8

    Position the cage in a draft free area that is not subject to direct sunlight. Ideally this should be a room where there is a lot of foot traffic and social interaction since parakeets are notorious for their social nature.

How to Clean a Bird Cage

Birds can be very messy. They throw food, spill their water bowls and deposit droppings on the bars of their cages. All of this can quickly lead to mold growth and an unhealthy environment for your pet bird. Along with daily changes of cage liners, the cage itself should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a month.

Instructions

    1

    Remove everything from the cage. This includes toys, perches, accessories, food and water dishes, and the bird itself. These should all be cleaned separately.

    2

    If possible, break the cage down to make cleaning easier. This is not absolutely necessary, but does make corners and crevices easier to access.

    3

    Take the cage outside for cleaning. Using a hose with a sprayer or pressure washer attachment, spray down the entire cage, paying special attention to any visibly soiled areas. Try to use the force of the water to spray off any droppings and food debris.

    4

    Use a stiff brush to scrub away any remaining visible dirt, droppings, or other matter. Be sure to check corners and gaps where the cage panels are attached. Rinse away the debris with the hose.

    5

    Using a diluted mixture of bleach and water (1 tsp. bleach for a 16-oz. bottle) in a spray bottle, mist the entire cage. Allow to dry in the sun, or rub down thoroughly with towels. Be sure the entire cage is completely dry before putting the bird and accessories back in the cage.

Sabtu, 25 Desember 2010

Safe Electric Heaters for Birds

Safe Electric Heaters for Birds

When you have birds in your home, keeping them warm when the weather turns cold might mean using a heat source in addition to your furnace. Being informed and using caution when choosing a space heater or heat lamp can prevent needless tragedy.

Heat Lamps

    Farmers were the first to use heat lamps for the purpose of keeping chicks warm. Later, in trying to duplicate climate, owners and breeders of exotic birds used heat lamps for both emergency heat and to keep brooders warm. Different from table lamps, which produce heat only when lit, heat lamps provide a continuous source of heat without upsetting the birds' sleep cycle.

    Using a table lamp might provide sufficient heat during the day, but when lights are turned off at night, temperatures can drop. While most birds can withstand colder temperatures for the short term, exposure to drafts over a longer period of time can cause them to become ill.

    Halogen bulbs are very hot and can shatter if splattered with water, so use caution if used near a cage or if your bird flies free.

Ceramic Heaters

    Like red heat lamp bulbs, ceramic heaters don't disturb day/night cycles because they don't use light. Ceramic heaters are available in various watt outputs and will not shatter if hit with water. However, these heaters can become very hot, so they must be kept a safe distance from the cage.

    Many ceramic-type heaters are designed specifically with birds in mind. Infrared heat panels, for example, only reach a temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit and attach directly to the cage to better focus heat where it is needed. Others have dimmer switches for power adjustment.

    Be sure and keep the cords and switches of heaters and lamps that are positioned close to cages out of reach of the birds, which love to chew.

Invisible Dangers

    Some heat lamp bulbs are coated with PTFE (Polytetraflouethylene), a plastic substance known under the brand names of Teflon, Silverstone, Fluron, Supra, Excalibur, Greblon, Xylon, Duracote, Resistal, Autograph, and T-Fal. When heated, the fumes emitted by PTFE are fatal to birds.

    In addition to some space heaters, sources of PTFE in the home may be the plates on irons and ironing board covers, burners on stove tops, waffle makers, electric skillets, coffeemakers, griddles, and many other kitchen appliances and utensils. Dangerous fumes can develop at temperatures as low as 285 degrees Fahrenheit, and need only be inhaled for a very short time to be fatal.

    Self-cleaning ovens can also emit harmful fumes. For this reason, birds should not be kept in kitchens.

Rabu, 22 Desember 2010

Best Suited Cages for Parakeets

Parakeets make interesting pets and can add joy to your household. It is important to find the right cage that is the most suitable for your parakeets, so that they might live the happiest possible life. Remember, you should always keep parakeets in pairs, as they are very social birds.

Right Size and Configuration

    Although most parakeets can't fly very far, they do like to hop from place to place, so the cage should have at least three different levels, which are defined by various perches inside of the cage. A good dimension to follow would be that a cage for a pair of regular sized parakeets should be 59"x32"x59" (150x80x150 cm). You might want to find a bigger cage for bigger birds, or to give your birds more room.

Bars and Accessibility

    The bars on the parakeet cage should be close together. Parakeets should be able to wrap their feet around the bars so that they can use them to climb from one place to another. The bars should be close enough together so that the birds cannot stick their heads between them. The cage should also have several different openings so that you can provide the birds with food and water, and so that you can get the parakeets out of the cage when needed. Different openings will allow you to reach in at different angles to catch them (they tend to move around the cage) and to change food change water and clean easily.

Items Included

    Parakeets should not be in a cage that has only bars and a floor. There needs to be several levels of perches extending the width of the cage. The perches should be of varying sizes so that the birds can exercise their feet. Ladders to climb up, dangling bright-colored objects, toys, and mirrors are all important to include in your parakeet cage as well. A good parakeet cage should also include a food and water dish system that is easy for you to use. The best food and water dishes will attach to the cage in some way. They will also be easy to lift out of their brackets and remove from the cage to clean and refill. A system that is permanently attached to the inside of the cage is not a good idea.

How to Color Bird Toys

How to Color Bird Toys

Birds kept in captivity use toys for exercise, stimulation and amusement. Parrots in particular benefit from having an assortment of toys available. Parrots that become bored may develop bad habits such as screaming, biting and feather plucking. There is no need to buy expensive bird toys when you can make entertaining and colorful bird-safe toys yourself for a fraction of the cost. You can make bird toys from many different materials, but you can only color those that will accept a water-based dye. Cotton fabric, sisal rope and bird-safe wood are ideal materials for colored bird toys.

Instructions

    1

    Pour 16 ounces rubbing alcohol into a 1-quart glass or metal container.

    2

    Add 1/2-ounce coloring to the rubbing alcohol and stir with a metal spoon until the coloring dissolves. The color will dry lighter than what it appears, so add more coloring, 1/4 ounce at a time, until the color is slightly darker than what you want.

    3

    Place the bird toy in the rubbing alcohol/coloring mixture. Use metal tongs to turn the toy until it is soaked with the mixture.

    4

    Remove the bird toy from the mixture, using the tongs, and check the color. For deeper coloring, leave the bird toy in the mixture for a longer period.

    5

    Lift the bird toy from the mixture when the coloring is complete. Hold the toy over the container and allow the excess liquid to drain back into the container.

    6

    Place the bird toy on a paper towel to dry. All traces of alcohol must evaporate before you give the toy to your bird.

Rabu, 15 Desember 2010

DIY Jungle Gym

Parrots are active birds that need a lot of room to move about and explore; much more room than a cage can offer. Jungle gyms (also known as play gyms) are a great way to give your pet bird some much needed play time. Parrot jungle gyms can even help reduce cage aggression, excessive screaming, or other problem behaviors by keeping birds busy and in close contact with their owners. You can save money by designing and building your own jungle gym. An easy and inexpensive way to build a jungle gym is by using PVC pipe.

Basics of a PVC Pipe Jungle Gym

    With a PVC pipe jungle gym, the PVC pipes are put together as a frame for the jungle gym. Then non-toxic tree branches are screwed on level areas of the frame to make perches. The PVC can also be wrapped with rope or other fabrics to make different textured perches.

Designing Your Parrot's Jungle Gym

    Draw out how you would like the play gym to look. Things to consider are the size (how tall and wide it should be) and where to hang the toys. Include measurements in the drawing for each length of piping that you have included in the frame.

Supplies

    Take a list of the supplies you need to your local hardware store. You will need enough PVC piping for the entire project so add all of the lengths together. Buy enough PVC elbows, one for each corner of the frame. You will also need to buy PVC cement to glue the pieces together and a PVC pipe cutter. For the perching you can buy rope and/or use non-toxic tree branches from your back yard. Screws will be needed to attach the branches to the PVC. The screw length will depend on how thick the branches are. Buy a little extra of each item just in case you need it. You will also need a drill if you don't already have one.

Build the Jungle Gym

    Start by putting together the PVC frame. Cut the pieces of pipe to the size you need glue them to the elbows (corners) as your design calls for. The PVC cement will have instructions on its use on the label. If you make a mistake in the process the pipe can easily be cut out and replaced, or you can chose to redesign your project as you work on it. Once the frame is ready you can place the tree branches on top of the frame and screw them down to make perches. If you are applying rope it can be tightly wrapped and tied at the ends.

Final Touches

    To add toys or food bowl hangers you can drill holes into the PVC at any spot you would like to hang toys or food and water bowls.

Selasa, 14 Desember 2010

Can a Parakeet & Cockatiel Be Kept in the Same Cage?

Can a Parakeet & Cockatiel Be Kept in the Same Cage?

Parakeets and cockatiels are social and brightly colored birds. Their small sizes and similar friendly temperaments allow them to be compatible with each other. They can live in the same cage, but only as long as they are trained and their individual needs are met.

