Minggu, 31 Juli 2011

Step-by-Step: How to Make an Incubator for Birds

Step-by-Step: How to Make an Incubator for Birds

When birds like chickens and ducks are young, they must stay warm and safe. Their mother usually takes care of this by keeping them in the nest and warming them herself. When she's not available, people must substitute artificial heat in the form of an incubator for the chicks.

Instructions

    1

    Put a hole in one side of your cooler, 3 inches from the top edge. This hole is for your lighting mechanism. Put three more holes in the cooler, along another side, 3 inches from the bottom. These are circulation holes. Make these bottom holes small enough that baby birds won't try to crawl through them.

    2

    Take the wiring, extension tube and any lightbulbs out of your lamp-building kit (available at home improvement shops). Slide the extension tube through the hole you made for it so that the lightbulb end is inside the cooler and the wiring end is outside. Screw in the lightbulb.

    3

    Place your thermostat inside the cooler, in one of the bottom corners, where it can measure the cooler's internal temperature. Attach one of the lamp's power wires to the thermostat, per the directions that came with your lamp-building kit. Attach the other lamp wire to the plug that came with the kit, but do not plug it in yet. Attach the thermostat's wire to the plug, again per the lamp kit's directions. Your thermostat will now monitor the temperature and lamp power.

    4

    Put shavings or straw in the bottom of the cooler, at a depth of 2 to 3 inches, for the baby birds, and set out a water dish. Put the incubator in a safe place, out of drafts, and confer with a local livestock and poultry store about the ideal food and temperature for the birds you're raising. Every bird has different needs in regard to temperature, food, water and humidity.

How to Make a Repeating Sparrow Trap

How to Make a Repeating Sparrow Trap

Many people seek a humane way to trap and remove invasive house sparrows from their property. House sparrows are a hardy species that was imported to North America from England in the 1800s. They take over nesting sites of native birds, killing their young and eating whatever is available. Traps are available for purchase; however, those with building skills may wish to assemble their own. Chuck Abare, long-time purple marlin fan, provides detailed instructions for building a repeating sparrow trap to remove house sparrow pests.

Instructions

Building the Trap Frame and Counter Balance

    1

    To build the frame for the trap, secure the two 9-inch boards to the inside of the 18-inch boards using the 1 5/8-inch decking screws.

    2

    You may wish to add two 5 1/2 by 1 -inch feet to the bottom, so that it will stand level upon completion. The two feet will be sufficient to lift the frame, as wing nuts will protrude from the bottom of the completed frame.

    3

    To construct the counter balance, mark the gallon jug with a level line approximately 5 1/8 inches from the opening.

    4

    Using the sharp, heavy-duty scissors, cut along the line to remove the bottom, closed end of the jug.

    5

    Measure 1/2 inch from the end of the 12-inch long white pine board. Pre-drill a hole with a 1/16-inch diameter. Measure an inch from that hole and drill another 1/16 inch hole. These holes will be used to secure the gallon jug.

    6

    Measure 1/2 inch from the other end and pre-drill one more hole. This will be used to secure the weight.

    7

    Mark two spots that are one inch apart in the center of your jug. Using a 1/8 inch bit, drill two holes of 1/8 inch in diameter.

    8

    Use the two 6 by -inch long wood screws to affix the jug to the white pine board.

    9

    In the bottom of the film canister, drill a 1/8 inch hole. Remove the canister's cap, and use the 6 screw to secure the canister to the white pine board, on the end that is opposite the jug. This will become the weight in the counter balance.

    10

    Fill the film canister with BBs and secure the cap on.

    11

    Measure 4 inches from the end with the canister and mark along the side of the board. Nail a small finish nail at the mark, leaving inch protruding from the board. Repeat with the opposite side, ensuring that the nails form a straight line. The nails will provide the pivot point of the counter balance.

    12

    Bend the 2-inch by 6-inch aluminum in a U shape with the arms being 1 3/8-inch apart. This aluminum piece will be the bracket for the counter balance pivot.

    13
    Always double check your measurements to ensure accuracy.
    Always double check your measurements to ensure accuracy.

    Measure and mark 1 inch up from the bottom of each bracket arm. Be certain that the mark is centered. Drill holes in each mark, slightly larger than the small finish nails that are the pivot points in the white pine board.

    14

    Use tin snips to cut the corners off the arms to create a triangular shape. File down any sharp spots. When complete, the pivot bracket will have a 2-inch base with a smaller (approximately 1 inch) top where the nails of the pine board insert into the bracket.

    15

    Drill a 5/16-inch diameter hole in the bottom of the bracket. Fit the bracket onto the center of the white pine board.

    16
    The washers are used as spacers and should not be pushed tight.
    The washers are used as spacers and should not be pushed tight.

    Place two washers on each nail, and affix the nails into the pre-drilled holes. Make sure that the washers are loose and not pushed tight against the aluminum.

