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Old 06-11-2020, 12:49 AM
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Progress of my built-in cage

In preparation for my green wing macaw, I've decided to turn the dead space under the stairs into a bird cage. This is still a work in progress, and I'll be updating with pics as it progresses.


This pic was taken just after we started the project. We had just stripped the formica from the walls. The little room under the landing was used as a shoe cabinet before:



Natural stone tile work almost done. the walls and ceiling tiles are secured not just with cement adhesive but screws as well (dont want any tiles coming loose and hitting my bird in the head, haha):



Plywood template we made for cutting the soon-to-be-installed 10mm thick tempered glass. Stainless Steel brackets everywhere and ventilation holes on one glass panel. We will have another line of holes near the top of that panel as well. The square hole leading to the former shoe cabinet is for ventilation. Another tiled square wil be placed over the hole, hiding it, while still allowing air to pass around it from the former shoe cabinet. Inside the former shoe cabinet, we will place a Blueair 690i with an extraction fan that will send purified air into the cage. With ventilation holes only in the opposing glass panel, this system should make sure the parrot gets only clean air. And the tiled square cover over the extraction fan should act as a diffuser so there will be no wind tunnel effect:



The plywood template is off to the glassmaker. Floor tiling is done. These tiles are seamless and glazed so it should be very easy to clean. For aesthetics, I built an adjustable, removeable planter for indoor plants. These are safe for the parrot, but I doubt they are safe from the parrot. I expect to rotate out these plants every few weeks to give them relief and recovery time while the next plant lineup takes parrot abuse :
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Old 06-11-2020, 09:54 AM
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Re: Progress of my built-in cage

Wow!! That's the coolest thing ever!! Can you all come build something like that in my house too, please?
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Old 06-11-2020, 09:57 AM
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Re: Progress of my built-in cage

Luxury accomodations indeed!
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They are not really pets. They are small People with wings and Opinions. They pay no rent, expect you to feed them, & like to destroy stuff.
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Old 06-11-2020, 09:59 AM
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Re: Progress of my built-in cage

Will you be patterning or texturing the glass in some way, since your bird won't be able to see it? Also birds like to climb around on cage bars. I love the plants! I guess you will be adding ladders or something as well? Or is the texture of the rock wall sufficient for climbing?
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They are not really pets. They are small People with wings and Opinions. They pay no rent, expect you to feed them, & like to destroy stuff.
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Old 06-11-2020, 10:48 AM
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Re: Progress of my built-in cage

The toys haven't been placed yet. Still waiting for stainless steel screw eyelets to arrive from overseas (surprisingly hard to find here in the Philippines). I'll be hanging toys from the tree braches as well, but at this point I'm not sure if that tree pictured will stay because I'm in talks with a local manufacturer to have it replicated in concrete which should last a lot longer. Really looking forward to putting in the toys!

But since you mentioned it, does anyone know if those rocky tiles offer enough purchase for a macaw to climb (they are pretty rough like real stone but they don't protrude from the wall more than 0.5 - 1 inch or so at most). Wasn't part of the plan to have the macaw climbing the walls, but it would be an awesome bonus if it could.

There won't be any etchings in the glass, but my research on this subject indicates that they quickly learn to know where the glass is and shouldn't injure themselves. Also thinking of building the same style planters along the glass on the outside of the cage to give it a more green and natural look without putting too many plants in harms way and making them easier for cleaning. That might help to create a more visible border that the macaw can use as a reference point for where the glass is.

This is my first attempt at building anything like this, so all comments, suggestions, and ideas are welcome. My goal for the cage is something that the bird will enjoy while also beautifying the house.

I will admit though, that the inspiration for the cage design came from Lecter's prison cell which I've always thought looked pretty neat. (If the bird's DNA test indicates male, I'm considering naming him Hannibal )

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Old 06-11-2020, 11:04 AM
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Re: Progress of my built-in cage

this is really amazing wow just wow!
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Old 06-11-2020, 11:05 AM
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Re: Progress of my built-in cage

One thing you might not have considered - food. Unless your macaw is an extremely neat and fastidious eater, most parrots fling a good bit of food all over in and around their cages. Some can fling it several feet , if not yards away. Cleaning food off that lovely rock faced wall is going to be a nightmare, with all the nooks and craggy areas.

Our Salty is no exception, but we only feed him dry stuff within his cage ( pellets and a walnut or two) and wet food like chop or other veg/fruit ) are fed while he is on his play chain and boinggy. Under his feeding cup outside we have first a very large (24"dia) stainless bowl to catch most dropped food, and under that a plastic office chair mat to catch what ever the bowl doesn't.
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Last edited by wrench13; 06-11-2020 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 06-11-2020, 11:15 AM
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Re: Progress of my built-in cage

That will look amazing, I dont think Hannibal chewed his way out via the door frame though, how will you be hanging the door? I assume 'hannibal if a boy' will not be in his amazing living quarters all of the time?
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Old 06-11-2020, 01:11 PM
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Re: Progress of my built-in cage

Yup, considered the food mess. Thankfully, I moved to the Philippines years ago, and labor here is incredibly cheap. I have 2 live-in domestic helpers who will be cleaning the cage (and caring for the bird when I'm asleep or away). It's so affordable that even people living in apartments often have domestic helpers, so I'm very fortunate in that regard.

Regarding the door, it will be all glass like the rest of the cage with stainless steel hinges mounted on the wall and a stainless steel latching mechanism where it meets the other glass panel.

I expect that it will spend about 12 hours in its sleeping cage and probably about 6 hours in its daytime cage, with the remaining 6 hours or so hanging out in the lounge, playing and training on his treestand perch. Hopefully, this will be enough attention and interaction.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2020, 09:16 PM
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Re: Progress of my built-in cage

SO are you like the guy who wrote the program Cosmographer?
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The Crew:
Salty - Yellow Shoulder Amazon (YSA) - hatched 8/15/15
Tinker - Cairn terrier, 4/15/08
Geri - Blonde haired Queens wife, birthday 4/25/19??
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