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Outdoor Parakeet Aviary

Destiny

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Destiny
I began a project recently to convert my old unused greenhouse into a large outdoor aviary for my flock of parakeets. I thought I might share my progress and what I have built so far.

This is the greenhouse before I started:

20200406_124106.jpg

It is built off the side of my garage with clear plastic roofing panels on a wood frame. The total size is 26 feet long by 10 feet wide and the ceiling height is approximately 8 feet tall.

The first step was removing the panels from the long side and replacing them with plywood siding and hardware cloth to improve ventilation.

20200420_150400.jpg

I decided to keep the roof and side panels intact, because they allow in a lot of natural light and the solid roof protects against hawks.

Here you can see what it looks like inside the greenhouse. In this picture, I have already removed the raised bed on the left side and I am starting to take down the plastic paneling.

20200406_124125.jpg

I decided to keep the second raised bed to allow an area for plants to grow. For the other side of the room, I plan on laying down a paver floor.

20200518_174234.jpg

There was a faucet in the middle of the room which wasn't working for me, so I decided to move it against the wall. It looks a little better over here.

20200528_125527.jpg

I also started working on a safety door and entryway to prevent birds from escaping.

20200518_174312.jpg

Later on, I'll be adding a wall next to the door, so I will have a small storage and viewing area at the entrance of the aviary. Right now it is just a door.

20200518_174225.jpg

For the floor, I added multiple layers, starting with a layer of hardware cloth to deter burrowing predators.

20200528_134853.jpg

Crushed and compacted gravel for drainage.
20200528_174144.jpg

Sand for leveling the pavers.

20200531_105924.jpg

And finally the pavers themselves.

20200531_125200.jpg

The floor took a lot of hard work and several weekends to complete, but I finally finished!

20200607_143039.jpg

The next major project was planting the raised bed. I had already picked out a ton of bird-safe plants, so I started planting immediately.

20200615_104458.jpg

In the raised bed, I planted a flowering currant, grafted dwarf apple tree, dwarf blueberry, dwarf fig, and a variety of herbs and peppers.

On the other side of the aviary, I have container plants, including citrus trees, lavender, nasturtiums, and a tray of sprouted bird seed.

20200615_104502.jpg

To keep the birds out of the dirt and help with clean-up, I added pea gravel to the raised bed. And I positioned wrought iron trellises to provide perches.

20200617_202328.jpg

Next, it was time to start adding more roosting spaces. Earlier, I had bought manzanita wood online to use as natural perches.

20200614_170241.jpg

20200617_202424.jpg

I trimmed and shaped the branches to my liking, then secured them to the ceiling joists and wall in various locations using stainless steel hardware. I also started adding toys and other things.

20200617_202402.jpg

20200617_202341.jpg 20200617_202412.jpg

Most recently, I worked on framing out the entryway. Just needs some wire mesh and the entry will be done.

20200617_061035.jpg
20200617_061047.jpg
It is really starting to look like an aviary! If all goes well, I should be ready to add birds in a week or two.
 

Destiny

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Oh yes, they were my constant helpers as you can probably tell from how many times they ended up in the pictures. I had to close the door for a while to keep them out while I was leveling the sand and I came out of the aviary/greenhouse to find them all waiting patiently right outside the door. Even the cat!

20200607_140627.jpg
Very dedicated workers, the lot of them.

Although, I think they were a little disappointed when I covered up the dirt floor. They loved digging nice depressions in the dirt to lay down in while they watched me doing my weird human things.

I also got a surprise visit from my peahen, Jade, while I was doing the gravel.

20200529_113741.jpg

It is the breeding season, so she is looking for good secluded spots to nest. She spotted the open door and decided to check the place out. But it must not have been up to her high standards because she continued the hunt.
 

expressmailtome

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That is very impressive!
 

Ali

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Those will be some spoilt birds! Can't wait to see the birds in it!
 

tka

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Very nice! I would be tempted to put a bench in there so I could sit and hang out with the flock.

How many parakeets do you have?
 

SkyLark

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This is amazing! Honestly, when I was reading my eyes were getting bigger and bigger the more I scrolled down :lol: You've got some very happy birdies on your hands! Corky shouldn't be told about this thread, he'll straight up leave me!
 

