Sabtu, 27 Agustus 2011

How to Build a Cage for Pet Pigeons

How to Build a Cage for Pet Pigeons

Building a cage for a pet pigeon yourself is a cheaper alternative to purchasing an expensive birdcage from a pet store. A cage for a pigeon must be large enough that the bird can fully extend its wings. It also needs a perch that the pigeon can hop up onto. Build your own pigeon cage by assembling a few wire storage cubes, building a perch, laying down newspaper and creating a door with twist ties.

Instructions

    1

    Assemble three wire storage cubes together so that they lay horizontally on the floor. The cage should be three cubes long and one cube wide. Leave the front of the center cube open to serve as a door. If desired, add a second set of wire storage cubes to the cage to create an even larger living area for your pigeon.

    2

    Place a perch in the cage by attaching one of the panels in the corner of the cage 3 inches off the ground with twist ties. The pigeon needs to be able to hop up to the perch and stand straight up on it. If you want to place a perch higher than hopping range, you will need to make the cage two cubes wide so the pigeon can fly up to it.

    3

    Secure the open door panel to the cage with twist ties or key rings.

    4

    Lay old newspaper down on the base of all the panels.

    5

    Slide an old towel under the cage. Lift the sides of the towel up so that they cover the bottom 2 inches of the cage, all the way around. Attach the towel to the cage with binder clips. The towel prevents seeds from flying out of the cage and helps contain water spills.

    6

    Lay another old towel over the cube containing the perch so that all three outside panels are covered.

    7

    Insert small water and food bowls in the cage.

    8

    Place the cage against a wall so that the pigeon has cover from multiple sides.

Jumat, 26 Agustus 2011

How to Build a Falcon Cage

How to Build a Falcon Cage

A falcon cage should provide several amenities, including protection, healthy air exchange and a perch. Falcons must be protected from possible predators such as dogs, eagles and coyotes. They need fresh air, even in cold weather. Perches help falcons to feel secure and to look out at their surroundings. A falcon cage can be as small as 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet for a smaller falcon such as a kestrel, but for larger birds such as the red-tailed hawk, a cage should measure about 8 feet by 10 feet by 8 feet.

Instructions

    1

    Dig four 12-inch holes with a post hole digger where you want the corners of your cage to be, and insert 4-inch-by-4-inch posts into the holes. Secure the posts by filling in any extra space around the posts with dirt.

    2

    Cut 2-inch-by-6-inch lumber long enough to reach from one corner post to another. Lay the lumber on their 2-inch sides along the four sides of the posts to form a square that is flush with the ground. Secure the lumber by screwing them into the posts with 3-inch screws and a power drill.

    3

    Cut four more pieces of 2-inch-by-6-inch lumber the same size as the first four. Attach the lumber to the posts in the same manner as in Step 2, but attach this set at the top of the posts. This step works best if you have a friend or assistant to hold the lumber up while you screw the boards to the posts.

    4

    Lay a piece of corrugated metal or plastic across the top of the cage to form a roof. Drill holes in the corners of the metal or plastic that correspond with the four vertical posts. Attach the roof to the posts by sinking screws through the drilled holes and into the posts. You will need a ladder for this step. Ask a friend to hold the ladder steady while you use the drill.

    5

    Measure the height of your falcon cage and the width of each of the four sides. Use wire cutters to cut chain link fencing for each of the four sides. Lay the chain link fencing across each side, and secure it to the posts and 2-inch-by-6-inch lumber using a heavy-duty staple gun or U-shaped fasteners. Leave one side of one wall unfastened so you can pull it open and use it as a door. Install a latch on this open side to secure the wall when you want the cage closed.

    6

    Insert chain link fencing slats along at least two sides of the falcon cage. Falcons enjoy some privacy, and the slats will provide the falcon with shade on sunny days.

    7

    Build several perches to install in the cage. You can make a simple perch out of two terracotta pots. Glue the bottoms of the pots together with construction adhesive. Stand the pots up, and fill the upper pot with pea gravel or packed-down soil. You can also pull driftwood or old tires into the cage for a variety of perches that keep the falcon's feet in shape.

    8

    Shovel bedding into the cage, and spread it across the floor. Appropriate bedding for falcons includes pea gravel, rubber mats, artificial grass turf, sand, wood shavings and straw.

Rabu, 24 Agustus 2011

Homemade Parrot Gyms

Homemade Parrot Gyms

Parrots are among the more intelligent of creatures. Parrots are certainly popular companion pets, but due to their inquisitive and intelligent nature, require regular attention and an area in which to play and explore. A parrot gym offers these birds an opportunity to exercise in safety, while keeping them mentally stimulated at the same time.