Parakeet Facts

    The Indian Ringneck parakeet requires a bit more training.
    The Indian Ringneck parakeet requires a bit more training.

    Parakeets are extremely social and like to have toys to keep them occupied. In the wild, they flock as a group, so it is helpful if they have a companion to interact with. They can be trained to talk and they often chirp when they want attention. Their diet consists mainly of seeds and fruit, and occasional cooked meat is acceptable.

Cockatiel Facts

    Cockatiels can be blue, yellow, or white.
    Cockatiels can be blue, yellow, or white.

    Cockatiels are easier to tame than parakeets. They mainly whistle but are able to say a few phrases with enough training. Hard-boiled egg, fruit and soft breads make up their diet. They are susceptible to some fatal diseases, such as wasting disease, which affects a cockatiel's nervous system and organs.

Cage

    Both birds are high maintenance, but with each other's company they will stay entertained. It is recommended that these birds live in the largest cages possible with some flying room, preferably square in shape. Use wire cages and avoid bamboo cages, since the birds can gnaw through the bars. Line the cage with old newspapers or a similar material to keep the space sanitary. Large, outdoor cages might be the best option if you live in a warm area.

Senin, 13 Desember 2010

How to Make a Play Area for Your Pet Birds

How to Make a Play Area for Your Pet Birds

Birds are social creatures who love to play. To keep your bird happy and healthy, provide it with a play area to exercise outside its cage. Play areas or playpens provide a way to bond with your bird and socialize it. Pet birds love interaction with their owners, so giving them a space within your living area will provide them with hours of entertainment. Create a fun, safe environment for your bird.

Instructions

    1

    Designate a place in your home for your pet bird's play area. Depending on the size of the bird, pick a suitable space in an area you and your family spend time in so you can play with and supervise your bird. Make sure the space is free of wires that your bird might chew on, ceiling fans and toxic plants, and that it is away from the kitchen area which contains many dangers to your bird, including toxic fumes from nonstick pans which contain polytetrafluoroethylene, according to the ASPCA.

    2

    Cover the floor beneath the play area with a thick towel, blanket or washable rug for easy cleanup. To clean, simply remove the towels, blankets or rug, shake them out and machine wash. You may also use a sheet of plastic siding underneath the area which can be rinsed off every week or so to keep the area sanitary.

    3

    Set up the play area with a play gym or parrot stand purchased at a pet store. Make sure the materials are nontoxic and contain some natural branches for your bird to climb and chew on. Play gyms may be simple or elaborate, depending on the size of your bird and your budget. You can also construct a play gym out of natural, no-toxic branches and attach them with screws to a wooden base. Provide plenty of room to climb and exercise. The natural branches provide good exercise for the toe muscles of parrots and keep beaks trim as the birds chew on them, according to Animal-World.

    4

    Provide plenty of toys for your bird in the play area and hanging from the play gym. Purchase toys for parrots or use nontoxic baby toys. Toys hanging from ropes are fun for birds to climb and chew on. Swings hung from the play gym provide entertainment as do multiple ladders to climb. Toys made of nontoxic wood, leather, rawhide and acrylic make good chew toys for pet birds, according to Animal-World. Birds also enjoy looking at themselves in mirrors, so hang some mirrors on walls around the area. Add some bells to the branches of the play gym.

    5

    Place food and water dishes in the play area for your bird so it can spend plenty of time there without having to go back to its cage. To encourage foraging and keep your bird stimulated, try hiding special treats around the play area so your bird can hunt for them, according to Avian Web. Place treats like vegetables, nuts or fruits in paper cups, egg cartons, paper bags or pet treat balls available for dogs. Foraging satisfies your bird's natural curiosity and intelligence.

    6

    Provide a space in the play area where your bird can bathe. For large birds, use a free-standing bird bath, and change the water daily. For smaller birds, put a small container of water in the area for your bird to bathe in, separate from its water dish. Birds also enjoy a gentle misting from a spray bottle, as a bath, in their play area. Since bathing can be messy, the play area is a great place for a bird to bathe without getting its cage wet.

Minggu, 12 Desember 2010

How to Decorate Bird Cages

How to Decorate Bird Cages

Since birds are playful pets, they require toys to keep boredom and destructive behaviors at bay. Decorating a bird's cage with plenty of interactive toys will reduce anxiety-driven behaviors such as feather plucking and vocal outbursts for attention. Even everyday items such as perches, food bowls and water bowls can be decorative and fun for the pet bird.

Instructions

    1

    Choose perches made of natural branches. Sold in pet stores, these cleaned natural fruit tree branches give the bird cage an outdoor feel while providing essential posture for birds' feet. Varying thicknesses of branches help exercise the muscles and adds interest to the look of the bird cage.

    2

    Pick food and water bowls that double as play areas. Choose bowls attached to mirrors or plastic toys with beads. These add color to the cage and provide an activity for the pet bird. This decoration is good for a picky eater, since they may choose to stop at the bowl to play and inadvertently try the food, too.

    3

    Add ladder toys to the bird cage for mobility and activity. Birds will use ladders to get from one area of the cage to another. Athletic birds, such as cockatiels, will use the ladder decoration to hang upside-down and do tricks.

    4

    Hang edible toys from the roof of the cage. Offer the bird toys that can be chewed. These are often made from rawhide, unpainted wooden toys, recycled paper, dried fruits or whole nuts. Allow the bird to preen, chew and disassemble these decorations.

    5

    Add mirrors. Birds love to look at themselves. Single birds enjoy looking at a friend that seems to share the cage with them. Singing, nuzzling and hissing at the bird in the mirror are all common reactions to a mirror.

    6

    Use colorful bedding on the bottom of the birdcage. Hide unsightly poop and seed messes with colorful and absorbent recycled paper bedding. Decorating the base of the cage will give an impression of an overall clean bird cage.

    7

    Decorate the exterior of the bird cage. Drape a cage cover over the cage that accents the room where the bird is kept. Coordinate with curtains, the wall color or style of flooring. Use a towel, small blanket or bed sheet for larger bird cages.

Sabtu, 11 Desember 2010

Cage Requirements for Finches

Cage Requirements for Finches

Finches are popular pet birds that come in a variety of colors and types. They thrive in flocks in large aviaries but can also be kept as caged birds indoors. Caged finches are happiest when kept in same-sex pairs. They require a cage large enough for them to fly around and places to perch. The responsible finch keeper will clean his cages weekly to avoid disease.

Size

    Finches love to fly and prefer a cage that is long rather than tall. For two finches, the length of the cage should be at least 30 inches, but larger is always better. The bars of the cage should be no larger that a half-inch apart. Otherwise, the finch could escape. For more than two finches, consider a walk-in aviary. These birds establish a hierarchy and need plenty of space to avoid bullying.

Perches and Accessories

    Avoid dowel perches and sandpaper-covered perches, which are bad for finch feet. Instead, opt for non-toxic hardwood branches of varying widths to provide exercise for the birds' feet. The perches will need to be replaced when they become covered in droppings. Put in at least two perches, on separate ends of the cage, to encourage flying. Finches also often like swings. Keep perches and swings out of flight paths and not over food and water dishes. Avoid wood chips for the floors, because they often cause respiratory issues. Instead, simply line the cage with newspaper. Sturdy stainless steel or non-toxic plastic food and water dishes are a must. Some finches like to spend the night in a nest, and small basket nests are sold at many pet stores. If you have both male and female finches, they will breed in the nest, so check frequently for eggs. Beads, mirrors and other shiny objects may attract finches, and some enjoy climbing ladders. They may enjoy a shallow water dish for bathing.

Lighting and Placement

    Place the finches' cage at eye level on a sturdy surface in a room that receives plenty of natural light but away from direct sunlight or drafts. If there is not much natural light in the room, meet the birds' light requirements with a full-spectrum light with a timer, recreating natural sunlight and darkness patterns.

Rabu, 08 Desember 2010

How to Set Up a Brower Top Hatch Incubator

The Bower top hatch incubator has been manufactured to hold eggs that range in size from quail to goose. The enclosed heating element cannot burn chicks that have hatched. The tray of the Bower top hatch incubator is removable and dishwasher safe, and an integrated fan ensures a constant heat throughout the unit. The water well of the Bower has been safely placed below the wire floor and therefore out of reach of the chicks. It is designed so that eggs can lie on their sides, as would be the case in nature. Setting up your own Bower top hatch incubator is easy to do.

Instructions

    1

    Carefully remove all the content from the packaging and place the various parts onto a clean and dust-free work surface.

    2

    Find the light bulb and place it into its holder. Ensure that the bulb is centered and does not lean against or make contact with the bulb tower.

    3

    Position the light bulb tower onto the incubator base.

    4

    Place the incubator tray onto the base. Ensure the tray fits into the base slot correctly.

    5

    Position the wire mesh floor onto the tray.

    6

    Attach the turn rack to the tower. Ensure the spokes make contact with the floor, unless you intend to hatch eggs from large bird species, such as geese.