    17

    Position the counter balance into the frame. Make sure it sits squarely within the frame and will move through its full range of motion. Once in position, mark all four edges of the aluminum bracket onto the frame, so that you can ensure proper placement of the counter balance.

    18

    Disassemble the bracket and reset just the aluminum bracket within the lines. Through the hole in the bottom of the bracket, mark the wood. Transfer the mark to the bottom of the board for drilling by drawing a line perpendicular to the edge of the wood, down the side, to the bottom. Be sure the new mark is in the center of the board. Drill a

    5/16-inch diameter hole.

    19

    Place the counterbalance in place, insert a -20 bolt with washer into the bracket and frame from the top, and secure with another washer and wing nut underneath the frame.

    20

Building the Front Door and Back Panel

    21

    Measure from the top of the frame to the top of the jug opening. This is the location of the top of your hole. Add inch to that number, which will be the center of your

    1 -inch hole.

    22

    Measure horizontally to find the center of your jug.

    23

    On one of the 18-by-10-inch pieces of wood, mark vertically and horizontally to find the drilling spot of your hole. Drill a 1 -inch hole. This lines up with the gallon jug and is where the sparrow will enter the trap.

    24

    Attach the front door using 1 -inch utility hinges on the left side of the plywood.

    25

    Cut a small slot in the approximate center of the plywood door's right side. This slot should slightly larger than the all thread, which is a bolt without a head and thread that runs the entire length. The slot should be approximately 1/2-inch deep into the door. This will be used to secure the door to the frame, while making it easy to access the counter balance inside.

    26

    With the door closed, mark where the center of the slot meets the frame. Drill a hole at the mark that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the all thread bolt.

    27

    Screw the all thread into the hole and close the door. Place a washer and wing nut onto the all thread bolt to secure.

    28

    Now you will repeat with the back of the frame to create an exit for the sparrow. Push the jug down and measure from the bottom of the frame to the bottom lip of the jug. Add inch to find the center and drill a 1 -inch hole in the other 18-by-10-inch plywood. Nail the plywood to the back of the frame using the roofing nails.

Building the Down Chute

    29

    Once the bird is caught, it will need to be transferred to a holding area. You will now create the down chute to carry the bird to the holding area. Using the four small screws, affix the 4 -inch board inside the two 5-inch boards to form a U.

    30

    Complete the square by centering the 8-inch board on the open end and securing with four more small screws. Since the fourth side is longer by 3 3/4 inches, it will overhang the 5-inch boards. This overhang will be used to connect the down chute to the frame.

    31

    Cut off a 10-inch piece of PVC tubing from the bottom (or smaller) end of the 4-inch thin-walled PVC tubing.

    32

    Pre-drill four holes evenly around the tubing and fit it into the down chute frame with the cut end up. Secure.

    33

    Use the hole saw to cut a 1 -inch hole through the center of the 8-inch board and the pipe, which will be snug against it.

    34

    Secure the -by-1-inch cage screen to the top of the frame with short roofing nails. This will allow air flow to the captured bird, but prevent escape.

    35

    Use two decking screws to attach the down chute to the trap. The hole in the back panel must line up accurately with the hole in the 8-inch board. The wire opening will be up and the PVC pipe of the down chute will hang below the trap.

Building the Down Spout and Hanging the Trap

    36

    You will need to build a down spout, which will connect the down chute to the cage below. Measure the circumference of the bottom of the remaining PVC tubing (where you cut the 10-inch piece). Normally, the tube will be approximately 13 inches.

    37

    Measure an inch from the bottom and drill four 3/16 inch holes on each the front, back and sides.

    38

    Cut a12 -by-14-inch of wire cage, leaving the cross wires exposed along the edge.

    39

    Roll the cage and with needle nose pliers. Connect the two sides by wrapping the exposed wires around the first vertical wire. This will secure the closed cage.

    40

    Use the four small screws and fender washers to attach the wire cage to the PVC tube. The bird will travel from the jug inside the trap, to the down chute and into the cage, where it will be trapped until you retrieve it.

    41

    Measure the inside diameter of the cage and shape the 5-inch square piece of wood to fit as a floor. Pre-drill four holes and secure as the bottom of the cage using washers and screws.

    42

    Using the wire-cutting pliers, cut a piece that is big enough for your hand out of the wire cage. This is where you will open the cage to remove the trapped birds. Get as close to the frame as possible to prevent getting scratched when retrieving a bird from the trap.

    43

    From the scrap cage wire, cut a piece that is 1 inch taller and two sections wider than the hole you just cut. This will be the door to the cage.

    44

    Cut off all but two wires on the left. The remaining wires should be near the top and bottom and will act as hinges. Cut off all of the wires except the middle one on the right side. This wire will act as a hook, enabling you to easily open and lock the cage door.

    45

    Hook the two wires on the left to the vertical wire. Bend the wire on the right so that it hooks behind the vertical wire.

    46

    Bend the door slightly so that the tension will cause it to spring back and secure the hook. Squeezing the door should be all that is required to open the cage.

