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.

Sabtu, 23 Oktober 2010

Ideas for Birdhouses

Ideas for Birdhouses

When you think of a birdhouse you probably think of the traditional wooden birdhouse. You may have even made one in woodshop when you were in school. However, wooden birdhouses are not the only type of birdhouse. You can also make or buy birdhouses in different materials that vary in complexity and cost.

Wooden

    The traditional wooden birdhouse can come in different shapes and sizes. One of the more basic shapes is one with a triangular roof, four straight sides and a small round opening cut out of the front of it for an entrance. The size of the birdhouse depends on the variety of bird you want to attract.
    The basic wooden birdhouse can be left unstained or it can be painted or sealed with a wood protector. You could also decorate the bird house with stones. If you do not want to build your own but want to add your own personal touch to one, look at your local garden supply store or craft store for plain constructed birdhouse that you can decorate yourself.

Gourds

    Another common birdhouse is the gourd birdhouse. These are dried gourds that have been hollowed out. By cutting a small hole in the side of the gourd, the birds can come and go from the gourd as desired. They are ideal for any variety of cavity-dwelling bird. The size of the gourd and the entrance opening will determine the variety of bird that will use the gourd. Gourds birdhouses can be purchased, or you can make your own. If you choose to make your own, make sure you treat it with copper sulfate to preserve the gourd. Finished birdhouses can be decorated with paints or left natural.

Recycled Materials

    If you prefer to make your own birdhouse at home out of unconventional materials, recycled materials are an option. If you are handy with metal working, old license plates can be bent into a birdhouse. Just be sure to thoroughly sand any sharp edges to prevent injury to nesting birds. Another option is to use an empty milk carton or milk jug. The finished products can be painted to your liking, or you can cover them with twigs from your yard. A coffee can be turned on its side, and you can cut a hole out of the lid for the entrance. Another option is to cut a hole out of the side of a coconut using a drill. Then hollow out the flesh of the coconut and use the remaining shell for your birdhouse.

How to Wrap a Hawk Perch

How to Wrap a Hawk Perch

Falconry has been around for thousands of years and is the oldest known field sport. During this sport, falconers use trained birds such as hawks and falcons to hunt for food. When the bird returns from a hunt, it is trained to fly back to its perch, which is a high structure wrapped in a padded material like neoprene or astro turf. Wrapping the perch is not only more comfortable for the hawk, but it will giveit a better surface to grasp with its talons.

Instructions

    1

    Cut the perch wrapping material to the desired length. The length you need depends on how large or small your perch is. Typically the perch wrap only covers the center of the perch, leaving room on both sides, but you can wrap the entire perch if you choose.

    2

    Lay the strip of perch wrapping so it sits lengthwise along the top of the perch.

    3

    Wrap both sides of the perch, wrapping around the sides so they overlap underneath the perch.

    4

    Secure the wrapping underneath using nails. Hammer the nails through the overlapping material every few inches to hold it together.

    5

    Attach tie wraps around the entire perch to hold it in place. Not all perches are made from wood --- if you have a metal hawk perch use tie wraps to secure the material instead of nails. Place tie wraps every few inches and pull them tight to secure the wrapping.

Jumat, 22 Oktober 2010

How to Fix a Veil Curl in a Bird Cage

How to Fix a Veil Curl in a Bird Cage

A bird cage veil is a large length of darkly-colored fabric you can place over the cage at night to help your birds relax, sleep and remain stress-free all night. These veils are usually made of lightweight, easy-to-care-for fabrics. However, your bird cage veil might be made of a less forgiving fabric. Thicker fabrics, or those with special embroideries, might get small curls or creases that prevent them from lying flat against the cage. To fix these issues, you must use methods that are both effective and safe for the fabric of the bird cage veil.

Instructions

    1

    Remove the bird cage veil and lie the curled piece over your ironing board.

    2

    Set your iron to a heat level that's safe for the fabric. If you're not sure, use a low setting to be safe.

    3

    Wet a cloth and wring it out. Lay the cloth across the curl in the bird cage veil.

    4

    Press your iron against the cloth and move it steadily back and forth. Expect some steam. Continue ironing until the cloth is pretty much dry.

    5

    Remove the cloth and drape the piece of the veil that was curled over the edge of your ironing board.

    6

    Fill a spray bottle with bottled starch and mist the previously-curled portion of the veil. Do not get the starch on the veil portion resting over the iron. Allow the starch to dry; the curl should not reappear.

