Paul S. seeks advice:
My wife is getting a GCC (Green Cheek Conure) within the next month or so.
We live in the Midwest (Kansas City) and I would like to build a cage outside on our deck so our GCC can get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors.
What size recommendations would be beneficial to our new bird?
Also what kind of shading does it need?
Our deck is on the east side of the house with the sun almost all day.
Glad to hear about the new GCC Paul.
In that, they are small birds (64 g, cockatiels average 100 g) they don’t require a large cage.
18” x 18″ or 24” x 24” is actually sufficient.
Building a birdcage requires the proper materials.
I have seen wooden arrangements.
Inexpensive softwoods like pine can be chewed through even by a GCC.
If you’re going to use more expensive wood like oak you might as well buy a cage.
Many people use galvanized chicken wire which is highly toxic to any bird because of the zinc from the galvanization.
Stainless steel mesh around 22 gauge should be sufficient but it will cost you from $100-$200 per 4-foot roll.
The cover can be simple white canvas installed a foot or two above the cage to allow for airflow.
Although out-of-doors with the cover blocking most of the sunlight, artificial light should be introduced.
You will also want to think about heating the conure using something like heated perches, panels or infrared heat lamps unless you’re going to be bringing the bird inside the moment it begins to get chilly.
The biggest challenge with an outdoor aviary is keeping predators away from the bird.
Think mice, rats, cats, raccoons, snakes, and birds of prey.
Thus the structure should be surrounded by an exterior perimeter like a 360° foyer.
Sometimes a commercially made travel carrier that you put on the picnic table while you sit nearby can be more effective than a permanent structure because of the portability.