    47

    The finished sparrow trap can be hung on a tree or on the side of a building. You can even install a post in problem areas specifically for the trap. To hang, pre-measure so that the cage hangs about waist high. Secure the trap, and then slide the PVC tubing from the top of the wire cage up onto to the tubing on the trap. Suspend the catch basket with a nail to keep it in place.

    48

    Birds will enter the front of the trap into the jug, which will drop with the weight of the bird. The bird, trying to escape, will enter the drop chute in the back of the frame and drop down to the cage below. There is not enough room for the bird to fly back up the chute. Check your trap daily to release native birds and to properly remove unwanted house sparrows.

Sabtu, 30 Juli 2011

How to Build Dove Bird Houses

How to Build Dove Bird Houses

Mourning doves (zenaida macroura), with their soft gray color, long pointed tail and perky expression, are common avian visitors to backyard bird feeders, city parks, open fields and suburban areas across the United States and southern Canada. Their "cooOOO-coo-coo-coo" song gives them their melancholy name. Unlike other songbirds, doves won't nest in traditional closed birdhouses and prefer a roofed platform on which to build their nests. This platform design is also popular with robins and barn swallows.

Instructions

    1

    Measure with the protractor an 18.2-degree bevel along one 8-inch edge of the roof piece and mark it with a pencil. Cut the bevel with a handsaw or power saw. Sand the edge.

    2

    Measure an 18.2-degree angle along the top (6-inch side opposite the 4.5-inch side) of a side piece. Cut the angle (the piece will lie flush with the roof) with the handsaw or power saw and sand smooth.

    3

    Repeat step 2 with the second side piece.

    4

    Hot-glue the 4.5-inch edge of a side piece to a 7-inch edge of the floor piece. The 90-degree angle of the side piece should be at the corner of the floor. Nail the side in place.

    5

    Repeat Step 4 with the remaining side piece on the other 7-inch edge of the floor. The side pieces now form walls on opposite sides of the floor. The front and back of the platform are currently open. Nail the second side piece to the floor.

    6

    Hot-glue the roof to the top edges of the sides. Make sure the 18.2-degree beveled edge of the roof is in line with the back edges of the sides, and creates a flat surface on which to attach the back piece in the next step. The roof will slope down over the front of the platform. Nail the roof into place.

    7

    Assemble the dove platform and the back piece. The platform currently has a floor, two walls on opposite sides and a roof slanting over the front. Lay the platform on its front so it faces down. Hot-glue around the back edges of the roof, sides and floor, then press the back piece to the platform. The back piece will extend a couple inches above the roof and below the floor of the platform. Nail the platform to the back piece, then set upright with the open front facing forward and the floor of the platform parallel to the ground.

    8

    Nail or screw the back of the birdhouse against a vertical surface, such as a tree trunk, under the eaves of a house or a barn wall, so doves can find it. The platform should be near trees or shrubbery to provide the doves with cover.

Kamis, 28 Juli 2011

DIY Bird Cages

DIY Bird Cages

Bird breeders need plenty of cages for separating parents or newly hatched babies. Prefabricated cages are desirable but expensive. Do-it-yourself bird cages are inexpensive to make and allows you to build a cage to your specific size needs. Built from wire mesh, DIY bird cages are strong enough to hold a nesting box. You can easily clean and sterilize wire mesh cages. The construction makes the cages light-weight and portable. You can even stack the cages for quick storage.

Instructions

    1
    Don't leave jagged edges when cutting the wire mesh.
    Don't leave jagged edges when cutting the wire mesh.

    Cut four square pieces of wire mesh, 18 inches by 18 inches. Use the wire cutters to the wire as close to a weld as possible. Wear gloves and goggles to protect yourself from scratches.

    2

    Lay two of the cut pieces of wire mesh directly on top of each other, on a flat surface. Notice the wire from the top piece matches up with the wire on the bottom piece. Insert a j-clip into the j-clip pliers and wrap the j-clip around the outer two wires of the mesh pieces. Use one j-clip at the top and another at the bottom of the mesh pieces.

    3

    Connect one entire side of the top piece of wire mesh to the bottom piece by wrapping the j-clips around the outer edge wires, every 6 inches. The result is the wire mesh pieces opens like a book. Set the connected wire mesh pieces aside.

    4

    Join the other two sections of wire mesh in the same manner as the first two. Stand the four sides together to form an open-end box. Use the j-clips to secure all four sides together.

    5

    Cut two sections of wire mesh for the top and bottom of the bird cage. Each section should be 18 inches by 18 inches. Lay the top on the open-end wire mesh box. Fasten the top to the box using the j-clips to join the ends to the sides. Repeat the process to attach the bottom to the cage.

    6

    Cut a 6 inch by 6 inch opening in the middle of one of the cage sides, using the wire cutters. Cut a piece of wire mesh that is slightly larger than the 6 inch opening. Line up the top of the larger piece with the top of the opening. Attach the piece to the cage using the j-clips. The "door" flips up when attached at the top. If you prefer to have the door flip down, attach the edges to the bottom of the opening.

