Sunday, 16 November 2014

Scrap Wire - A useful commodity

aviary scrap wire useful jade welch birds
Most aviary builds see an amount of scrap wire left over
Many of us build our aviaries only to have scraps of wire left over at the end of the project. The wire has already cost a small fortune and unfortunately now a lot of it has to be thrown away. But why? Often it is because much of these off cuts are so small or oddly shaped and just don't fit in with our plans. As such they are discarded or left to rust when they maybe of more use to us then we first thought. 

The following are a few items made out of scrap wire. I am sure from reading this blog post many of you will already have items you make out of scrap wire so please share those ideas. Hopefully the ideas I have shared will assist us all with making better use of our scrap wire.  

scrap wire nest hole cover jade welch birds
Nest hole cover in place just prior to being j-clipped to prevent the birds escaping.

Nest entrance cover.
Where a nestbox is attached on the outside of the aviary and needs to be removed a larger piece of wire can be attached to prevent the birds from getting out. The wire can be j-clipped or wired into place and easily removed for the nest breeding season. 

scrap wire nest hole cover jade welch birds perch holder
Scrap wire can easily be fashioned into a perch holder

Perch Holder
Perch holders are essential in any aviary. They are very easy to make and quite straightforward. All that is required is wire cutters, pliers and wire. If the perch does not fit into the holder snugly, the perch holder can be removed and bent to hold the perch better or a screw drilled in as above. 

scrap wire nest hole cover jade welch birds bowl in chain
A cage like this keeps the bowl in with help from a little chain

Food/Water Bowl Holders
There a variety of ways to hold water/food bowls in place in the aviary using wire. For troublesome birds that like to remove their bowls and tip them over, a cage like that above can be made using wire, wire cutters, pliers and j-clips plus a little chain. The bowl is slid into the cage, the little door dropped down and the chain used to close the door into place. The bird's can access the food through the large opening at the top but the chain attached to small door when fixed in place prevents the birds from opening it.

scrap wire nest hole cover jade welch birds food water bowl holders
Feed station using food/water bowl holders made of scrap wire

The food/water holders in the photo above can be used in a number of ways.  In this case they have been screwed to a steel frame that sits a metre above the ground. The wire is bent into place and the bowls slide in from the side. The wire is bent over so that sliding the bowls in is a little tough but much harder for the birds to get out. 

scrap wire nest hole cover jade welch birds amazon food water bowl holders
Caught out - This Amazon has been busily feeding as seen by the pumpkin on his beak
Larger birds though such as macaws though may not find them much of a challenge. Despite being screwed onto a frame as in the above two photos these feed stations may be wired or j-clipped to the base of a suspended aviary or the side of an aviary. 

wire water stations mark caudwell scrap wire jade welch
Easy to service water stations made from scrap wire
The water stations shown above are made from scrap wire and are ideal for holding water bowls. A pipe runs overhead and can fill the bowls as often as is required with the use of an automatic timer. The water is positioned away from the food to prevent fouling which is common in lories and lorikeets which like to dunk food in their water. 

scrap wire nest hole cover jade welch birds wire basket
An invaluable item this basket is easy to make
The basket above is made out of j-clips, scrap wire and a plastic handle slipped over wire. Garden hose or similar could also be used for the handle. These baskets are easy to make and extremely versatile. The basket above is filled each morning with spare stainless steel bowls and bowls containing fruits and vegetables that are stacked inside one another. The bowls are simply removed once the breeder reaches the bank of aviaries and given to each pair. At the end of the day the bowls are collected, placed in the basket and carried back to the kitchen for cleaning. 

Other Uses
While there are an endless list of uses for scrap wire some include cladding the outside of a nest box with wire to prevent heavy chewers escaping, using wire on the nest box door during hot days and using wire to make frames to hold nesting materials for birds to collect e.g quakers, softbills & Finches. 

As can be seen, with just a few commonly used tools, scrap wire can be turned into a number of items that are helpful to the aviculturalist. Next time you go to throw out that scrap wire why not see what you can turn it into? 
Many thanks to Mark Caudwell for sharing ideas and reviewing the article. Mark has a focus on waist management and builds his aviaries with a view to minimizing waist.

Happy Birdkeeping,

Copyright © Jade Welch - All Rights Reserved. All photographs and text are protected
by copyright and may not be reproduced by any method without written permission from Mr Jade Welch.

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