    7

    Insert the thermostat into one of the spokes of the turning rack.

    8

    Place the cover onto the tray. Ensure the cover lines up correctly with the tray.

    9

    Plug the incubator into a wall power source.

    10

    Set the thermostat to 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the knob clockwise to raise the temperature, and counterclockwise to lower the temperature. One complete turn of the knob will change the temperature by 1.5 degrees. Set the incubator up at least three days before placing eggs into it for the first time.

    11

    Add a cup of warm water to the water well, once the temperature is correct. This will typically be two to three days after the incubator has been set up and turned on.

    12

    Add eggs of your choice to the incubator. Fill one section with eggs before placing eggs into a second or third section.

Selasa, 07 Desember 2010

Homemade Brooder for Parrots

Homemade Brooder for Parrots

Baby parrots are delicate and require very specific temperatures and humidity levels when they are newly hatched. Baby parrots hatched and brooded under their mother are guaranteed perfect temperatures and humidity. However, some parrots are unable to be brooded beneath their mother, or perhaps you have chosen to hand-raise your parrot away from its mother. In this case, you can build a brooder to create the proper environment for a baby parrot.

Instructions

    1

    Fill one container halfway with water and freeze the container (this prevents the container from cracking when cut). Once frozen, use a jigsaw to cut a small hole (suitable for holding the aquarium heater) into one side of the container. Allow the ice to melt and the water to drain from the container.

    2

    Dry the container thoroughly. Stick the aquarium heater through the hole you made in the container so that the heater is inside the container and the cord is outside of the container. Use the suction cups on the heater to hold the heater in place at the bottom of the container, ensuring the heater is level and does not directly touch the bottom or sides of the container.

    3

    Seal the hole around the heater with aquarium sealant glue, making the hole watertight.

    4

    Pour water into the container until the water level rises 2 to 3 inches above the heater.

    5

    Place the other container (the one without the heater) into the container with the heater and water. Attach bungee cords from each corner of the top container to each corner of the bottom container, securing the two containers. The water in the bottom container will push up around the sides of the top container.

    6

    Pour a small amount of water into a small dish. Cover the dish with a layer of cheesecloth, securing the cheesecloth tightly with a rubber band (this ensures baby birds cannot fall into the dish later on). Place the covered dish into a corner of the top container to provide your baby parrots with humidity.

    7

    Place an aquarium thermometer and humidity gauge (available in pet stores) near the area in the brooder where the tops of the baby parrots' heads will reach. This monitors your temperature and humidity levels at all times.

    8

    Turn on the aquarium heater to the temperature you wish your brooder to reach. Refer to the temperature chart in References 4 for a generalized guide to temperatures for your baby parrot.

    9

    Cover the brooder with a blanket or towel to insulate the brooder. Monitor temperatures in the brooder to determine the proper settings for your heater.

    10

    Allow the brooder to reach the appropriate temperature before adding baby parrots to the brooder.

Senin, 06 Desember 2010

How to Dye Wood

Small wooden blocks and shapes are often used to make toys for children and pets. Coloring can make these crafts more visually appealing and hide defects in the grain of the wood. You can achieve a non-toxic matte finish by dying the wood using powdered drink mix. This is far less expensive than paint, and the dyed wood is safe for pets to chew.

Instructions

    1

    Prepare a workspace by covering a table with old newspapers. Place the bowls you will be using in a row down the middle of the table. Put the unfinished wood on one side of the table and the cooling rack on the other.

    2

    Mix each packet of unsweetened drink mix with one cup of water, being sure to completely dissolve the powder. Be sure to use stainless steel or glass bowls for the mixture, since plastic and other materials may be permanently stained. Different flavors of drink mix will produce different colors. For example, cherry or fruit punch drink mix will make red dye.

    3

    Place the wooden parts in the mixture, a few at a time. Make sure the parts are completely submerged in the dye.

    4

    Wait 15 to 20 minutes, then remove the wooden parts and place them on the cooling rack to dry. You can start the next batch while the first is drying.

    5

    Once the wooden parts have dried, check to see if the color is dark enough. Very hard woods may need to be soaked in the mixture for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

    6

    Allow the parts to air dry completely, preferably overnight, before using.

Minggu, 05 Desember 2010

How to Establish a Bird Sleeping Cage

Your parrot or cockatiel will be happiest living in the biggest cage you can afford. But it's wise to train your bird to sleep in a second, smaller cage. That way, you can easily cover him and move him to a quieter room if you're up late or have company. The smaller cage can double as a bird carrier for trips to the vet or emergency evacuations.

Instructions

How to Establish a Bird Sleeping Cage

    1

    Choose a sleeping cage that is small and sturdy, with handles and a bottom that does not detach, so it can be easily moved. An 18-inch cube will accommodate most medium-sized birds.

    2

    Place the sleeping cage near the big cage, so it becomes a familiar sight. When you take your bird out to play, let it stand on top of the sleeping cage with a toy or treat.

    3

    Furnish the sleeping cage with a perch the bird is accustomed to and some comfort objects, such as a favorite toy or swing.

    4

    Begin to transfer the bird to the sleeping cage at its usual bedtime; give it a small food treat just before you "tuck it in," and cover the cage with a dark cloth. A bird in a dark space will usually settle down quickly, especially if it recognizes the feel of a familiar perch underfoot.

    5

    Leave the sleeping cage close to the larger cage until your bird is very comfortable with its new sleeping arrangement. Then occasionally move the sleeping cage to a different part of the room, but follow the same bedtime rituals. You want to show the bird that the sleeping cage is its safe bed, no matter where it's located.

How to Make a Bird Perch With PVC Pipe

Birds are among the most popular pets in America and live in homes across the country. They make friendly additions to any household and can live long, healthy, happy lives if given the right care. One of the most important pieces no bird cage should be without is a perch, which you can make at home with just a few basic materials.

Instructions

Assembling the Perch

    1

    Take the PVC pipe and coat it in glue.

    2

    Wrap the sandpaper sheet around the PVC pipe, pressing hard to make sure it adheres.

    3

    Trim the excess with the scissors and let dry.

Attaching the Perch

    4

    Using the exacto knife, make two tiny holes on both sides of one end of the pipe. This can be accomplished by twisting the end of the knife into the plastic.

    5

    Run the wire through the holes.

    6

    Place the end of the PVC pipe with the holes flush with the bars at the desired level of height within the cage.

    7

    Tie the loose ends of the wire together outside the cage, pulling it tight to secure the perch against the walls of the cage.

Kamis, 02 Desember 2010

How to Build a Bird Crate for Shipping

Bird crates are designed to keep birds safe and comfortable during transport. Such crates can vary greatly in size and detail. Here's a way to build your own bird crate that is sturdy enough to hold your feathered friend for a trip.

Instructions

    1

    Cut six pieces of plywood with your skill saw. Make sure they are all the same height and width and at least double the height and breadth of your bird.

    2

    Cut 8 pieces of pine board. These will form the top and bottom framework for your crate. They should be as long as the plywood pieces are wide.

    3

    Cut each piece of plywood in half. Cut an inch out of each board lengthwise straight down the middle.

    4

    Make the crate frames. Glue and screw the pine boards together to make two squares.

    5

    Add sides to your bird crate. You will use the plywood pieces to make the slats in the crate. Nail two pieces to each side of the squares. One pine square will be the top, and one the bottom. Use at least 4 nails for each plywood slat on each end. There will be small spaces in the middle of each side.

    6

    The the drill and jigsaw to carve out an opening for the bird. Drill a large hole where you want one corner of the opening to be. Use the jigsaw to finish cutting it out.

    7

    Provide a perch for the bird by inserting the dowel rod. The dowel needs to be slightly longer than the width of the cage. Drill one hole on each side of the cage directly across from one another so that you can slide the dowel all the way through and secure it with glue.

    8

    Staple the chicken wire over the door once your bird is inside. This will give the bird plenty of air, but will not allow it to escape.

Heat Lamp Safety

Heat Lamp Safety

Certain situations call for the use of a heat lamp as an accessory for a bird cage. The right heat lamp can provide a warm and comfortable environment for many species of birds, especially during cold evenings or the winter season. You must consider specific safety precautions when using a heat lamp on a bird cage, since heat lamps used improperly can cause damage to the cage and harm to the birds within.

Types

    The most common type of heat lamp for birds is an infrared heat lamp, because it provides warmth without putting out too much light in the process. Heat lamps come in many other shapes, sizes and forms, depending on your specific need. Other examples of heat lamp bulbs include incandescent bulbs, quartz halogen bulbs and full-spectrum neodymium bulbs.

    Most heat lamps are available through pet stores and online retailers as reptile heat lamps, but you can use them for birds and other species as long as you watch the temperature changes. Reptiles and amphibians like their surroundings warmer than a bird might, and so the same lamp cannot be used for both purposes without making modifications to the size of the bulb and placement of the lamp itself.

