A well constructed outdoor aviary is the foundation to your bird breeding success.
There are many factors that are needed to be considered when designing the perfect great gouldian aviary.
The number one factor is being able to provide a draft free interior for winter and air flow for removing head in summer.
Here is a description of the methods and materials I used to construct my purpose built gouldian finch outdoor aviary.
It is approximately 9 feet by 9 feet with an open flight section.
This aviary is very secure as gouldian finches are very expensive birds.
Outdoor Gouldian Finch Aviary Construction Details
The main door, all the walls roof and floor are constructed out of metal with vertical steel bars to finish off the security of the main front entrance door.
The frame of this bird aviary was built using steel tubing.
The tubing was welded into a steel floor sections and interconnected with tubes that fit into the other sections.
If there is a need to disassemble it in the future it can be done easily by unscrewing all of the sections.
A mig welder and a standard home arc welder was used to weld the steel tubing frames together.
Footings were used to build the rooms up off the ground for two reasons.
The first reason, the ground was not level.
The second but most important reason was to avoid damp floors and to prevent rotting of the plywood floor in the two bird rooms.
The floor frame posts were concreted into footing first.
The floor frame was attached. Wall frames and a roof were then installed.
Sisilation was fixed to the outer frame before the outer shell was covered with color bond sheet metal.
The sheet metal was attached with self drilling screws and pop rivets for additional security to prevent theft of any birds.
The pop rivets would have to be drilled out by a thief and this is not easy with stainless steel pop rivets.
The floor has galvanized sheet metal attached on the bottom to prevent rodents from chewing holes through the plywood floor structure.
Fiberglass batts are then installed in all the wall, roof and floor cavities between the inner layer of plywood and outer layer of sisilation. This creates an insulation sandwich to protect the aviary from the external heat or cold depending on the season.
All of the internal wall and roof skin is made of plywood. The combination of color bond, sisilation, insulation batts and plywood is very effective method to reduce the extreme heat or cold from being an issue for both of the bird rooms.
When you step into this aviary on a cold winters day it is surprising how warm the interior actually is. With a bit of sun shinning through the clear roof sections the interior warms up very nicely.
It is important to build an aviary with the open flight facing the rising morning sun.
In the winter this helps to warm the birds up after those bitter cold nights.
In the summer the hot sun set is on the fully covered side of the aviary reducing the amount of heat inside.
For those days when is extremely hot there are removable plywood panels to allow air flow into the aviary.
The inner door has a removable plywood panel which can be placed under the clear section of roof to help prevent the suns hot rays from entering inside and overheating the interior.
On these hot days the internal temperature is normally only about 1 degree hotter inside than the external temperature.
The Colony Breeding Room
The colony bird room is approximately 6 x 6 feet with 4 main perches, feeding and water stations.
The colony breeding room is entered via a 3/4 height door from the selective breeding room.
This door has a latch which is locked from the selective breeding room. It is possible to hang about 6 breeding boxes off the 3 walls.
This is the maximum number of nest boxes recommended in a room of this size.
The birds are free to leave and enter the colony room via the bird door.
The door is operated from inside the selective cage breeding section of the aviary by pushing or pulling an orange piece of plastic connected to a rectangular piece of sheet metal in between two plywood runners. When the door is closed it stops the gouldians from entering the open flight section or keeps them out while cleaning the colony room.
When it is approaching dusk the birds return back into the colony room to roost for the night till the morning.
It is very important to construct your aviary wall linings with wood as the gouldian finch has a tendency to roost right up against a wall at night.
If it is a very cold night the bird will loose allot of body heat if the wall is made of metal such as corrugated iron or colorbond.
My aviary walls are all filled with insulation batts and lined with sisalation then finished with an inner lining of plywood. This provides my birds with a surface which will not draw any body heat away from them over night.
You can easily loose a gouldian to a cold night with metal walls if they are not lined with wood on the inside.
The Selective Breeding Room
The selective breeding room has 12 separate holding or dividable breeding cages.
Selective breeding gouldian finches is my preferred method for breeding gouldians.
The room also has a sink with 2 cupboards underneath, central door locking, an alarm system, a solar panel to recharge 4 x 18amphr batteries,internal low voltage down lights and an internal, external temperature gauge.
The extreme temperatures that my aviary are exposed to are as follows: summer-46degrees Celsius(115 Fahrenheit) winter 1degrees Celsius( 34 Fahrenheit).
The solar panel keeps up with the power usage of the outdoor aviary quite easily.
Water dispensers and cleaning is all done at the internal sink.
At the rear of the aviary are twin 44 gallon plastic water drums.
The roof surface gathers plenty of water for all internal use as well as plenty of spare water for the plants and garden around the house.