Instructions

    1

    Place the 3 by 3 board on clean and level outdoor area and cover it with self adhesive plastic.

    2

    Mark a point, approximately 1 inch in from each of the four corners.

    3

    Drill a 1-inch diameter hole at each of the marked point. Lightly sand the inside of each hole, using a strip of emery paper.

    4

    Place the first 22-inch doweling stick in the bench mounted vice and drill a 1/2-inch hole, 3 inches from one end. Drill right through the stick. Turn the 22-inch doweling stick slightly in the vice and drill a second hole, 10 inches down from the first hole, but in a plane that is perpendicular to the first hole. Drill right through the stick.

    5

    Repeat the above step for the second, third and fourth 22-inch long doweling sticks.

    6

    Spread a thin layer of wood glue around the opposite end to where the holes were drilled, on the first 22-inch long doweling stick.

    7

    Position this doweling stick into one of the four holes in the 3-foot by 3-foot board.

    8

    Spread a thin layer of wood glue around the opposite end to where the holes were drilled, on the second 22-inch long doweling stick.

    9

    Position this doweling stick in the second hole in the 3 by 3 board. Ensure that the top holes in both doweling sticks are in line with each other.

    10

    Spread a thin layer of wood glue around the opposite ends to where the holes were drilled, on the third and fourth 22-inch long doweling sticks.

    11

    Position these doweling stick in the third and fourth holes in the 3 by 3 board. Ensure that the top holes in both doweling sticks are in line with each other.

    12

    Spread a thin layer of wood glue in the top holes in all four 22-inch long doweling sticks. Place one of the 82-inch long doweling sticks between the first and second vertical, 22-inch long doweling sticks. Place the second 82-inch long doweling stick between the third and forth vertical, 22-inch long doweling sticks.

    13

    Spread a thin layer of wood glue in the lower holes in all four 22-inch long doweling sticks. Place the third 82-inch long doweling stick between the first and third vertical, 22-inch long doweling sticks. Place the last 82-inch long doweling stick between the second and fourth vertical, 22-inch long doweling sticks.

    14

    Allow the wood glue to cure overnight.

    15

    Tie the assorted parrot toys, bells and metal mirrors onto the parrot gym at various points, using cable ties. The parrot will bite through and remove all items eventually, which allows you to replace them with new and novel items, or to reposition them in novel positions.

    16

    Position two store-bought parrot ladders against the horizontal doweling sticks and secure well with soft binding wire.

Minggu, 21 Agustus 2011

How to Build Barrell Nest Boxes for Macaws

How to Build Barrell Nest Boxes for Macaws

Macaws are some of the largest members of the parrot family. Macaws kept as pets include the green wing macaw, blue and gold macaw, hyacinth macaw, and scarlet macaw. Due to their large size, conventional nest boxes do not work for macaws. Because of their strong beaks and tendency to chew, the nest must be made out of something that the birds cannot quickly destroy. Many breeders use large barrels mounted in the aviary for their macaws. Barrels are a perfect size, easy to replace, and easy to clean. Barrels made of metal and wood are ideal.

Instructions

How to Build a Barrel Nest Box for Macaws

    1

    Locate an empty barrel that is at least 30 inches in diameter. Go to your local brewery and see if you can purchase an empty beer barrel for a reasonable price. If you are not comfortable using a metal barrel, you can contact a winery in your area and inquire as to how to procure a wooden barrel.

    2

    Thoroughly clean the barrel using soap and warm water. Scrub the barrel vigorously with a brush to remove any residues or chemicals. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.

    3

    Mark the side of the barrel where you wish to create the door, or entry hole. Generally barrels are mounted in the aviary horizontally. The best placement for an entry hole would be in the middle of the barrel. The hole should be at least eight inches tall, six and a half inches wide, and a rectangular shape.

    4

    Use a band saw to carefully saw the entry hole in the barrel. Once complete, check the entry hole for any sharp points or rough edges. Smooth any sharp or rough areas with the file (for a metal barrel) or sandpaper (for a wooden barrel).

    5

    Mount the barrel in the aviary. Generally nesting boxes are mounted on a platform in the aviary to provide proper support. The barrels are secured in place with wire. Place in an area that is out of direct sunlight. Take care to place the barrel in such a manner that rain won't be able to run into the entry hole. Fill the bottom of the barrel with pine shavings to serve as bedding for your macaws.

    To clean the barrel simply remove from the mount and remove the dirtied shavings. Your barrel may have a removable end or lid, but if it does not, dumping the shavings out through the entry hole and rinsing out well will suffice.