Kamis, 21 Oktober 2010

How to Build Wooden Birdhouses

How to Build Wooden Birdhouses

Building wooden birdhouses is a time-honored tradition in many countries. Birdhouses can serve as colorful yard ornaments or simply as a place for the birds to use as shelter. There is an almost endless array of materials that can be used to construct birdhouses, but wood has always been a traditional favorite, as well as one of the most durable. Adding a coat of paint to a wooden birdhouse provides an even more attractive nest site, as well as making it more weather-resistant.

Instructions

Measuring and cutting the plywood

    1

    Measure and cut a 6-by-6-inch square from the plywood, which will serve as the base or bottom of the birdhouse.

    2

    Measure and cut three 6-by-10-inch rectangles from the plywood. These will be the sides and back of the birdhouse and need to be uniform in size.

    3

    Measure and cut an 8-by-8-inch square from the plywood. This is the roof or top of the birdhouse, and it will be oversized compared to the bottom.

    4

    Measure and cut a 45-degree angle at one end of two of the 6-by-10-inch rectangles. This will give the pieces a sloped or slanted top, used to angle the roof downward for rain runoff. The bottom of the angular cut should be 2 inches lower than the top.

    5

    Measure and cut a 6-by-8-inch rectangle from the plywood, which will be the front of the birdhouse.

    6

    Drill a large hole in middle of the front piece of the birdhouse, which will be the entrance.

    7

    Drill a smaller hole in the front of the birhouse, 2 inches below the opening hole.

    8

    Insert the wooden dowel rod into the smaller hole for the perch and make sure it stays firm. Use some wood glue around the edges of the hole if the dowel rod is loose.

Assembling the pieces

    9

    Nail the 6-by-10-inch piece to the base of the birdhouse.

    10

    Nail the two angled side pieces to the base and back of the birdhouse.

    11

    Nail the front piece in place between the two sides.

    12
    roof sloping downwards
    roof sloping downwards

    Nail the roof to the slanted top of the birdhouse. The roof should slope downward to help keep water from running into the hole.

    13

    Drill a small hole in the back of the birdhouse, from which to hang the birdhouse from a nail or wire.

Selasa, 19 Oktober 2010

How to Care for Baby Chickens That Are Two Days Old

How to Care for Baby Chickens That Are Two Days Old

At two days old, baby chickens require food, warmth, space and water. Caring for them requires patience and time. Two day old chicks are weak and cannot survive by themselves. They need the care of their owner in order to grow into adult chickens.

Instructions

    1

    Keep the chickens warm. Chickens should be kept in a warm box with a heat bulb at approximately 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a red 250 watt heat bulb if possible.

    2

    Give the chickens at least half a square foot of space each to prevent them from picking at each other.

    3

    Provide plenty of water to the baby chickens. Use a spill-resistant bowl or water bottle. Change the water if you see any sign of dirt or residue. Provide one gallon of water for every 50 chicks.

    4

    Feed the baby chickens with a starter feed, available from pet stores or feed stores. A short-term alternative is whole grain cereal such as instant oatmeal or infant cereal. Place newspaper on the ground and sprinkle the food for the chicks to find. After the third day transfer the feed to a trough.

    5

    Refrain from handling the chickens more than is necessary. Two day old chickens are fragile and handling them incorrectly can cause injury. If you must handle the chicken, hold one hand under its stomach and the other on top.

    6

    Use peat moss, shavings or ground corn cobs as litter. Spread the litter over the bottom of the cage approximately one inch thick. Cover the litter with newspaper to prevent the chicks from eating it.

    7

    Observe the chicks' behavior. Happy chicks tend to give each other space and make contented sounds. Cold chicks huddle together and chirp unhappily. Adjust the space and temperature according to the reactions of the chicks.

Rabu, 13 Oktober 2010

How to Make a Bird Perch Tent

How to Make a Bird Perch Tent

Although pet birds, most of which belong to the parrot species, seem hands-off to many people because of their sharp beaks and claws, devoted bird owners know that birds, especially parrots, love cuddling. You can save money by making your own bird perch tent -- a perch covered by a soft fabric tent. Vary the size of fabric depending on the bird: 8 square inches for a medium-sized bird like a conure, 6 square inches for a parakeet and 3 to 4 feet for a macaw. Vary the size of the perch, too. Your bird will love sleeping in its new cuddly hiding spot.

Instructions

    1

    Arrange the cloth on a flat surface with the patterned side facing up. Pick up the right edge of the square and bring it to meet the left edge to fold the cloth in half. The top and bottom edges should now each be 4 inches, and the left and right edges should be 8 inches long. The patterned side should be on the inside.

