Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman
Some points here to help you through the winter months with outside aviaries – flights and to prepare for the new breeding season ahead:
■ Check condition, including the roof, especially if wooden construction
■ Check galvanized weldmesh firmly attached
■ If in an area of harsh weather conditions, cover at least three sides with plastic, GRP (glass reinforced plastic) or metal sheeting
■ Make sure any open sides are not facing prevailing or cold winds
■ Sleeping quarters should be robust and heat in times of low temperatures. Tubular heaters are recommended and ideally linked to a thermostat to maintain a minimum heat level
■ Inspect all around aviaries for signs of vermin trying to gnaw their way in
■ For wooden structures, check for wet and dry rot, particularly in areas that may be out of sight or difficult to access.
Check underneath and make sure there is no contact with wet surfaces, and allow space for good ventilation and cleaning. Consider wood preservers
■ Remember heavy snow or rain can add enormous weight to aviary roofs, particularly if only constructed of light roofing sheets. Ensure all panels, staples and fixings are secure
■ Ensure bird rooms and wooden housing are secure and water tight to prevent water ingress
■ If fireworks are going off outside, keep some lights on and ensure your birds are securely enclosed. Keep active around birds to distract from fireworks noise
■ Ensure there is enough natural daylight for your birds or, if not, make use of full spectrum lighting
■ Replace smaller perches with wider ones if temperatures drop dramatically to enable feathers to cover feet
■ Regularly check birds’ food and water, especially in low temperatures to prevent freezing
■ If practical, use pet carriers to remove birds and take into suitable building e.g. house
■ Think carefully about next year’s breeding stock
■ If new to breeding, think what species and pairs you would like to see produce young
■ Clean and disinfect next boxes, and generally disinfect flights
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