Our Aviary

Environment for our Breeder Pairs

Our aviary operates on a small farm in North Georgia.

Our breeders have spacious indoor cages that connect to outdoor flights. These cages are outfitted with natural branches for perches and swings. Small tree limbs and pine cones are added for chewing amusement, along with over sized beads for floor toys.

I build my own cages of heavy duty 10 gauge GAW wire with stainless connectors (hog rings and j-clips). I prefer domed tops over square ones. In addition to the esthetic, they are roomier and, if ever a storm were to bring something crashing down on the cage, the dome shape should prevent the cage from breaking or collapsing.

With the indoor, outdoor flights, the birds have natural sunlight and fresh air and the choice to experience other weather conditions. Most of them love a rain bath.

Brightwoods Aviary - Typical Breeder Set-Up
Brightwoods Aviary Breeder Set-Up    view larger picture

Diet for our Breeder Pairs

The breeders are fed a staple pelleted diet and a selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables. A fortified seed mix is fed as a treat food or when the temperatures call for more fat in their diet.

We do a lot of sprouting with beans, seeds, legumes, and grains. See the Growing Sprouts page for our easy sprouting method and our source for high-quality, human grade sprouting materials.

Their Babies:

We try to leave the babies with their parents as long as we can and still get a domestic identification band on their legs. That means most babies are taken from the nest, as a clutch, when the oldest baby is almost three weeks old.

Learning About Life

The baby birds are hand-fed in the busiest area of our home alongside other household pets and are handled daily by family members and invited visitors.

We do not use metal gavage or plastic tubes to feed our baby birds - they are fed with disposable pipettes and handfeeding syringes.

Babies' Environment:

Our young birds are exposed to a normal home environment. We prepare their foods carefully and keep their surroundings clean, but not sterile. As they develop and build their immune systems, the chicks have exposure to normal bacteria, as they will in their future homes.

As They Grow: Stages and Phases

The very young chicks spend their sleeping and growing phase of development in a quiet area, in brooders, in what used to be our dining room.

From there, they go for an hour’s visit to a small playpen with lots of floor toys and dangles. There are also low perches for that first perching experience.

Safe Free Flight Area
Safe Free Flight Area    view larger picture

When they start to feel comfortable on the low perches they are moved up to the "big kid" playground on our screened porch. It’s packed with swings, higher perches, tubes, and spirals. By then they are sampling a variety of cereals, fruits, pellets, and mixed vegetables.

From the upper perches these babies take their first practice flight to one of several free standing gyms. As they gain perching and flying confidence, they are introduced to a real cage.

The many daily hours "out" time allows them to become agile and perfect their flying skills. We do not trim any wing feathers until we start worrying for their safety then we clip in stages to allow them the "adjustment time" of limited flight.

Our Goal

To have a baby that goes confidently from our home to yours and becomes an interactive part of your family.

To provide an addition to your family that remains valued over the years.

This is more than a business to us, it is a commitment to do our best to secure a permanent home for these little babies and to help guide the new family toward mutual trust and companionship.

Panama on a visitor's hand
Panama Amazons are sweet, steady birds

Learning About Birds

We encourage an ongoing study of the species you are buying through chat groups and specific sites that specialize in accurate information on your chosen bird.

Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Buying a Bird

  • Why do I want a bird?
  • Have I done research on this bird?
  • Why did I choose this type of bird?
  • Is my significant other in favor of this addition?
  • How will the children be with a bird?
  • Does anyone in my family have allergies?
  • Is this bird more suited for a house or an apartment?
  • How will my neighbors react to the normal noise level of this bird?

All of these questions need to be considered.

In Summary

Birds are not domesticated beings. They can love us and enjoy our company but they will not try to please us like a dog would. Their emotions are rather straight forward and it will not take a keen observer long to understand and recognize the individual likes, dislikes, fears and emotions that make up their bird’s particular personality.

To live harmoniously with a bird is an incredible experience that evolves with insight and sensitivity and direct observation. It will be a relationship unlike any other you will ever experience. As they learn to trust you, the love and devotion that comes from this trust makes you feel appreciated and honored to be a part of the selected group of humans that actually understand the uniqueness that companion birds offer.

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