    2

    Insert a pin in each corner of the doubled cloth so that it stays folded while you work. Push the end of the pin through the fabric and then back through it again, so that it holds both sides of the folded fabric together.

    3
    A running stitch looks like this.
    A running stitch looks like this.

    Thread your needle and knot the end of the thread. Sew the top edge of the rectangle shut using the running stitch. Push the needle and thread through the fabric at the corner where the top edge begins, then pull it back through, going in the opposite direction about a centimeter away from the first insertion. Repeat this until you have sewn the entire top edge closed.

    4

    Pull the needle and thread through the nearest stitch three times, cut the thread off the needle with your scissors, and tie a knot in it near the fabric. Trim the remaining thread to a length of an approximate inch.

    5

    Remove the four pins. Turn the fabric inside-out, so that the pattern is on the outside. The fabric should now look like a tent, with the stitched edge as the top of the tent, and the folded edge as the back of the tent.

    6

    Place a generous amount of glue on each end of the wooden dowel. Glue one end of the dowel to the front left open corner of the tent (to the inside, un-patterned surface), and the other end of the dowel to the right left open corner of the tent (again to the inside surface). You should now have a fabric tent that has a perch placed across the front bottom opening. Look face-on at the bird perch tent and you should see a triangle. The wooden dowel should make up the bottom of the triangle.

    7

    Wipe off any excess glue with your damp towel or rag. Hold your palms against the bird perch tent to press the fabric securely to the ends of the dowel. Do this for at least three minutes to make sure the glue forms a bond.

    8

    Allow the glue to dry completely for at least one hour.

    9

    Cut a small hole in the top of the bird perch tent, about halfway between the front and the back of it. Thread the rope or hemp through the hole and tie it securely to one of the rungs at the top of your bird's cage, so that the bird perch tent hangs down into the cage from the top. The bird perch tent should swing freely.

Selasa, 12 Oktober 2010

How to Make a Nest Box for an African Grey

How to Make a Nest Box for an African Grey

Breeding African Grey Parrots can be difficult and can turn into a lifelong hobby, as the birds themselves can live for 60 to 90 years. Although breeding African Grey Parrots is tricky, creating a good nesting box can actually be easy for you to do.

Instructions

    1

    Cut four pieces of wood out of a 1/8-inch-thick plywood. The four pieces should be one foot long and eight inches wide.

    2

    Stand the four pieces up on a sheet of 1/8-inch-thick plywood. Nail them together to form a square.

    3

    Glue all four sides of the square to the plywood. Use your saw to trim around the plywood and cut off the excess.

    4

    Place about an inch of nontreated wood shavings in the bottom of the box.

    5

    Place the box in a quiet corner of your African Grey's cage.

    6

    Place a bird ladder in the box so the African Greys can get in and out of it easily.

    7

    Place nesting material inside the cage so the Greys can build their own nest inside the box.

Jumat, 08 Oktober 2010

How to Make a Puffin Habitat

How to Make a Puffin Habitat

Puffins are winged birds that are similar to penguins in habitat and diet. Unlike penguins, however, puffins can and do fly quite often. In most zoos, you'll find the puffins in the same area as the penguins and other arctic animals if not the same exhibit. According to the New Hampshire Public Television site "Nature Works," in the wild, "the Atlantic puffin can be found on rocky coasts in the Northern Atlantic during breeding season and on the open ocean in nonbreeding season."

Instructions

    1

    Plan out your enclosure on paper. Use blueprints or detailed sketches to lay out the size, location and materials for the puffin habitat.

    2

    Install plexiglass on the outer edges of enclosure. This will protect the puffins and allow them to see and be seen.

    3

    Incorporate a rocky terrain into the habitat. You can do this by building around an existing spot, importing large rocks or boulders or installing imitation materials to serve the same purpose.

    4

    Include a large pool or swimming area. Puffins are marine birds like penguins and spend a good portion of their life in the water. The water should be on the cooler to cold side.

    5

    Collect a large amount of twigs and brush. The puffins will use this material to build their nests and for warmth.

    6

    Make your enclosure climate-controlled or set up one outside in a cold weather area. Puffins are used to colder temperatures and are at home in colder areas, such as Canada, Alaska and Maine.

    7

    Add a caged section higher up or have the puffins' wings clipped. Including some trees for shade and roosting points will add to the comfort of your enclosure.