Destiny

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Very nice! I would be tempted to put a bench in there so I could sit and hang out with the flock.

How many parakeets do you have?
Oh I will absolutely be putting in a place to sit and enjoy the birds. Probably a folding chair, so I can take it out when I am not sitting in it. Otherwise, I suspect it would get "decorated" by the birds. :)

I have ten budgerigars, four button quail, and four Lady Gouldian finches. They are currently in several large flight cages in my house. The goal is to move all the birds in once the aviary is ready, but I will need to monitor closely to be sure the finches and quail will be okay with the keets. I believe there should be enough room for everyone to live happily together. But it will depend on the temperament of the individual birds. Hard to say for sure until I try.

I'll be providing multiple feeding stations, different areas to perch, visual breaks, and plenty of toys to keep the budgies occupied. And I'll be monitoring for aggression and signs of stress, so I can intervene quickly if something does go badly. However, I think it will go well and I am sure the birds will be much happier in such a large open space after living their lives in confinement. The finches have never been allowed to fly across an entire room. And my newest budgies came from a pet store that clipped their wings so severely they can't even stop themselves from falling when they jump off a perch. :( I am still waiting for their primaries to grow back in months later, so I will be designing the perches and toy placement with my "flight-challenged" birds in mind. Lots of ropes and ladders everywhere. Ground level food and water for the quail and clipped budgies.

I've wanted a walk-in aviary for many years. I can't believe I finally managed to do it! I am very excited to be finished soon.
 

AutumnRain

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Wow, you're doing an amazing job! I loved seeing your dogs and cat hanging out too. :joyful:
 
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Destiny

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Update Time! (With Birds)

I managed to get a lot accomplished in the last week, so I have lots to report and many pictures to share.

First off, the wall is up and the aviary is now fully enclosed.

20200622_130529.jpg

I also added some hanging vines in front of the inner door to hopefully deter birds trying to fly out over my head.

20200622_130618.jpg

Next, I worked on preparing the space for the arrival of the birds. I added hanging platforms that I plan to use as feeding stations, waterers at various heights and a ton of toys.

20200622_115412.jpg 20200629_091310.jpg
20200622_130704.jpg

I will be offering a couple of different types of pellets in hanging feeders, as well as various other foods in different parts of the aviary.

On the left is a blend of TOPS Small, Harrison's HP Superfine and Mazuri Small Bird pellets. Middle is Roddybush crumbles and Lafeber parakeet pellets. On the right is a mix of Higgins Intune Natural, Zupreem Fruitblend Small, and Tropical Carnival Parakeet pellets.

Yes, I know. I have way too many different kinds of pellets. It's a problem, but I am working on it.

20200628_142521.jpg

The top tray is Goldenfeast Australian blend, middle tray has Nature's Salad, bottom tray has a ABBA 2100 parakeet treat mix.

20200628_151546.jpg

It might be over-kill, but I am making sure that all the birds can locate the feeding stations, so I have also scattered small bowls and trays all over the place. I'll be slowly replacing the seed trays with other options, like sprouted seeds, fresh veggies, and chop, once the birds are settled in and familiar with where they can look for yummy food.


At this point, the aviary is pretty much ready for birds. I couldn't think of anything else that needed to be done before the birds were let free. The first inhabitants will be these super adorable button quail. They are peaceful ground-dwelling birds that are commonly kept in aviaries to clean up spilled seed and add visual interest to the lower half of the aviary. They get along well with other peaceful birds and can sometimes be tamed with enough patience. However, they do startle easily and they are not suitable in aviaries with larger or more aggressive birds, especially parrots. They can actually fly rather well, although they do not roost at night and generally spend all their time at ground level.

20200627_131330.jpg

In addition to the quail, I will also be housing four male Lady Gouldian finches.

Resized_20200627_131150.jpeg

I moved the quail and finch cage into the aviary a few days prior to release to allow them to acclimate to their new surroundings.

After all preparations were complete, I released the quail!

And they totally refused to leave the cage. I could practically hear them thinking "Nope ... that is clearly a trap. No way, lady. Not gonna trick me so easily."

