Rabu, 29 September 2010

How to Build a Pigeon House

How to Build a Pigeon House

Pigeons need a living space that is more than just a cage. Whether you are keeping pigeons for a hobby or as a trade, you need to give them substantial shelter. A simple pigeon house has solid construction, is off the ground and is easy to clean. You can build a pigeon house with building materials found at your local hardware store.

Instructions

    1

    Make the side panels. Measure and cut two pieces of plywood 40 inches on the bottom, 80 inches on one side, and 60 inches on the other side. For the top, mark and cut from the top of the left to the top of the right. The angled top provides a slope for drainage.

    2

    Construct the legs and floor supports. Cut 12-inch pieces off the end of four 2 by 4 boards. This creates four 84-inch pieces and four 12-inch pieces. Align one 12-inch piece parallel to the flat side of one 84-inch piece, even with the bottom. Repeat for the additional three legs. The 12-inch pieces are the floor supports.

    3

    Attach the side panels to the legs. Lay two legs on the ground with the floor supports facing up. Place one side panel on the legs, aligning the sides to the edge of the legs. Place the bottom edge of the side panel against the floor support. Mark and cut off the excess 2 by 4 board at the top angled edge. Repeat for the other side. Lay the side panels back in place and attach to the legs with nails.

    4

    Construct the top support. On the outside of one side panel, measure and cut a 2 by 4 board to fit the area between the leg boards at the top. Nail the board to the side panel. Repeat for the opposite side panel.

    5

    Make the floor. Cut two of the 2 by 4 boards 44 inches long. Cut eight 37-inch pieces of the 2 by 4 boards. Lay two of the 44-inch boards on edge on top of the floor supports between the two side panels and nail into place. Lay the eight 37-inch boards on the flat edge, spaced 1 1/2 inches apart, across the width of the floor. Nail the boards into place.

    6

    Make the back panel. Measure and cut a sheet of plywood 80 inches by 48 inches. Nail the back panel to the back side of the leg boards. Align the top of the back panel with the top of the leg boards.

    7

    Make the front panel. Measure and cut a sheet of plywood 60 inches by 48 inches.

    8

    Cut a door panel. Locate the center of the front panel. Measure and cut a door panel 33 inches high by 24 inches wide.

    9

    Attach the door panel to the front panel hole with hinges 5 inches from the left top edge and 5 inches from the left bottom edge.

    10

    Attach the door latch to the right side of the door panel 15 inches from the top of the panel. Attach the keeper to the front side, aligned with the latch.

    11

    Attach the front panel. Nail the front panel to the front side of the leg boards. Align the top of the front panel with the top of the leg boards.

    12

    Build the roof. Cut a sheet of plywood 60 inches by 48 inches. Place the roof on top of the pigeon house and attach securely with nails. Attach shingles with roofing nails.

Sabtu, 25 September 2010

How to Build a Birdhouse for Eastern Mountain Bluebirds

How to Build a Birdhouse for Eastern Mountain Bluebirds

Eastern mountain bluebirds are beloved for their cheerful disposition and colorful plumage. Houses for bluebirds can be expensive to buy in a store. They can be made in your home workshop for a fraction of the price. You may even have some of the materials necessary to build the birdhouse leftover from other projects. Building a house for Eastern mountain bluebirds should help attract them to your yard and provide them with a safe place to nest. This will also help to maintain the population of bluebirds.

Instructions

    1

    Measure 9 1/2 inches from the bottom of each of the 1-by-5 1/2-by-10 3/4-inch cedar boards using a tape measure. Mark the measurement with a pencil. Draw a line from the top of one corner down to the pencil mark on the other side---making a dog-ear---for each board. Cut the board at the line using a miter saw. These are the sides. This will create an angle for the roof to rest on.

    2

    Place the 1-by-6-by-13 1/2-inch cedar board on a work surface. This is the back of the birdhouse. Place the sides against the back boards, up 1 inch from the bottom. The sides should be flush with the edges of the back. Fasten the back to the sides using wood screws and a screwdriver. Space the screws evenly every 2 inches.

