DTI001 28_06_17

Bengalese Finches
British Birds
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Which branches can I use in a mixed aviary?

12expert

COULD you please tell me if it is safe to use bamboo in flights containing zebra finches, canaries, Bengalese finches and diamond doves? Also, are sweet chestnut branches and greengage branches safe in budgie and cockatiel flights? M.M., via email.

Bill Naylor, experienced keeper at zoos and bird parks, replies: Bamboo, which is really a grass, is excellent for the finch species you mention and adds that exotic feel to an aviary. Ideally, a reasonable sized clump of it should be planted, as the zebras especially will attempt to strip the leaves for nest and courting material. Plant the roots deep, with a liberal amount of compost, locating it in the shade or semi shade.

Plant away from the aviary wire to provide it with spaceto grow and water well until established.

If you don’t want it to spread, plant in a plastic mesh container twice as big as the root ball and sink this in the ground. Greengage (plum) branches, like all fruit trees, are excellent for perches, provided they have not been sprayed. Sweet chestnut is also ideal. The bark leaves and chestnuts of this tree are used in medicinal potions. When seasoned the wood becomes very hard and branches that are left for two or three months will be a challenge for parrot-like birds.

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