Colony or cage? -
why isolate a bird which breeds in small colonies in the wild?
Why isolate birds which nest happily
within a foot of each other?
Cock chasing cock is part of the build-up to mating. No apparently harassed cock has ever suffered
injury, water or food deprivation in my experience.
Why miss out on this undoubted colony 'hormone' effect?
A cock is dominant until laying commences. Then he settles down completely and another takes over
the dominant, singing, chasing role.
When one starts breeding you can almost guarantee that all your pairs will have eggs or chicks within weeks.
Security - not too much can be stressed about the necessity for these birds to feel secure.
Imagine you are the predator. They must be able to retreat out of your sight but be able to keep an eye on you.
Conifer screening plus green plastic wind-break mesh available from most garden centres will suffice.
The photograph of 'The egg factory' shows the screening better than any description.
The photograph and diagrams will also show that the birds can retreat to a separate quarter during the weekly
clean, again adding to their security.
On entering your aviary most times you won't even see a Pin-tailed. They will have retreated.
If you can see one once you have entered your aviary either your set up is wrong or the exposed bird is ill.
So, if they hide when you go in, how to tell whether any are ill?
Simply place a bar/ perch that is too close to the wall (< 1cm) but immediately under a lamp.
Being too close to the wall it will hardly ever be used by a fit Pin-tailed.
One sitting there fluffed up seeking heat is a sure sign of illness.
I have never lost an adult without considerable warning of its being unwell.
Staging - Pin-tailed Nonpariels rarely go to the ground.
The staging or benching upon which the food, grit etc. is available might be important to their
feeling of security.
Next page - details of a successful colony aviary