    7
    The coil spring keeps tension on the door of the bird cage.
    The coil spring keeps tension on the door of the bird cage.

    Attach a 3 inch piece of wire to each end of a coil spring. Twist one end of the wire onto the bottom of the cage door. Form the other attached wire into a hook so it grabs the wire mesh of the cage and keeps the door closed.

Selasa, 26 Juli 2011

How to Make a Bird Brooder

How to Make a Bird Brooder

If you plan to raise chicks, you must provide a safe environment that allows the birds to develop and grow. A bird brooder is a necessity for healthy chicks because it provides heat, shelter and protection. While commercial brooders are available, it is easy and far cheaper to make your own. Using everyday household materials, you can build a brooder that meets the baby chicks' needs for warmth and safety.

Instructions

    1

    Select a clear, 90-quart plastic container. The container must be clear so you can see the chicks from any angle. Thoroughly clean the container with dish soap and rinse it well with water. Allow it to dry completely.

    2

    Measure two inches inward from all sides of the lid. Cut out the inside of the lid with an X-acto knife, using the two-inch measurements as guides.

    3

    Measure and cut chicken wire to match the size of the entire lid. Use a heavy-duty stapler to attach the wire to the edge of the lid. This is the top for the brooder. The wire allows plenty of ventilation for the chicks.

    4

    Add a safe floor surface to the brooder by covering the bottom of the container with a layer of chick-safe bedding, such as white wood shavings, straw or shredded newspaper. Add an additional layer of shredded paper towels. You can remove the shredded paper towels after the first week but continue to use bedding made especially for chicks. Always replace soiled bedding and paper towels with fresh materials.

    5

    Put a waterer and feeder specially designed for chicks into the brooder. Add food and water. Allow enough space for multiple chicks to drink and eat at the same time. Initially, you may have to sprinkle food on the floor of the brooder to help the chicks find it. Add supplements to the chick feed to help ensure health and proper growth.

    6

    Set up a heat lamp for the chicks. The lamp can be attached to the side of the brooder or suspended above the living space. Test the lamp before moving chicks into the brooder. Use the thermometer to make sure the temperature is 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit under the lamp. The brooder should be large enough so that every chick can be both warmed by the heat lamp and able to move into cooler areas to avoid overheating.

    7

    After you place the chicks in the brooder, observe their behavior to ensure the heat lamp and overall temperature of the brooder is safe. Adjust the temperature as needed, according to how the chicks behave. The chicks are probably too cold if they constantly and loudly peep. If the chicks huddle together in one spot, there is probably a draft in the brooder. If they avoid the heat lamp and stay as far away as possible, they are too hot.

Minggu, 24 Juli 2011

DIY Macaw Stand

DIY Macaw Stand

Not everyone who has a large bird, like a macaw, has a large enough home for a flight cage. Macaws need time out of their cages to stretch and exercise, as well as to bond with their owner. During this time, a macaw needs a safe place to perch, such as a playstand. Stands don't have to be very elaborate to make a bird happy. A simple and sturdy stand does the trick just fine, such as an easy-to-make PVC stand.

Instructions

    1

    Cut the PVC into one 3 foot section, two 2 foot sections and six 1 foot sections.

    2

    Assemble the base of the stand by using the six 1 foot sections of PVC, four caps and three "T" joints to form a capital "I" shape. The middle section of the center "T" joint should point straight upward from the floor. This will be the center post of the stand, so it must be straight.

    3

    Insert the 3 foot PVC section into the center of the base and ensure that it is at a 90 degree angle from the floor.

    4

    Assemble the top of the stand by inserting the 2 foot sections of PVC into the last "T" joint and capping the ends. Cover the exposed PVC pipe by wrapping it in sisal rope and occasionally hot gluing it in place.

    5

    Attach the top perch to the center pole. If the stand is straight, use a rubber mallet to bang together all connection points for a solid feel.

Sabtu, 23 Juli 2011

How to Choose a Cage for a Budgie

Budgerigars, or budgies, are a small parakeet native to the Australian Outback. They are one of the most popular pet birds due to their ease of care, variety of available color mutations and spunky personality. When choosing a cage for a budgie, you should keep in mind that despite their size, budgies are members of the parrot family. This means they are avid chewers, climbers and escape artists.

Instructions

    1

    Choose a cage of an appropriate size for the budgie. Many inexpensive cages sold as "parakeet cages" are more appropriate for tiny birds such as zebra finches. Budgies are very active birds and will do best in a cage that is at least 20 inches wide and 12 inches deep. The height of the cage is less important, but 12 inches is a minimum.

    2

    Measure the spacing between the bars on the cage. Budgies are small birds and can easily become trapped if the spacing is not sufficiently narrow. The distance between cage bars should be no more than 1/2 inch to prevent injury or escape.

