Posted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 4:37 pm Post subject: Suspended aviaries for Kakariki
I have been reading through several posts on this site and thought it might be good to share some aviary ideas with other breeders. We now use only suspended type aviaries for our breeding Kakariki. We tried both conventional and suspended types and concluded the advantages with suspended types is far greater.
By building aviaries that are 900mm wide x 900mm high and 2400mm long we can place one breeding pair per flight. A tray filled with shell grit is placed at one end with the feeding bowls hung above the trays. This way the birds still scratch and dig for food scraps but the majority of mess falls through the wire floor and onto the concrete below. We simply hose or sweep the concrete once a week. A large ceramic bowl is placed on the floor at the other end for water. Our birds bath and drink from the same bowl and providing the water is replaced daily there are no problems with it.
The birds run and hop across the wire floor without any problems. They seem to feel much safer in these aviaries than the ones where they can get down on the floor because they are below us when we approach the aviaries whereas in the suspendeds they are closer to eye level and never seem to get spooked. Our suspended aviaries are mounted on a frame 900mm above the ground. This also stops rats and mice from getting into the cages which is a problem with the conventional type. [/b]
A quick note to NZers...there is no way I could see DoC issuing a permit for many of the designs off shore members post.
Same goes for keeping kikes as inside pets or in cages. Kikes as household pets are not allowed by DoC.
I in know way saying they are poorly designed or lacking in any way, and would also like to use much of the experience of off shore breeders..but cant.(DoC permits and stuff) If we could, a small group of breeders could supply several 100 birds a season for release to the wild...(Free) Doc just needs to test, stamp and tell us where...
Greg can u throw some pics in?
I believe Allen (SA) uses suspended flights to. _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
I started using suspended aviaries for kakariki about 18 months ago, mine are very similiar to Greg's i.e. 900mm by 900mm by 2.4m long, I do have a couple of 1.8m and quite a few 2.1m suspended aviaies. Generally, I try to put kakariki in the larger ones as they are more active than most other species.
I think the guys at the famous / notorius NZ DOC need to research modern trends in aviculture and maybe go and visit some of the fantastic professional breeding facilities around the world. How far away are you guys from the Phillipines? Might be a good place to start.
But for now I suppose I must side with Steps and suggest that you Kiwis rather stick to the law of the land rather than risk losing your permits.
Another comment about suspended aviairies:
I had a Lutino pair of reds in a supsended aviary with the nest box in the sheltered section and the food bowls are in the same area. There is a passage behind the aviaries from which I feed the birds. Everytime I walked down the passage the Lutino female would desert here eggs for quite a while. In three attempts only 1 out of 13 eggs hatched.
I bought the birds about a year ago and thought that I should split the pair up in case they had been over bred and / or incorrectly fed.
I then decided to move the pair into a 4m by 2m conventional aviary to share with 5 pairs of cockatiel in order to get lots of exercise and place to play. The aviary has about two square metres of lawn and a few other plants growing in it as well as wheat and barley.
The Lutino hen has laid 7 eggs and is sitting very tight. I can open the box and she does not leave it at all. Possibly the fact that I am standing in front of the entrance to the box makes her reluctant / afraid to leave. She seems content in the box and does not moan (audibly) the way she did in the suspended aviary. Quite strange as I think the general consesus is that birds feel safer and less threatened in suspended aviaries.
I have had similar experiences with older birds that have come from breeders. I always fnd out what the birds have been housed in previously and if they are from conventional aviaries I put them into suspendeds for a few weeks without boxes.
Once they become used to us feeding and walking past the boxes everything is fine again. Kakariki dont take too well to sudden changes especially if they have been raised in a different environment. Our young birds that were born in suspendeds dont care about the distractions and usually sit tight on their eggs. It can be more of a problem trying to check the boxes as the hens know we are there and refuse to budge.
The enjoyable thing about Kakariki is that there are very few set rules on what they prefer. Just when you think you have got it right a pair will throw a spanner in the works and want something different. The challenge is too find out what works for each individual pair. We use 3 different size nest boxes as some pairs prefer bigger deeper boxes whilst others breed better in small short boxes. And they say humans are fussy.
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