Birdrooms and Aviaries
Unless you intend to breed your budgerigars in a shed in the winter, artificial lighting is not a necessity. If you are at work during the day and want to feed your birds early morning or evening during the shorter days artificial lighting can be used.
Automatic watering systems are usually based on a drip system or drinking valve. They provide a continuous supply of clean, fresh water to the birds. Providing a clean water supply in sanitary dispensers is critical to maintaining the good health of the birds. They also eliminate the need to clean and change water bottles.
Edstrom is a well-known provider of these systems and budgerigars quickly adapt to them.
For a basic aviary you can purchase readymade wired panels measuring 6 feet by 3 feet that can be bolted together to the overall size of your choice. The panels can include a door and a waterproof house can also be added. Alternatively, kits are available to build a variety of sizes and different shaped aviaries. Finally, you can purchase a roll of welded mesh and the necessary timber and build your own from scratch.
To ensure your birds get plenty of exercise you should consider placing a small outside flight alongside the shed with access via a small bob-hole.
A flight can be another name for an aviary, but this term is often used in connection with an indoor flight or one that is attached to a birdroom or shed.
Concrete is a good base for an outside flight as it can be disinfected and hosed clean. Pea shingle on earth can also be used but has a limited life because of the buildup of droppings. For inside flights there are a number of options ranging from saw dust or shavings through to dried hemp.
Heating is not essential, but it does provide additional comfort for the birds and the fancier when visiting the birdroom on the coldest days. Preferred heaters would be the tubular kind although some breeders will use fan heaters. Both should be set to around a minimum of 10 degrees C.
Sick birds respond well to heat and quiet. A hospital cage is a small cage in which you put your sick or injured budgerigar to separate it from the flock to recover. The cage must be warm and humid. A heat lamp or heating pad work very well for this and at a maintained temperature of around 80 degrees F or 26.5 degrees C. Because of the heat you must ensure bird does not dehydrate and water should always be available – as well as seed. Soaked millet spray will sometimes encourage the bird to both eat and drink.
The cage needs to be away from the main aviary, as in the case of an infectious disease you want it contained. It also needs to be in a quiet environment with plenty of light during the day, and dark at night.
If you cover the cage at night make sure that it doesn’t become too hot and do not put the cage in direct sunlight, to avoid over-heating.
Even if your birdroom is unheated it is always best to line the building and put insulating in the gap between the lining and outside wall. Types of shed insulation include fibreglass roll, cellulose, expanded polystyrene or foam, breathable membranes, plywood board and more.
A safety door is usually a wire mesh door that stays in place when the main birdroom door opens and prevents any loose birds from escaping. It is also recommended to have something similar on opening widows as well.
A safety porch is a wired area that you pass through to gain access to your aviary or birdroom. Its like having a sterile area that prevents birds from escaping as there is a door on both ends.
Ventilation in a birdroom is important and serves four purposes – to control air movement helping to regulate air quality, provide humidity, control temperature and to control odors.