Parrot Forums - TalkParrots banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, so I am converting my enclosed balcony...details are as follows:

Floor is cement
Corner wall opposite to the entrance is cement
Glass windows facing my living bottom and entrance, but the 1/4 of it is metal in the bottom
Balcony glass facing outside, but 1/4 of it is layered brick or tile glued to the balcony cement.
There windows facing my living room can be opened; each of which can be opened; it's about the size of a small-medium window air conditioner.
There is no heating in the balcony, and it gets freezing in the winter if I leave the window open, and still almost freezing when it is closed. However, I have seen some people in the building put heating into them, but they have the door open (entrance) between the balcony and living room as there no electrical outlets, which I can't do because the birds can fly out.

Here's my plan:

All my birds, first and foremost, will still have their own cages inside my apartment.
The floor I will put carbon filter sheets, then pine beddings
I will look for non-toxic wood, and possibly Canadian trees that are not toxic with fruit, bark or leaf)

Here's the problem...

How do I heat the balcony 24/7 without harming the Lovebirds? What kind of heater do I use? Since there are no electrical outlets, I can't put an indoor heater as I will have to drill a hole through the screen?

If somehow I managed to put a fan heater through the window from my living room, will that hot air be enough to provide circulating air in the playroom/aviary. In the winter even if balcony windows are closed, it still gets cold in the balcony, or should I have a window fan or air purifier that sucks the warm air in my living room to the balcony.

this would be more simple if I could open the balcony window a bit, but they said to have no drafts.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,830 Posts
Hello Icarus and Welcome to Talk Parrots.

It sounds like you want to make your enclosed balcony an outdoor aviary which would be amazing for your birds to see the world beyond the living room. Do you have sliding doors across the living room that lead into the balcony area? or is there just a single door that leads to the balcony?

My neighbors who live 2 doors down also had this dilemma happening with their birds, they have a summer porch with No electrical outlets in the room, it had lots of light and windows but was cold in the winter.

They had a single door that led from the dining area to the summer porch so they ran a very strong volt power bar from an outlet in the dining room to the doorway and then they plugged in an an oil heater to heat the room in the winter. They drilled a hole in the bottom of the door to allow the cord to run through with room to spare. The heater is small but very powerful and inexpensive to purchase and even cheaper to run all day and night in the winter. It has a timer set on it so you can program it to run until it reaches a certain temperature in the winter and then it shuts down for a short time to conserve energy then it automatically clicks back on when the room gets cooler again.

I too bought a heater like this one at Canadian Tire, I have an unheated back sun room/storage next to a bedroom where my birds live. In the winter its use to cause ice and damp patches show up on the wall in the bedroom, I worried about mold and damage to paint and the wall boards itself. I needed to heat the back porch in the winter so ice and condensation wouldn't form on the wall of my birds room.

This oil heater is amazing, no need to add oil as its all contained inside, it is inexpensive to run on your hydro bill ... it works really well especially with the timer option.






I hope this gives you some ideas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First, thank you so much! I will try to upload...photos..yes, there is only one door. I can't have the apartment window open from the inside for air to come in because some of my clients are allergic to pets (I teach and work at home). Yet, if I open the window in the balcony (with screen), it will create a draft, though it will provide air circulation...so I'm concerned that cold air and hot air or heat will create health issues, and the oil lamp...does it have any scent residue? Electricity is not an issue as hydro and electrical power is included in my rent lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Space is at least 14 feet long, 10 feet high, and 6 feet wide. Only one door entrance, and I will remove all the stuff there once I convert it. I think I will just keep my windows between my living room and balcony door open, and I will just invest in several high quality air purifiers and close the window when I have clients...lol
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,830 Posts
Space is at least 14 feet long, 10 feet high, and 6 feet wide. Only one door entrance, and I will remove all the stuff there once I convert it. I think I will just keep my windows between my living room and balcony door open, and I will just invest in several high quality air purifiers and close the window when I have clients...lol
One very good quality air purifier will help your clients from any scent/dust from your birds so don't go spending a huge amount of money for a few.