    3

    Look at the packaging for the cage to determine what kind of finish it has. Powder-coated cages are an excellent choice, and brass is acceptable for very small birds such as budgies. Stainless steel budgie cages are hard to find, but are extremely durable and easily cleaned. Avoid painted cages, and never buy a wooden, bamboo, or plastic cage, as even a budgie will quickly destroy it.

    4

    Examine the cage to determine how difficult it will be to clean. If you are considering a flight cage, check to see if it can be collapsed or disassembled easily for cleaning. If the cage has a grate, it should slide out easily for daily cleaning. Avoid cages with plastic bottoms, as these tend to collect food debris and droppings, which can mold and cause health problems for your budgie.

    5

    Consider a cage with a matching or built in stand. Although these are less common in cages designed for budgies, they can be quite useful. Most stands are on caster wheels, allowing the cage to be moved easily from room to room, or outdoors.

    6

    Check the latch mechanisms on the main cage door, as well as any feeding or nest box doors. Budgie cages often have guillotine-style feeding doors, which are unsecured. Despite the name, these doors are not usually dangerous, but they are very easy to escape through. Budgies cannot open most cage latches, but unsecured doors will require a stainless steel quick-link or other device to prevent escape.

Selasa, 19 Juli 2011

How to Arrange a Budgie Cage

How to Arrange a Budgie Cage

Choosing a budgie as a pet can be a rewarding decision. Budgies, native to Australia, are sociable birds with brilliant feathers and long life spans. A budgie can live up to 15 years, making it a long-term pet. Budgie cages should be arranged so that the budgies can get as much exercise and nutrition as possible while in their cages. Though budgies should be let outside of their cages for additional exercise often, their cages are their living spaces and should be arranged to accommodate their needs.

Instructions

    1

    Pick a cage for your budgie. The cage bars should be no more than 1/2 inch apart, and the cage should be at least 1 1/2-feet wide by 1 1/3-feet long.

    2

    Arrange wooden perches in your budgies cage. The perches should be different sizes and textures, and they should be staggered throughout the cage, some higher and some lower than others, so that the budgies can exercise flying from perch to perch.

    3

    Place a feeder and water tube or water cup in the cage. Place these in the cage so that the budgies can reach them easily. They should not be placed in tight corners or crowded areas. Also, place a mineral block in the cage for supplemental nutrition for your budgie.

    4

    Hang toys, bells swings and rings in your budgie's cage. Space them out so that your budgie must fly or jump from one toy or perch to the next, providing them with more exercise. Keep the size of your cage in mind. If your cage is too small, adding too many toys and accessories will only crowd your budgie, making it uncomfortable.

    5

    Choose a cage cover for your budgie cage. If lights will be on when the budgie should be resting, you should throw the cover over the cage. A cage cover should block out most light and should not be left on the cage when the budgies are active.

Sabtu, 16 Juli 2011

How to Build Peafowl Cages

How to Build Peafowl Cages

Peafowl cages are tall cages that peafowl, or peacocks, are kept in. They don't need a roof, since this type of bird can't fly. Peafowl cages that have 36-square feet are enough to house a couple of peacocks. Build a simple peafowl cage using treated lumber and chain-link fencing. Treated lumber is intended to be used outdoors and is often used for large cages like this. This type of cage will be strong and durable enough to last for years.

Instructions

    1

    Lay two 96-inch boards flat, parallel and with their outside edges 75 inches apart. Lay two 75-inch boards on top of them at right angles and spaced 89 inches apart. Screw through the 75-inch boards into the 96-inch boards. Use six screws for each end. Repeat this step two more times. Two of these frames will be two sides to your cage and the other will be the door.

    2

    Set a 75-by-96-inch piece fencing on top of one of the frames, on the side of the 75-inch boards that aren't attached to the 96-inch boards. Position the fencing so that the edges are flush with the sides of the frame. Secure the fencing to the frame using ten staples for each board of the frame. Repeat this step to create the other side of the peafowl cage.

    3

    Position the two sides upright so that the 96-inch boards are perpendicular and parallel. Space the sides 67 inches apart and screw two 75-inch boards to a pair of uprights just as you did when building the first two frames. This is the back of your cage. Secure a sheet of fencing over this side just as you did in the last step.

    4

    Secure the last sheet of fencing to the last frame using the rest of your staples. This is the door to your peafowl cage. Screw the last 75-inch boards to the open side of the cage just as you did with the last pair of 75-inch boards on the opposite side.

    5

    Screw two half-hinges to the 96-inch boards so that they're on the opposite the side with the fencing, 24 inches away from each end and so they can fold around the outside corner of the frame. Screw the other pair of half-hinges to one of the 96-inch boards on the cage so that when door closes, it's flush with the cage. Tie the door shut using your wire.

Comparison of Wood Pellets

Comparison of Wood Pellets

There are several brands of wood pellets available for purchase. However, only wood pellets that are sold specifically for the use with birds are safe. Katee is the most popular brand, but there are other manufactures of wood pellets, too. Although there are many similarities between bulk sold wood pellets, only natural, chemical-free wood pellets are safe for your pet bird.