Thermometer Use

    You need to use a thermometer in the bird cage to keep a close eye on the temperature of the environment. This is especially necessary in the first weeks after a heat lamp is installed, to ensure that the temperature remains at the right level and that the bird is comfortable. The thermometer will help you decide whether you have the right type of lamp and bulb, and the proper placement. Place the thermometer close to where the bird spends most of its time. Take care to choose a thermometer that the bird cannot break or damage.

Lamp Placement

    Most heat lamps are adjustable in terms of placement, and you should use this to your advantage. Adjust the placement of the heat lamp until the temperature is comfortable for the bird. Monitor both the thermometer and the bird itself to make sure you have positioned the heat lamp properly. You also want to make sure that the heat lamp is located out of the bird's reach, as a curious bird may try to inspect it too closely. The heat lamp should always be placed on the outside of the cage, never inside where the bird can reach it.

Bulb Choice

    Infrared and other heat lamp bulbs are available from different manufacturers in a variety of sizes and styles. It may take some time to choose the right bulb based on your heating needs. Ask a veterinarian if you are unsure of the proper temperature for your bird. Choose a heat lamp that has a variable temperature control so that you can alter the amount of heat as needed. Overheating can be seriously harmful to a bird, so start with a smaller, lower-temperature bulb, and work your way up to larger bulbs if necessary.

Warning

    Not every bird requires heating assistance. Speak to a veterinarian about your bird's habitat before purchasing a heating lamp. Your veterinarian will be able to give you advice on the best course of action for adding heat, if the bird is not getting enough warmth from its environment.

Rabu, 01 Desember 2010

How to Crochet a Chicken Coat

How to Crochet a Chicken Coat

When winter weather rolls in, outdoor chickens need to stay cozy in their coops. To keep your chicken's torso warm in the winter, a chicken coat goes a long way.

Instructions

    1

    Chain 7 inches of yarn. For worsted weight yarn, this will be about 30 stitches. Chain one, turn around and single crochet (sc) all the way back.

    2

    Begin to decrease by two stitches every other row now. For row three, do not chain one, just turn and single crochet back to the end. For row four, chain one and single crochet back.

    3

    Continue this pattern until your chicken coat piece is down to 8 inches wide. This is one half of the chicken coat. Make an identical piece for the other half.

    4

    Join the two short ends of your chicken coat for the head hole. Slip stitch into the upper corner of one of the pieces. Chain three and slip stitch the matching corner of the other piece. Repeat for the other side. You can adjust this chain length to fit over the head of different chickens.

    5

    Add the Velcro tabs to the bottom corners of all four pieces. One piece will have the soft Velcro tabs, the other the rough. Use crafting glue and needle and thread to secure the Velcro tabs to the corners. These will be what secures your chicken coat onto your chicken at the bottom, keeping them warm across the chest and back.

Selasa, 30 November 2010

What Do You Give a Parakeet to Build Their Own Nest?

What Do You Give a Parakeet to Build Their Own Nest?

Parakeets in nature often use grass or feathers to line their nests. Under captive conditions, parakeets typically breed in wooden nest boxes. Inexperienced hens sometimes kick their eggs out of the nest depression and nesting material keeps these eggs from rolling too far from the female and breaking. The correct nesting material offers other benefits as well and parakeet enthusiasts should always supply their breeding females with material to line their nests.

Wood Shavings

    Wood shavings work well as nesting material for parakeets. Unscented pine shavings are best and the female parakeet arranges the shavings to some extent as it suits her. These shavings should be about an inch thick and must be placed higher along the sides of the nest box to prevent the eggs from rolling into a corner and becoming stuck. You also can use wood shavings that pet shops sell for guinea pig cages instead of pine shavings, but they need to be large, as the dust-like shavings will get into your parakeets nostrils.

Additional Benefits of Wood Shavings

    The female parakeet may throw out some of the wood shavings initially, but eventually will settle down to lay her eggs. Wood shavings reduce soiling of the wood of the nest box once the chicks have hatched. Wood shavings also absorb any moisture that is created from the feces of both the mother and her chicks, which are confined to the nest box for several weeks. Some parakeet hens throw their eggs out of the nest depression and the wood shavings stop these eggs from rolling about and cracking. Some parakeet breeders do not handle the nesting material because they believe that their scent discourages the birds from using it, but most captive parakeets are tame enough not to consider this a problem.

Paper Fiber

    Nesting material acts as a cushion in the nest box and absorbs moisture. A number of materials can be used. Paper fiber encourages nesting behavior and is both absorbent and soft. Parakeets that are housed in small indoor cages sometimes nest on the cage floor. Paper fiber is a good material to use in these circumstances. Eggs on the cage floor are not as contained as those laid in the confines of a nest box, and the paper fiber keeps them from rolling about.

Cotton Fiber

    Cotton fiber is available in a small carton, which is secured to the cage with a metal clip near the nest box. Pull a small amount of this nesting material through the opening in the box to encourage the parakeets to use it. The female parakeet helps herself to as much of the fiber as she needs. This material satisfies your birds natural nesting instincts.

How to Build a Wire Bird Cage

How to Build a Wire Bird Cage

Because your pet bird is one-of-a-kind, it deserves a home to match its unique personality. Making your own wire bird cage might be easier than you think. All it takes to create a cage is some mesh wire, which you can cut and bend into the shape you desire. Create a habitat that is specifically tailored to your bird's size. When your wire bird cage is finished, add toys and perches your bird will love.

Instructions

    1

    Sketch a design of your wire bird cage. Decide how large you want the cage to be, taking into consideration the size of your bird and its need for movement. For example, a cage for a small bird should be at least 18-by-18-by-18 inches large. Write down the dimensions of the cage.

    2

    Select a mesh wire that will be appropriate for your bird. Make sure it's small enough to prevent the animal from slipping through or getting its head stuck between wires. Also, ensure the wire material is free of zinc, a coating that can be toxic to your pet.

    Buy the wire in a width that is sufficient to cover the shorter of the two dimensions -- height or width -- of your planned cage. For instance, if each face of the cage is 18 inches by 18 inches, the roll of wire cannot be less than 18 inches wide. Make sure the roll's total length is sufficient to cover the combined length of all six faces of the cage, as noted in your design.

    3

    Lay the wire on a flat surface. Mark off the total length of the top, left side, bottom and right side of the cage. Use tin snips to cut one piece of the material equal in length to the combined measurement.

    4

    Use a measuring tape to mark the desired measurements of the top, left side, bottom and right side of the cage. This will create the markings where you will bend the cage to create its shape.

    5

    Create 90-degree bends at each of the marked points. To do this, place a 2-by-4 piece of wood across the width of the wire at the measurement marking. Fold the wire against the wood piece with your hands or a hammer, using the wood as a guide. Make these bends at each of the three marks.

    6

    Fasten the seam of the bent wire, where its ends connect, using J-clips and pliers. Attach these J-shaped clips every 4 inches.

    7

    Make the front and back of the bird cage from the wire. Measure exactly how large each of these two pieces need to be, using the open part of the bent bird cage frame as a reference. Cut the pieces from the wire mesh with tin snips.

    8

    Attach the front and back wire mesh pieces to the cage using J-clips. Place the clips every 4 inches along the seam. You should now have a sealed cage.

    9

    Cut out a hole in the bird cage using tin snips to create the door opening. A door about 6 inches wide and 9 inches high will work for most small bird cages.

    10

    Snip an additional piece of wire that is slightly larger than the door hole you created. Attach this piece to the door opening. Connect the right side with two or three J-clips. On the left side, secure a spring-loaded latch, which will allow you to open the door and then securely lock it back in place.

How to Build a Parakeet Cage

How to Build a Parakeet Cage

Your child brings home a parakeet he just rescued from the neighbors cat and you are facing a dilemma. You do not know of anyone who is missing a bird but at the same time you do not dare to release the little budgie out into the wild. The budget is tight and the expense associated with buying and outfitting a parakeet cage is enormous. What do you do? The answer is easy: Learn how to build a parakeet cage with tools and materials you most likely already have in your garage or shed. This cage will be just as durable and attractive as many a store bought one, and it is very simple to build.

Instructions

Prep Work

    1

    Find a roll of galvanized wire cloth with -inch by -inch mesh spacing. They are usually sold in rolls measuring 24 inches tall, which is perfect for the height of the cage you are looking to build. Galvanized wire is durable and rust resistant and will therefore not pose any health hazard to your parakeet. Avoid the vinyl-coated or painted varieties since your bird will most likely gnaw off these coatings and get sick.

    2

    Look for three plastic flowerpot saucers that measure 16 inches in circumference and one that measures 15 inches. Although it is tempting to use clay, plastic cleans up easier. Clean them thoroughly to remove any dust and debris.

    3

    Place the 15-inch saucer upside down inside one of the 16-inch saucers and trace around it with the box cutter. The result is a 16-inch saucer with a big hole in it. This will be the top of your cage.

    4

    Plug in your drill and make a row of holes in the upper lip of the first 16-inch saucer. The holes should be about inch apart. Go all the way around the saucer with your drill until you have little holes all the way around. This will become the bottom of your cage. Repeat this process with the 16-inch saucer that has the gaping hole and will become the top of the cage.