    3

    Drill three 1/8-inch holes in the 1-by-5-by-5-inch cedar board. Space the holes approximately 1 inch apart starting in the center of the board. This is the bottom of the birdhouse. The holes will provide drainage for any water that might enter the birdhouse.

    4

    Insert the bottom between the sides of the birdhouse so that it rests against the back. The bottom should be flush with the bottom edges of the sides. Fasten the bottom to the back and sides using wood screws and screwdriver. Space the screws evenly every 2 inches.

    5

    Drill a 1 1/2-inch hole in the center of the 1-by-5-by-9-inch cedar board down 1 inch from the top edge. This board is the front of the birdhouse. The hole is the opening of the birdhouse for the Eastern mountain bluebirds to enter. Place the front on top of the sides. The bottom of the front should be flush with the bottom of the birdhouse. Fasten the front to the sides and bottom using a screwdriver and wood screws.

    6

    Place the 1-by-6-by-7 1/2-inch cedar board on top of the sides and front. This is the roof board. Place the two hinges on the roof board and align them so that they are 1/2 inch in from the edge of the roof. Fasten the hinges to the underside of the roof and back of the birdhouse using the provided screws and a screwdriver. Close the roof down. Screw the eye into the bottom side of the roof. Screw the eye hook into the front side of the birdhouse so that it is aligned with the eye hook. Fasten the eye hook through the eye to secure the roof closed.

    7

    Dig a 2-foot deep hole in the location that you would like to mount the birdhouse using a post hole digger. Place the 4-by-4-by-60-inch post into the hole. Hold a level against the post as you fill the hole back in and pack the soil around the post to ensure that it is level.

    8

    Mount the birdhouse to the post using a screwdriver and wood screws. One screw at the top and bottom of the birdhouse back will be sufficient to fasten the birdhouse to the post.

Things You Can Put in a Parakeet's Cage

Things You Can Put in a Parakeet's Cage

Amusing and intelligent, parakeets can impress their owners with their ability to learn simple tricks. These small birds also make great companions for people of all ages. Parakeets require a proper diet and stimulation in order to flourish, so when stocking your bird's cage, consider buying or making particular items to keep your parakeet happy and healthy.

Food and Water

    A seed bar can provide your parakeet with a snack and stimulation as your bird pecks at it and hangs off of it.
    A seed bar can provide your parakeet with a snack and stimulation as your bird pecks at it and hangs off of it.

    Parakeets need a proper bowl or dispenser for food and water. Pet stores sell bowls that can attach to the side of the cage for easy access for both you and the bird. However, stores also sell special dispensers for birds who might be messy eaters. These dispensers will keep birdseed shells from being thrown from the cage. Your parakeet also will enjoy an occasional treat. Pet supply stores carry seed and fruit bars, which hang from the ceiling of the bird cage or attach to the cage's side.

Liners and Bedding

    Cage gravel will keep odors to a minimum.
    Cage gravel will keep odors to a minimum.

    Bird cage liners make cleaning up easier, and they're also more sanitary for the parakeets. Cage gravel or bedding also can be used because they absorb any waste or odors inside your parakeet's cage. Look for liners, gravel and bedding that are dust-free and non-toxic to your parakeet.

Accessories

    Cuttlebones are an excellent source of calcium and minerals for your bird.
    Cuttlebones are an excellent source of calcium and minerals for your bird.

    Parakeets need cage accessories that allow them to rest and keep in shape. Perches come in a variety of materials, sizes and styles. Rope perches, for example, provide a resting area, but they also serve as a fun item for your bird to nibble. Your parakeet also can benefit from having a cuttlebone inside the cage. These flat, oblong-shaped bones clip to the sides of bird cages and help your parakeet to keep its beak trim and smooth. In addition, they provide your bird with an excellent source of calcium and minerals.

Toys

    Having mirrors in the cage will keep your parakeet entertained.
    Having mirrors in the cage will keep your parakeet entertained.

