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Greytness

Outdoor aviary is in progress!

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For several years I have been planning on building my fid family an outdoor aviary. Last month we broke ground and poured its foundation, complete with drains. Within the next 2 weeks the materials for the structure should be ready to go!
I agonized over what type of mesh to use, and finally decided to go with stainless steel mesh, 1/2x1/2 inch. Galvanized after welding is so much cheaper, but I really worried about my bird's exposure to any zinc remaining on the wires, so I decided to bite the bullet and go with stainless steel.

There will be a chute from the side of the aviary that'll be directly attached to my bedroom window. I won't have to carry them out to the aviary in carriers, but will be able to place them inside the chute, and then they can fly right into their bird haven. Size of the aviary is 20x10.

 

 

20171101_165214.jpg

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This puts a rest to my suspicions that there is a Grey conspiracy out there to get their hoomans to build luxury aviaries. 

You'll love being able to shove them in and out from the house.   That's the one thing I didn't like about my first outdoor aviary - it's too hard to get in and out of.  Once I put them in I was reluctant to pull them out.  Silkies make really good cleanup crew if you need something to pickup the food that gets tossed. 

What kind of roof are you putting on it?  Wire?

 

If I didn't know any better, I'd guess you were from Australia. Your yard looks really similar to the yard where my wife grew up in Toowoomba.  Those almost look like native australian gum trees.

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Posted (edited)

The roof will be a combo of every other panel being steel/outdoor patio plastic stuff so that more light can filter through. I didn't want there to be any cross beams onto which my fids could climb, thereby making it a challenge to retrieve them at night. 

My 4 German Shepherds will do a fine job cleaning up the tossed food at the end of the day. The next door neighbors have a junk heap of stuff collecting in their back yard, which has made their property a great haven for rats. That's one of the main reasons why I went with 1/2x2 inch mesh.

And no, I'm located in sunny Southern California. Those are eucalyptus trees, plus bamboo growing on the other side of the fence.

 

Next I'll have to figure out what kinds of bird safe vegetation I'll have growing inside the aviary.

 

Edited by Greytness
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Take a look at Suntuf panels.    That's what we used.   15 year damage warranty.   They sell it at Home Depot too.

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17 hours ago, SRSeedBurners said:

Take a look at Suntuf panels.    That's what we used.   15 year damage warranty.   They sell it at Home Depot too.

Thanks! Would you recommend doing the entire roofing in that rather than what I was thinking, which is to alternate between galvanized steel:plastic panels? I wanted them to be able to find shade as needed, and was thinking that having the entire roof made out of those plastic sheets would make it too hot for them.

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That's a tough call.  We had the exact same dilemma and I finally decided to just use one type of panel all the way across.  We went with the 'Solar Grey' as it has 35% light transmission.  We have plenty of soffit for the birds to hide under should they want to get completely in the shade.  Here in Texas we regularly get temps 90-100 for weeks or months on end.  So I'm fully expecting to have to find a way to push air through our aviary.

If you do use the SunTuf, I don't believe you will be able to use any other panel as the ridge profiles are hexagonal in shape.  Most galvanized panels and the regular polycarbonate panels are a 'sine curve' shape.  There is no guarantee those will fit together either as the curves may be different sizes between the two products.   I do know, you DO NOT want to use the clear polycarbonate paneling that you will find at Lowes/HD.   That stuff is pure junk and breaks easily.  It's listed at HD under the name 'Palruf'. 

If you're going to have open sides, which I believe is what you are doing, you can easily hang a box fan and a mister on the outside and cool their jets with that.  That's what I did on our outdoor aviary.

 

Here's what I would do based on what I think you're building and what I know of how my birds have behaved in both my aviaries:   I would put a solid section of roofing ~2ft out from the side of the house, very similar to the way our roof soffits are in our new aviary.  Our birds tend to want to hang out under that.  Our outdoor aviary has a tree that shades part of it and that's where they hang 90% of the time.   They sell a closure strip that we used to join the SunTuf panels to the flat roofing board which is exactly what you would do too.  I think I may have a pic of that before it was shingled.

 

Have you thought about having a camera out there?   I can't tell you how much peace of mind that brings being able to monitor them from inside the house.   I have a dedicated monitor at home and work that is nothing but the live feed from my camera.

 

Here is the manufacture link for the Suntuf panels.   It contains the different colors, how much light they transmit and a couple of good videos comparing them. 

 

https://www.palramamericas.com/Products/corrugated-sheets/SUNTUF/

 

If you do decide to go with Suntuf, you will need their closure strips and what they call their 'horizontal'.   Those are not sold at Home Depot which is completely stupid.  I had to order them and wait, fortunately our contractor had other stuff he did in the meantime.

https://www.palramamericas.com/Products/corrugated-accessories/CorrugatedAccessories/

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Posted (edited)

Thank you SO MUCH! I'm going to take a look at the Suntuf in a moment.