Air purifiers are a BANE of my existence due to the fact it is often difficult to buy replacement filters for them, they are not easy to find often and often the company that made the appliance will create a newer version which means you have to scramble looking for the old replacement filters which usually aren't made anymore. Replacement filters need to be changed a few times a year. Most air purifiers have a 2 or 3 separate filter system and you can vacuum one of the filters and sometimes wash one, its the carbon filter that is expensive to replace and sometimes hard to find and you might have to order it online and then pay additional shipping/import fees. This is so unfair.

So buy one medium size machine and close the windows to your living room when you clients arrive and you will be fine.

You might look at putting those sponge/foam mats on the floor that interlock? Cement holds the cold and the barrier of the sponge mats will keep the room a little warmer in the fall and winter. You can wipe them down and vacuum the seeds and droppings up when it lands on the mats.

 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,830 Posts
If you google budgie or cockatiel aviary's in England, you will find many/most people have shed like bird rooms outside their homes. They are small and wooden and not decked out with many frills like insulation to make them warm in the winter. They also have a huge wired in ''outside flight'' area where the birds can fly in and out during the day. These outside areas are never heated and their birds adjust to this easily especially in the winter.

Inside the bird aviary where the food water and nests and perches is usually an electric oil heater like the one I posted above. These heaters create no odor and are very safe to use to give needed heat in the winter so the birds water doesn't freeze and the birds are comfortable.

I used this exact same heater in my apartment when I first had birds and they were set up in a room that didn't have a heat source my birds were healthy happy and warm. They adjusted to the cooler months and then by November I turned on the heater in their bird room and left it on until March/April when I started lowering the temperature of the heater weekly so the birds could adapt to cool spring air when I started opening the window in the room.

People in the UK - England have kept their pet budgie cockatiels finches and canary's all living together in a room/shack/small garage without the need for a large heat source because electricity is so expensive in England. Despite the birds living in these rooms in the cold ... the birds survived without any problems. They will adapt to your homes environment.

This is a typical outdoor bird room with flight cage in the UK.

It's probably heated with the same type of oil heater I posted in the posts above. There is probably a light and a heater set up in the enclosed side of the aviary, but other than that it a very simple constructed shed. This shed is probably a little smaller then your enclosed balcony area.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, I've decided to buy an expensive air purifier instead and just open the window in my living room for air flow, and when they are not in the playroom, I'll open the window to aerate the playroom. If they all get along, I'll keep them there 90% of the time.

Electrical outlet is still a problem, and I'm concerned the birds may chew the wiring, so I want a heater that I can attach to one of the two windows (if that exists and blow hot air, or a tube...any suggestions? I'll just have my air conditioning (portable) removed during the winter and replace it with a heater while the other window will be kept open so whatever air that's in the apartment enters the balcony too..

As for the floor, I will have a carbon filter sheets, then I intend to put dried out pine wood chips (people said they were safe), or do you suggest I still put the lego blocky thing stuff underneath the beddings? It's no problem but I'm afraid I won't be able to close the doors....but I'll figure it out. Underneath is also cement as all units in my bldg are like this...

Thank you SO MUCH for the input. Trying to figure out as well if there's any natural tree I can put that grows fast enough that can take parrot abuse (leaf and bark). Obviously, non-poisonous...I was thinking of Service Berry trees but I read somewhere that the bark may be toxic although the fruit is very edible and birds eat them in Canada all the time.

I want the flight/aviary room to look very natural and not like a typical bird room (with bird toys..nothing wrong with that though). Having said that, I do want to invest on feeders that will make them work at getting at their food and toys that look totally natural. For the perches, I am think of just investing on Manzanitas I can hang or screw on the wall so I don't have to keep replacing them compared to the toys ...