    5

    Place the saucer with the drilled holes designated to become the cage bottom onto the table. Fit the galvanized wire cloth around it. Pick up your wire cutters and cut the wire cloth at the point where it begins to overlap, allowing about an inch of overlie.

    6

    Clip off a good number of 2-inch lengths of wire. The number you need depends on the number of holes you drilled into the saucers plus about 10 extra to create a seam in the back of the cage.

Construction

    7

    Put the designated bottom 16-inch saucer onto the table and loosely drape the cut portion of the wire cloth around. You are now ready to secure the mesh to the bottom of the parakeet cage.

    8

    Thread a 2-inch length of wire through the first hole you drilled into the saucer. Bend it back through the mesh of the galvanized wire cloth. Twist the ends of the 2-inch length of wire together much like you would a twist tie to close a bag of bread. This secures the wire cloth to the saucer. Go around the entire saucer and thread wires through each hole, bending them back through the mesh and thereby securing the mesh to the bottom of the cage. Finish this step by clipping off any excess wire of the 2-inch lengths that might be sticking out.

    9

    Place the 15-inch saucer inside the cage. You need to do this from the top. It will fit snugly into the 16-inch saucer that is now the bottom of the cage. When you do cage cleanup, you can simply lift the smaller saucer out of the cage through the top, discard spilled food and droppings, and completely clean it before putting it back in.

    10

    Take the cage top 16-inch saucer with the big hole you cut earlier and repeat Step 2 of this section, securing the mesh of the wire cloth to the top of the cage.

    11

    Secure the overlap of the wire cloth to the underlying layer with the additional 2-inch lengths of wire. This creates a seam that now secures the enclosure. Make this the back of the cage, the side that is turned toward the wall.

    12

    Place the third 16-inch saucer into the saucer with the big hole. This provides the lid for the cage. Remove the saucer to gain access to the inside of the cage; close it up to keep the parakeet secure in its homemade cage.

    13

    Outfit the cage with a small animal water bottle you can clip on from the outside, a tip-proof food dish and a dried tree branch with various different sized perching options.

Minggu, 28 November 2010

How to Make a Nesting Box For My Duck

How to Make a Nesting Box For My Duck

Many species of ducks use holes in trees and other places to nest. Whether you want to keep ducks as pets or place your boxes in the wild to attract local ducks, a nesting box can be a fun project. There are many plans on how to build specific nesting boxes. Here are some tips.

Instructions

    1

    Use cedar to make your nest box. Cedar is resistant to weather and insects, plus it smells good. Pine and plywood are also acceptable choices.

    2

    Cut your wood according to the plans located in the resource section of this guide. The box should be an elongated rectangle in shape with a 4 1/2 inch oval for entry and a hinged door for cleaning.

    3

    Place 4-6 inches of wood shaving in the bottom of the box for nesting materials. Do not use sawdust.

    4

    Select an ideal location for your nesting box. If placing in the wild, find a location near water, such as a river, marsh or swamp.

    5

    Place your nesting box with the opening facing the water. You can place it on live or dead trees, or a steel pole 4-6 feet above the water level. Clear branches and other obstacles from the path of your nesting box.

    6

    Clean the box every year after the brood has been raised. Remove old nesting materials and replace with fresh wood chips.

Kamis, 25 November 2010

How to Make Your Own Concrete Parrot Perch

If you're interested in offering your parrot a different perch surface but reluctant to invest in a store-bought one, try your hand at a do-it-yourself alternative with cheap, durable concrete.

Instructions

Prepare your mold

    1

    Make a mold for the cement by cutting the PVC pipe to your desired perch length, then cutting the pipe in half lengthwise. Wrap the halves back together firmly with masking tape. Hold the pipe vertically, with one end on a flat surface, then insert the machine screw into a fender washer and screw it through the bottom end of the pipe. The screw will serve as your mounting device to affix the perch to the cage once you have completed the project.

    2

    Mix the cement, following the instructions on the package. Don't add too much water to the mixture or it will become soupy. Slowly pour the cement into your mold, and put in enough to reach just below the screw. Tap the sides of your mold to release any air pockets and help the cement settle.

    3

    Position the mold in a stable upright position, and let it set for a minimum of four hours. Remove the tape from the mold gently to free the fixed perch from within the mold.

    4

    Place the perch inside a bucket of water. Soak the perch for about a month, changing the water daily. Cement has a high alkaline level that you need to bring down before you can safely introduce it to your bird.

    5

    Add a second fender washer to the nut bolt by slipping the washer over the screw and tightening the nut bolt, and your perch is complete. Attach the perch to the cage by mounting it in the proper area. Use one fender washer to clasp the perch to the cage and secure it with the nut bolt. Make sure that the cage you are attaching the perch to can withstand the weight of the perch.

Can I Use a Cardboard Box for My Breeding Cockatiels?

Can I Use a Cardboard Box for My Breeding Cockatiels?

Pet cockatiels need nest boxes in order to successfully breed. Nest boxes need to be at least 12 inches square. Cardboard boxes can be used for breeding cockatiels as long as they are large enough and have bedding.

Advantages

    Cardboard boxes of the right size or larger are easy to find and are inexpensive. They do need a 4-inch wide hole cut out of them for the cockatiel breeding pair to climb in and out of.

Disadvantages

    Cardboard is not as water-resistant as plywood or wooden nest boxes. Cardboard also can be chewed apart more easily by the parent birds. This is why some bird breeding websites like Avian Web do not recommend cardboard.

Expert Advice

    No matter what type of nesting box is used, the chicks must be checked every day in order to be sure that the pair is feeding all of the chicks. Cockatiel parents often cannot take care of all of their chicks, according to the American Cockatiel Society.

Selasa, 23 November 2010

How to Build a Parakeet Swing

How to Build a Parakeet Swing

Perches that are too small prevent your bird from gripping, making them less likely to use the perch. On the other hand, perches too large can cause arthritis. Wreath perches offer several perching options with lots of places to hang toys to keep busy beaks happy. The supplies you need to make wreath swing perches are available at most craft supply stores. Untreated wood and natural rope fibers are the safest for your bird and can be replaced as often as needed.

Instructions

    1

    Wash the wreath in a mild soapy water solution, rinse well with clean warm water and allow the wreath to dry completely.

    2
    Natural grass treats provide natural nutrients.
    Natural grass treats provide natural nutrients.

    Wrap one end of the sisal rope around one section of the wreath a few times, tie the end off in a knot leaving a 10-inch tail of sisal rope. This forms the hanger for the swing.

    3

    Pinch off a few sprigs of timothy hay and wedge the sprigs between the vine wrappings that make up the wreath.

    4

    Suspend the wreath from the sisal tail from the top inside of the cage, preferably in the center of the cage.

    5

    Tie the sisal rope tail in a knot leaving at least four inches between the top of the wreath and the inside roof of the cage.

    6

    Check to make sure the sisal rope is secure at both ends and the wreath will not fall under normal use.

Sabtu, 20 November 2010

How to Make a Dove Cage

How to Make a Dove Cage

Store or transport your pet doves and other pet birds using a dove cage. A dove cage is a wooden cage with a hinged door that can latch to close and keep the bird secured inside. Build your own dove cage using plywood and pine boards. Drill a series of holes through the plywood to provide air holes for the bird and to see inside the cage. A simple dove cage like this can be made in less than an hour in a workshop.

Instructions

    1

    Draw 12 lines across each 14-inch plywood sheet spaced 1 inch apart starting 1 inch away from a pair of 14-inch edges. Rotate each sheet 90 degrees and repeat this process so you have a grid pattern on the plywood sheets. Drill a 1/4-inch hole where each of the lines intersects.

    2

    Lay two 14-inch boards flat, parallel and 12 inches apart. Lay two 12-inch boards between them at right angles and space them 12 inches apart so they are flush with the ends of the 14-inch boards. Lay a 14-inch plywood sheet over the boards so the edges are flush and screw it to the boards using three screws for each board. Repeat this step using one more 14-inch sheet of plywood and the last two 12-inch and 14-inch boards. These are the sides to your frame.

    3

    Position the sides of your frame upright so the boards are 12 inches apart and between the plywood sheets. Set another 14-inch sheet with the holes in it on top of the sides so the edges are flush with the boards and screw it to the boards using three screws for each board. Turn the boards over so this third 14-inch board is on the bottom and screw the last 14-inch plywood to the boards using another six screws. This is the frame of your cage.

    4

    Screw one of the 14 1/2-inch plywood sheets to one of the open ends on the cage so the edges are flush. Use 12 screws. Screw two half-hinges to the last 14 -inch sheet so they're spaced 10 inches apart and so they can fold around the edge of the plywood. This is the door to your cage. Screw the other pair of half-hinges to one of the boards on the cage frame so when the door closes, it is flush with the sides of the frame.

    5

    Screw the swivel hook to the cage door and the frame on the side opposite the hinges. This will keep the door closed.