    6

    Introduce your macaws to the barrel. Allow them ample time to get used to it, and observe them closely. Make any changes to the placement of the barrel as necessary.

Jumat, 19 Agustus 2011

How to Keep Humidity in the Incubator

How to Keep Humidity in the Incubator

The humidity in an incubator is read from a hygrometer, which consists of two thermometers. One of these contains a wick, which needs to be kept wet. The "wet-bulb" reading, together with that from the second, dry thermometer, are taken and compared with a chart, which is used to convert these wet-bulb/dry-bulb figures into percentage humidity. Humidity in the incubator is somewhat influenced by that of the environment. The humidity within an incubator is best controlled by adjusting the surface area of water that has been placed in the incubator. The following humidity readings are for poultry.

Instructions

    1

    Fill the glass vile in which the wick from the wet-bulb hygrometer rests, with water. Place this hygrometer into the incubator.

    2

    Fill one of the small bowls with water and place it carefully into the incubator.

    3

    Set the thermostat on the heater for 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

    4

    Close the door of the incubator and wait for 24 hours for the humidity to stabilize.

    5

    Open the door of the incubator and take the temperature reading and the humidity reading, using the conversion chart to do so. The humidity should be between 60 and 65 percent during the first 18 days of incubation.

    6

    Fill the second bowel (medium) with water and place it in the incubator, if the humidity is lower than 50 to 55 percent. The humidity within the incubator is influenced by the humidity in the environment. During the months of January and February, with the low humidity associated with these months, it is difficult to maintain a high humidity in an incubator. The larger the surface area of water in the incubator, the higher the humidity, and this is why a second bowel is added at this point.

    7

    Remove the first bowl and replace it with a smaller bowel, if the humidity is higher than 50 to 55 percent. This situation is likely to develop during the months of June and July, then the outside humidity is high.

    8

    Close the incubator door and wait a day to check if the humidity is closer to the desired reading.

Kamis, 18 Agustus 2011

How to Build Brick Kilns

How to Build Brick Kilns

Bricks are a good choice for building kilns, since they can endure high heat; furthermore, brick kilns retain most of their heat inside the structure. Hard firebrick is available at hardware stores for a reasonable price, making a home-built brick kiln a cost-effective alternative for hobby potters who do not want to purchase an expensive electric kiln. Brick kilns are ideal for firing clay and pottery; however, they do not work for stoneware, which requires higher temperatures than can be generated in a brick kiln.

Instructions

    1

    Create the brick kiln plan and prepare a blueprint. Decide how large you want the kiln, and mark the dimensions on the blueprint.

    2

    Build a level base for the kiln by digging into the ground. Be sure to measure the size of the kiln's base so that the hole is sufficient.

    3

    Place your bricks in a square to cover the base. Do not mortar these bricks, but simply put them close together.

    4

    Construct a brick wall atop the base on one side by staggering the bricks. Use a pencil to mark bricks that must be cut to fit gaps, and cut them with a miter saw. The size of the brick wall must match the length of the base, which is also the height of the wall. Use high-heat mortar between the bricks to affix them. Repeat the procedure on the other three sides.

    5

    Put your control box on the outside of the brick kiln. Drill holes so the coils can pass through into the kiln. Cover the kiln with a metal sheet to create the top of the structure.

    ..

How to Find the Best Cage for a Cockatiel

Since your cockatiel will be spending much of its time in its cage, it's important that you select a cage that will make your pet feel comfortable and secure.

Instructions

    1

    Select a large cage so the bird will have plenty of room to move about inside. It should be able to spread its wings easily without hitting the sides.

    2

    Look for a square cage that allows the bird to nest in the corners and feel safe.

    3

    Avoid round cages where the bars bend to meet in the center - the bird's toes or beak can get caught in this spot.

    4

    Opt for a cage with plastic, coated bars if you want something that will look nice and be easy to clean.

    5

    Understand that block cages made of welded wire are a less expensive choice, but if you go this route, use vinegar and water to clean the cage and remove any excess zinc, which could poison the bird.

    6

    Be sure that the cage bars are not more that 3/4 of an inch apart, so your bird won't be able to stick its head through the openings.

    7

    Check the cage door to be sure that it is large enough that you can stick your hand in, with your bird perched on your hand, without the bird having to duck down.

    8

    Equip the cage with perches and toys to keep the cockatiel occupied. Make sure the cage is at least 16 inches high to accommodate two levels of perches.

    9

    Select a cage that is wider than high since the bird will spend much of its time on the ground floor.

    10

    Look for a grate on the floor, to keep the bird from sitting in its droppings.

