Owl finches happy in their spacious aviary
If you plan on keeping a flock of finches or a mixture of compatible species, an outdoor aviary or a bird room will be ideal. The finches will benefit from lots of space, the fresh air and abundance of sunlight. As long as the area is secure and sheltered, you will have several options - a homemade structure, a free-standing or lean-to shed, a converted outbuilding, or whatever hybrid structure suits your suits the space you have most.Setting Up an Aviary or Bird Room
Bird rooms can be easily set up in sheds or other outbuildings, this provides the dual advantage of a dedicated space for the birds, and protection from the elements. Outdoor aviaries are also fine, just make sure that you provide a large covered area for the birds to retreat to when the weather turns sour. In either case, you will need to provide some form of heating for the colder months of the year.
Bird rooms and aviaries are essentially giant cages. They will need all the same fixtures and fittings, but on a larger scale. Provide dozens of perches and swings, some raised feeding areas, lots of bells and other safe toys to provide the ideal environment for your birds. You can also use larger branches, and in an aviary you can even provide living trees and shrubs.
Society finches in their aviary
Bird housing of this size needs to be cleaned out regularly and there is lots of work involved. Keeping the floors clean is vital, because an unclean floor will attract vermin such as mice and rats. Many bird room keepers go for a concrete floor, as this can be easily hosed or swept clean. Uneaten food will need to be changed daily and the whole cage will need to be fully cleaned out on a weekly basis.
Aviary SizeThe size of your aviary will dictate how many birds you can keep in it. A general rule of thumb is to have 5 inches of aviary length per finch, and a width that is at least half of the length. Going by this, a cage that can house fifteen birds will need to be 70x70x35in. Scaling things up a bit, an aviary that can house fifty birds will need to be 20x20x15ft.
Do note that these are simply just rough guidelines. Some finches will need a bit more personal space, and if they feel overcrowded they will soon become aggressive. Always ask an expert for advice before beginning an aviary project or introducing new birds. Keep in mind that Canaries aren’t all that sociable and will need more space than the average finch.
Owl finch outdoors
Aviary and Birdhouse Accessories
An aviary or birdhouse will need kitting out just like a normal cage would, only on a much larger scale. There will need to be several feeding and drinking areas, plenty of perches and swings, various toys etc to keep all your feathered residents happy and content. Perches should be installed at various heights, so that all your birds can find a spot that suits them the most.