With our new aviary finished (housing our quail, canaries and finches) and all the birds moved across we were finally able to start disassembling our old one. The old aviary was originally built in 2002 and has certainly stood the test of time for a while. In fact it’s been there for so long that none of the staff really had any idea what might be beneath it (turns out, just a lot of soil and concrete).
After 15 years though, it was on its last legs, especially with all the mesh taken off and strong winds forecast over the weekend, we decided to help speed up the process of getting it down with some help from staff, volunteers and a bit of elbow grease.
In terms of what will happen to the space, we’ve got some grand plans for what might happen in the main yard, but for now we’ll be busy shovelling out soil for a while yet!
Anyone who’s been visiting us will have noticed over the past two years, there’s been quite a few changes at the farm. Amongst other things, one of the larger and more obvious changes has been knocking down and rebuilding our old chicken area (once upon a time, christened as Chicken Village!). The old chicken area had been around a while and its age was starting to show, so a fresh start was required!
We’ve been slowly be surely adding to it, when time and money permits. As of the end of 2016 we had 4 fully completed pens, housing our lovely Buff Orpington, Silver Spangle Hamburg and Cream Legbar chickens as well as our Bronze and Royal Palm Turkeys (also known as Pied, or Cröllwitzer Turkeys). The most recent enclosure to be fully completed is our brand new Aviary! This week we’ve moved all of the birds from our main yard aviary across, so they’re all busy settling into their new house.
There are four different types of bird living in our aviary at the moment, two types of quail, canaries and one lone zebra finch male. The quail are easy to tell apart as they’ll be on the ground. At the moment we have one, small Chinese Painted Quail who can often be found hiding underneath the larger Japanese Quail. Out of the flying birds, there’s one zebra finch (who’s easy to tell apart from the canaries – he’s got a very bright red beak, rosy cheeks and lovely zebra striped tail feathers) and everything else is varieties of canary.
As you can see from our aviary alone, canaries can come in quite a wide variety of colour types. There’s your typical yellow canary, all the way through to solid white, patches of different colours and shades, bright orange and some with yellowy-green feathers and markings. The birds we keep in aviaries are not wild, they’re a domesticated form of the wild canary, a type of finch. They were originally bred in captivity in the 17th century, and are still popular to keep today – as well as being quite pretty to look at, the male canaries are amazing singers! You’ll almost certainly be able to hear them trilling away from their perches, hoping to impress some ladies!
The old aviary still remains, for the time being, in our main yard. Currently housing two of our handsome cockerels, it will eventually be destined to be pulled down. It was originally built in 2002, so being almost 15 years old, it’s on its last legs anyway!
We have some grand plans to go in it’s place, but they’ll be a while off yet!