How to Build a Birdhouse for a Purple Finch

How to Build a Birdhouse for a Purple Finch

The purple finch (Carpodacus purpureus) is a lively, musical songbird native to eastern North America. With its light brown body and vivid reddish-purple streaks over its face, chest and back, the bird is a common sight at backyard feeders, especially when sunflower seeds are available. Slightly larger and chunkier than the similar-looking house finch, purple finches prefer cool coniferous forests, woodsy suburbs and habitat along streams in summer. In winter they frequent backyards, hedgerows, fields, meadows and forests. Purple finches prefer to build nests in tree branches, but determined birders might lure them with this simple box house with a hinged lid that lifts for cleaning and locks to keep out predators.

Instructions

Cut Ventilation Holes, Bevels and Entrance Hole

    1

    Cut four 1/2-inch corners off the floor piece.

    2

    Measure a 14-degree bevel on the side piece at the corner formed by the 8 1/2-inch edge and the sloping edge. Cut off the corner along the measurement. The 14-degree bevel will provide ventilation and allow the roof to slope smoothly and lift up on a hinge.

    3

    Repeat Step 2 with the other side piece.

    4

    Cut a 14-degree bevel on one of the 7 1/2-inch edges of the front piece. The bevel allows the roof to lay flush against the top edge of the house's front.

    5

    Cut a 14-degree bevel on one of the 7 1/2-inch edges of the roof piece. This edge will be hinged to the back of the house.

    6

    Drill a hole 2 inches in diameter in the front piece, 3 1/2 inches up from the bottom edge and equidistant from both sides. The hole will serve as the entrance.

Assemble the House

    7

    Align the 6-inch edge of one of the side pieces perpendicularly to an edge of the floor piece. Nail into place.

    8

    Repeat Step 2 with the other side piece, aligning opposite the already-installed side. Make sure the long edges of the side are on the same plane.

    9

    Align the front piece perpendicularly to the floor piece and to the 7-inch edges of the side pieces. The bevel at the top of the front piece should be sloping toward the front of the house to create a straight line from the back of the house to the front. Nail into place.

    10

    Lay the house, which now consists of a floor, two sides and front, on its face. Center the back piece over the house. Nail into place along the back edges of the sides and floor.

    11

    Turn the house upright so the back is vertical, the floor is parallel to the ground and the entrance hole faces forward.

Attach the Roof

    12

    Center the roof piece on the house with its beveled edge flush against the back and sides of the house. The roof will overhang the entrance hole on the front of the house.

    13

    Position the hinge against the back of the house and the top of the roof to create a liftable door. Screw the hinge into place.

    14

    Attach the hook latch to one side of the house and the roof. When unlatched, the roof can be lifted for cleaning; when latched, predators will be kept out.

Rabu, 17 Agustus 2011

Cage Size for a Cockatoo

Cage Size for a Cockatoo

Cockatoos are large birds that need a great deal of cage space to prevent muscle atrophy and stress-related disorders, such as feather-picking and screaming. The minimum inside cage size for a single cockatoo is one and one-half the width of the bird's adult wingspan. Knowing what to look for in a bird cage increases the chance of selecting the right cage, one that can safely accommodate toys, perches and feeding stations.

Cage Size Requirements

    With a wingspan of 12 inches or more, the minimum cage size for a single cockatoo is 3 feet wide by 2 feet deep by 3 feet high. However, the larger the cage the better. Because cockatoos are sensitive to stress and considered shy, consider investing in a high-quality cage that provides more than the minimum space. A quality cage that will offer plenty of living space can often equal or exceed the the price of the bird.

Cage Construction

    Cage construction is as important as cage sizing. Cockatoos can chew through cages made from wood or plastic in a matter of minutes. Low-quality alloy metal cages can also be clipped with the strong beak of the cockatoo; not to mention that alloys such as zinc, nickel and galvanized steel are fatally toxic to birds. Stainless steel and powder-coated cages provide safe, secure housing that holds up to the wear and tear of larger parrot species.

Benefits of Aviaries

    Aviaries are large cages that can hold up to two larger cockatoos and several smaller species of parrots comfortably. The benefits of good-quality aviaries are that they provide enough space to allow for several layers of habitat, different perches of varying sizes and enough room for morning and evening wing stretches. Larger aviaries are better because cockatoos present constant challenges for their owners to prevent behavioral disorders.

Considerations

    Potential cockatoo owners should consider selecting a cage and purchasing all of the required items, such as habitat enrichment toys, perches, natural-textured toys and cage cover before bringing home a pet cockatoo. Also consider volunteering at a cockatoo rescue aviary to learn more about the species and the 40-year commitment that comes with them. Having time to develop a good base of knowledge about the cockatoo before obtaining one can result in a loving, lifetime relationship.

