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Housing Conures - Aviaries and Cages

There are a number of different ways to safely house your conure parrot from large outdoor aviaries to large cages for individual conures. Here is an outline of each method of housing.

Outdoor Aviaries

It is useful to take a look at other people’s aviaries before you embark on building your own. You could visit wildlife parks, breeders or pet shops to do this. You will see a large variance in the quality of the aviaries that you see. Some will be amazing structures, carefully thought out and designed effectively. Other will be rickety structures that are not that safe. You should aim to build as good an aviary as possible. You should consider the space that you have to dedicate to the aviary, your budget constraint (you do not want to run out of money with half an aviary on your premises!) and how many birds you are intending to keep in the aviary. Although studies have found that there is very little correlation between the quality of an aviary and the ability of Conures to breed, there is no reason to have a poor quality aviary. By having a good quality aviary you make the mundane tasks of keeping an aviary minimum, decrease the ability of vermin to eat your Conures food, eggs or the conures themselves. And of course, a badly designed aviary is asking for your birds to do what they are good at, flying off! Aesthetics are also important; you will be looking at the aviary for years to come so you want it to be eye pleasing.


Not planning your aviary is likely to end in tears. Unplanned structures are generally a bad idea – would you build a house to live in without designing and planning it first? Furthermore, by planning the aviary well you can calculate the materials that you will need to build it and therefore can check that the costs fit with your budget. A rule: plan before you build, and finish the aviary before you buy a conure – delays are a real possibility.


For many people space is a large constraint, but you should at least try to ensure that the aviary is in view from your house. Other things to consider:
• Do not place your aviary directly underneath a tree – it is damp, branches can break off and damage your aviary, cats can climb up the tree and near to the aviary, trees screen beneficial sunlight, there is a danger wild birds will do their droppings into the aviary (not good with the event of avian flu). All these factors will have adverse effects on the health of your conures
A wall can provide useful cover from wind and can serve as a nice backdrop to the aviary. The ideal is to have the flight facing south east or east (if you live in the northern hemisphere!). This will ensure that your conure can enjoy te morning sun which they love to do. It also confers the additional benefit of blocking out cold northerly or westerly breezes. It is usually better to put the aviary on the part of your premises that is highest – this helps any dampness problems.

Aviary bases

Bare Earth - Bare earth is not the best base for your aviary. Whilst it is cheap (free!) it can become aesthetically unpleasing to look at, more unhygienic than other bases and during bad weather it will inevitably resemble a mud bath. If you do go for this option you should lay down strong chicken wire across the surface to prevent vermin burrowing into the aviary.

Gravel – Gravel tends to be quite a good option for the bases of conure aviaries and it confers the following benefits:
• Prevents weeds sprouting
• Easily cleaned/washed down
• Conures will benefit for pecking the mineral/insects in the gravel
• Generally looks quite aesthetically pleasing
The gravel should be laid about 15cm in depth and underneath there should be a layer of chicken wire to prevent vermin burrowing into the aviary

Concrete – Concrete is also a good option for the base of your conure aviary. It has the benefits of being:
• Very easy to clean
• Can be coloured to make it more pleasing to look at
You only need a few inches of concrete. You should give it a slight slant so that water can drain off. The drawbacks of using concrete for the base of your conure aviary is that it takes some time and skill to do properly and tends to be quite permanent.

Slabs – Using slabs is also a good method. Slabs are quick and easy to lay, attractive to look at and are quite flexible in that they can be moved with ease. On the other hand slabs are quite expensive although you can find relatively cheap slabs if you look around a bit. Slabs should be laid on a bed of sand and gravel

Aviary Size

This is a very common question and the only answer that can really be given is “as large as possible”. At the end of the day conures are birds and birds tend to enjoy flying, it’s what they are designed for! If space is constrained you should aim to get the aviary as long as possible – this will give your conures the best chance to flap their wings. It goes without saying that keeping lots of birds in a confined space is a rather unpleasant thing to do. To get enjoyment from keeping conures, you will want to see them enjoying their selves – giving them as much room as possible will allow them to do this. It should be noted that breeding conures should be housed in separate aviaries. This is because they tend to become very aggressive towards their own kind when they are breeding.

Aviary Design

The most straightforward design is the common rectangle, however round and octagonal aviaries can be quite fetching to look at. Of course, it will be more expensive to built such a shaped aviary and they require more space. Further more they may be more difficult to perform mundane upkeep tasks than rectangle aviaries. It is a wise idea to build a safety porch into any aviary, this will help prevent your conures flying off. You should consider the future in the design. It may turn out that you wish to extend the aviary in the future or put a partition in for breeding purposes. Another consideration is building a section to store supplies and equipment.

Flight Materials

Whilst you will see flights built using chicken wire, you should use welded wire when keeping conures. This is due to the fact that conures are very strong flyers. You should not use wire that has a gauge of less than 19, although even lower is preferable. With regards to the size of the holes in the mesh, you should not use mesh with holes any larger than 1.25cm x 0.62cm. Any larger and you could have vermin getting into the aviary with potential devastating consequences. The timber that you use to construct your conure aviary should not be less thick than 5cm y 5cm and it is a very good idea to put strips of metal around the inside of the frame in order to prevent damage from your conure’s beak. The best method is to bolt the frame together as this allows it to be dismantled and makes the whole aviary more flexible is terms of being extended or moved in the future. It is a wise idea to treat the wood which will protect it from the elements and give the aviary a longer lifespan. As an alternative to wood you could use a metal framework. This could be arranged by a local engineering firm but would be more expensive. It is essential to have an undercover area in the aviary so that your conure can have shelter from the rain and cold winds. The food container should be under cover so as to protect the conures food from rain and the elements.

Indoor flights

Indoor flights are perfectly acceptable as a method of accommodating conures. You should ensure that windows are cover with some type of mesh otherwise your conure could serious hurt itself trying to fly out. You should also build a safety porch in order to prevent your conure escaping. A factor that must be considered is drafts, conures can cope with colder weather but drafts are detrimental to their health.

Conure Cages

Most good pet shops supply high quality cages, however there are a number of bad quality conure cages on the market. These should be avoided. Things to look out for include:
• Strength of the cage
• Space between perches
• Number of feeding dishes – three or more is best
• A good catch. Conures are intelligent birds and soon learn to open regular catches- you must have an anti-conure latch
• Pull-out trays are very useful for ease of cleaning
• A mesh raised of the floor is highly desirable as it keeps your conure away from faeces and spilt food
The stand for your conures cage should be very solid. Having the cage knocked over can send your conure into shock and will almost certainly have negative psychological effects on the conure.

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