By Russell Kingston
Through NFSA (National Finch and Softbill Association) we have continued to focus on the welfare of our birds in all settings, particularly at sales. One valuable innovation here relates to the production of Corflute “selling boxes”, which significantly reduce the stress on our birds. Personally, I think these are great and I have to stress that they were not my invention. They remind me of Dave Holmes’ foam carry boxes. The advantages are: inexpensive (under $2.00 each to make), birds cannot injure themselves, light penetration makes the birds more visible, robust (may be hosed out and reused), no problem if dropped, less stressful on the birds, eliminates catching out and transferring birds at a sale (thus eliminating unsightly and stressful escapes) and may be made up or purchased from a handyman/manufacturer.
NFSA recommended to all its member clubs that they consider adopting these boxes for all club sales days and auctions as they would go a long way to neutralizing criticisms of our sales days. The Queensland Finch Society has adopted them as standard for their auctions and they are available to QFS members to use for sales. Whilst they may seem daunting to begin with, they do become easier with experience. If a lot of cages are needed, it is advisable to make up jigs or templates to facilitate speed of production. Here I take you through the basic steps.
Sheets of 900 x 1200 x 3 mm Corflute are available from Bunnings
Tools and other materials required are: cutting board or suitable surface, steel ruler, tube silicone, box cutter, scissors, pill cup, drawing pins, gaffer tape, board paint scraper, 4 – 5mm hole punch, small electrical ties, perch cut from tree branch.
Figure 3. Small 2.5mm x 100mm cable ties are best purchased at a “Charlie Cheap” shop – cheaper than Bunnings.
Cut piece Corflute 700 x 150mm, making sure that the groves in the Corflute are running across – NOT lengthways. A 90 x 80mm “door” is cut into on three sides forming the “door”. This should be positioned centrally in the width and 40mm in from the leading edge. The uncut rear side of the “door” forms the hinge. The holes are punched so as to allow 2 ties on the ends, 2 at the top, 2 at the bottom and 1 on each side. (see finished cage).
Cut back 195 x 145mm ensuring that the groves are running down – not lengthways. The holes need to be punched so as to correspond with the holes on the sides and top.
Using the paint scraper, from the door end, press into the groves at intervals of 150mm, 200mm and 150mm.
Fold the sides up at the pressed corners and secure with two ties.
Secure back into position using ties.
Using scissors or side cutters, snip off the surplus ends of the ties.
Apply a good dob of silicone to base of pill cup.
Firmly press the cup into the front, right hand corner of the box. This forms the drinker.
Apply Gaffer tape across the front so as to prevent excess seed spilling. The tape is also used to keep the top door closed. More tape may be applied as desired.
The perch may be positioned as required using drawing pins. A small hobby hammer may be used in the event of hard perch wood.
The finished cage. Make sure the door is pushed down level and Gaffer tape fixed so that it won’t spring up.