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Date Posted: 21:45:13 08/06/08 Wed
Author: Suzanne
Author Host/IP: 68.217.205.185
Subject: Re: Setting up an outdoor aviary
In reply to: Michele 's message, "Setting up an outdoor aviary" on 10:24:24 06/29/08 Sun

Hi Michele,
Outdoor aviaries are the greatest. The birds are happy and there is much less maintenance than trying to keep them indoors or even on an enclosed porch.
The coldness of winter really shouldn't be a problem as long as the birds stay DRY, DRY, DRY. I repeat DRY. I'm in S.Ga. and mine do fine wrapped in plastic with no heat source. The plastic is more of a wind barrier than anything. It does help warm the area during the day though...
You'll just have to experiment with quantities. As with all critters, some just get along together better than others based on individual personalities. If they're happy, you'll have many more before long...
As for adding evergreens, try LIRIOPE(a.k.a. Mondo grass, Monkey grass). It comes in mini, medium & tall varieties and several color variations. Or try Bronze or Holly ferns. All are cold hardy and attractive.
If you want to cover the whole tennis court (great idea), try running wires and shadecloth across the top: similar to what you would see in any Garden Center. Buy the shadecloth by the roll and add the grommets yourself. Or even use chicken wire- it's probably cheaper by the roll than shadecloth. The main object being to keep out hawks,owls, etc. If you get a good enogh seal on the top, you can add softbills like finches or doves. Or if you use your wire aviary,you could add hookbills. I've successfuly mixed budgies & red rump parakeets with no incidents.They all wintered outside fine. There is a little gadget I ordered from "Dr.s Foster & Smith" that you plug a heatlamp into and it turns on automatically if the temp. dips below like 36 degrees. Much handier than getting up in the middle of the night!!
Good luck,
Suzanne

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