    Parakeets enjoy being active, so they need things to do inside their cage to keep them stimulated. Pet stores sell a variety of toys, including ladders, play gyms, hanging bells and mirrors. Swing ropes will help your bird get exercise and stay fit. Your parakeet also will enjoy preening toys that it can destroy and shred. These toys fulfill a bird's urge to pick at its feathers, which can become painful if done too often. A cheap option for preening toys include toilet paper roles, popsicle sticks or dye-free paper.

Jumat, 24 September 2010

How to Make a Cockatoo Stand

How to Make a Cockatoo Stand

The iconic cockatoos, both Moluccans and Umbrella varieties, are popular pets for dedicated bird lovers. Cousins to the beloved parrot, cockatoos are renowned for their affectionate nature, loud vocal abilities and recognizable looks. Cockatoos need lots of attention from their owners and must be entertained almost constantly. A stately stand inside or out of their cage is a popular accessory for pet cockatoos.

Instructions

    1

    Attach your base fittings to the ends of your 2 x 4 board. The board can be longer to accommodate a larger cage, but no shorter than 10 inches, as it forms the base of your cockatoo stand. The base fittings will have holes for attaching with screws. Mark these holes with a pencil, drill holes, then attach the fittings to the board.

    2

    Screw the galvanized pipes into the base fittings using the threads.

    3

    Attach the T-fittings to the tops of the galvanized pipes. Twist until the "T" tops are running parallel to the base board.

    4

    Slid the dowel rod through the top of the T-fittings. If it is not a snug fit yet, add some non-toxic wood or other glue to the entry points to seal it in place.

    5

    Set your cockatoo stand inside of your bird's cage or in your home.

Kamis, 23 September 2010

How to Buy Bird Diapers

Bird diapers are not as uncommon as most people think. These diapers are made of soft, stretchable material that can be washed after use and used many times. They can be found in a variety of colors and sizes, and purchasing these diapers is easier than ever. The following steps will guide you through the purchase of these diapers for your feathered friends.

Instructions

    1

    Sign onto the website Pet Diapers. Scroll down the page and you will find a link to the bird diapers page. Click on this link and you will be brought to the page that sells bird diapers.

    2

    View the page and decide which bird diapers you would like to purchase. There is a graph that will help you decide what size diapers you need, based on what kind of bird you own. The sizes range from small to mammoth. This guarantees you can find a size diaper to fit any bird.

    3

    Decide which color you would like your bird's diaper to be. Keep in mind that not all the sizes come in a variety of colors. To make sure you get the correct size, you may have to sacrifice your favorite color.

    4

    Click on the buy now link to make the purchase of your bird diapers. You will be very pleased with your diapers. They will prevent embarrassing accidents on your guests or yourself. You bird can wear the diaper while in the cage or while flying around the house. You will be glad you made this purchase.

Senin, 20 September 2010

Homemade Parakeet Playground

Homemade Parakeet Playground

Making your parakeet a homemade playground or play gym can enrich your bird's playtime. It also allows your parakeet something to do when it is outside of its cage. Playgrounds are a fantastic distraction for a bird that is having its cage cleaned while you work.

Perches and Climbing Areas

    Raw wood is perfect for a perch.
    Raw wood is perfect for a perch.

    Perches are necessary so your parakeet has something to stand on. The wood must be completely untreated, bug free and natural. If it possible to purchase raw wood, it is ideal. Raw wood should be be washed and cut with no pesticides on the wood. Perches can be different sizes to allow the bird to have different grasps. This helps parakeets develop foot and grasping strength as well as flex the muscles of their legs and feet. Climbing ladders or bridges can be made to allow birds with clipped wings to climb to different areas easier.

Litter Pans

    Even birds that are toilet trained can have accidents if left for long periods of time on their play gym. A litter pan attached to the bottom of the gym or a covered area beneath it is necessary to catch feces. Keeping the bottom of the playground open to a litter pan makes cleaning easier; you won't be forced to scrape dried bird feces off the wood.

