I am in the middle of an unusual project at the moment. It is the construction of a self-cleaning flight area in my bird-room (my other hobby is breeding Exhibition Budgerigars). The idea is that most of the debris that the budgerigars create will fall automatically into a large bucket or trug so that little or no time has to go into the laborious business of cleaning the bird flights out. I have designed the flight to achieve this purpose. Here are some progress photos.
The first photo shows a funnel arrangement that I have constructed which will be beneath a wire mesh floor of the flight. You can see the trug beneath the funnel.
This photo shows the wire mesh floor fitted. So far so good! Any droppings that stick to the funnel sides can easily be scraped off from time to time and let fall into the trug by lifting the wire mesh floor (which is not screwed down). This system of flight construction could be easily adapted for any bird species and it’s certainly going to make life a lot easier for me. For large parrots heavier wire and a steel frame would be recommended; for small finches, use a smaller mesh (1″ x 1/2″). The mesh I have used here is 1″x 1″.
A view into the flight through the outside wire (before the mesh floor was fitted).
A detail of the door for the flight. As the door is of simple frame construction and is made from light timber (ex 2″x1″) and wire mesh, I decided to dovetail the corners to give the frame some strength. Well there had to be some dovetails, didn’t there?!! Hand-cut of course!
As a point of interest, I use the David Barron method of cutting dovetails. It is pretty well foolproof – you can’t miss – the dovetails come out perfect every time. Moreover, contrary to common belief, they don’t take long to cut. I will do a post on hand-cutting dovetails sometime.
I will post more pictures of the aviary project as it progresses.