I’ve been to many different kinds of aviaries and birdrooms. Some are made of wood, while others are made of brick, and some are enormous while others are modest. In my perspective, you may raise birds anyplace. However, the nicer the birdroom you can make for your own and your birds’ comfort, the better. My personal birdroom, which is twenty feet by ten feet, was constructed of brick seven years ago for about $1,000. Brick building is my preference since it maintains the average temperature cool in the summer and warm in the winter. In this regard, brick clearly outperforms wood. Chancellor and Wood’s birdroom is the greatest I’ve seen. It features kitchen cabinets and its own boiler chamber, from which nine home radiators are run.
Room to Extend
Whatever you design as a birdroom, the most important thing in my opinion is to provide room for expansion. It is almost likely that no matter what you start with, it will be too tiny sooner or later. If your domestic circumstances necessitate a home transfer, a wooden structure is the best option since it is movable. Brick is an alternative if you are certain of remaining in one location. What do you do with a brick birdroom if you no longer want to keep Budgerigars? Some of the birdrooms I’ve seen might easily be transformed into an office, garden room, or even a “granny apartment”!
Heat is not important for the birds, but it is for me, at least in the winter! I maintain the temperature between 48 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This year, I increased the temperature by 5 degrees. In the winter, birds use more energy to stay warm. They need energy to feed chicks and lay eggs. Remember that if you are uncomfortable, so will your birds.
We have twenty-six breeding cages that are quite standard in size, measuring 24 inches by 18 inches by 15 inches. They’re constructed of melamine, which is quite simple to clean. Simply swab it clean. Each cage has two perches of varying shapes and sizes. One perch is square, while the other is spherical. These are scored to help birds hold them easier. The various methods of perching, I think, lead the bird’s feet to continually modify their hold on the perch. This helps to avoid foot sores. Square perches are vitally necessary and aid in the mating process. We also have a mobile nursery cage. It provides a safe haven for the baby birds. You may move this around while caring for your birds. This keeps them stable, and the nursery cage doesn’t take away vital breeding area.
Cages Cleaned Daily
We clean all of our flights and cages on a regular basis since deep litter is a practice with which I disagree. The birds seem unconcerned with their regular routine. They become accustomed to it, and the cock bird will usually go inside the nest box until the cage is cleaned. Under the perches is a piece of stainless steel that I custom-made. This collects all of the loose droppings and may be simply scraped and washed before returning to the breeding cage. Two reasons why I feel regular cage cleaning is vital are that it removes any softfood that may have gone bad or any seed coated with cod liver oil that may have gone rancid.
Although cod liver oil has fallen out of favor in recent years, we still use it in our seed. We provide trill as a seed, as well as grit, cuttlefish, and iodine nibbles. Hormova is being fed via a finger drawer. It is critical to provide a steady diet. We embraced some of Gerald Binks’ feeding ideas after a lengthy discussion. We treat the seed with cod liver oil and let it for 24 hours. Before feeding it to our birds, an equal quantity of untreated seed is added. We cut the quantity of cod liver oil in our seed by half during the non-breeding season.
Kilpatrick’s minerals are also supplied into a finger drawer. Following this method, we add Abidec and Cytacon to the water: Two drops of Abidec to one pint of water and one teaspoon of Cytacon to one pint of water are supplied for four days, followed by three days of plain water. Feeding softfood at the same time may result in vitamin overload. We reduce the quantity of additives in the water by half during the non-breeding season.
We are rapidly nearing the Champion division, therefore it is critical that we produce better birds, not just the occasional exceptional one, but quality in numbers. If the birds are in good condition, we usually couple up between the 12th and 15th of October. If this succeeds, the second set of babies will be born in January 1996. Despite the necessity to hatch some early chicks, I will not mate our birds until they are very fit.
Our nest-box is on the exterior and is a box-within-a-box with high edges. The front of the nest-box has a record card connected to it. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to maintain precise and full data throughout the breeding season.
Move Empty Eggs
When a hen begins to lay empty eggs, she is removed from the flock. We can accomplish this because the eggs are tagged when they are deposited. For this, we utilize a water-based pen. Use a non-water-soluble pen. Taking away the transparent eggs causes the hen to lay more eggs. The clutch may occasionally reach eight, nine, or 10 eggs, and complete eggs can arrive at the end of the clutch. This may result in the first complete egg hatching some time after the hen expects the first empty egg to hatch. To avoid complications such as the hen abandoning the nest or shattering the eggs, a chick should be placed in the nest about the time the first egg should have hatched.
Other issues might arise when a newly born chick is not adequately nourished. We feed such chicks using a cocktail stick. A matchstick might be used instead. The solution we give is a high energy-content blend of full cream milk and glucose. We leave the chick for thirty minutes after it has been fed. The feeding is repeated an hour later, and the chick is examined.
Jackie prepares bread and milk for all of our breeding pairs to help guarantee that non-feeding hens are unusual. Wholemeal bread and full cream milk are used. Cut into strips, this is fed into finger drawers. Although all couples are given bread and milk, not all Budgerigars like it. To encourage the birds to feast on the bread, a little amount of glucose is sprinkled on top. Please keep in mind that you cannot “overdose” on glucose. It is an excellent source of energy.
The Dosing Tube
The dosing tube is an exceptionally effective technique of immediately putting medication into a sick bird, especially if the bird is not eating or drinking. It may also be used to get nourishment into a sick bird that isn’t eating. We combine Milupa (baby food), flucose, and warm water until it reaches a runny consistency. This is drawn into the dosage tube. An adult bird’s crop may usually be filled with two full dosing tubes. Dave Cottrell provided us with our dosage tube. We’ve lost relatively few ill Budgerigars since then.
We also use a heat light to treat ill birds, which we believe has benefits over the more typical hospital cage. It focuses the heat on the bird, allowing it to use what energy it has to warm itself. Unlike the hospital cage, it allows the bird to escape to the rear of the cage or to the other perch to get some relief from the heat.
Tools of The Trade
Some of these have previously been brought up. The egg-holder was used to keep us from immediately handling the eggs. The unique lamp used to determine egg fertility. A water-based marker and a little container of white fluid for covering cracks in eggs. The record cards must be marked using a highlighter pen and a ball-point pen. The dosage tube is intended for use with unwell birds. You won’t make it through a breeding season without using any or all of these methods.
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