Minggu, 14 Agustus 2011

How to Build a Screech Owl House

Screech owls are the smallest species of owl in the United States. They live in mixed woodlands, parklands and wooded suburban areas. If you live near a lot of trees, you probably live near screech owls. To help screech owls and maybe to watch them in your own backyard, you can build a screech owl house.

Instructions

    1

    Mark all the cuts in the wood you will make. Measure and mark two 32 x 7.75-inch pieces for the back of the box and mark it with the pencil. Measure and mark two 8.5 x 7.75-inch pieces for the bottom; and 16.75 x 7.75-inch for the front, then mark them, too. Measure and mark a piece 12 x 11.25 inch long by the full width of the board for the top of the house. Lastly, measure and mark a 1 x 11.25-inch piece.

    2

    Using the saw, cut along your markings.

    3

    To make the sides of the house, measure 17 inches on one side of the board, then 18.5 inches on the other side. The width of the sides should be 10 inches.

    4

    Draw a diagonal line connecting the two sides.

    5

    Cut out the sides.

    6

    Drill two 0.5-inch holes at the top of each side. These holes will be ventilation for the owl.

    7

    Drill five 0.5-inch holes at the bottom of each side. These holes will allow rain water to spill out of the box so that it does not flood.

    8

    Drill a 3-inch entrance 4-inch under the top of the front piece hole using the 3-inch hole saw.

    9

    Use the knife of chisel to make horizontal scratches beneath the entrance hole on the inside of the front wall. These scratches will help young owls to climb out.

    10

    On the back piece, measure 7 inches from the bottom, marking where the sides will go.

    11

    Screw the side pieces to the back piece using 3 screws to hold the sides in place. The top of the sides should slope to the front so the roof can be at an angle.

    12

    Screw the bottom piece to the back and sides. Use 3 screws on each side to secure it.

    13

    Screw the front piece to the bottom and side pieces. Use 3 screws on each side and along the bottom edge to secure it.

    14

    Cut the back end of the top piece at an angle. This will allow it to fit against the back wall.

    15

    With the two hinges, attach the top to the back. The roof should protrude about 1 inch over the front and back walls.

    16

    Using the brass screw and washer, attach the top of the house to the front. This set up will keep the roof on securely while the box hangs, while the box will be easy to open when you need to clean the inside.

    17

    Glue and nail the 1 x 11.25-inch piece to the back of the house above the hinges. This will help keep rain out of the house. Caulk the end of the piece to the back.

How to Repaint Parrot Cages

How to Repaint Parrot Cages

Parrots climb, scratch and chew everything they can get onto, including their cage bars. The paint on parrot cages becomes worn and peels over time. Older metal cages look dingy and rusted. Peeling paint and rust is not just unattractive, it can also hurt your parrot if she chews and eats some. Restore your parrot cage by removing the old paint and rust, then applying a fresh coat of bird-safe paint. Use only nontoxic paint that is free of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Paint containing VOCs can kill your parrot, even after the paint has dried.

Instructions

    1

    Remove your parrot and everything else from his cage and relocate him to a temporary cage where he can live for seven days or more.

    2

    Remove old paint from the cage bars with a sandblaster. Scrub the cage bars with a wire brush if you do not have a sandblaster and would rather not rent one. Leave no paint behind, otherwise your new paint layers will peel off.

    3

    Clean off any rust with a steel wool pad soaked in white vinegar.

    4

    Clean the cage with a bleach and water solution, then rinse thoroughly with a garden hose. Allow the cage to dry.

    5

    Lay down a drop cloth or sheets of newspaper either outside or in a well-ventilated indoor area. Place the cage on top to avoid accidentally painting anything else.

    6

    Shake a can of spray primer well, put the nozzle up to the cage bars and spray a thin layer of primer on the bars. Cover all of the bars--inside, outside, top and bottom. Make sure there is no bare metal. Allow the primer to dry according to the manufacturer's directions.

    7

    Spray on a thin layer of nontoxic VOC-free spray paint in the same manner. Allow the paint to dry according to the manufacturer's directions. Apply two or three more thin layers of paint.

    8

    Let the paint cure for a week or longer before replacing your parrot. Follow any additional directions on drying and curing time, as nontoxic paint is only safe for birds when the paint is fully cured. Fumes from wet paint can be hazardous to your parrot.