Directions to Make an Incubator

Directions to Make an Incubator

Hatching eggs can be fun and educational. If you want to try your hand at collecting and hatching your own eggs, you will need an incubator to make the process successful. Commercial incubators are expensive. Even though you will get best results using a commercially manufactured incubator, you can make your own incubator at home using everyday products. A homemade incubator, such as one made from cardboard, is inexpensive and easy to make.

Instructions

    1

    Insert a smaller cardboard box into a larger cardboard box. The exact measurements are not important. What is important is that the smaller one is at least 16 inches by 20 inches and at least 13-inches tall, and the larger one is at least 18 inches by 22 inches and at least an inch shorter than the smaller box.

    2

    Draw a line on the inside box that is 1/4-inch lower than the height of the outer box. To ensure the line is perfectly straight, remove the box and use a yardstick to draw the line. Use a box cutter to cut the smaller box along the line you just drew.

    3

    Place the pieces you cut off in Step 2 on the bottom of both boxes to make a liner.

    4

    Use glue to adhere the smaller box to the inside of the larger box. The boxes should be centered so that there is a 1-inch gap all around the smaller box.

    5

    Fold the flaps of the larger box in until they are touching the smaller box. Mark a line where this occurs. Use a yardstick to keep the lines straight. Use a box cutter to cut the flaps of the larger box along the lines you just cut. Cut the corners on a diagonal so that they will lay flat together.

    6

    Insert insulation in the gap between the two boxes. You can use cut-up strips of newspaper, wood shavings or Styrofoam. Be careful not to overstuff. You do not want the inner box to bulge inward.

    7

    Cut a piece of 1/4-inch mesh screen larger enough to cover the top of the large box. Cut 2-inch squares off of each corner of the mesh screen. Bend the edges of the screen down to form a lid. This will be the cover for your incubator.

    8

    Insert a cake tin into the smaller box. It should be 1 1/2-inches deep and about 9-inches wide by 13-inches long. The tin should cover approximately half of the bottom of the box.

    9

    Place your heating element into the box following the directions that came with it.

    10

    Use tape to adhere the cut flaps of the larger box to the smaller box, sealing off the insulation.

    11

    Incubate your eggs as you normally would, making sure to place your mesh screen cover back on top.

Jumat, 19 November 2010

How to Build a Play Perch for Parakeets

How to Build a Play Perch for Parakeets

Parakeets are a popular type of pet bird that are not particularly difficult to care. They make a good first bird, requiring play and interaction to maintain good health. A poorly-cared for parakeet may acquire destructive tendencies. An easy way to help ensure that your parakeet is healthy and has plenty of activities is to give it play perches. There are many ways to create a perch, both for inside and outside an enclosure. One of the simplest ways to make a perch is to use a natural branch.

Instructions

    1

    Find a natural branch in an appropriate size for your purposes. Check beforehand to ensure that the tree has not been sprayed with pesticides and that the wood is not poisonous to your bird. Apple wood is an example of a safe wood.

    2

    Clean the branch with water and a little bleach. Use a scouring pad to ensure that the branch has been thoroughly cleaned, but leave some bark for your parakeet to chew. Protect your hands from the bleach by wearing gloves. Thoroughly rinse the branch with plain water. If desired, bake the branch in your oven for a short time to ensure that there are no insects in the branch.

    3

    Mark the middle of your board. The board size that you need will vary depending upon how large of a perch you are making; bigger perches need a bigger board to balance the branch.

    4

    Hold the branch to your mark, then use the power screwdriver to put a screw through the board and into the branch from the bottom of the board. This step may be easier if you have someone to hold the branch steady for you.

    5

    Test your perch by wiggling it. It should feel steady and stable enough to easily take the weight of your bird. If it does not, you may need to tighten the screw, use a larger screw, use a second screw, or get a bigger base for the perch.

    6

    Add some bird toys to the branch. Parakeets enjoy dangling toys and swings. Many bird owners like making their own bird toys, and finding materials that are appropriate for your bird is not difficult.

Rabu, 10 November 2010

How to Make a Shelter for Chicks

How to Make a Shelter for Chicks

If you plan to raise chicks, you must provide a shelter the baby birds can safely live in until they mature. A bird brooder is a type of shelter that will keep chicks safe from dangers, like the elements and other animals. Commercial brooders are available at farm supply stores, but making your own shelter for your chicks is simple. A few basic materials are all you need to build a brooder that will shelter your baby chicks.

Instructions

    1

    Choose a clear, 90-qt. plastic container. The clear container will allow you to see the chicks and to monitor them from any angle. Before converting the container to a brooder, clean it with dish soap and rinse well with water. Dry completely.

    2

    Use a ruler or measuring stick to measure 2 inches inward from all sides of the container's lid. Following the measurements, cut out the inside of the lid with the craft knife. Ensure that no sharp edges are left.

    3

    Measure the chicken wire to match the size of the entire container lid. Cut the wire to size so that the edges of the wire fit under the lip of the lid. Use a stapler to attach the wire to the edges of the lid to make the top of the chick's shelter. The wire allows plenty of ventilation for the chicks while keeping them in the brooder and other animals out of it.

    4

    Cover the bottom of the brooder with bedding made for chicks and shredded paper towels. Replace the bedding as needed to keep it fresh and clean. Always use enough bedding to completely cover the bottom of the container so the chicks never have to walk or stand on a slick surface.

    5

    Add supplies to the shelter. Provide a feeder with chick food and supplements and a waterer made especially for chicks and fill with fresh, clean water. The brooder should have enough space so that several chicks can eat or drink at the same time.

    6

    Provide a heat lamp for the chicks. Attach the lamp to the side of the brooder or hang it above the shelter. Test the temperature of the lamp before placing chicks in the brooder and under the lamp. Use the thermometer to ensure the temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit to 95 degrees Fahrenheit directly under the heat source. The shelter should be arranged so that every chick can be under the heat lamp as well as able to move away from the direct heat to cool themselves. Check the temperature of the lamp every few hours until you know it provides a consistent heat.

    7

    Observe your chick's behavior once you introduce them into the shelter. You may have to adjust the position of the heat lamp depending on how they react to the temperatures inside the brooder. If they constantly make loud peeping noises, they may be too cold. If the chicks avoid being directly under the heat lamp, they are likely overheating and the temperature of the brooder should be brought down immediately to avoid harming the chicks.

How to Set up a Parakeet Cage

One of the responsibilities of owning a parakeet is to make sure your new pet has a good cage. Your bird will spend the better part of his day in this cage. You need to make sure the cage is big enough to keep your bird happy and healthy. It may seem like a simple task, but it takes a little work.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase the cage. Make sure you buy the biggest cage you can afford. A parakeet is a little bird, but has lots of energy. This bird needs lots of room to jump and play. Check the bar spacing to make sure it is not too wide. The last thing you want is for your parakeet to escape--or get hurt. Do not buy a circular or oval cage. Get a cage that has corners. Your parakeet will need the corners to feel safe.

    2

    Think about toys. Get your parakeet a wide variety of toys and set them up around the cage. Put them in various places and make sure they are spaced out. Do not arrange them in a way that could injure the bird. Make sure there are no zinc or lead parts. Also, steer away from mirrors. Mirrors can lead to aggressive behavior.

    3

    Dont forget the perches. You will want to get at least two perches for the cage. Put the two perches parallel with one higher than the other. Do not put the perches directly above the food and water dishes. This could lead to contamination of the dishes. Use the dowel rod perches and maybe add in a few yarn and natural wood perches. Do not use the sand paper perches or get sand paper covers. Sand paper tears up the bottoms of the birds feet. If you want to take care of the birds nails, have them properly groomed. Do not use these harmful perches and covers.

    4

    Install liner. Do not use cage litter. This is usually unsanitary and unhealthy for your bird. Use paper towels, plain newspaper or some other paper product. Make sure the liner lies flat in the bottom of the cage. You do not want the bird trying to eat off the liner or pull the liner up to shreds.

    5

    Add in a few extras. Make sure you give the bird a cuttlebone to help keep the beak healthy. Of course, do not forget the treats. Give your new addition a little bit of millet. Make sure to not hang the millet over the water dish. You can buy special millet holders, but sandwich ties work just as well. Your parakeet may also like honey sticks and other treats. You may want to get an additional food dish just for special items.

Minggu, 07 November 2010

How to Build a Basement Bird Room

How to Build a Basement Bird Room

A basement bird room should be en extension of your living space where your feathered pets can stretch their wings and play in a safe environment. Simply tucking them away in an old basement storage room or garage will produce unhealthy birds with an attitude. Start creating your room-sized bird cage by having a cleaning party. All furniture and stored items need to be removed before building and renovation can begin.

Instructions

    1

    Select a basement room. Look for interior walls to provide warmth and insulate the bird room. Choose a room with at least three interior walls and one exterior wall that has a window or sliding door that provides natural sunlight for the room. Avoid rooms with any type of water seepage or drainage concerns.