How to Build a Bird Shelter

How to Build a Bird Shelter

Bird shelters offer wild birds protection from bad weather and allow pairs to raise their chicks in a safe and undisturbed shelter. Bird shelters will attract wild birds to your garden, particularly during the breeding season. Once secured in a tree, your bird shelter will provide wild birds the opportunity to breed without fear of predators. Although these shelters are commercially available, you can design and make your own.

Instructions

    1

    Place the board on a clean section of floor.

    2

    Cut a 9 -by-22-inch piece of wood from the original board. This will be the front of the roosting box. Place the piece to one side on the work surface.

    3

    Cut out a 9 -by-30-inch piece of board. This will be the back of your bird roosting box. Place the piece to one side on the work surface.

    4

    Cut a 9 -by-10-inch piece of board. This will be the roof of your bird box. Place the piece to one side on the work surface.

    5

    Cut two pieces of board, each 8 inches by 24 inches, from the original sheet. These two pieces are the sides. They'll slant down from a height of 24 inches at the back to 22 inches at the front. Place these pieces to one side on the work surface.

    6

    Cut an 8-by-9 -inch piece from the original sheet. This is the floor. Place this piece to one side on the work surface.

    7

    Cut a 2 -by-1 -inch piece out near the bottom of the 9 -by 22-inch front piece of board. This will be the entrance door.

    8

    Drill a hole that is one-quarter-inch in diameter in each of the two 8-by-24-inch side boards. These must be the same height from the floor and in the same place on each board.

    9

    Screw the various pieces of the box together, using a screwdriver and screws. Do not screw the roof to the walls though.

    10

    Use a screwdriver to screw two hinges to the roof. Screw these hinges to the back wall of the box so you can gain access to the box as needed. Use a power drill if you have difficulty getting the screws in with the screwdriver.

    11

    Use the sandpaper to rub the dowel stick until you can push it from the one side of the box through to the opposite side. Apply a teaspoon full of wood glue to each end, to secure the stick in the holes.

Kamis, 07 Oktober 2010

How to Make Homemade Ladders for Your Parakeet

How to Make Homemade Ladders for Your Parakeet

Parakeets, also called Budgies, are popular pets because they are playful, friendly and easy to keep. These birds are very intelligent and like to stay busy, so they require a wide assortment of toys and perches in their cages. If you want to keep your parakeet happy and healthy, provide it with a variety of perches, ropes and ladders to keep it entertained. In order to supply your bird with these things, you do not have to pay a great deal of money at the pet store; you can build homemade ladders yourself.

Instructions

    1

    Measure the height of your cage to determine how tall to make your homemade ladder. Generally, parakeet cages should be a minimum of 12 inches high and your ladder should be several inches shorter than the height of the cage. You may also choose to make several ladders at different heights.

    2

    Cut 1/8-inch dowels into 2-inch pieces. Determine how many lengths of 1/8-inch dowel you will need by considering that each rung will be 2 inches long and that they will be spaced at 3/4-inch intervals.

    3

    Use an electric hand drill with a 1/8-inch drill bit to drill holes in each of the 1/2-inch dowel rods. The holes should be approximately 1/4-inch deep and spaced at 3/4-inch intervals.

    4

    Insert the 2-inch pieces into the 1/8-inch holes on half of the 1/2-inch dowels. Line up the holes on the remaining dowels with the other end of the 1/8-inch dowels and press them together.

    5

    Arrange your completed ladders in your parakeet cage however you like. You may choose to set them on the floor of the cage, leaning them up against the walls, or you might attach them to the walls with wire.

How to Make Parakeet Toys With Twine, Beads or Wood

How to Make Parakeet Toys With Twine, Beads or Wood

Parakeets are small, lively birds that do well when they are kept entertained, and one way to keep them happy is with homemade toys. While you can purchase toys at the pet store, you can also keep parakeets amused with toys that you make at home. Homemade toys allow you to be sure of what you are giving your bird and they are also significantly cheaper than toys you would purchase at the store. Use twine, wood scraps and beads to make your parakeet an amusing toy.

Instructions

    1

    Saw your wood scraps into three or four rectangles that are roughly the size of the parakeet's head or slightly smaller. Use only untreated wood.

    2

    Drill a hole through the rectangles of wood . You can drill through the wood with any orientation that you please, as long as the hole punctures the wood completely.

    3

    Cut a length of sisal twine that is roughly 1 feet long.

    4

    String one rectangle of wood onto the twine, allowing it to fall to the end of the twine.

    5

    String a large unpainted, untreated wood bead onto the twine after the wood.