After about five minutes of anxiously watching the quail slowly circle around their cage, ignoring the wide open doors, I shrugged my shoulders and moved on to the finch release.

This time, I got immediate interest. Jasper, my yellow-backed finch, hopped to the front and tilted his head back and forth, scoping out the room. I grabbed my phone and was scrambling to take a video when three out of four finches burst from the cage simultaneously and started zooming around the open aviary like tiny, brightly colored missiles. They landed in three different spots, scattered around the aviary. Then took off again, zoomed around and landed/crashed in new spots.

I'm not sure who was more surprised, me or the finches. They were out!

20200628_161314.jpg
Resized_20200628_155037.jpeg 20200628_161827.jpg 20200630_105800.jpg

It took a while for the finches to figure out how to land properly. Many of their initial "flights" were incredibly scary to watch, because they were flying full tilt and clearly didn't know how to stop. They would just zoomed about until they hit into wire, the floor, or just happened to end up close to a branch. And when one of them took flight, that would startle the others so they would also fly in a random direction. Eventually they started to settle down or maybe they were simply too tired to keep zooming.

Meanwhile, the button quail calmly sauntered out of their cage and started scoping out the aviary.

20200628_173900.jpg

Here is Sterling, my silver finch, coming for a closer look at one of the silver button quails.

20200628_161534.jpg

And here you can see the button quail poofing up her wings to look "big and scary" so the finch won't eat her. Sterling decided that he didn't want to mess with such an impressive woman and so he left.

20200628_161538.jpg

I will be waiting a few days before introducing my parakeets. I want to give the finches and quail time to adjust to their new level of freedom and also let the finch figure out the whole "flying and then not flying" thing first.

More pictures soon!

20200629_092040.jpg Resized_20200628_155207.jpeg 20200628_170637.jpg 20200628_161407.jpg 20200630_132911.jpg
 
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Ali

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When will the budgies be introduced? It is looking amazing! I love the watering system for the plants! How often does it go off?
 

SpaceLatte

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Arielle
I began a project recently to convert my old unused greenhouse into a large outdoor aviary for my flock of parakeets. I thought I might share my progress and what I have built so far.

This is the greenhouse before I started:

View attachment 343149

It is built off the side of my garage with clear plastic roofing panels on a wood frame. The total size is 26 feet long by 10 feet wide and the ceiling height is approximately 8 feet tall.

The first step was removing the panels from the long side and replacing them with plywood siding and hardware cloth to improve ventilation.

View attachment 343150

I decided to keep the roof and side panels intact, because they allow in a lot of natural light and the solid roof protects against hawks.

Here you can see what it looks like inside the greenhouse. In this picture, I have already removed the raised bed on the left side and I am starting to take down the plastic paneling.

View attachment 343151

I decided to keep the second raised bed to allow an area for plants to grow. For the other side of the room, I plan on laying down a paver floor.

View attachment 343153

There was a faucet in the middle of the room which wasn't working for me, so I decided to move it against the wall. It looks a little better over here.

View attachment 343154

I also started working on a safety door and entryway to prevent birds from escaping.

View attachment 343152

Later on, I'll be adding a wall next to the door, so I will have a small storage and viewing area at the entrance of the aviary. Right now it is just a door.

View attachment 343156

For the floor, I added multiple layers, starting with a layer of hardware cloth to deter burrowing predators.

View attachment 343155

Crushed and compacted gravel for drainage.
View attachment 343159

Sand for leveling the pavers.

View attachment 343158

And finally the pavers themselves.

View attachment 343157

The floor took a lot of hard work and several weekends to complete, but I finally finished!

View attachment 343160

The next major project was planting the raised bed. I had already picked out a ton of bird-safe plants, so I started planting immediately.

View attachment 343162

In the raised bed, I planted a flowering currant, grafted dwarf apple tree, dwarf blueberry, dwarf fig, and a variety of herbs and peppers.

On the other side of the aviary, I have container plants, including citrus trees, lavender, nasturtiums, and a tray of sprouted bird seed.

View attachment 343163

To keep the birds out of the dirt and help with clean-up, I added pea gravel to the raised bed. And I positioned wrought iron trellises to provide perches.