Kamis, 11 Agustus 2011

How to Make a Parrot Sweater

How to Make a Parrot Sweater

Parrots can get bored or nervous, just like people, and when they do, they sometimes pick and pull out the feathers on their chest and stomach. This causes parrot "jelly belly," an unsightly raw front area with bare patches. A parrot sweater is a soft-knitted covering for a bird's body that prevents it from pulling out its feathers. Wearing the sweater allows the feathers to grow back, restoring the bird's healthy good looks.

Instructions

    1

    Measure your parrot from the neck to the base of its tail. Add 1 inch.

    2

    Measure a thin cotton sock from the opening down the length you calculated by measuring your bird. Mark this spot with a pen. Cut the sock across the entire width at this point.

    3

    Slit the sock with the scissors from the opening you just cut to a point 1 inch below the top.

    4

    Turn the raw edges of the sock toward the inside using a 1/4-inch fold, both the bottom edge and the slit up the side. Stitch the folds closed using thin sewing thread.

    5

    Sew half of a Velcro dot set next to the slit, 1 inch above the bottom opening. Stitch the other half of the dot set on the other half of the slit at the same height. This will be the closure at the back of the sweater.

    6

    Sew wooden or plastic beads or buttons onto the front of the sweater for your parrot to bite on, to prevent it from pulling at the sweater.

    7

    Slip the sweater cuff over your parrot's head and fasten the Velcro dot in back below its wings. The buttons will show on its chest within easy reach of its beak.

Selasa, 09 Agustus 2011

Hanging a Birdcage

Hanging a Birdcage

A hanging birdcage adds a decorative touch to a room and allows your pet to live somewhere high above the ground where it is natural for a bird to be. Hanging your cage also means that you do not have to sacrifice a large space on a counter or table. Furthermore, it keeps your bird away from cats and young children. A hanging birdcage comes with a hook on the top that you allows you to secure the cage to a chain hooked to the ceiling. Do not attempt to hang a cage that is not designed for hanging.

Instructions

    1

    Select a location for your birdcage. Choose a place without anything underneath it that could be ruined by water or food that your bird may expel from the birdcage. The place should be somewhere that you will not bump into the cage when you walk by and somewhere that allows you to easily sweep up any mess.

    2

    Locate a safe place to hang your cage with a stud finder. Flip on the power switch and listen for the beep that lets you know the stud finder is ready. Step onto the stepladder to reach the ceiling. Hold the stud finder flat against the ceiling, press the locator button down and move it slowly across the area you selected for your birdcage. Stop when the lights on your stud finder turn red, which indicates it has found a stud. Mark the spot with your pencil.

    3

    Drill a hole on the marked spot on the ceiling to create a hole for the ceiling hook. Insert the hook and screw it in by hand until the threads are no longer visible.

    4

    Hang a chain from the ceiling hook and then hang the birdcage from the chain. Adjust the length of the chain if necessary so that your birdcage is high enough to be safe from predators and low enough that you do not need a ladder to get to it.

Minggu, 07 Agustus 2011

Do-it-Yourself Pet Bird Table Stand

Making a table stand for your pet bird is a relatively easy and inexpensive project. The stand can be made out of wood or PVC pipes. Both will provide a sturdy perch for your pet that fits easily on a table.

Materials

    To build a bird table stand, you'll need a sturdy wooden base--a -inch thick plywood square that's 1-by-1 foot should do. You'll also need a PVC tee piece that you can purchase at any hardware store. To build the perch, you can either use -inch to 1-inch PVC pipes that will fit right into the tee piece or use the same size wooden dowels. If you use PVC, they should screw in the tee piece. If you use wood, you'll have to glue the dowels in the pipe fittings. Along with the main components, you'll also need sandpaper, glue, PVC caps, wood screws and a drill.

Sanding

    You should sand all the wood before use to make sure there are no rough edges. You don't want your bird to get splinters. Sanding also prevents crevices that can hold dirt and bacteria. You'll want to consider using untreated, exterior-quality plywood in case of spills or water-based damage. You may also want to stick a piece of vinyl flooring over the wood base to make it even more waterproof.

Putting it Together

    Use a metal or PVC flange that will hold the tee piece to the base. Drill this in the middle of the base. Make sure to mark where the screw holes are before drilling. If you're using a PVC flange, you can merely glue this to the base. Give it 24 hours to dry before attaching the rest of the pieces. To have an even and stable stand, ensure that the perch length is the same as the length of the vertical part of the tee.