    2

    Prepare the space by removing any toxins or allergens. Clean the walls with solvents to reduce mold and mildew. Seal the walls. Use formaldehyde-free sealants and latex paints over particle board, plywood or concrete walls. Birds have sensitive respiratory systems and cannot live in an environment with mold, dust or chemical-emitting appliances such a clothes dryer. Allow the room to air out and allow time for any chemical smells to dissipate for at least 1 week before bringing birds into the basement room.

    3

    Install easy-to-clean flooring. Remove old carpet and replace with hard flooring that can be swept and mopped. Paint the concrete floor of an unfinished basement or install laminate flooring. Glazed ceramic tile can also be used. Choose paints and tiles with a low volatile organic compound rating to ensure the health of your birds.

    4

    Provide ventilation in the basement room. Install a fan, air filtration system or air purifier to remove dust and dander from the air. All three systems are not necessary, but more methods of purifying the air will lead to continued health of the birds. Ceiling fans create gentle air movement in the room.

    5

    Heat the bird room. Install new vents in the room, or add baseboard heating. Place a humidifier in the room, since furnace-supplied heat is dry heat. Radiant heat panels can be mounted to the walls of the basement bird room to distribute the warmth evenly.

    6

    Add light to the room. Full-spectrum fluorescent lighting keeps birds healthy by aiding in vitamin D-3 synthesis. Use ceiling-mounted fixtures, standing lamps and small individual cage-mounted fixtures fitted with safety bulb-cage covers. Allow the room to also be illuminated with natural sunlight from a window or sliding glass patio door in a walk-out basement.

How to Build a Birdhouse with a Stand

Are you a bird lover and enjoy watching them? These step-by-step instructions show you how to build a simple square birdhouse with a sturdy stand. You need a few carpentry tools, lumber, wood stain or paint of your choice and nails to accomplish this task.

Instructions

Cutting the Pieces for Your Birdhouse

    1

    Cut two 6-inch square pieces for the top and bottom of the birdhouse with the circular saw.

    2

    Cut two 5 1/2-inch square pieces.

    3

    Cut two 6-inch-long by 3-inch wide pieces.

    4

    Sand all rough edges off the cut pieces. Apply wood stain or paint to them and the 4-by-4 and allow to dry.

    5

    Apply water sealant to all pieces including the 4-foot 4-by-4. Allow to dry.

Constructing the Birdhouse

    6

    Gather the top, bottom and two side rectangular pieces. Stand a square piece on edge and lay a rectangular piece flat so the 6-inch edge is against the square. Line them up and drive four nails along the edge through the square piece into the side.

    7

    Repeat Step 1 and attach the remaining rectangular piece on the opposite side.

    8

    Attach a 5 1/2-inch square section between the rectangular pieces on each open side with nails. Drive nails through the bottom and through the rectangular pieces into them.

    9

    Nail the remaining 6-inch square piece across the top of the two 5 1/2-inch pieces for the roof. Make sure to line up the top with the bottom piece. You now have a 6-inch cube birdhouse with a 5-inch-long by 2 1/2-inch tall opening on two opposing sides for birds.

    10

    Use the post hole digger to dig a 1-foot-deep hole where you want the birdhouse. The hole needs to be wide enough for the 4-by-4. Once the hole is dug, stick the 4-by-4 in it and pack the open space around it with dirt so it stands vertical.

    11

    Attach the birdhouse on top of the 4-by-4 pole with the industrial-strength glue.

Sabtu, 06 November 2010

How to Use a Bird Diaper

A bird excretes droppings about three times an hour. Consequently, bird owners are often reluctant to take their winged pets out of the cage for any length of time or to allow them to fly around indoors. A bird diaper is a solution that is easy to implement by following a few simple steps.

Instructions

    1

    Appreciate the design of the bird diaper. It looks like a one-piece bathing suit with straps. The bottom of the diaper is extended to form a sack that catches the droppings. They stick to a disposable lining.

    2

    Put the diaper on the floor of the cage, belly side down. Stand the bird on top of the diaper with feet on the leg holes of the diaper.

    3

    Stretch the diaper straps over the wings. Join the two sides of the diaper that extend down the back of the bird. The diaper has a fabric hook and loop fastener.

    4

    Pull the sack that catches the droppings toward the tail of the bird.

    5

    Change the liner and diaper about every five hours or more frequently.

    6

    Wash the diaper when it becomes soiled. It is made of comfortable, durable fabric. Discard the liner.

    7

    Spray a light mist of clear warm water to clean away any stray droppings on the bird.

Jumat, 05 November 2010

Bobwhite Quail Incubator Instructions

Bobwhite Quail Incubator Instructions

The bobwhite quail is a small ground bird with variegated brown feathering. The feeding and movement is similar to that of a small chicken. The bird is found in flocks or coveys in the wild and is seen foraging in fields, brush and verges. Incubator brooding is widely practiced, and successful hatches are possible using mechanical means.

Instructions

    1

    Check that the incubator is working properly. Prepare the birds for breeding by using game bird conditioner feed. Add mealworms to the diet for protein. Select only unbroken, clean and normal shaped eggs. Do not wash eggs.

    2

    Incubate the eggs in a heated or climate controlled room. Set the incubator temperature for 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit for forced air models. Control humidity carefully by insuring it is a reliable 65 percent with a raise in humidity during the last few days to 70 or 75 percent. Turn the eggs at least twice a day. Mark one end of the egg with a pencil to assist in this process.

    3

    Candle the eggs after the first week to see if any eggs are not fertile, or if the chick has died. Begin preparing for the hatch at 21 days; quail typically hatch at day 23. Stop turning the eggs at this time.

    4

    Set up a brooding area with chick starter feed, a chick waterer and a heat lamp, set at around 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Use nonslip flooring such as a towel or paper towels for the first week. Lower the heat by a few degrees after the first week. Always check for chick comfort levels. Chicks huddling away from the heater are too hot, and chicks huddling under the heat lamp are too cold. Chicks standing and peeping may need assistance. Content chicks wander and eat.

Kamis, 04 November 2010

How to Set Up a Weaning Cage

Weaning cages are used to house baby parrots once they no longer need to be kept in a brooder, but are not yet ready for a regular cage. The primary differences between a weaning cage and an adult parrot cage are the shape--weaning cages are short and wide -- and the way they are set up. The short size of the cage helps prevent clumsy baby birds from injury by falling. Usually, each clutch is kept together in a single weaning cage.

Instructions

    1

    Mount two or three perches low in the cage. They should be just high enough to prevent the birds' tail feathers from dragging on the cage floor. Depending on the species, this could be anywhere from a few inches to a foot from the bottom of the cage. Be sure to leave plenty of space between perches to prevent contamination of food bowls.

    2

    Hang a few toys from the top or sides of the cage. Baby parrots often enjoy cuddling with soft, stuffed toys. Chew toys may also be appreciated, especially if they are made of soft, colorful wood.

    3

    Place a nest substitute in the cage for the baby parrots to hide and sleep in. Some options include a bird tent, "Happy Hut," or a closed cardboard box with an entry hole cut into it.

    4

    Line the cage floor with several layers of old black-and-white newspaper or substrate. If using substrate, choose an absorbent material, such as aspen shavings. Newspaper or substrate must be changed daily or more often, since the baby birds will spend much of their time on the floor of the cage.

    5

    Place heavy, shallow food and water bowls on the floor of the cage. Fill the water bowl to only 1/2 an inch deep to prevent aspiration or drowning. Lead-free, glazed ceramic crocks work well for as dishes for young parrots.

    6

    Add another dish or basket filled with foot toys. Most baby parrots prefer foot toys, perhaps because they are smaller and less threatening than larger hanging toys.

    7

    Place the weaning cage in a warm room, ideally with a temperature of 76 to 82 degrees F. If the temperature in the room is lower than this, you may wish to use an additional heat source, such as a heat lamp mounted outside of the cage.

How to Build Quail Laying Pens

How to Build Quail Laying Pens

Quail are small game birds that can be raised for their meat or eggs. They are an excellent choice for a backyard growing operation, as they require very little space. A laying pen is a cage designed to house adult quail while they breed and lay eggs. Quail cages are generally suspended a few feet off the ground to help protect them from predators and to make it easier to clean the cage.

Instructions

    1

    Saw a length of 1-inch by 1-inch lumber into four pieces 16 inches long, four pieces 24 inches long, and four pieces 48 inches long. Assemble the pieces into a box-shaped frame using wood screws.

    2

    Cut a sheet of 1/2-inch by 1-inch galvanized steel cage wire into a square 48 inches by 24 inches using wire cutters. Staple the sheet to the bottom of the frame, placing one staple every inch or so along the frame.

    3

    Cut a sheet of 1-inch by 1-inch galvanized steel cage wire into two squares 16 inches by 24 inches and three squares 48 inches by 24 inches. Staple these sheets into place to cover the top and sides of the cage.

    4

    Cut a hole in the top of the cage large enough to admit the largest object you intend to place in the cage. Cut out a square of 1-inch by 1-inch cage wire slightly larger than the hole and wire it into place. This will act as the door to the cage.