View attachment 343166

Next, it was time to start adding more roosting spaces. Earlier, I had bought manzanita wood online to use as natural perches.

View attachment 343168

View attachment 343169

I trimmed and shaped the branches to my liking, then secured them to the ceiling joists and wall in various locations using stainless steel hardware. I also started adding toys and other things.

View attachment 343170

View attachment 343171 View attachment 343172

Most recently, I worked on framing out the entryway. Just needs some wire mesh and the entry will be done.

View attachment 343161
View attachment 343173
It is really starting to look like an aviary! If all goes well, I should be ready to add birds in a week or two.
Wow that is truly amazing. Can't wait to see the final result with all the birds! You should be very proud :0
 
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Destiny

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When will the budgies be introduced? It is looking amazing! I love the watering system for the plants! How often does it go off?
I should have another update ready soon with many parakeet pictures to share. It has been a busy day!:D

As for the watering system, I have been watering daily due to the heat, but I have a timer that I can set to water on a schedule for different lengths of time. When the weather is cooler, I water less often. The containers get hand-watered daily or every other day, except for the citrus trees. They prefer a nice deep watering and then I wait until the dirt looks thirsty before I water again. If you water them too much, they can suffer root rot.
 

Ali

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I should have another update ready soon with many parakeet pictures to share. It has been a busy day!:D

As for the watering system, I have been watering daily due to the heat, but I have a timer that I can set to water on a schedule for different lengths of time. When the weather is cooler, I water less often. The containers get hand-watered daily or every other day, except for the citrus trees. They prefer a nice deep watering and then I wait until the dirt looks thirsty before I water again. If you water them too much, they can suffer root rot.
Is it just attached to a house like a sprinkler system? Just a hose pipe with holes in that is fed with water from a pipe?
 

Destiny

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Yes, it is a "soaker hose". I have a faucet in the aviary with a regular hose attached to it. The regular hose runs over to the garden bed and attaches to the soaker hose. When the faucet is turned on, the soaker hose fills with water. Tiny holes allow the water to seep out close to the roots, without sparying the plant leaves or getting the rest of the aviary wet.

I considered installing a fancier drip irrigation setup as it uses less water and keeps it even more contained, but those systems involve a lot of thin tubing and small plastic parts. I was concerned that the parakeets might chew on the tubing or try to eat the end caps or something. Also drip irrigation is kind of finicky, the nozzles get clogged easily and the system is typically gravity fed, so you must plan it out carefully so it works as intended. The soaker hose is a simple solution and much harder to break.

I've also noticed the quail drink the water as it drips from the hose which I think is pretty neat. They must be drawn to the moving water.
 

Ali

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Yes, it is a "soaker hose". I have a faucet in the aviary with a regular hose attached to it. The regular hose runs over to the garden bed and attaches to the soaker hose. When the faucet is turned on, the soaker hose fills with water. Tiny holes allow the water to seep out to water the plants close to the roots.

I considered installing a fancier drip irrigation setup, but those systems involve a lot of thin tubing and small plastic parts. I was concerned that the parakeets might chew on the tubing or try to eat the end caps or something. Also drip irrigation is kind of finicky, the nozzles get clogged easily and the system is typically gravity fed, so you must plan it out carefully so it works as intended. The soaker hose is a simple solution and much harder to break.

I've also noticed the quail drink the water as it drips from the hose which I think is pretty neat. They must be drawn to the moving water.
Thanks! I'm thinking about it for my planted aviary, especially with the covered end and the horrible hot summers we keep getting here...
 

Parrotl3t

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My gosh! That is absolutely awesome!!!! Love it so much. I wanna come hang out there. It looks so peaceful.
 
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Lady Jane

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My mouth is hanging open in amazement! I am so happy for your achievement. If your budgies are as pretty as your other birds are wow! Are you in a cold climate during winter? Is there a lighting system? @JLcribber did you see this?
 

JLcribber

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My mouth is hanging open in amazement! I am so happy for your achievement. If your budgies are as pretty as your other birds are wow! Are you in a cold climate during winter? Is there a lighting system? @JLcribber did you see this?
No I did not.

What a fabulous space you’ve created. Well done. :hug8:
 
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