The Flight
The flight is attached to the night shelter and is constructed from wire mesh mounted on a framework. Aviary widths are similar and in most cases are 3 feet (1 m), especially as most meshes are available in this width. Frames should preferably be made 3 feet(l m) wide to avoid much cutting during construction. The size of the mesh generally used is 1/2 inch(1.25 cm) square and 19 gauge. New mesh is usually quite dazzling, especially when the sun shines on it, so a coat of mat black or asphalt paint applied with a roller will help. The framework frequently is made of timber, which is relatively cheap and easy to attach the mesh to. However, one disadvantage is that some parakeet species will gnaw the framework--sometimes even rendering it irreparable. If the mesh is attached on the inside of the framework, it will help to stop gnawing to some extent. However, it is much better to protect the inner woodwork with strips of metal. Another possibility is to construct the whole framework with metal. This usually is more expensive and the mesh is more difficult to attach, but it will last much longer and the birds cannot destroy it. If you have several adjacent flights, you have various possibilities of access. A service passage and safety porch along the front of the flights can be used. Or you can have a door leading from one flight into the next, but this often is not practical as you cannot put a perch where the door is if the door reaches the top of the cage and you will thus shorten the flight space. If the door is shorter you can have a perch above it, but it will be right in your path. The best way is to have the door in the center of the flight walls. Be sure to have reliable latches on the doors as parakeets are very "mechanically minded" and will visit the neighbours given the opportunity. The drinking vessels can be placed near the front of the aviary, if placed on the floor they will be fouled quicker than if elevated. They can be filled easily with a hose or a watering can and, if a small door is placed in the mesh, they can be removed easily for cleaning without entering the flight. Do not place water vessels below perches. Some fanciers cover their flights completely, others partly and yet others not at all. The first possibility will ensure that the birds will not get worms and it will afford good protection. One disadvantage is that in warm weather you will get a greenhouse effect. Partly covered, the birds have a choice of sitting under shelter or enjoying the weather. It must be remembered that coverings of transparent plastic, glass, or plexiglass, will cut out the ultraviolet rays from the sun and will reduce the birds' ability to manufacture vitamin D. Partial covering of the roof will mean that nest boxes can be placed outside more safely.

Wire Mesh Sizes
Guidelines for choosing wire mesh.

Wire gauge	Mesh Size		Suitability

----------	---------		-----------

19g		12.2x12.5mm (1/2"x1/2")	Waxbills, Small Softbills (Finch) & Canaries

19g		12.5x25mm (1/2"x1")	Budgerigars, Grass parakeets & Pigeons

16g		12.5x12.5mm (1/2"x1/2")	Lovebirds & Conures

16g		12.5x25mm (1/2"x1")	Alexandrines & Magpies

14g		25x25mm (1"x1")		Amazons, Macaws & Grey Parrots

12g		50x50mm (2"x1")		Large Macaws & Cockatoos

E-Mail: berniehansen@sympatico.ca



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Hamilton & District Budgerigar Society Inc.