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by
Jinnah & Seon Chapman Schrock

My sister and I are twins who are going into the 9th grade. We have been raising canaries for four years as part of a science fair project. We have about 45. We also have 5 Gouldian finches that we are going to try to breed this year.

The kind of canaries we raise are Waterslagers and Spanish Timbrados. They are raised for how they sing, not how they look. To keep their songs true, we have to keep them where they cannot hear each other. The good news is we can keep Gouldians with them because they donít seem to try to sing like Gouldians. And the Gouldians are beautiful.

To keep our birds separate means we have to have lots of flight cages and aviaries. We have two room-sized screened-in aviaries, and six movable smaller ones. Three of them we made with Momís help. The other three we bought. We keep all of our smaller aviaries in one of the two big screened in rooms, or in Momís office. None of the ones we built would be safe enough to just put outdoors alone.

Stocktank Aviary.
This is the one we thought of and did most of the work on. We built it for about $72.00.* The things we used were an old stock tank, (ours is 7 feet long and 27 inches wide.), a metal trellis and a piece of Plexiglas for the door, one inch by Ĺ inch wire mesh**, 5 metal bars, the safest kind of paint we could find, and 4 wheels which we glued on the bottom of the tank. The tools we used were a Dremmel tool, a drill with a bit for making holes in metal, screws and wing nuts. If you look at the picture, you will see how easy it was to build.

We keep newspapers in the bottom with fresh wood chips over it, and then wire mesh. We want to put water in the bottom and gold-fish, but Mom says no.

We have young Waterslaggers and two Gouldians in it right now.

Baby Aviary
The swing and ladder inside this aviary cost more than the aviary! This one was built using some old closet doors that we cut-off and painted. The front is supposed to look like a barnwood frame**, and it holds Plexiglas. The top is also Plexiglas. The sides are Ĺ inch by Ĺ inch mesh. It is 4 feet long and three feet wide. You can get into it from the side or back. We only use it for "weaning" birds, and birds we want to watch closely for some reason.

Momís Office Aviary
Mom built most of this because it took power tools. She says she built it for about $100.00. She built the front panels using instructions she found for making a trellis. This aviary is about 7 feet long, 6 feet high and 4 feet deep at the triangle point. You can clean it by opening the front doors. To put fresh food in, thereís a special small door toward the right bottom side. Because it is a flight, she put wings on the side but nobody gets the joke.
" Actually most people donít get any of Momís jokes."

Birds Are Our Pets
Birds are something we study, but they are also our pets. We build our aviaries so we can watch our birds having fun. Young canaries really do play around. Mom said when we got our first two Goulds that they would not goof around and play like canaries. Well guess what! They do like to ride the Ferris wheel!

We like your website and your birds. We hope you like our aviaries.

Jinnah & Seon

"Humor-Challenged" Momís footnotes.
*The cost would have been about double if a stocktank were purchased, rather than using the old one.

** The wire mesh was washed down with vinegar water twice, and left in the sun for a week.

*** The old barnwood was soaked in a solution of water and bleach, inside a large trash can, and then it too was left in the hot sun for a week. The side of the wood that faces the interior of the aviary was sealed. New oak 2 inch by 2 inch by 4 feet wood was used for the rest of the frame.

**** All these aviaries have full spectrum tube lights. The stocktank aviary has them at the top, middle; the baby aviary has one connected to the back side of the front frame; the office aviary has them on both sides.

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