Having an indoor aviary for your pet parrot is a great way to provide them with a safe and stimulating environment. There are some obvious advantages to having an indoor aviary, that is why you are considering one.
But there are some important things to keep in mind before you set one up so that it can be an inviting space for your bird and work in your household at the same time.
In this blog post, I will guide you through the process of planning and creating an indoor aviary, giving you all the information you need to provide the best possible home for your feathered friend.
Planning Your Indoor Aviary
An indoor aviary is climate controlled and gives your bird lots of room to fly. This in turn keeps them physically and mentally stimulated while still being protected from potential dangers outside.
But before you start building your indoor aviary, there are several important factors to consider. From the size and location of the aviary to the type of materials used, careful planning is essential to ensure your parrot’s physical and psychological well-being.
Number of birds and bird size will determine your indoor aviary size
Different bird species have different requirements when it comes to space. Smaller species, such as budgies or lovebirds, require less space compared to larger parrot species like macaws or cockatoos.
The general rules of thumb (one bird) for an indoor aviary’s minimum dimensions are:
- Measure your bird’s length from the tip of the head to the tip of the tail feather
- Width – two times your bird’s length
- Depth – One and a half times your bird’s length
- Height – As high as your budget and ceiling height allows
General precautions for indoor aviaries:
- If you have two birds, we recommend doubling the width and increasing the depth by 50%.
- For three birds, multiply the width should be 2.5 times the bird’s length and depth should be 2 times.
- Ideally, try not to keep more than 3 birds in an indoor aviary, unless they are very small birds like budgies or lovebirds.
Always keep in mind that parrots are social creatures and need space to interact and fly together. A cramped space can lead to stress and behavioral problems.
Location location location – Placing it right
There are several important factors to consider when deciding the location of your aviary. The right placement can have a significant impact on your feathered friend’s well-being and safety.
One crucial factor to consider is sunlight exposure. Parrots thrive in natural light, so it’s essential to place the aviary in an area that receives ample sunlight throughout the day. Sunlight not only provides essential Vitamin D for your bird’s bone health, but it also enhances their overall mood and well-being.
Accessibility is another key consideration. You want to make sure that the aviary is easily accessible for both you and your parrot. This includes considerations such as proximity to your home, ease of daily maintenance and cleaning, and convenient access to food and water sources.
The surrounding elements of the location should also be taken into account. Ideally, the aviary should be situated away from noisy areas, such as busy roads or loud machinery, as loud noises can stress out your parrot.
Finally, choose a room that sees frequent foot traffic from the family members. You do not want to relegate the aviary to a room that the family seldom visits or an unused basement. It will help keep your birds socially engaged and happy.
Whatever location or room you choose, I strongly recommend that you make sure that it is bird-safe.
Other things to keep in mind
Keep these things in mind when planning your indoor aviary:
Levels, Perches and Toys
Give your birds at least 4 levels to fly to. They are tree-dwelling birds. Having different levels that they can fly to mimcs their natural surroundings well.
Similarly, I recommend that you include perches that are of various textures. Using natural branches that are parrot-safe is a good starting point. You might want to treat them before you actually use them as a perch.
If you are buying perches from the market, please make sure that the paint used on them is heavy-metal free. You would have to confirm this with the manufacturer. I personally know of an acquaintance who almost lost her bird to heavy metal poisoning through the perch.
Finally, give them a variety of toys. Keep a mixture of market-bought and DIY toys to reduce your costs.
Accessibility and Cleanability
With parrots, mess equals success. If they are ripping and shredding their toys, they are mentally and physically engaged. But it is you who has to clean the aviary.
Also, the fact that birds “go poop” every 20-30 minutes means that your cage should be designed for easy accessibility to clean it.
This can include features such as removable trays or flooring, as well as doors or openings that allow for easy entry and exit.
Use bird-safe and easily cleanable materials like stainless steel meshes. Newspaper lining at the bottom can significantly reduce your cleaning effort.
Finally, if you have birds of different sizes, it’s important to choose an aviary design that can accommodate them all. This may involve incorporating different levels or sections within the aviary to ensure everyone has enough space to thrive.
Building Your Indoor Aviary
Choose the right materials
When it comes to building an aviary for your feathered friends, choosing the right materials is essential. You’ll need a few key items to ensure a sturdy and safe structure.
First, gather 8 ft long 2×2 pieces of wood. These will serve as the framework for your aviary. Make sure they are strong and durable to withstand the elements.
Next, stock up on rolls of 19 gauge galvanized hardware cloth. This material is crucial for creating a secure enclosure that allows proper air circulation. It’s important to address concerns about heavy metal poisoning in birds. Galvanized hardware cloth is specifically designed to be safe for birds, as it is coated to prevent rust and corrosion.
