I've kept budgies in the past but only in cages so I'm fairly familiar with their basic care. I'm now living in a house that has a partially enclosed area outside that I would like to convert into an aviary for a few pairs of budgies and possibly other species. So really I'm looking for some advice and possibly a link to a guide to creating and maintaining a budgie aviary. I found mostly very basic and conflicting advice online so far so I thought that a dedicated budgie forum would be my best bet.
I live in Hanoi in Vietnam and our year round weather would seem to suit budgies. I can also easily get seed and grit, as well as fruits and veg if needed.
The area I would like to use is currently just being used to store mops and buckets and is already partially enclosed. If has a tiled floor and also has a plumbed water tap and drain. Our drains are prone to clogging though so I would rather sweep up seed than wash it down the drain. It has a plastic sheet already over it but I may replace this as it's a bit dirty.
My plan is to install mesh round the whole area and possibly replace the plastic sheet. I would then add perches and nesting boxes as well as food and water areas. I plan to keep 2 or 3 pairs of budgies and possibly some other small birds. So far I have read that it's best not to mix species, especially if the birds are too crowded. The species I am considering would be button quails, zebra finches, canaries, java sparrows, munias or society finches.
My possible problems would firstly be that the door to the area opens out the way. This could lead to birds escaping into our large living room. Secondly we have a cat who could be a problem if the aforementioned escape happened or stress to the birds when she is near the windows to the area. She did quickly lose interest in our open topped aquarium though so I think she would quickly become bored of the birds once she realises she can't get to them. I would also make sure she is not in the living room when I enter or exit the aviary. I could also easily install some kind of sheet over the door for use when entering and exiting. She also does not have outside access to the aviary area. Another problem would be rodents. We have both rats and mice in the area but rarely see them now we have the cat. I would ensure that the mesh is completely secure with no possible entry by rodents.
The main things I would like to know is where to position food and water for easy access and cleaning. If any of the other birds mentioned would be suitable. The best place to position perches and nest boxes. What else I should have in the aviary and just any other hints and tips.
Thank you and here are some pictures of the proposed aviary area.
Thanks in advance.