Sabtu, 06 Agustus 2011

How to Build a Sparrow Bird House

How to Build a Sparrow Bird House

Small, active and musical, sparrows (families Passeridae and Emberizidae) are common songbirds across North America. Different species live in every possible habitat, from city streets to isolated salt marshes to scrubby chaparral country. A few---fox, white-throated, song, chipping and the ubiquitous house sparrows---will appear in backyards, city parks and suburbs. While many species prefer to build loose nests of twigs and soft plant fibers in the forks of trees or bushes, they may be tempted to nest in a handmade sparrow birdhouse.

Sparrow houses resemble bluebird houses in construction, with a small boxy shape, entrance hole and swinging door on one side to allow seasonal cleaning. If you don't want to attract house sparrows, don't place a perch on the house: The house sparrow is one of the few species that use them.

Instructions

Drill Entrance and Ventilation Holes

    1

    Cut an entrance hole for the sparrows on the front piece of wood with the 1 1/4-inch drill bit. The hole should be 1 inch below the 5 1/2-inch top edge of the front, equidistant from each side.

    2

    Drill two ventilation holes with the 1/4-inch drill bit in each side piece. The holes should be positioned in the top left and right corners.

    3

    Drill four ventilation holes in the floor piece with the 1/4-inch drill bit, one in each corner.

Assemble the Sparrow House

    4

    Lay the floor piece on a work surface. Position the 5 1/2-inch edge of a side piece (opposite the ventilation holes) perpendicular to a 5 1/2-inch edge of the floor piece. Nail the side to the floor.

    5

    Position the front piece along a 4-inch edge of the floor, flush with the side piece's edge. The floor will be slightly shorter than the front piece to allow for the other side to pivot open. Nail the front into place.

    6

    Lay the roof piece flat on top of the side and front pieces. Make sure the back edge of the roof (opposite the front of the birdhouse) is flush with the back edge of the side. This creates a flat surface on which to attach the back piece in the next step. The front edge of the roof overhangs the entrance of the birdhouse. Nail the roof onto the house.

    7

    Attach the back piece. The house currently has a floor, front, roof and one side. Lay the house on its front with the entrance hole facing down. Place the back piece onto it with the open side of the house flush with the edge of the back piece (you will attach a hinge here to connect the door in the next section). Nail the back piece to the house along the side, floor and roof edges.

    8

    Turn the house right-side up so the back is vertical, the floor is parallel to the ground and the entrance hole faces forward.

Attach the Hinged Door and Perch

    9

    Place the second side piece against the birdhouse to create a door. The bottom edge should be flush with the underside of the floor, while the back edge of the side should be perpendicular against the back piece.

    10

    Nail the 1-inch hinge to the back piece and to the side piece to create a movable door.

    11

    Nail the latch to the underside of the birdhouse so the door is connected to the floor. Unhook this latch and open the side door when you wish to clean the birdhouse.

    12

    Create a sparrow perch by nailing the 3-inch nail into the front of the birdhouse, about an inch below the entrance hole.

Rabu, 03 Agustus 2011

How to Load the Octagon 20 Incubator

How to Load the Octagon 20 Incubator

The Octagon 20 Advance egg incubator by Brinsea incorporates a digital control system that allows the user to easily change settings. The same system monitors humidity and temperature accurately to ensure the best incubation environment possible. The machine has a capacity of up to 24 eggs and has an automatic egg-turning cradle and computer-grade fan that circulates the warmed air evenly throughout the chamber, among other features.

Instructions

    1

    Take off the lid and remove the egg basket. Fill one of the two water channels with water, up to 3/4-inches from the top. Replace the egg basket and lid and slide to ventilation control to the center.

    2

    Plug the incubator into an electrical outlet. The red LED light on the temperature control housing should illuminate, the incubator fan should start up and the temperature display should turn on. Let the incubator run at least one hour.

    3

    Set the temperature to the proper setting for the types of eggs you are going to hatch, using the digital control panel.

    4

    Set the ventilation control to your desired setting. A number of factors can affect the humidity in the incubator -- including the ambient humidity -- so you may need to make continual adjustments. Brinsea suggests starting with the ventilation control half-open and water in one of the channels.

    5

    Let the incubator run for several hours. Make certain the temperature has stabilized at the desired level.

    6

    Open the lid and set the eggs in rows in between the plastic dividers. The eggs should rest on the tray bottom if the dividers are positioned correctly. The large end of each egg should be uppermost, though they can be positioned at an angle as well as straight up.

How to Freeze Hummingbird Food

How to Freeze Hummingbird Food

When you feed tiny and colorful feathered friends sweet nectar from a special feeder, a big part of the task is making up the nectar to place in the feeder. Because hummingbirds will tend to revisit a feeder often when you are diligent to fill it, keeping it full becomes a priority. Make up a big batch of hummingbird nectar in the kitchen and then freeze hummingbird food so you have reserved nectar on hand when you need it.