Any feedback is appreciated.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,830 Posts
Personally I wouldn't bother with the wood chips or bedding products for the floor. Its messy and you'll drag it in and out of the room when you enter the enclosed balcony to change water and seed and fresh foods. You will go mad with the mess! The carbon filter sheets/pads are slightly see through with teeny tiny holes in them, I've used them in my basement to contain any damp smells down there. With the sheets on the balcony floor they will collect and trap seeds and dust from the birds feathers, the carbon sheets will keep the smell in the room contained but if any seeds get damp or wet with the weather conditions that change outside the balcony you will have sprouting seeds start to grow in the room.

I would still think about putting down something thicker but durable on the cement floor to keep the damp from seeping up where the birds cages are. You could take measurements of the floor area and place a single sheet of linoleum on top of the carbon filter or the sponge interlocking mats (still needed for warmth) ... the lino will allow you to vacuum any seeds and mess easily and you can wipe it down with a mop to clean up any droppings.

The cord to the heater can be led into your living room to an outlet by putting it through the corner of the window screens of your balcony. You can easily remove the corner of the screen from the frame by pulling the small plastic ''Spline'' away from the lower/bottom of a corner in the screen frame. You don't have to cut it or damage the screen, you just pull open a 2 inch gap and the cord will fit through into your living room. Put the heater cord plugged into a good durable industrial strength power bar inside the living room to the power outlet, it won't overheat the cord running into the window so a fire won't happen.

You will only be running the heater for 5-ish months, by the end of October it starts getting really cold in Ontario ... run the heater to the end of March and slowly turn the heat down as it gets warm in April. Your birds don't need intense heat in the Springtime.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,830 Posts
Live natural trees are a pain to deal with in a bird room, you need to water them aerate the soil around them and your birds will chew on leaves or stems/branches and bark and this takes up a ton of room you can use just for your birds enjoyment.

You can hang a rope net around the top of your ceiling from corner to corner, the birds will hang out up there and play and as the heat rises in the room and goes to the ceiling your birds will be warmer when they play up there. Rope nets like this can be placed against a wall as well to allow your birds to climb, if you can't put hooks in the walls or ceiling you can always use a tension rod and string the rope net on the bar and the birds will climb on the tension rod as well as the net. More fun! Tension rods mean you don't have to drill or create holes anywhere and they are easy to buy in different sizes for less then $15 at Walmart or elsewhere.

Mesh Font Rectangle Net Slope
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,830 Posts
You can always make your own bird stand climbing tree perch for the birb room, you can create them by using dowels purchased from a hardware store. You can also use branches of safe wood you can find in the woods, but you need to sterilize and clean old branches and bake them in an oven to kill off bugs and bacteria before you can make them into a stand.

Get a large wood piece and drill holes in the trunk and insert other small branches in the tree trunk. Some people place the tree on a stand or they sit it in a small bucket of cement.

Tree stands like in the photo below are easily purchased at most Bird Toy Supply stores online but they can be very expensive so I'd prefer to make one myself so I can make it as tall and wide as I like.

Twig Terrestrial plant Art Wood Natural material
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for the informative and practical advice, Mr. Peepers.

I think I can deal with the growing plants; they won't be toxic anyway (I think) if that's what the birds eat, and they will be only 20-25% of their diet as I feed more pellets.

Should I decide to put wood chips (I don't mind 10-15 minute daily cleaning), how often do I need to change them with a maximum of 8 Lovebirds, but most likely I'll only have 4-6 for now? Since they are all hand-fed, they will all be caged separately, and flighted separately (depending on who gets along). Seeds will only be fed when they are in their cages (or any specialized diet / treats).

For the carbon filter, how often do they need to be changed? For the heating I have decided to get an infrared one (unless you guys have some concerns) and placed it the ceiling and secure the wiring at the corners of the flight room so they can't chew on it (unless they are a hummingbird) and cut a small hole in the window screen. Hope that works...any concerns about this let me know..lol.

Thanks, kindly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As for the perches / branches, I'm looking for stuff that when they perch on it and poop, it won't land on another branch (just to minimize it).