Brands

    Kaytee brand wood pellets are used as bedding and litter by most veternarians and pet stores. You can purchase Kaytee brand wood pellets in 8lb or 25lb bags. Woody Pet also manufactures wood pellets that are safe for domestic and exotic pet birds. However, Woody Pet does not provide the different pound size packages on their website.

Purpose

    Kaytee wood pellets for birds and small animals, such as rabbits and gerbils, are safe to use for both bedding and litter. Generally, birds will chew and forage wood pellets, but will not ingest them. Under normal circumstances, wood pellets absorb up to three times the amount of waste as regular bedding, making them more effective than other types of bedding.

Ingredients

    Wood pellets used for birds must be non-toxic, chemical-free, and sold for the purpose of bird bedding. Home and garden suppliers of wood pellets that are sold in bulk are not safe for your bird. Generally, lawn care and stove burning wood pellets are treated with chemicals that are toxic to birds and other small pets.

Prices

    Wood pellets are sold in bags by the pound. An 8lb bag of Kaytee wood pellets starts at around $6. Prices may vary depending on the pet store you purchase them from. Kaytee products are carried by most local and online pet supply stores. Woody Pet does not sell their products directly, nor do they lists their prices online. As a result, in order to purchase Woody Pet products you have to go to Woody Pet's Website and use their store locator to find your nearest Woody Pet supplier.

Warning

    Do not use wood pellets for your bird that do not specifically indicate they are safe for pets. Kaytee is the largest supplier of natural wood pellets for birds. Wood pellets sold for outdoor purposes are chemically treated and are toxic to birds.

Kamis, 14 Juli 2011

DIY Flight Cages for Pet Birds

DIY Flight Cages for Pet Birds

A flight cage can substantially improve a pet bird's life. Providing a pet bird with a flight cage allows the bird to exercise and therefore reduces the risk of obesity and related health problems. Ideally, a flight cage should be three times the width of a bird's wingspan, six times its length and four times its height (Reference 3). For larger birds, it may be necessary to upgrade the lumber size from 2-by-2 inches to 2-by-4 inches.

Instructions

    1

    Cut four pieces of lumber to the height of your cage. If you wish to use a tray under your cage, add 2 inches to each board. These pieces will be the four corners of your cage.

    2

    Cut the rest of your lumber to fit inside of these four pieces; this means you need to subtract 4 inches from the desired length and width of your cage to get the proper cut length for the rest of your lumber.

    3

    Nail your lumber together to form the rectangular frame of your cage. Remember to leave 2 inches of space at the bottom if you will be using a tray.

    4

    Measure and cut the wire mesh so that it will cover each side of the cage, including the bottom. Attach the wire mesh to the outside of the wood frame using the wood staples.

    5

    Locate an area along the bottom edge of the cage to cut out a door. Make sure that the door is large enough to fit the bird and your hand at the same time. Cut the wire for the door so that the hole has smooth edges.

    6

    Using the wire mesh removed from the door hole as a template, cut a replacement door with smooth edges from unused mesh. Attach the new door to the cage by placing J clips or small O rings along the top edge of the door.

    7

    Screw the hook end of a spring locking hook and eye lock in to the wood frame below the door. For larger birds you might want to use more than one. Be sure that the lock is not too far away from the cage door and is lined up in a way that it can catch on to the wire mesh of the door securely.

Senin, 11 Juli 2011

Homemade Bird Incubator

Homemade Bird Incubator

Whether you or your child are curious about having a bird egg incubator, you can make your own at home with a few simple materials. Homemade bird egg incubators have long been a favorite science fair project, and there are many variations available. A quick trip the hardware store or home improvement center in your neighborhood should allow you to procure all the items you will need to make your own incubator.

Instructions

Making the Incubator

    1

    Purchase a small plastic foam cooler. Place the light bulb socket on the cooler lid and trace the outline. Cut out the circle you traced. Place the socket into the hole and glue it in place with carpenter's glue. Set the lid aside to dry.

    2

    Remove the glass from an 8-inch by 11-inch picture frame. Trace the outline of the glass on the side of the cooler. Cut, leaving about 1/4 inch extra on the inside of the cutout. Apply a line of carpenter's glue around the edge of the glass. Press the glass against the cooler so that the glue holds it firmly in place. Allow at least 30 minutes to dry. (This is your viewing window.)

    3

    Set the cooler upright. Place a small desk fan in a corner of the cooler. Turn the fan so it points upward. Cut a small hole in the top of the lid where the fan cord will be. Place a small bowl of water in the corner next to the fan. The fan and the water will help regulate the heat and humidity in the cooler.

    4

    Layer a small amount of straw or pine straw in the bottom of the cooler to act as nesting material for the eggs. Place a small thermometer in the bottom of the cooler in the area where the eggs will be. Make sure you can see the thermometer reading through the viewing glass.

