First published in the American Singers Club newsletter, July 2001.
It's summer and the living should be easy in your bird room. This is the time of year that is the easiest in the aviary. The young males are starting to sing and hope springs eternal. Every once in a while, you hear part of a song that sends a shiver down your spine and you think, "this will be my year!"
I find that I can safely house most of my males together in a large floor to ceiling flight. Hens are kept in their own floor to ceiling flight. Of course some birds are caged individually but I try to keep that number at a bare minimum. This arrangement makes basic maintenance easy. I use white pine shavings as bedding on the flight floors. Depending on the number of birds in the flight, I can usually go about 4 weeks before changing the bedding. In between changing, I rake and add fresh shavings weekly. The light cycle follows the natural daylight hours. Feeding is also easy. No more egg food to prepare. All 200+ birds are eating the same food. Canary/Rape mix, fresh kale and marigolds. I check the bird room in the morning before work. I top off any food hoppers that need it and refill water etc. This takes about 15 minutes. After work, I check the room again. I vacuum the bird room. More extensive cleanings are on Wednesdays and weekends. This is when I clean perches, scour feed and water cups. I can go away for 3-4 days without having anyone come in to look at my birds. Keeping the birds in this type of setup also makes it easier if you have a birdsitter come in while you are on vacation.
Sometime during the summer all show cages are scrubbed and painted as needed. In early September, promising males are pulled from the flight and put into show cages. Then the real work begins! Enjoy the summer while it lasts!
Copyright © 2001 Tom Miller. All rights reserved.
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