Instructions

    1

    Make the hummingbird food according to your favorite recipe, doubling or tripling the recipe to allow you to freeze some nectar for future use.

    2

    Stir the nectar with the spoon to ensure the ingredients are incorporated.

    3

    Pour the hummingbird food into the compartments of the ice cube tray, filling each compartment almost full.

    4

    Place the filled ice cube trays into the freezer and allow them to freeze until the nectar freezes solidly.

    5

    Remove the ice cube trays from the freezer and pop out the cubes of nectar. Place the cubes into a plastic freezer bag.

    6

    Seal the bag tightly. Write the contents and the date on the outside of the bag and place the bag into the freezer. When you need fresh hummingbird food, remove as many cubes as you need to fill your feeders and thaw them at room temperature until they liquefy.

Selasa, 02 Agustus 2011

How to Build an Eastern Bluebird House

With their brilliant blue feathers and reddish-brown chests, Eastern bluebirds are beautiful to observe and have a chatty, conversational song that makes them a pleasing addition to your yard or garden. You may see them perched on phone wires or posts, up high so that they can scan the ground for insects to eat. Build a house to attract Eastern bluebirds in a few easy steps. Your birdhouse will be easy to clean and will attract the Eastern bluebirds to roost there.

Instructions

Building Your Birdhouse

    1

    Start by marking off measurements with a pencil and the carpenter's square. Draw a straight line across the wood's width in these measurements:

    (A) 13 1/2 inches, back (13 1/2 x 6 x 1 inch)
    (B) 7 1/2 inches, roof (7 1/2 x 6 x 1 inch)
    (C) 9 inches, front (9 x 6 x 1 inch)
    (D) 9 inches, side (9 x 6 x 1 inch)
    (E) 9 inches, side (9 x 6 x 1 inch)
    (F) 4 inches, floor (4 x 6 x 1 inch)

    Saw the segments, making six pieces that will form your birdhouse.

    2

    With the hole cutter, make the hole for the birds to enter and exit in the front piece (C). Be sure it is 1 1/2 inches across at most or else other, larger birds will enter. Drill air holes in the walls of the house.

    3

    Nail the floor and roof to the back piece (A) with a nail on each end of the wood. Leave ten inches between the floor and roof. Attach one side piece (D) to the roof by hammering nails into the top of the roof down into the edge of the side piece. Nail two more nails into the outside of the side piece (D) into the edge of the floor of the birdhouse. Nail the front (C) onto the birdhouse with the hole at the top.

    4

    Now you will create the other side (E), which will be a door that you can swing open to clean. Place the last piece of wood into the side you left open. About an inch from the top of your bird house, nail in a nail on each side, front and back, so that the nails penetrate the last side you are putting in. Leave the bottom unfastened so that it swings out. With your last nail, hammer the bottom front piece into the swinging side piece (E). Leave it loose. You can now pull it out and put it back in when opening and closing your birdhouse.

    5

    Enjoy the beautiful Eastern bluebirds that come to visit their new house.

Homemade Budgie Toys

Homemade Budgie Toys

The Budgie or parakeet is a bird frequently kept as a pet. They are intelligent animals, and need toys to keep them entertained. These toys can include swings, perches and things the bird can chew or push around. The cost of new toys from pet stores can add up, especially those toys meant to satisfy a bird's chewing urges. You can make your own toys at home, but check the list of materials toxic to birds (see Resources) before you begin.

The Spider

    Tie several long strings of vegetable-cured leather or cotton shoelaces to a key ring. Thread wooden beads, paper strips, cut up toilet paper rolls, or straws to the string. Tie off the ends with a sturdy knot, and clip the ring to the top of the cage so the strings hang down.

The Ladder

    Drill small holes on each end of three or more unpainted frozen treat sticks. Tie a knot in the end of a shoelace, and thread it through the hole on one side of a stick. Add a few beads, then knot off the top and slide another stick down the string. Repeat until all the sticks are strung, and then do the other side. Put more beads at the top, tie the two sides together and attach the complete ladder to a key chain.

The Swing

    Twist about a foot of sisal rope into a circle. Tape the ends firmly together, then wrap the tape with twine, leaving the end free. Add a string of beads to the top or bottom, but leave room for the bird to slide the beads back and forth. Attach the loose end to a key ring or carabiner and hang it from the top of the cage.

The Maze

    Cut holes in empty cardboard boxes and slide paper towel or toilet paper tubes in to form rooms and tunnels. Add treats and toys in different areas to encourage the budgie to explore the box.