    5

    Screw a 15-watt lightbulb into the socket. Turn the fan on low. Place the lid on the cooler and turn on the light. Punch several holes in the lid with a screwdriver to help ventilate. Allow the lightbulb and fan to run for several hours. Check the temperature after a few hours to see if you need more or less heat. If you need more heat, replace the 15-watt bulb with a 25-watt bulb, or place some tape over some of the ventilation holes. If you need less heat, punch more holes in the lid. The cooler is now an operational egg incubator.

Minggu, 10 Juli 2011

How to Use Clothespins for Your Canary Cage

A clothespin is an indispensable item for a canary cage. This inexpensive little item can be used in an incredible number of ways, making daily canary care a much easier task.

Instructions

    1

    Fill a small bag or basket with clothespins and store it near your canary cage to ensure that you always have a few handy when you care for your canary.

    2

    Use a clothespin to keep the cage door open or closed. Simply clip the open door to the side of the cage to leave your hands free to clean the cage, refill your bird's food dish or handle your canary.

    3

    Secure multiple food dishes together with a clothespin. This helps reduce spills and reduces clean-up time.

    4

    Use clothespins to help feed your birds by clipping greens or treats to the side or top of the cage. Simply remove the clothespin when your bird has finished eating the item and replace it as often as needed. Be sure to place it in an area that is easy for your canary to access.

    5

    Create small perches by clipping clothespins at different heights to encourage your canary to play in his cage.

    6

    Replace your clothespins on a regular basis to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and molds.

Kamis, 07 Juli 2011

How to Install a Bluebird House

Bluebirds are cavity nesters, preferring bird boxes in open areas such as meadows to nest. Increasing development of rural areas is giving bluebirds fewer places to nest, affecting their population. Providing a bluebird box not only offers these feathery friends a safe place to nest but also offers you an opportunity to observe and enjoy their beauty. The best time to install is mid-winter because they return from the south early in the season, and prefer "weathered" houses to those that are brand new. A more natural bird house is likely to attract more birds.

Instructions

To Install a Birdhouse:

    1

    Bluebirds like wide open spaces at least 100 feet away from bushy or wooded areas, in both suburban and rural locations. In a meadow, field or mowed lawn, dig a hole that is one foot deep and one foot wide.

    2

    Mix concrete in your wheelbarrow according to the package instructions. Insert the pole and pour the mixed concrete around it. Allow the concrete to set overnight until it is completely dry.

    3

    Attach the bluebird house to the fencepost using long screws or nails, ensuring the home is securely connected. Bluebird houses should be no more than eight feet above the ground, and no lower than five feet above the ground. The entrance to the house should face north to northeast to avoid the sun and rain, creating the perfect home for these beautiful birds.

How Large Should You Make Nesting Boxes?

How Large Should You Make Nesting Boxes?

    Nesting boxes are easy to build.
    Nesting boxes are easy to build.

Bird Species

    Barn owls require large nesting boxes.
    Barn owls require large nesting boxes.

    Decide what species of bird you want to attract before building or buying the nesting box. Each species of bird prefers a different size of nesting box. For instance, a bluebird requires a much smaller box than a barn owl.

Nesting Box Location

    Be sure to hang the bird house at the correct height for its size.
    Be sure to hang the bird house at the correct height for its size.

    Consider the location of the nesting box. Don't build a larger nesting box hoping to attract a barn owl if you aren't able to hang it at a height that will attract a barn owl. If there are limits on how high the bird house will be hung, build a nesting box to suit a smaller bird that prefers a lower-hung box.

Bottom Line

    Male eastern bluebird
    Male eastern bluebird

    Nesting boxes can be built in any size. To get the most enjoyment from your nesting box, research the types of birds in your area and build to suit the needs of the breed you hope to attract.

Selasa, 05 Juli 2011

How to Build a Large Bird Cage

How to Build a Large Bird Cage

Pet birds have special needs when it comes to caging. Some birds, like canaries and finches, need cages that re long rather than tall. Other birds, like most parrots, need large cages that can hold lots of toys while still allowing the bird to spread its wings. The general rule of thumb is that bigger is always better. The best way to make sure that your pet bird get the biggest cage that will fit in your house is to build it yourself.

Instructions

    1

    Determine the size you would like your cage to be. Take into account the size of the bird. A large cage for a sun conure is not a large cage for a macaw.

    2

    Measure and cut your untreated lumber to size. Cut four pieces for the width and four pieces for the height.

    3

    Nail the lumber together to form a cube.

    4

    Pick the side that you would like to be the door. Measure the inside of the frame. Cut another four pieces of wood and nail them together so the new frame fits inside the larger one.

    5

    Secure the door frame to the cube frame with hinges so the door opens out.

    6

    Use wire cutters to cut the wire mesh into panels the size of each side of the cube. Secure the mesh to the outside of the frame with staples.

    7

    Cut 2-inch blocks of lumber, four or six of them depending on how big your cage is, to be used as feet and attach them with nails along the bottom of the cage.

    8

    Install a slide lock on the door frame to keep the door closed.

    9

    Place the cage on top of a tray or tarp to keep the bird's mess from landing on the floor.