Toys and Treats

    Every parakeet has their favorite types of toys, and the playground should revolve around these. If there are multiple birds, include a little bit of everything for everyone. Mirrors, bells, swings and wooden toys that can be torn apart and mauled are just some examples of toys that can be easily made at home or purchased in most pet stores. Rope toys that are made specifically for birds with untreated, plastic-free rope can be used as ladders and as toys. A long string of millet hung on the gym can be a nice treat for a bird to nibble on in between playing with various toys.

Food and Water Bowls

    The necessity of food and water bowls for your parakeet on their playground depends on many things. If they have access to their cage water and food bowls while playing or they will only be on the playground for short periods of time, it won't be necessary to add bowls to the playground as well. If they won't have access to their cage or will be on the playground for more than 30 minutes at a time, a water dispenser will be necessary to keep the bird hydrated and happy.

Kamis, 16 September 2010

How to Decorate a Cockatiel Cage

How to Decorate a Cockatiel Cage

The sociable and gentle cockatiel requires many toys to decorate his home and stay content. The small parrot can be kept in a minimum cage size of at least 18 inches tall, 18 inches deep and 18 inches long, if he receives regular outings from his cage, according to cockatiel breeder Linda Greeson. However, if left alone in the cage for long periods of time, choose a larger cage. Reduce boredom and anxiety by decorating the bird cage with a variety of toys that encourage preening, swinging, chewing, problem solving and vocal exercises.

Instructions

    1

    Add hanging toys to the cage. Choose colorful nontoxic wooden beads or natural shell and mineral kabob-style toys that hang with C-links or smooth chains. Avoid hangers with rough edges or tiny gaps that can trap small cockatiel toenails and beaks.

    2

    Install a variety of perches and swings. Choose rope perches, natural apple tree branches, mineral covered perches and swings decorated with colorful beads and bells for added interest. Select perches with a grooves cut into the ends that use tension to stay in place between the bars.

    3

    Hang mirrors and bells. Let the cockatiel sing to his reflection by placing the reflective toys on the cage wall next to a perch. Remove any clappers from bells, as these pose a choking hazard.

    4

    Use treats as decorations. Thread dried apples, apricots, whole walnuts and almonds onto raw bailing twine. Tie the treat from the ceiling of the cage, allowing the bird to preen the twine, chew the fruit and crack open the nuts.

    5

    Add a cage cover. Drape a custom-made bird cage cover or decorative sheet over the backside of the cage to add color and style. Choose a cartoon theme cover for a child's bedroom or coordinate colors with window treatments nearby.

Selasa, 14 September 2010

How to Decorate an Aviary

How to Decorate an Aviary

Birds thrive in earthy, vegetated spaces, which makes a natural-looking aviary a suitable habitat for them. An aviary, which is a large enclosure for birds, can be made to simulate a wildlife environment. While an aviary cannot perfectly replicate the wild, you can put safe, natural decorations in it to help make birds feel at home. If you want an organic aviary, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind that could keep your birds free from harm.

Instructions

Perches

    1

    Plant a few nontoxic trees such as umbrella trees or eucalyptus near the food and water dishes, another one by the toys, and one somewhere else for grooming. Place them in an area that will not inhibit the movement of the birds or force their tails to touch the cage.

    2

    Check the trees for insect egg pods. Remove any insect egg pods to prevent them from hatching inside the aviary.

    3
    Branches should not stick out of the aviary.
    Branches should not stick out of the aviary.

    Trim the branches with pruners.

    4

    Rinse all foliage and branches thoroughly with water to remove pesticides.

    5

    Cover the dirt surrounding the trees with a layer of large marbles or stones that are too large for the birds to swallow.

Dishes and Toys

    6

    Place food and water dishes where they will not be contaminated with droppings. Use stainless steel or crockery dishes.

    7

    Hang bird toys made of nontoxic wood or hardened plastic at the end of the perches. Rotate them weekly with another set of toys.

