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.