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Snakes And Rats


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#1 SarahC

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 23:56

Just a warning for anyone thinking of constructing an aviary.  We built one using corrugated iron (the  / \____/ \____/ \____/ \ pattern not the / \ / \ / \ stuff) thinking it would be mouse/snake and rat proof (used the thick 12mm gauge wire too).  I went to all the trouble of making plugs for the V's in the iron but as it turns out - missed one that is near ground level.  The aviary was fine for 2 years but then 3 budgies were found dead over a week, thought they might have been pecked by birds (as they sleep on the wire).  We set up a video camera and found that a rat was getting in! (and just to be clear, it was getting in a gap about the width of 2 fingers).  This is now fixed and we have had no more problems.  My old aviary (a refitted tree house) had a rat living in the bottom that refused to enter the humane rat trap for about a month (I didn't want to use baits) - then we finally caught the thing but he/she never caused any problems during her 'stay'.  

Another thing - I have also had a small python (diameter the size of my thumb) get into the aviary and attack my birdies.  Moral of the story - if your thumb fits in any gap in the aviary - the hole is too big.  Mice can still get through the 12mm gauge wire (I've seen it) but generally these are just pesky and not deadly to the birds.  My aviary is in 2 parts an upper section made only of wire and shadecloth and the second, an iron and wire sleeping house where the food is stored.  We have never had a mouse (well, never noticed any droppings) using this design as they cannot climb up the iron, but also there is no food exposed.

Unfortunately I have lost a few good birds learning the hard way about what exactly defines 'rodent proof' but I am hoping that you can learn from some of my mistakes.

One other thing - I tried to plant some of the grass that grows to about a metre high - the one that sprouts nice grass seeds for my budgies and parrots (bourkes, scarlets and elegants) and one of my budgies got himself dug up the roots and got caught in them (we got him out but he was stressed and died in my hands).  Another example of an unfortunate, unpredictable incident.  You can be so careful but things can still go wrong :(





#2 nubbly5

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 15:24

YOU SET UP A VIDEO!!!

You, SarahC, are my hero. Good job on the sleuth work!

#3 SarahC

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 18:42

Thanks!

#4 Christine P

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 19:42

We used to use the larger size wire (I'm not sure of the exact size but I'm thinking its the 12mm) but we had a small python get in, get into one of our nestboxes and kill the babies but was so small it was unable to even eat them so it just stayed curled up in the nest box with the dead babies until we found it the next morning. Since then we have bought a roll of the smallest wire you can get (around 4 or 5mm) and have fitted the bottom half of the cage with that, with the bottom of the wire actually cemented in, and the top half of the cage with shadecloth

we have learnt not to take chances with any wire bigger than the 4-5mm stuff, which you can't even fit the tip of your pinky finger into. I think thats the only way to go if you want your cage snake proof (even though its about $200 a roll...)




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