    8
    Birds will use pinatas for foraging.
    Birds will use pinatas for foraging.

    Fill pinatas with bird treats. Hang the pinatas on trees around the aviary.

Minggu, 12 September 2010

The Best Bluebird Houses

The Best Bluebird Houses

Native to the United States, the bluebird is an attractive meadow dweller. Bluebirds will rarely visit your feeders since their diet relies mostly on insects. However, if you have an open yard that mimics their meadow habitat and a properly designed nest box, they will nest on your property.

Material and Color

    Your bluebird house must be made of nontreated wood. Treated wood can leach chemicals into the nest box that will harm the adult birds and their young. If you build your bluebird house with cedar, you don't need to paint the house since the wood is naturally resistant to rot. If you use wood such as pine or oak, paint the exterior of the house with a pale colored latex paint.

Size and Design

    Western bluebirds and Mountain bluebirds need a house with a floor size measuring 5 inches square. Eastern bluebirds will nest in a house with a floor size of either 4 inches square or 5 inches square. The back height of either house should be between 9 and 11 inches and the front between 6 and 7 inches. The top extends 3 inches over the front of the house and angles downward to drain rain away from the house. Small drain holes should be drilled into the bottom to allow any water that does get into the house to drain away. The holes also provide ventilation.

Entry Hole Size

    The entry hole size of your bluebird house is important to attract bluebirds and to keep other birds out. Western bluebirds need a round hole with a 1 1/2 inch in diameter. Mountain bluebirds prefer a round hole measuring 1 9/16 inches in diameter. Eastern bluebirds will nest in a box with a 1-1/2-inch round hole or an oval hole that is 1 3/8 inch wide and 2 1/4 inch tall. If you live in an area where there is more than one species of bluebird, opt for a round 1-9/16-inch hole.

Location and Maintenance

    Mount your bluebird house on a fence post or other solid object. Mounting the house on a metal pole will keep predators such as raccoons from being able to climb up to the house. In late winter, remove the top of the house and clean the interior thoroughly to prevent pests and disease.

Minggu, 05 September 2010

How to Make a Bird Playpen

How to Make a Bird Playpen

Birds are intelligent creatures that need mental stimulation for optimal health. Providing a playpen, t-stand perch or play stand for your birds gives them needed stimulation and exercise. For some birds, time spent out of the cage will help prevent them from acting out for attention or from boredom. Whether you choose to make a simple t-stand perch or a tabletop playpen, a portable play stand allows you to keep your sociable pet with you anywhere in your home.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase a play stand kit or the individual parts from a vendor of your choice. Choose materials that are appropriate for your bird's size, tail length and beak strength.

    2

    Choose your accessories. Look for natural, clean and unsprayed wood. Manzanita, maple, eucalyptus and fruit trees are good choices. Avoid soft woods or branches with pitch (which is harmful to birds), like pine. PVC pipe also works well, as it is safe and easy to clean.

    3

    Select a base for your stand. A formaldehyde-free particleboard or laminate is preferable.

    4

    Construct the play stand. If you purchased a kit, follow the manufacturer's instructions for this step. Otherwise, creatively decide where to place perches to allow your bird a good mix of exercise and convenience. Spread out the perches so your bird will have plenty of room to climb, but place them close to where you plan to hang toys and treats. Be mindful of where droppings may fall, and do not position any perches close to the edges of the base. Then drill out the base and cut the perches so they fit together tightly. Reinforce these components with bird-safe glue. The end result should include perches of different shapes, sizes and textures on multiple levels, perhaps connected by a ladder or two.

    5

    Attach food and water cups near the play stand's highest perch. Birds are prey animals and feel vulnerable when eating. The height provides security and allows your bird to enjoy treats while on the play stand.

    6

    Decorate the play stand with plenty of appropriately sized toys. Hang a couple above the perches you want your bird to spend the most time on. Then hang a climbing toy in a less convenient location to encourage your bird to exercise. If the toys did not come with a fastener, try a nickel-plated cup hook.