The ropey thing...if I get that, will they poop on it and will it end up in the wall? I understand that poop is inevitable...just trying to minimize cleaning...lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Lots of wood I can get in my area, but they don't fit in the oven. I got this Maple one...a ravine, they don't treat chemicals there....I actually removed it from a tree. I washed it in hot water for 30 minutes, looked for fungus, just in case. I also used 3 lighters to heat it up without obviously burning it. I can't wait to fix the balcony...lol..but I want to do it right, and hence why I'm here..lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Mr. Peepers, what do you think of Carbon Filter bottom lining with smooth hard stones for the bottom? I put a few stones in the bottom of the cage to see if the droppings can be easily washed off, and it seems that it detaches and washes off pretty quickly in hot water. You also don't notice the poop as much in the stones since the color blends. Definitely more zen to watch, or do you think this requires more work than replacing wood chips every week or so?

I am also looking into those plastic/foam things that you piece together like lego blocks and perhaps if I can just get one color it won't be so tacky, and maybe it's easier to vaccum the seeds of it or pellets that fall in the floor, as well as just mop it, and they probably make better insulation than the other ones. I'll just put a small air purifier inside the Aviary (ensuring they can't chew the wires unless they are hummingbirds, and also get a really good quality one for my apartment.

Regards...
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,830 Posts
Mr. Peepers, what do you think of Carbon Filter bottom lining with smooth hard stones for the bottom? I put a few stones in the bottom of the cage to see if the droppings can be easily washed off, and it seems that it detaches and washes off pretty quickly in hot water. You also don't notice the poop as much in the stones since the color blends. Definitely more zen to watch, or do you think this requires more work than replacing wood chips every week or so?

I am also looking into those plastic/foam things that you piece together like lego blocks and perhaps if I can just get one color it won't be so tacky, and maybe it's easier to vaccum the seeds of it or pellets that fall in the floor, as well as just mop it, and they probably make better insulation than the other ones. I'll just put a small air purifier inside the Aviary (ensuring they can't chew the wires unless they are hummingbirds, and also get a really good quality one for my apartment.

Regards...
Stones or bedding is still a pain in the butt to deal with cleanings, I wouldn't want to drag any shavings/bedding through the apartment when you come in and out of the aviary and some shavings can cause a breathing problem if you have someone in your unit that has breathing sensitivity. Shredded bedding/wood chips have a slight odor to them and are often dusty.

You can buy the interlocking pads in the same color, blues and blacks are common and I see them online. There are many types to pick so do some online shopping to see what appeals to you or check out Walmart and see what they have in stock. I don't think you need to worry about your birds chewing wires to the air purifier or the heater cords when you run a cord between the window ledges in the living room and the screen in to the balcony. The birds have much better things to do if you provide them with a tall set of perches or a climbing net and of course the tops of their cages are a great place to hang out if you leave millet or some fresh foods up there each day.

I had a group of budgies in a large room with air conditioning wires, an air purifier and a couple of lamps sitting on small tables as well as window blinds that I worried about my birds touching. They didn't bother with any of that ... they were happy to sit and hang out on a tall climbing tree I made and they hung out on top of their cages because they liked to be high up.

My birds weren't interested in the floor or being lower then the height of their cages.

Birds will automatically stay up high for safety.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,830 Posts
I see...how often do you then clean the interlocking pads, daily? You just sweep and mop over them? Can you steam vaccuum them as it would be a pain to keep removing them back and forth and piecing them together if so?

And what do you think if I put this on top of the interlocking foams? Printed Dog Training Pads - Bamboo Charcoal - 25 per pack
Training pads are disposable and not ideal as they get stuck in a landfill and don't break down well, I'm not a fan of putting anything in the trash that is bad for the environment.

The interlocking pads are ideal to be vacuumed when needed, they didn't pull up or apart when I hoovered them and I would damp mop them if there were any big dropping stains but I could also just use a damp cloth and wipe any messes easily.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top