How to Build an Aviary

Two Methods:Initial ConsiderationsBuilding Your Aviary

An aviary can increase your bird's quality of life. Birds tend to thrive when they have room to fly and are contained in a natural-looking environment. Aviaries are much larger than a normal bird cage and can be built for both indoor or outdoor use. Homemade aviaries can be as unique as the birds they house.

Method 1
Initial Considerations

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    Consider how and how often you must maintain the aviary. What materials would aid in quick cleaning?
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    Research materials you could use to build the aviary.
    • Certain types of wood can be poisonous to birds and some metal materials can chip easily, which can also cause health problems. Professionals advise using non-coated galvanized steel for the cage, and ceramic, concrete, brick or linoleum for the floor of your aviary.
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    Decide if you want your aviary indoors or outdoors. This may affect the size and materials you decide to use.
    • Weather conditions and predators are important considerations when building an outside aviary, while maintenance and ventilation are key for an indoor aviary.
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    • You can structure your aviary so that it is portable for both inside and outside use.
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    Plan for a larger aviary rather than a small one.
    • An aviary can be any size but you'll want to accommodate for the size of your bird and give him enough room to fly--at least twice the wingspan for width, six times the body for length and four times the body for height.
    • Budget space for additions like nests or branches.

Method 2
Building Your Aviary

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    Start with the floor.
    • If you use concrete as recommended, lay 12 inches (30.5 cm) for the foundation. You can add a layer of sand, gravel or pine to the concrete to sweep up with waste during cleaning.
    • You may also want to "plant" non-toxic foliage in the concrete while it's setting or at least leave enough space.
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    Build the frame. Stone, metal, plastic or brick piping work, as well as treated lumber.
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    Construct the walls and roof with welded wire.
    • Parameters and wire spacing are dependent on the size of birds you want to house in the aviary.
    • You'll want to make sure the wire is heavy enough that your bird can't break it, usually 10-gauge or heavier.
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    Make an entrance. Whether you make the entrance or purchase a ready-made door, make sure it is a double-door to prevent escape.
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    Provide shelter, especially if it's an outdoor aviary or a portable aviary for indoor and outdoor use.
    • At least one-third of the aviary should be enclosed. Fasten material--plastic, Plexiglas, cloth or hardwood--to two or three sides of the aviary and the roof.
    • You can also add insulation and a heater.
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    Protect your bird from predators.
    • Add another layer of wiring or mesh to prevent predators from getting too close to your bird. A 1/2-inch-by-1/2-inch wire will thwart opossums, rats and cats. Even smaller wire can prevent snakes and mice from accessing the aviary.
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    • If you set the aviary on the ground, you'll also want to make sure that other animals cannot dig to get inside. Digging 6 inches (15.2 cm) down and around the perimeter can help.
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    Make the environment fun for your bird by adding in perches and trees that it can climb, as well as several nest boxes. Make sure perches are far enough from the edge of the aviary that it won't invite predators.
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    Add on an area to store food and tools for easy access.


  • Before you build an outdoor aviary, check for any relevant ordinances or regulations in your neighborhood. In some planned housing developments, special restrictions exist against building outdoor structures.

Article Info

Categories: Birds