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EarthaPidge EarthaPidge is offline
Posted 26th June 2005, 08:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 159

Best Substrate for Aviary Floors?


Hello everyone,

I'm curious to know what different substrates you have tried on your aviary floors to facilitate cleaning. I'm building an outdoor aviary (finally) for my girls and am not sure what to put on the floor to streamline the cleaning process.

Also with indoor and/or outdoor aviaries, do you leave a bath out all the time or just place a few times a week? My birds poop so much in them that I am having a tough time keeping them clean if left in the cage 24/7.

I have one aggressive pigeon so I might have to make an aviary within an aviary unless you think they might just all "work it out." Your thoughts?

Thanks for your help.

Laura (Eartha, Appaloosa Girl, and Midge)


EarthaPidge EarthaPidge is offline
Posted 26th June 2005, 08:48 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 159
Also, the area is about 11' x 12'. Thanks. -L
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melissasue1968 melissasue1968 is offline
Posted 27th June 2005, 12:02 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Saudi Arabia
Age: 45
Posts: 119
Hi Laura!
I'm new to pigeons and don't know about the flooring, others will be along soon to help you out.
My comment is about the aggressive pigeon and being new to pigeons I don't know how they might react, but what if since this is new to all the birds you placed all the non-aggressive birds in first for a few days, allowing them to set up their territories before introducing Mr./Ms. Bossy pants and see if that doesn't slow him down a bit . I don't know, this may be the wrong advice with pigeons.... It works with other animals sometimes......but see what the others have to say on the idea first.
Good luck, Melissa
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Jiggs Jiggs is offline
Posted 27th June 2005, 05:00 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: RSA
Age: 40
Posts: 918
I have a smooth cement floor wich is OK as it just involves a heavy duty broom and some water to give it a good scrub.
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Skyeking Skyeking is offline
Posted 27th June 2005, 05:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Country: United States
Location: SE Coast Central Florida
Posts: 23,551
Hi there,

The cement floor is probably an excellent idea, as you can just hose it off.

I have a walk in aviary that we built off the ground with pressure treated lumber. We use the p.t for the frame only, and a small walkway to enable us to get around to put out the feeders and the swimming pools. This makes it easier to get poop off with either a hose or rain wash what little walkway we have. We enclosed the rest of the floor with 1/2" mesh. I would recommend 1/4" mesh if you keep the coop open at night.

Our neighbor gave us a whole bunch of heavy gauge wire fencing which we used for the sides and top. We doubled it all with chicken wire. It is a real pleasure to be out there with them wether its inside or outside, now.

We only put the baths out during the day, and take them in after each "pool party". We don't want to encourage mosquitos as they are bad around here, plus the pools need to be cleaned after each swim.

Treesa
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feralpigeon feralpigeon is offline
Posted 27th June 2005, 06:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northern, CA
Posts: 6,651
Hi folks,

Just a word of caution regarding pressure treated wood, it is highly toxic to humans, and can't imagine it being less so with animals or birds specifically.
Redwood performs the same function as pressure treated wood due to the high content of tanic acids in the wood and is used interchangeably with pressure treated wood in construction, ie. foundation mudsills,outdoor fences, decks, etc. If the floors/walls of the aviary are constructed so that the PT is encapsulated, like other construction applications, it is deemed safe. If the birds can walk on the PT or brush against walls (exposed framing) and then preen, it is best to use redwood which is not considered toxic and naturally resists termites, mold/mildew, and dryrot.

The concrete would seem ideal and can be sealed after curing. Highly durable and easily cleaned. There are members here who use oak grated flooring that is available in modular sections from one of the Pigeon Supply houses.

Others will hopefully be along soon to give more suggestions about what they have found to be helpful designs.

fp

Last edited by feralpigeon; 27th June 2005 at 06:39 AM.
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ZigZagMarquis ZigZagMarquis is offline
Posted 27th June 2005, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SoCal
Age: 47
Posts: 1,168
This has been a topic of discussion many times here... but its a good one to bring up again...

Anyway, I'm fortunate enough to have a cement floor in my loft, as I made it by just enclosing part of my patio. Any future loft I may have, I'd prefer to have a cement floor as it makes it much easier to scrape & sweep daily and its much easier to hose & scrub occasionally (I do this every couple of weeks, weather permitting).

I've seen photos of many pigeon lofts though that have plywood floors, wire floors, or even just compacted dirt of some sort or another.

What ever the flooring, my 2 cents would be good ventelation is the key; you don't want your birds in a damp environment.

If one goes with flooring other then cement... I'm not sure about how this changes cleaning considerations... specifically, hosing & scrubing. With a cement floor, I don't think its a big deal at all to do this, I just use water with a little bleach in it, but if you had a plywood flooring or even plywood with linolium (sp?) over it, I'm not sure if I'd be so inclined to hose down as often as I would be with cement for fear of warpage.

<break> <break>

As for leaving bath water out for the birds. I usually just put out their bath pans once a week and then take them up soon after I see they're done bathing are set to preening and sun-bathing. I don't think you'd want to leave bath pans out all the time without changing the water often so it doesn't become "poluted" and the birds then drink from it. I think most fanciers just offer their birds a bath once or twice a week and then keep the bath pans up the rest of the time. When I do offer my birds a bath, I put bath salts in with the water most times and every once in awhile... every 3rd bath or so, I add acified copper sulfate in lieu of the bath salts.
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Skyeking Skyeking is offline
Posted 27th June 2005, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Country: United States
Location: SE Coast Central Florida
Posts: 23,551
Hi everybody,

Lets clarify here:

For outdoor aviaries, that don't have a roof, it would be ideal to have cement as it is so easy to clean and dries quickly with the sun. This works inside the coop as well, as long as the floor is high up and there is plenty of ventilation.

