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Member Aviaries

Tanya Franklin ~

My Octagon Aviary by Tanya Franklin:

*I began planning my new aviary about 3 years ago. Up until then I had been keeping my breeding canaries and finches in stackable cages in my garage. This worked ok for breeding, but I wanted the birds to have a large flight were they could fly around and look beautiful, so we began planning a 25 ft. octagon shaped aviary where the birds could have free flight, exercise and enjoy the outdoor weather, whatever it might be.

We began by choosing a location and laying out the dimensions on a flat piece of land. We then dug the holes and cemented in the large 4x6 posts which are the structural foundation for this aviary. My husband and father worked hard at measuring, cutting and screwing the boards together to build the roof and supporting structure. We soon learned that mixing the cement for the floor one barrel at a time was going to be too much work, so we had the cement truck deliver the cement and had many friends come over to spread the wet cement within the framework.

*The brick walls were done by professionals. We also had a carpenter come and build the framework for a enclosed room with six windows. This room has lots of light and is set up for storage and a feeding area with bird perches so they can come in and enjoy the warmth when needed. There is a double entry door, which is a very good idea. I have already caught two birds on their way out. The surrounding brick wall is approximately 30 inches high with a ledge on top of the brick. Welded 1"x½" wire is used to encircle the building. We painted the wire with black paint for better visibility. There are drilled holes through the cement walls near the floor for the water and muck to escape when I clean the floor with a pressure washer. There is a low light electric bulb attached to the center of the ceiling which I leave on all the time and there are lights and an electric heater in the attached room. There is a water fountain which the birds enjoy both for drinking and bathing.

We are almost done building this aviary and have moved all the birds in at the beginning of summer. So far I am very pleased with our choices, except a few small things. If I had to do it over again, I would put less lights in the storage room, more slant and bigger holes for the water and muck to escape. I have had two birds fly into the windows, so I put up curtains and hopefully this will stop that from happening again. The thing I enjoy most about this aviary is sitting inside and watching the birds in a more natural setting. It has been a beautiful addition to our home.

E-mail Tanya: tsbirds@charter.net