    6

    Repeat until you've strung all of your wood onto the twine.

    7

    Knot the two loose ends of the twine together.

    8

    Hang the toy in your parakeet's cage. The parakeet will play with the wood, dragging it up and down the twine.

Selasa, 05 Oktober 2010

DIY Macaw Cage

DIY Macaw Cage

One of the most beautiful and intelligent birds in the world, the macaw makes a wonderful pet. Being large in nature, the macaw needs an adequate-sized cage. These cages can cost hundreds of dollars when purchased new, but there is a more economical way to make your own macaw cage. One such way is to use a dog kennel and add macaw necessities to the cage.

Choosing a Kennel for a Cage

    Because macaws are the largest parrot in the world, they need the biggest dog kennel you can find. Since macaws are not like all birds, purchase a cage made of stainless steel or galvanized metal to avoid rusting and flaking which can be poisonous to the macaw. The bars also need to be no greater than one inch apart to avoid getting its head stuck. The bars also need to be stronger than your bird, since macaws can apply an enormous amount of pressure with their beaks. The cage should be welded together with no nuts and bolts, as these pose a choking hazard. The cage needs to be large enough for your macaw to move back and forth and to spread both of its wings to their full extent.

Converting the Kennel into a Cage

    To convert the kennel into a macaw cage, simply add things your bird will need to make the cage its home. Several feeding stations will allow you to offer water as well as a few different types of food. You also are then able to clean one set while still allowing your macaw to use the other set. The food dishes clip on to the bars of the cage. Durable, safe toys are also a must for your macaw to help prevent your bird from chewing on other things. Blue and gold macaws enjoy large interactive toys that they can rattle around. Because macaws are smart birds, they bore easily of the same toys. Buy twice as many toys as you need and rotate them every couple of weeks. Adding perches of different thicknesses will help keep your bird's feet in good health. The perches must be thick enough for the bird to sit without its claws turning inward; stay away from sandpaper covered perches that can damage their feet. . Perches can hang from the top of the cage or attach across the cage bars. Macaws can be messy with dropped food and waste, so adding a floor and paper lining to the bottom of the cage is very important. A metal tray makes a good floor and the lip on the sides prevent spilling when removing it to clean it. A locking mechanism is an important item to add to your cage to avoid an accidental escape. The lock should be one your bird either cannot reach or is unable to figure out.

Make the Cage Last a Lifetime

    Because blue and gold macaws can live into their 70s, your cage should be durable and long-lasting. Consider your bird as a lifelong companion, and keep its home clean, tidy and interesting on a daily basis. Clean the cage thoroughly with a damp paper towel and rubbing alcohol and the tray with a chlorine solution. By giving your macaw plenty of stimulating toys, it will be less likely to chew on the bars and your cage should last your bird its lifetime.

Minggu, 03 Oktober 2010

How to Build a Parakeet Nesting Box

How to Build a Parakeet Nesting Box

Parakeets do not build nests in the wild but use holes in trees to lay eggs. You can build your own nesting box for your parakeet pair with a minimum of tools. You can be assured the box will be large enough for successful breeding and made with nontoxic materials to protect your birds when you build it yourself.

Instructions

Building a Nesting Box

    1

    Make a dent in the center of one of the 12x16 pieces of plywood using a hammer. This will be the bottom of the box.

    2

    Drill a hole about 3 inches in diameter, 1 to 2 inches from the top of one of the 12x12 pieces of plywood. This will be the front of your nesting box. Drill a smaller hole to fit your dowel about 1 inch under the entry hole.

    3

    Sandpaper the entry hole so that it is smooth.

    4

    Cut one of the 12x16 pieces of plywood at a 45 degree angle about 3 inches from the end so that you have two pieces, one that is 3 inches and one that is 13 inches. This will be the top of your nesting box. The angle of the cut will allow the top to hinge open. Be sure the slope of the cut is down toward the 3 inch piece.

    5

    Glue the front panel to the bottom of the nesting box and secure with nails or screws. Attach the uncut 12x16 side pieces and the 12x12 back piece in the same manner, using the jigsaw to trim the wood as necessary for a tight fit.

    6

    Nail or screw the cut 3-inch top piece in place, being sure the 45-degree angle cut is forward. Hinge the larger, top piece to the smaller piece so the lid easily opens and shuts.

    7

    Glue the dowel in the smaller hole on the front of the box.

    8

    Attach the box to the outside of the cage by screwing or nailing small, metal plates used to hang mirrors to the top back of the nesting box and screwing the box to the parakeet cage.