For the frame of our coop and outside aviary we use p.t lumber. The floor boarding and all the perches outside and inside the coop are NON-TOXIC WOOD.

To keep moisture out we build our coops at least 2 feet off the ground. It is extremely important to do so here in Florida. We use 3/4 " plywood which we scrape off every few days and then sweep out. After that we sweep this white powder (you can buy from Globals, Paloma ) into the nooks and crannies of the plywood floor and any excess is swept out, and the floor smells sweetly and is very dry. I recommend this highly for wood floors.
I don't recommend hosing off plywood, as it will warp and such.

Luckily here in Florida, where it rains alot, things dry out quickly after the rain, once the sun is out, which decreases any kind of mold buildup.

The key to preventing any mould or puddles is good drainage and cleaning and drying everything where needed. Ventilation, as mentioned, is extremely important. You just have to keep it up day to day, no big secret.

Our coops stood a major test, well two, they were rain soaked after the two hurricanes we experienced directly in our area. The coops and aviaries were totally untouched,nothing damaged or moved(they did better then some houses and back yard sheds)

Because the rain flies in sideways, it came in thru the ventilation under the roof. But, also because of the ventilation we were able to dry up the coop in less then a day, and clean it out and move the pigeons back in. The flooring was wet, but no standing water. There was one coop in Vero Beach, that didn't make it, and I have some hurricane victims from that coop. (I can't imagine anybody leaving their birds inside the coop during a hurricane, even if it is well built, if it doesn't have windows, but some people did) This one person lost 60 out of 100 racing pigeons, half the coop was destroyed.

We had a hail storm earlier this year that chipped some of the paint on one side of the coop, which was a little more noticeable. LOL

I certainly hope and pray that we don't have to go thru another year like last year, and I hope none of you has to experience anything like that either.

Treesa
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Last edited by Skyeking; 27th June 2005 at 09:22 AM.
granny granny is offline
Posted 27th June 2005, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Age: 71
Posts: 40

Slatted floors


I have one loft with a wood floor and one with the slats. I much preferr to clean the loft with the slats . I live in Colorado and am wondering about the wind in the winter tho. I might have to cover them with a rubber matting. This is all brand new to me so I am learning as I go along.
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Feefo Feefo is offline
Posted 27th June 2005, 02:30 PM
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Country: United Kingdom
Location: UK
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I
Quote:
have one aggressive pigeon so I might have to make an aviary within an aviary unless you think they might just all "work it out." Your thoughts?
I am inclined to think they will work it out if they have enough space.

I have finally moved Snowflake into the aviary, and even he has settled down now and found his place in the pecking order. It took a week, though!

Cynthia
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re lee re lee is offline
Posted 27th June 2005, 07:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: enid okla
Posts: 4,090
Bird types dictate flooring covering. Birds that are flighty need a clear floor or perhaps sand. non flighty birds pine shaving and such work well. Open aviry concrete or perhaps sand based. with coverd wire below. built up to drain ok. grated floors work well but should be built up enough off the ground for better cleaning under them. And can be different mat, metal or wood planked. But main thing is to have a fast drying or protected aviry. wet conditions bring desease fast to the birds.
EarthaPidge EarthaPidge is offline
Posted 27th June 2005, 10:17 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 159
Thanks everyone for your words of advice. This is just a temporary aviary for my birds until I can afford to build them something completely outside. Their first aviary is going to be built inside a boxstall inside my barn. There are several windows so it is sunny and then there is a huge dutch door leading out that I will build a screen for. The enclosure will be very secure at night with the wooden door closing in front of the screen door. I am not sure how the birds will do in the winter, so I might just bring them inside when it starts to get cold.

Unfortunately this setup will not get direct sunlight to facilitate drying out any wet flooring. I have considered installing linoleum on top of the wood planks. Also, I have both flighted and non flighted birds, which is making for quite a challenging design! I will look into some of the flooring options you mentioned.

Someone mentioned pine shavings and I just wanted to note that pine & cedar shavings are toxic to animals because of the aromatic hydrocarbons they contain. The melting point of some of these phenols is very close to room temperature, which makes them even more troublesome (can be both inhaled and/or consumed orally). They also cause increased liver enzymes and potential liver damage after prolonged exposure.

Thanks for your advice about the baths. I feel better now that I'm not depriving them of daily baths!

Best regards, Laura
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feralpigeon feralpigeon is offline
Posted 27th June 2005, 10:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northern, CA
Posts: 6,651
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthaPidge

Someone mentioned pine shavings and I just wanted to note that pine & cedar shavings are toxic to animals because of the aromatic hydrocarbons they contain. The melting point of some of these phenols is very close to room temperature, which makes them even more troublesome (can be both inhaled and/or consumed orally). They also cause increased liver enzymes and potential liver damage after prolonged exposure.

Best regards, Laura
Laura, that's some good info, thanks!
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Jiggs Jiggs is offline
Posted 28th June 2005, 12:39 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: RSA
Age: 40
Posts: 918
You say you have non flighted birds I doubt linolium will be your best bet and most birds - even pigeons need a brick or two to keep their nails trim.
EarthaPidge EarthaPidge is offline
Posted 28th June 2005, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiggs
You say you have non flighted birds I doubt linolium will be your best bet and most birds - even pigeons need a brick or two to keep their nails trim.
Jiggs, don't worry, I was certainly not planning on having a smooth floor devoid of all of my babies' favorite rocks and perches. I am very much into environmental stimulation for all of my animals.

I don't want to pour concrete in this stall because the enclosure is temporary and I would like it to be easily reverted back to a stall for large animals someday. So I think I will go with linoleum for now.

Laura
 

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