Senin, 04 Juli 2011

Cockatiel Incubator Instructions

Cockatiel Incubator Instructions

Cockatiels are small, friendly parrots often kept as pets. Cockatiels are usually attentive parents when they breed, however, occasionally a cockatiel abandons its eggs. This leaves you with the responsibility of hatching the eggs and raising the chicks yourself. It is important for cockatiel eggs to be exposed to the proper temperatures and humidity levels to hatch. This requires the use of an incubator. You can make an incubator out of materials found in pet stores or around your home.

Instructions

    1

    Place the lid onto the cooler. Place the light socket onto the top of the lid and trace a circle around it.

    2

    Cut around the circle using a sharp knife. Slip the lightbulb end of the light fixture through the hole, leaving the switch outside the lid. The fixture should fit securely into the lid.

    3

    Cut a hole into the cooler 1/2 inch smaller than your glass. Brush away any bits of styrofoam. Apply a line of glue around the hole and place the glass onto the glue, covering the hole. Allow the glue to dry overnight.

    4

    Use a screwdriver or pencil to poke a line of holes along the top perimeter of the cooler. Poke as many holes as possible as these make for good ventilation in the incubator.

    5

    Place a small fan into a corner of the incubator to circulate air. Make sure the grate on the fan is small enough that the chicks cannot get stuck in the fan and become injured.

    6

    Fill a small dish with water. Cover the dish with cheesecloth and secure it tightly with a rubber band. Place the dish into a corner of the incubator to provide proper humidity.

    7

    Attach an aquarium thermometer onto the inside of the glass on the incubator. Place a humidity gauge (available in the reptile section of pet-supply stores) into the incubator near the thermometer where it is easy to read.

    8

    Place the lid onto the incubator, turn on the light and the fan and allow the temperature in the incubator to reach 99 to 100 degrees. Allow the humidity level to reach 50 to 60 percent.

    9

    Place the eggs onto a soft towel in the bottom of the incubator. Place the lid securely onto the incubator and wait for eggs to hatch.

How to Make a Homemade Nest for Baby Birds

How to Make a Homemade Nest for Baby Birds

If you have found a baby bird or birds who have fallen from their nest and you cannot reach the nest, or if their nest has been destroyed in a storm or because their tree was cut down, you can help the birds by making them a new nest. Work quickly and stay calm, and your wild feathered friends will be back in their element in no time.

Instructions

    1

    Place baby birds in a warm, quiet, safe spot until you can build a new nest. A small box lined with paper towel works fine.

    2

    Thoroughly clean and dry a margarine tub.

    3

    Using a pen or pocket knife, poke several drainage holes in the bottom of the margarine tub. Some wildlife rehabilitators recommend using a hot nail to burn holes so there are no ragged edges.

    4

    Line the nest. Some rehabilitators argue that you should use parts of the original nest if possible, while others say that the nest harbors parasites. Some swear by grass and leaves, while others say these substances may get moldy. Some argue for tissue, dryer lint, or even leaving the tub bare. However, keeping baby birds on a flat surface may cause "splay leg," a muscular deformity from the babies' feet having nothing to grip and work the muscles. Clean twigs topped with dried grass is one often agreed-upon method.

    5

    Secure the nest in a shaded area of a tree as close as possible to where the old nest was located. Use twine or duct tape to bind the nest to the tree trunk or a sturdy branch.

    6

    Place the baby birds in their new nest. Ideally, the parent birds should see you do this.

    7

    Observe from a distance. If the parents do not return to the nest after two hours, call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

Jumat, 01 Juli 2011

How to Make a Bird Cage Cover

One of the most important accessories for your bird is a cage cover, preferably one that will last for many years. A store-bought cage cover can provide a safe, warm, cozy, dark environment for your bird to sleep in, but it can be expensive.
In contrast, a well-crafted homemade bird cage cover offers all the benefits of a store-bought version but can save you money. Plus, you can choose its fabric to match your decor.

Instructions

    1

    Measure the cage, including the front, back, sides and top. Measure the top especially carefully, taking into account whether your cage is flat or domed, or if it is topped with a play surface.

    2

    Base your selection of fabric on your climate and the overall warmth of your house. Birds living in a cold climate and/or in a drafty home may benefit from a thick, warm cover material. Add up your cage measurements (based on 45-inch-wide fabric) to determine how much material you need.

    3

    Add 5/8 inch to each side of your cage measurements for seam allowance, and cut out one piece of fabric per side of your cage. Cut out a piece that will fit the top, too.

    4

    Sew the sides of the cage cover to the back (right sides of the fabric together) and sew the top to three of the sides. Hem the bottom of the three sides and the unsewn edges of the side panels.

    5

    Sew the front panel to the top piece, but not to the sides. Hem the sides and bottom of the front panel.

    6

    Sew Velcro pieces to the edges of the front panel and the corresponding pieces to the hemmed edges of the side panels. The Velcro will keep the front panel in place at night.