Numerous species of birds can spend the winter in the home garden. Here you can find out exactly what you have to pay attention to so that you do not get any legal problems and how you can offer your feathered friend a species-appropriate bird aviary in winter.
Which Bird Species are Allowed to Overwinter?
First of all, it should be said that only healthy animals should spend the winter in an outdoor aviary. In addition, it is advisable to get the animals used to the temperatures and nature from an early age so that they stay fit in the bird aviary in winter.
The budgie is not only one of the most popular bird species, it is also one of the feathered animals that can spend the cold season in an outdoor aviary. Parrots need a lot of oxygen and, above all, sunlight, as this is responsible for the production of vitamin D. However, it is important to ensure that the lively bipeds cannot tolerate drafts. The same applies to a certain extent, for example, to zebra finches, red cardinals, cockatiels, and quails.
Advantages of an Outdoor Aviary
Outdoor aviaries are great for birds, even in winter. They offer enough space to spread your wings and keep moving. In this way, you can prevent your beloved animal from gaining weight and also ensure that it remains vital and lively. The open space gives the animals joy and ensures that they are kept in a species-appropriate manner.
Outdoor Aviary ─ What Do I Have to Consider?
After you have informed yourself sufficiently at the vet, in specialist books, or on the Internet whether your feather friend can spend the cold season in an outdoor aviary, it is imperative to find a suitable location for the aviary. This must offer sufficient space and direct sunlight. It is therefore recommended to orientate them in a southerly or easterly direction. You should also inform your neighbors depending on the garden or balcony location ─ about your plans. It is also important that you contact your city or municipality and find out about the applicable regulations. In most cases, some regulations have to be observed and various permits have to be obtained.
Outdoor Aviary Security Measures
Unwelcome guests can be a danger to your feathered friends. Cats as well as weasels and foxes regard the animals as tasty prey. It is all the more important that you first secure the floor of the aviary sufficiently. A foundation made of concrete in combination with several layers of stainless steel wire, which has a tight mesh and is deeply anchored in the earth, is suitable. The floor of the bird’s shelter can also be laid with bricks so that the rainwater can seep away. In addition, you can secure the floor area with metal or wooden plates that run up a little along the edge. Of course, the sides and the ceiling should also be made of sturdy wire, as cats can usually climb the aviary without any problems. As soon as you enter the accommodation, you run the risk of your spring friends escaping. In order to prevent such a scenario, it is advisable to set up two entrance doors so that you only enter one anteroom at first, which you can calmly close behind you.
The Temperature in the Outside Aviary
The outdoor aviary must be protected from both wind and weather. A well-insulated interior is also important. Optionally, a radiant heater or a heating lamp can be installed, which ensures an optimal feel-good atmosphere in the accommodation. A classic thermometer, which can be permanently attached, is suitable for checking the temperature. You should inform yourself in advance about the respective temperature preference, which can vary from bird species to bird species. It is also advisable to install an artificial light source so that your birds go to their home by themselves when it gets dark. So that the light and heat sources do not become a danger, they should be adequately secured. It is even more advisable to position a trough with drinking water as well as another for bathing inside, as these do not freeze there even at minus temperatures.
Aviary in Winter – Nutritional Issues
If you decide to set up a bird aviary for your darling in winter, then you must not forget that proper nutrition also plays an important role. In contrast to keeping it in the apartment, the menu for the stay in the bird aviary must have significantly more nutritious food ready in winter, as the two-legged animals have to generate more energy in cold temperatures. Budgies in particular depend on a generous source of energy in order to maintain their body temperature and stay vital. A nutritious food can, for example, consist of the usual grain mix enriched with sunflower seeds.
Creation of the Outdoor Aviary
After you have informed yourself about the characteristics of your beloved animal, found wind and weather-protected location, contact the municipality or city, and set up an interior space according to the tips mentioned above, you can finally begin with the loving design of the aviary. Inside you can attach climbing trees and perches as you like, which provide plenty of variety. Setting up several floors is also a great way to present the bird’s shelter. In addition, the two-legged friends love it when tolerable and winter-proof green plants grow in the bird home, which creates a successful atmosphere and has a calming effect on them. There are almost no limits to your imagination when it comes to design. Birds also love a varied and exciting environment. All you have to do is make sure that the facility does not pose a health risk in any way.
Species-Appropriate Bird Keeping: House or Fresh Air?
If you get your little plumage friends used to the outdoor aviary from an early age, then they will certainly appreciate it and will be happy to accept it as their home in wind and weather. Parrots, on the other hand, who are often allowed inside, often no longer want to go back outside because, due to their social attitude, they see themselves as part of the family and want to live with it under one roof.
Aviary Costs in Winter
When building an outdoor aviary that is suitable for the cold season, there are a few points to consider. One of the most important factors is undoubtedly the cost. Even the construction of a standard outdoor aviary is not an insignificant cost to the wallet due to the material costs. It becomes particularly expensive when the aviary has to be set up for the winter. Heating elements, which are essential for the well-being of the animals and for the temperature of the drinking and bathing water, have their price. Of course, you also have to include the expenses for other accessories and feed, possible visits to the vet – in the open air there are more cases of illness – as well as the litter. If you care about your feathered friend, which we hope you do, you mustn’t skimp on the expense and hassle.