    5

    Mount three 10-inch shelf brackets on the wall where you intend to keep your cage using wood screws. The brackets should be placed 15 inches apart. Slide the cage onto the brackets so that the top of the cage rests on the brackets. The cage should be mounted at a height where you can conveniently reach into the cage through the top hatch.

How to Sew a Bird Seed Guard

There are nearly 4.5 million households that own birds as pets in the United States according to the 2007 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook. Birds can be cheerful companions filling a home with beauty and music. They are typically lower maintenance than dogs since they do not need to be walked; however, the seed hulls that birds tend to throw out of their cages when they are eating can make quite a mess underneath the cage. This mess can litter furniture tops or the floor underneath the cage unless you put a bird seed guard around the base of the cage to catch the seed hulls and other droppings.

Instructions

    1

    Measure the perimeter of the bird cage base-the shape of the bird cage will not matter for this simple bird seed guard design. The perimeter will be the distance completely around the bird cage base.

    2

    Print the Bird Seed Guard Measurement Sheet. Write your measurement in the blanks to calculate the lengths of material and elastic that you will need. Use the guidelines on the sheet to determine the width (height) of your bird seed guard and the fullness or "scrunchiness" that you desire for your bird seed guard.

    3

    Cut the two pieces of elastic according to the calculations. Cut out the rectangular piece of fabric that you will need according to calculations.

    4

    Fold, press, and pin a seam of 1/4 inch around the entire rectangular piece of fabric for your bird seed guard. Sew a seam around the fabric either by hand using a straight stitch or using any basic stitch you would like on a sewing machine, even zigzag is fine.

    5

    Pin one length of elastic across the top of the bird seed guard rectangular piece of fabric on the wrong side of the material (the side that will be facing the inside of the bird cage) about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the top edge. Pin the other length of elastic across the bottom of the bird seed guard about 1 inch from the bottom edge. You will need to stretch the elastic as you pin it-it is easiest to pin the elastic down on both ends of the length of fabric, then place a directly in the center of the material. Then stretch and continue to pin the entire piece of elastic placing a pin every 1/4 to 1/2 inch.

    6

    Sew across each length of elastic. Fold the bird seed guard fabric in half lengthwise, pin the open ends together. Sew a straight line down the pinned side 1/4 to 1/2 inch in. Remove pins, turn right side out, and slide onto the bird cage base up so that it covers the bars of the bird cage; one elastic band should be on the bars and the other elastic band should be on the base.

Minggu, 31 Oktober 2010

Types of Aviaries

Types of Aviaries

The aviaries available to bird fanciers are almost as varied as the types of birds found in the wild. They can range from simple and utilitarian to large and decorative. But not all aviaries are suitable for all birds. Understanding the basic types of aviaries available, and the advantages and disadvantages of each will help you keep your birds healthy and happy.

Conventional Aviaries

    Aviaries can be classified by their basic architecture. Conventional aviaries are building-like enclosed cages built on the ground and can come in a range of shapes and sizes. They are generally large enough to walk into (these are the types of aviaries seen in zoos) and large enough to provide birds with sheltered areas for hiding and nesting and room to fly freely. Ideally, they should have cement flooring, which allows easy cleaning, prevents birds from burrowing their way out of the aviary and keeps animals, such as raccoons and snakes, from burrowing their way in.

Suspended Aviaries

    Suspended aviaries are suspended off the ground and have flooring of wire mesh or other open material. They have the advantage of keeping birds from direct contact with their droppings and with discarded food since they fall through the aviary's flooring, providing a more sanitary environment. However, they are not suitable for all bird types. Because they are not as large as conventional aviaries, they don't allow hiding spaces for birds, particularly large ones, and may not provide enough space for larger or more excitable species.

Cantilevered Aviaries

    Cantilevered aviaries combine the features of conventional and suspended aviaries. They have a conventional, ground-based section attached to an off-ground, suspended section. The suspended section gives the birds extra room for flight and resting, as well as providing the hygienic benefits of a completely suspended aviary.

Construction Considerations for Aviaries

    Ideal materials for your aviary depends on your budget, the number and type (or types) of birds you are raising and the climate and environmental conditions of your area. Elaborate aviaries can be full-sized buildings with brick or wooden walls and standard roofing; like any other standard building, these are subject to local building codes.

    If you plan to build an aviary in an area with extreme weather conditions, you need to have proper heating or cooling to keep your birds comfortable. Less elaborate aviaries have mesh or wire walls. Make sure these materials are thick enough that your birds can't chew their way through them.

    While wood can be used in aviary construction, redwood and cedar should be avoided, since they release fumes dangerous to small birds. Make sure that your aviary is constructed with easy access to a water source such as an outdoor spigot for cleaning and providing drinking and bathing water, as well as access to electricity, if your aviary requires lighting or climate control. However, make sure your aviary has no exposed electrical wiring or electrical outlets - these could put curious birds at risk for electrocution.

Rabu, 27 Oktober 2010

How to Build a Carrier Pigeon Nest

How to Build a Carrier Pigeon Nest

Carrier pigeons were used during the first and second World Wars to transport messages across enemy lines, and these birds can still be used to send communications today. If you already own or are interested in keeping carrier pigeons, you must be sure to provide them with a comfortable habitat. One of the main requirements your pigeon will have is a nest or at least a nesting box in which your bird can build its own nest.

Instructions

    1

    Determine the location of your carrier pigeon nest or nesting box. If you have an outdoor shed or garden, this location would be ideal for your pigeon. If you live in an apartment or have little outdoor space, a nesting box can be attached to your balcony or under the eaves of your house.

    2

    Construct a plywood frame for your nesting box by first cutting two 12-by-16 inch pieces, two 12-by-24 inch pieces and two 16-by-24 inch pieces of untreated plywood.

    3

    Lay one of the 16-by-24 inch pieces of plywood flat and attach the walls to the appropriate sides. Align one of the 12-by-16 inch pieces of plywood with the 16-inch edge of the bottom panel and screw it in place with wood screws. Attach the second 16-inch wall to the opposite side of the bottom panel.

    4

    Attach one of the 12-by-24 inch pieces of plywood to the bottom panel by aligning the 24-inch edge and screwing it in place.

    5

    Cut a 6-by-8 inch square out of the middle of the remaining 12-by-24 inch piece of plywood, aligning the bottom of the square with the 24-inch edge. This opening will be the entrance by which your carrier pigeons can access their nesting box. Attach the piece of plywood to the bottom panel by aligning the 24-inch edges and screwing the plywood in place.

    6

    Secure the walls by screwing the vertical edges together where they connect at the corners. Install the top of the nesting box by screwing one half of two metal hinges to the inside of the back wall and attaching the other half of the hinges to the underside of the top plywood panel.

    7

    Fill the nesting box with nesting materials to create the nesting environment for your carrier pigeons. The ideal materials to use are small and pliable so your pigeon can move them around to build the nest. Provide things like small twigs, leaves, hay, pine needles and wood shavings.

    8

    Mount your nesting box in the desired location. If you keep your carrier pigeons in a coop or loft, mount the nesting box on the wall by screwing the horizontal end of a pair of L brackets to the underside of the box and attaching the vertical end to the desired position on the wall. Using the same procedure, mount your nesting box to the side of your house or garden shed if you prefer one of these locations.

How to Make a Homemade Macaw Cage

How to Make a Homemade Macaw Cage

The average adult macaw can range from 11 to 39 inches tall with a wingspan of up to 4 feet. The cage must be large enough for the bird to move around and extend his wings. The minimum size cage required for a macaw is 3 feet by 2 feet by 5 feet. Homemade macaw cages can be built using wood, metal or acrylic. Using a metal dog kennel is a great way to make a homemade macaw cage.

Instructions

    1

    Pick out the proper size dog kennel to use as a macaw cage. A macaw is a very strong and intelligent bird. The bars on a macaw cage should be between 1 to 1.5 inches apart to prevent the bird from putting any part of his body through the bars. Pick a dog kennel which is the proper size (minimum 3 feet by 2 feet by 5 feet).

    2

    Assemble the dog kennel. Construct the dog kennel by following the manufacturers instructions. Be sure that all bolts and screws are tight and do not pose a threat that can occur if the screw or bolt protrudes enough for the bird to catch herself on. A macaw can easily remove loose bolts and screws, which makes them a choking hazard. Macaws are intelligent birds that may require additional latches or locks to keep them from escaping the cage. Combination locks can be used to close the cage.

    3

    Convert the dog kennel into a macaw cage. Transform the dog kennel into a macaw cage by adding perches, toys, food and water bowls. Perches can be purchased or made and typically have one end which simply screws in between the bars of the cage. Attach toys with screws, ties or rope depending on the style of the toy. Food and water bowls clip onto the bars.

    4

    Line the bottom of the cage. The bottom of the cage has two sections, one piece composed of bars for the animal to stand on, and one solid piece on the bottom used to collect droppings. Use bird paper, found at most pet and pet supply stores, to line the bottom of the cage, making it easier to clean.