    7

    Test each component of the play stand before allowing your bird to play on it. The components should be sturdy and able to withstand your bird's weight.

    8

    Introduce your bird to the play stand slowly. Monitor your bird on the different perches and make necessary adjustments. If your bird slips on any perches or PVC, try sanding or wrapping the slippery surfaces with vet wrap or sisal rope.

How to Make a Nest for a Finch

How to Make a Nest for a Finch

Finches do not make nests for shelter; their natural behavior is to live in shrubbery and trees. The only reason finches build or adopt a nest is when they are in the mood to make little finches. They mate and lay eggs in the spring and fall seasons. Some finches mate during both these seasons; most nest once a year. In the wild finches seek out grasses and small, lightweight nest-building materials like feathers, plant material and bark. Some aviculturists breed and raise finches, housing them in cages or aviaries tall enough for a human to walk in. Enthusiasts can set out ready-made nests for wild finches to use, equip cages and aviaries with nests or provide their birds with the species' preferred natural building materials and let them make their own nests.

Instructions

    1

    Gather together nest-building materials. Finches prefer nests made from natural materials. Fresh or dried grasses, coco fibers pulled apart, shredded tissue paper, soft feathers and burlap squares with an open weave that can be picked apart into threads all make good nesting materials.

    2
    Finches prefer to live without nests in shrubbery and trees.
    Finches prefer to live without nests in shrubbery and trees.

    Take a ready-made finch nest and layer it with the materials you have chosen, ending with a soft layer of feathers. Prefabricated nests can be plastic square-shaped, square wooden nests or cup-like wicker or bamboo.

    3

    Place your finch nest in the crook of a tree, among the leaves of a shrub or bush, in the upper corner of a cage (allow at least 20 inches of space in a cage for your finch to exercise) or attach it the upper walls of your aviary. If necessary, secure it in place with gardening twist-ties.

    4

    Clean the nest out when your wild finches move on or your pet finch nestlings develop their adult plumage. Throw away the dirty nesting materials and wash out the interiors with a mild soap and hot water. Wooden and plastic nests should withstand several seasons of nestlings. Even the light-weight bamboo or wicker nests can be re-used if they are thoroughly cleaned. Nests and nesting materials can be purchased online from suppliers like Pet Discounters (petdiscounters.com/Nests-and-Nesting-Materials_c_2345.html).

Sabtu, 04 September 2010

How to Make a Climbing Rope for Birds

How to Make a Climbing Rope for Birds

Climbing ropes for birds give them some much-needed stimulation in their smaller housings. The birds enjoy perching, swinging and chewing on these cage accessories and can help resolve undesirable bird behaviors that result from boredom. Making your own climbing rope is an easy project that will save you a few dollars over purchasing one at your local pet shop.

Instructions

    1

    Tie a knot at the bottom of the cotton rope. Make sure it is tight.

    2

    Drill a hole in the center of each of the wooden rods, across the diameter of the rod, wide enough so that the rope can pass through.

    3

    Slide one wooden rod down the rope so that it rests on the knot you created at the bottom.

    4

    About 8 inches up the rope from the wooden rod, securely tie another knot and slide another wooden rod onto the rope. Repeat this with the remaining two rods.

    5

    At the top of the rope, tie one last knot and slide the carabiner through the knot. You can now clip the carabiner to the top of the cage for the birds to enjoy the rope.

Parrot Food Ingredients to Avoid

Parrot Food Ingredients to Avoid

When parrots were first kept as house pets, it was assumed they just ate nuts and seeds. Vets began to wonder why many house parrots were prone to sickness. Over time, and with observation of what parrots in the wild eat, more varied and nutritious diets for parrots have emerged. However, there are foods that parrots should never eat. Please do not use this article in the place of your vet's advice.

Types

    Parrots should never eat chocolate, apple seeds, any part of an avocado, onions, mushrooms, the leaves that are often still attached to tomatoes, salt, caffeinated drinks and dried beans. All of these foods cause long-term damage to the parrot's health and some do short-term damage. Parrots also should be kept away from alcoholic drinks.

