Things are getting very tight time wise with just over three weeks to go to the Parrots 2010 and the focus of one of my presentations – designing and constructing an outdoor enrichment aviary, yet to be completed! This is seriously going to come down to the wire and I’m getting nervous. Here are some pics and a few updates to let you know where we are up to. A long way still to go before these are inhabitable…
Traditional footings for aviaries are usually designed to provide a concrete platform around the full perimeter of the enclosure. This provides both a uniformly flat base and a solid anchor point. Normally, a trench will be dug around the perimeter to facilitate the construction of a concrete footing 200mm in depth and 150mm wide for a small complex. I have done this in the past with some of my aviaries and it’s both labour intensive and costly. For the enrichment aviary complex I decided to do things a little differently and just anchor the primary corners of the complex to a concrete base, rather than run the concrete around the full perimeter. We welded base plates to each corner of the frame and drilled a hole to facilitate dropping a 10 gauge bolt into the base plate. The bolt was positioned upside down with an oversized washer at the bolt head and a washer and nut at the screw head. The concrete was then poured into a pre-dug hole at each corner, encasing the length of the bolt below the base plate. Once the concrete was dried, the bolt was tightened to further secure the frame to the ground. I’ll discuss why we can get away with this level of footing security in my presentation at Parrots 2010.
Landscaping and Planting
The past two days have been huge with plenty of digging and planting going on in and around the aviaries. I’m not finished yet but here’s a snapshot of some of the landscaping work in progress.
I gotta say, when this is all done – the one thing I am looking forward to more than anything else is being able to spend more time with two of my favourite animals – my daughter Darcy and my Rotty Rosie!