So now we step outside, and see the dove flight cage and the budgie flight cage. Not as I would like them to be, but serviceable for our needs. The dove cage started life as a really nice double decker cage. The friend who gave it to me had turned it sideways and done unspeakable things to the structure of the cage. Originally, I had Mike install it across the airlock from the big aviary, and we put the non-breeding outside cockatiels in it. And then we discovered how mean the doves were to the button quail, and put the cockatiels back and the doves in the auxiliary cage. Later, when I wanted two breeding cages for the love birds attached to the air lock, we decided that the doves didn’t need the extra safety of the lock, but love birds would for sure.
Once the cage had been re-purposed directionally, the bottom tray was discarded and did not make it to my house. Here’s a pretty close example of this cage. http://www.windycityparrot.com/Large-Indoor-Aviary-Pitched-Roof-Bird-Cage-AE-100B-1_p_379.html#.U03451eTLwo Only the one in the link is square, and mine is more rectangular. Also it doesn’t have the middle slot for a tray and grate. In any event, we just keep the inside bottom grate clean and scrape the cement slab below it regularly. The doves are not as messy as some birds.
The budgies are in http://www.windycityparrot.com/Indoor-Aviary-for-Small-to-Medium-Birds-AE-4030FL_p_326.html#.U035iVeTLwo a cage like this, but has no legs or wheels. We cut down an old, rickety cage rack and it works very well. The cage has an ordinary plastic tray like these cages use: http://www.windycityparrot.com/Flight-Breeder-Cage-for-Small-Birds-30-Wide–Case-of-3-White–Prevue-FO610_p_483.html#.U036E1eTLwo so it’s simply a matter of scraping the grate, pulling out the dirty tray and shoving a clean one in. Parakeets or budgies, whichever name you prefer, are messy and busy little birds. So there’s lots of seed, feather, and waste to clean up.
I got a good deal on four breeder aviaries last year at this time, and wanted to set them up for the love birds, as mentioned above. All the miscommunication you can imagine happened around two of these cages. Mike wanted to build stands for them, but didn’t want the doors to be a security issue. We finally got to a realization that if we adjusted the air lock and put the cage doors there, problem solved. Unfortunately it was too late in the year by then to move the love birds out. I selected two pair of cockatiels and set them each in one of the cages. They survived this human interference but I don’t know if any mating will result.
On this page of the Wingz catalog, upper right corner, is a cage similar to the four I bought used, of which I only have use two so far. http://clover.forest.net/kwcages/index.html Not exactly, but these were set into the side of the air lock across from the big aviary. Side by side, on nice wooden stands, but there are no trays here and I clean out under them periodically. On that same catalog page on the upper left you see an air lock just like the one we have. That needs a good shoveling out at the moment. Let me try to draw what the aviary complex looks like.
Well, that was not successful. Anyway, the Aivary is the biggest job of cleaning, naturally. The doorway is narrow, so I take a bucket and shovel in with me, and put a greens can ouside the air lock. Then it’s fill, carry, dump, fill, carry, dump, repeat until we get down to concrete. We give the button quail scratch, but they also love the seed from the dishes above. So while being careful to not shovel up a quail, I also leave some of the ground seed behind. Mostly I want to remove the seed that gets wet when it rains, and is getting moldy.
The quail learned that when I shove up some of the seed, especially the damp stuff, they can find all sorts of yummy buggies there. I love watching them dash in as soon as I walk out and clean up the wildlife.
I don’t think I can get close to the aviary by using links to web pages, so I will in the next few days change my photo on the blog to one of the aviary taken some years ago. At least you will see the solid walls and roof that Mike put on it.
Have a good week, and I hope to have good news on Sunday!