I have some additional concerns moving forward with the plans. The contractor designed the aviary with the idea of having only the roof panels; so no mesh on the top. Now I'm beginning to think that it might not be a good idea to go that route, especially if I decide to use the Suntuf. The eucalyptus trees are known to drop branches here and there, so I'm fearful that if I don't have any roof mesh, that a branch could possibly penetrate one of those panels, and then my birdies will fly off into the sunset.

He's coming by tomorrow, so I really need to wrap my plans up quickly.

 

Okay..I just looked at the Suntuf website. Nice product! Would you go with the clear or opal white?

Edited by Greytness
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We went with the Solar Grey, it's a really nice smokey color and casts a bronze light (sort of like the color you see when there's a forest fire in the area and the sky is filled with smoke - bad joke I know - but that really is what it looks like underneath them).  Home Depot only carries Clear and Solar Grey in our area so I never got to see the others.   We have enough sunlight that comes through the windows on the side that I'm not concerned about maximum sunlight overhead.  They provide the partial shade I was after and then under the soffits it's full shade.

How are you building the roof?   We have 16 ft beams like what they use on a pergola.   The beams come directly off our house roof.   The Suntuf panels sit directly on top of the beams (on top of the Suntuf 'horizontals' but that has no bearing on what I'm talking about).  Then on the underside of the beams I am putting up 16 gauge wire.  So there will be a space the width of the beam between the wire on the bottom and the panel sitting on top.  Similar to you I don't want something punching a hole in the panel and my birds getting an escape route.  My concern is a squirrel chewing through.   If there is threat of hail, I won't have them out there anyway so a baseball size hailball I'm not worried about.   These panels will take a pretty good strike but it is possible a branch could punch through if directed just right.

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Solar Grey sounds really nice.

The fabricator is using steel beams as support. The cost of this aviary is about to increase, now that I know I have to add SS netting into its roof. UGH.

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Well I'm excited! Met with the fabricator to finalize the roof plans. Thanks to SR SeedBurners I feel confident with what we're going to do! This aviary runs north>south. The north half will have corregated steel panels, and the south half the SunTuf opaque white panels. So there will be a shaded portion and a light infused portion.

The fabricator didn't even increase the price when I asked to have the SS mesh installed underneath the SunTuf panels. Estimated time for installation: 2 weeks!!! So happy!

 

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I hour your contractor is faster than mine regarding his own time estimates.  We were told 4 weeks, 5 max.    12 weeks later we were wrapping things up.  Normally we would have said something but his work was such high quality with attention to detail - I just shut my beak.

 

Keep us posted with pics.

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The entire waiting period to completion will actually be 5 weeks for us, too. With all that you had to implement  building your sunroom,12 weeks is pretty good! 

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That was just the main construction.   I still have left to do:

 

Wire with electric - I'm getting an electrician to do that because it needs power from the panel and I don't screw with the panel.

Lighting - me and the electrician

Cameras with cat-5 cabling - me

Window wire panels - me

Some landscaping - me

More rope climbing nets and toys!  - me

 

GreyNet.jpg

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58 minutes ago, Greytness said:

Monday is installation day! Woot! Woot!

So 5 weeks from Monday it should be done?

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Nope. By the following day. It was fabricated into sections elsewhere and will be installed in a day. My aviary won't have closed walls. All SS mesh, with steel corregated panel for half of the roof, and the other half the Suntuf panels you'd recommended that  I use.

Edited by Greytness
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Even cooler!   So you're waiting is nearly done!   Did you ever decide on a camera [system]? 

 

I'm still fumbling around with getting electric and LAN cabling out there.   We have graduated to leaving our two mids (Caique & Jardines) out there during the day.   They have the smaller of the three sections.    I had a guy give me a quote on steel reinforced security screens which I'm going to need before I can leave the Greys out there $3300!!!   At that price I'll get my own welder and do it myself.   Also got to have something before the heat comes along because mine will definitely overheat with no airflow.

But even with just the two mids out in the aviary, that has freed up my bird room to where my Greys are loose in their bird room, and the two lils are just loose in the house.  So we're technically cage free right now.

Edited by SRSeedBurners
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Jury's still out on the cameras. 

That looks really pricey! Wish I'd been born thrifty with my hands as you were! 

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Well darn. They've moved the installation date to either Thursday or Friday. Hoping they won't reschedule it again!

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All the panels have been brought over. They'll begin installation on Monday!

The only thing that isn't the way I'd envisioned it is with regards to the double door holding area. It's huge. It's the size of a small aviary.

I'll post pictures next week. Very excited!!!

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Trust me, you'll want that oversize safety area.   I built mine too small on my outdoor aviary and it's a pain in the butt.  I'm going to rebuild it and make it double or triple the size.  I get tired of having to shuffle things around and squeeze things through.

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