Function

    Many of the foods to avoid cause vomiting or diarrhea. Apple seeds, tomato leaves and avocados all contain poisons to birds. Mushrooms can cause vomiting, but even if they don't, they can cause liver damage when eaten a lot. Caffeine has been known to interfere with parrot heart rates. Traces of salt will not hurt your parrot, but a lot of salt eaten over a long time will cause health problems such as dehydration and kidney problems.

Misconceptions

    Parrots do not instinctively know what foods are good for them and what are bad. They will eat anything. They will also eat foods that are bad for them if they like the taste of it. Make sure you supervise what your friends feed your parrot.

Warning

    Never let your parrot eat cannabis, tobacco or drink alcoholic beverages. Their bodies cannot handle these drugs. Don't even let your friends give your parrot a sip of beer as a joke. Parrots can get very sick or die from these drugs.

Prevention/Solution

    Parrots need a balanced and varied diet that about one third seeds, one third fruits and vegetables and one third grains, such as rice or cooked pasta. Cooked beans are OK only as an occasional treat. All parrots have their own food preferences, just like kids do. Some parrots will only eat seeds and ignore everything else because they prefer the taste of seeds. You can't let the bird only eat seeds. You need to take away the seeds and try new foods. There are also commercial parrot pellets that are nutritionally balanced that look and feel somewhat like seeds.

Kamis, 02 September 2010

How to Build a Sun Conure Breeding Box

How to Build a Sun Conure Breeding Box

Also known as the sun parakeet, the sun conure is one of the most beautiful parakeets. With a canary-yellow body, bright-red face and a smattering of green feathers throughout, the friendly sun conure is what most parrot owners wish their parrots looked like. At between $400 and $600 apiece, this little one probably costs more per ounce than any other legally available bird --- bad news if you're buying one, but fantastic news if you're a breeder. Conure nesting boxes are fairly easy to build, and they shouldn't take a reasonably skilled carpenter more than an hour.

Instructions

    1

    Cut the sides of your box from medium-density fiberboard, or MDF. Cut two pieces 8 inches wide by 8 inches tall; we'll call them the "A" walls. Cut two more pieces 8 inches tall by 11 inches long; we'll call these the "B" walls. The floor of your cage will be a piece of MDF measuring 8 inches wide by 12 inches long.

    2

    Run a thin bead of wood glue along one of the 8-inch edges of a B wall. Hold the B wall edge against the inside edge of an A wall. Drive three finishing nails through the A wall and into the edge of the B wall. The nails are only there to hold the walls together while the glue dries.

    3

    Repeat Step 2 with another B wall, and cap off the other side with an A wall. Run a bead of glue around the upward-facing edges of your walls and lay the floor on top. Secure it with two finishing nails driven through the floor and into the edge of each wall. Flip the assembly over and allow one hour for the glue to set.

    4

    Drill a hole in the center of an A wall exactly 4 1/2 inches from the bottom of the outside of the wall --- not the floor inside. Mark a 4-inch-diameter circle around the hole; a tin can makes an excellent template for this purpose. Cut along the circle with a jigsaw to create a door for your birdies.

    5

    Run a belt sander over all the box's joints to even them out, and finish-sand the box with 180-grit sandpaper. Sand all the rough edges and flat areas to smooth the box out.

    6

    Cut your mirrored one-way glass or Lexan plastic to 8 inches by 12 inches, and sand the edges smooth with 220-grit, 320-grit and 400-grit sandpaper. Fill the box to the bottom of the entry hole with nontoxic sawdust, clean straw, newspaper or aspen wood shavings. Don't use pine, cedar or redwood shavings; they'll emit aromatic hydrocarbons and acids that could hurt the chicks.

    7

    Place the one-way glass on top of the box, with the mirror-side facing down. The birds will only see the mirrored inside of the box, but you'll be able to observe the birds and chicks anywhere in the box without interfering. You could place a weight on the glass to keep it in place, but a strip of duct tape will work just as well.