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Aviary compatible ground birds

Ali

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Hello all,

I am not sure if this is the right place to post this but hay ho!

I am wondering if there is any ground bird that can live in a 4m by 2m aviary with budgies and finches? I have kept Chinese Painted Quail before but did not find them useful in cleaning the aviary floor.

So my question is, are there any pretty ground birds that can live in the aviary with the specification listed above that could do a good job at cleaning the dropped foods? Ideally cheaper birds would be preferred.

Thank you!
Ali
 

Monaco

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Chukkars?
 
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Monaco

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I don't know how well they would do for cleanup, but they're fairly common here. I'm sure someone will suggest a good fit. I loved my guineas, but they are so very loud.
 
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jh81

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I would stick with the chinese quail :)

i have 2 females and a male, but ofcourse they are never a substitution for regular cleaning.. that just comes with the job :)
 

aooratrix

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button quail
 

Sodapop&Co.

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I've had button quail and loved em. I hope to get some again in the future.
 

Destiny

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I would not recommend chukars in a mixed aviary. They can be quite aggressive when confined and they would be much larger than finches or parakeets when fully grown. Under crowded conditions, they can even turn cannibalistic, killing or eating other birds. Not a good choice for a small peaceful aviary.

If you do decide to keep them, be sure to meet their high protien requirements ... or the chukars might find alternative sources.
 

Destiny

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I lack experience with pheasants, but my understanding is that they are aggressive birds and the general recommendation is to keep them in same species aviaries only, usually as pairs or trios. Also they are all quite large, compared with finches and budgies. I think that size would be an issue even if you could find a docile species of pheasant.

Your safest choice would be Chinese Painted Quail (also called button quail) or Japanese quail (also called Cortunix quail). These quail are both small and docile birds that generally don't bother anyone else. The buttons are very tiny. Cortunix are larger, but still friendly and prolific layers, if you like quail eggs.

One idea I had a while back regarding ground level birds would be bantam chickens, like Silkies or Seramas. They would need somewhere to roost at night, but spend the majority of their time at ground level. Chickens can peck, but finches and parakeets are unlikely to hang around at ground level that much. I think it might work, but I bet the chickens would create as much mess as they help clean up. :) On the plus side, there are many beautiful bantam chicken breeds available and they are easier to find than more exotic options, like zebra doves.
 
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fashionfobie

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I would not keep chickens with small birds. Even silkies or bantams can kill finches. Male Pekin a bantam breed are more territorial than a lot of larger chickens. Chickens are little T-Rex!

I also do not have experience with pheasants.

Quail are a better choice. :) Though spend sometime researching the quail you want, each species has unique requirements and quail can be very unhappy if their particular social needs aren't met. Example some like living in pairs only, other 1 male to 2+female etc. So dig into it and make sure you can support the quails need.
 

Destiny

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Yeah, after doing more research, it does sound like a hard "No" for keeping chickens with finches or parakeets. They can snatch flying finches out of the air and eat them.

Knowing how ravenous my full-sized hens can be, this does not surprise me. I have seen my hens eat baby mice, kill snakes, and reduce a Thanksgiving turkey carcass to bare bones in a few hours. Chickens are like bullfrogs - willing to eat anything that fits in their mouth. I was just hoping the little chickens might be less voracious. :(

I would also advise against ducks, in case you were considering them. Both from a size perspective and also because of the extra mess. Where there are ducks, there is mud. They will make any open water very dirty and spread water around on the ground, increasing disease risk and general upkeep considerably.
 

fashionfobie

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Chickens are amazing hunters. My Silvermoon would spot a lizard across the garden and sprint and catch it before you even realised what she was after. They are the sweetest birds in their own right, love their people. We just can't expect them to change who they are for our benefit of wanting more birds :)
 
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Destiny

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We just can't expect them to change who they are for our benefit of wanting more birds :)
Very true. That is one of the reasons it is so important to ask these kinds of questions and do the necessary research before making plans or purchasing a new animal. As much as we might like things to work out for the best, birds will be birds.

On the plus side, there is nothing better than watching a happy bird enjoy being a bird. The tricky part is making sure all your birds get to be happy birds.
 

Ali

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I do really like the button quail! The California quail are pretty too, but a bit bigger and could harm a finch, purposefully or not.

I would something my sister can have a bit more involvement in, so quail are the best bet. I would like to get myself an incubator and raise half a dozen from the egg. I have done a little bit of research on this, but if that's what I'm going with, I need to do a bit more!
 

fashionfobie

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For button quail, make sure they have plenty of overhead hides. Tubes, shrubs, little huts etc. They can panic and seriously harm themselves if they don't have plenty of hides! My very close friend had button quails for years! They were accident prone and she sadly had many vet visit between her 6 littles. She kept hers indoors and quickly learned they need far more plant cover. No windows or glass. Poor little one got scared of a delivery truck and panicked into the sliding glass door :( he recover after the vet, but he was in a very bad way from the collision.
 

fashionfobie

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It is a planted aviary, and I was thinking of making some little huts. We had them before and they were quite calm surprisingly.
They probably weren't the best indoor companion. She wanted them to get to free range the home, but they would get panicky. An aviary is a much better spot!

She did everything she could for them. They were well loved and lived out the natural lifespan. Just some panic troubles. Now my friend keeps rescue pigeons , they are the luckiest pigeons on earth!
 
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