To assemble your aviary, you’ll need a roll of plumber’s tape, a box of screws, 4.5 inch bolts with washers and nuts, and a staple gun. These tools will help you securely fasten the materials together.
Build the frame
Building the frame for an aviary is going to be your first step. Ensure that the wood pieces are cut to the desired size using the circular saw. This will allow you to create a rectangular shape that suits the dimensions you have in mind.
Next, lay the cut wood pieces down on a flat surface, positioning them to form the desired shape of the aviary. Make sure that the edges of the wood pieces are flush and even, creating a smooth and sturdy foundation for the frame.
To attach the wood pieces together, use plumber’s tape in conjunction with nails. Plumber’s tape is an excellent choice for its strength and durability.
Start by securing the tape along the edges of the wood pieces, making sure it is taut and well aligned. Once the tape is in place, hammer nails through the tape and into the wood, ensuring a secure connection.
Repeat these steps for each side of the frame until all the wood pieces are attached. Take the time to check for any weak spots or areas that may need reinforcement. For added stability, consider utilizing corner brackets or additional nails as needed.
By following these steps and using the appropriate tools, you can construct a solid frame for your aviary. Remember, safety and comfort are essential for your parrots, so double-check for any loose ends or potential hazards before welcoming your feathered friends into their new home.
Put together the walls
With your frame in place, it is now time to put the walls together for our indoor aviary. The walls will be made from the 19 gauge galvanized hardware cloth or wire mesh.
Use a staple gun to attach wire mesh to each side of the frame. Make sure the mesh is pulled taut and secure it with heavy-duty staples.
Use plumbers tape for joints. It is a cost-effective solution that will give the same results in terms of support and durability.
Install the door
It is recommended to have two sets of doors with a small walkway in between them. This creates a barrier to prevent any escape attempts while allowing for easy access. Make sure the doors are sturdy and made of durable materials.
Next, consider using hinges for swing functionality (instead of sliding doors). This allows the doors to easily open and close, making entry and exit convenient.
You may also want to explore a self-closing door mechanism to ensure that the door is not left open accidentally. It would also be helpful if you need to keep pets like dogs and cats away from your birds.
Give it a roof
Since you are building an indoor aviary, your roof can be an extension of the walls. If it were an outdoor aviary, you would have had to look at different materials to keep the rain and sun at bay. But for an indoor aviary, you can go ahead and use the same materials that you used for the walls.
Indoor Aviary FAQs
1. What are the flooring options for indoor aviaries?
There are a few flooring options to consider for your indoor aviary. One popular choice is linoleum, as it is easy to clean and resistant to scratches.
Another option is rubber flooring, which provides a soft and comfortable surface for your parrots. You can also opt for vinyl flooring, as it is durable and waterproof.
You might also consider putting some newspapers or retractable trays on the aviary floor.
Whichever flooring you choose, make sure it is safe for your birds and easy to maintain.
2. How difficult is the installation process for an indoor aviary?
The installation process for an indoor aviary depends on its size and complexity. It may require the help of a professional to ensure proper construction and safety.
However, there are also ready-made indoor aviary kits available that make installation easier for DIY enthusiasts. These kits usually come with step-by-step instructions and all the necessary materials, simplifying the process for you.
3. What are the advantages of having an indoor aviary over an outdoor aviary?
Having an indoor aviary offers several benefits. Firstly, it provides a controlled environment for your parrots, protecting them from extreme weather conditions and predators.
Indoor aviaries also allow you to closely monitor your birds’ health and behavior. Furthermore, these aviaries are a great way to showcase the beauty of your parrots and create an impressive display for your home.
Lastly, spending time with your parrots in an indoor aviary promotes bonding and enriches their lives with mental stimulation and social interaction.
4. What are the pros and cons of an indoor aviary vs a bird cage?
The main advantage of having an indoor aviary vs a bird cage is the room that you are able to give your birds. More space for them means better mental and physical health. You are being as close to nature as you possibly can.
On the other hand, setting up an indoor aviary can be costlier. Unless you are doing all the setting up yourself with materials bought from a place like Home Depot. In which case, it can be time-consuming.
Also, indoor aviaries tend to be fixed in a place. If at a later date, you want to move it, that would mean significant cost and time. On the other hand, cages are much more portable.
5. How do you keep an aviary floor clean?
Keeping an aviary floor clean is essential for the health and well-being of your feathered friends. Use lining material like newspapers that you can change regularly to keep your indoor aviary clean.
Also, weekly, wipe the wire mesh with some warm water mixed with dish soap. Change your bird’s food and water regularly and clean their food and water bowls every couple of days.