I have now purchased new show quality breeding stock, consisting of six Red Factors – Lipochromes. (Two Red cocks and four Apricot hens).
New Breeding Stock
Six pair of Fife Fancies, (I still have some good Fifes in my flights, so I just want some new blood to improve on what I have) One of the new cock Fifes is a Blue-White carrying cinnamon so I will keep good records of him (I keep good records of all my birds:-) and his offspring’s as I don’t want to have the cinnamon genes running rampant in my Fifes.
I also purchased something new, well new to me! I have purchased two pairs of Silver Isabella Pastels!
Now I’ll tell you right up-front, I know less than “nothing” about Pastels, but I’m prepared to learn. Why did I buy these Pastels when I know nothing about them? Well, an old mate of mine is a bit sick and is getting out of the Fancy, so when he told me this, he also mentioned the fact that he did not want any of his birds going to strangers. So I bought his last two pairs of “young” Pastels, two silver hens and two split cocks. Oh, yea! These Pastels are handsome birds.
With all this going on I could see that I would have to get a move-on in building a large breeding unit, so I made a start on Saturday to build a 21 hole breeding unit, (three tiers of seven cages). Plus a stand come storage unit. Well, at my age I don’t want to be bending down to check cages, do I?:-), so my bottom row of cages will be about 74cm (2ft 5in) off of the floor sitting on top of the storage unit come breeding unit stand.
Although this is a 21 cage unit the same method is used to build a single cage or a bank of 3 or 28 cages, only the length of the materials change.
Let’s say you want to build a triple unit using 12mm chipboard or ply; You would need:
- 2 pieces x 1.39m x 30cm x 12mm.
- 2 pieces x 35cm x 30cm x 12mm.
- 1 piece pine 1.15m x 70mm x 15mm. (retainer)
- 1 piece 3ply or 5mm MDF at 1.15m x 59cm.
- 2.1m of 8mm dowel. (for divider guides)
- 3 cage fronts.
- 14 x 25mm chipboard or ply screws.
- 1 bottle of wood glue.
Then you assemble it the same way I put the 21 cage unit together.
I use 25mm chipboard for the framework and 5mm Craft-wood for the back (I got this at the right price), but most people use 12mm chipboard for the frame and 5mm Craft-wood or 5ply plywood for the back. After all, it’s canaries we’re housing, not wedge-tail eagles:-)
I found some old box steel frame in my workshop, you know! The sort of stuff that will come in handy one-day:-) well Saturday was the day:-)
I also had a lot of Craft-wood left over from a job I did some time back, again this was stuff that I kept because “it will come in handy sometimes “:-), and it did! On Saturday!
The steel frame measured 3.8m x 58cm, that’s about 12ft 6in x 1ft 11in in the old scale. The Craft-wood was 3.658cm x 73.5cm, or 12ft x 2.5ft, spot on for what I wanted.
I cut the steel frame down to 3.658 (12ft) and welded it back together again. Then I used the steel frame as a base and secured the craft-wood to it using “timber to steel”self-tapping screws. It’s going to make a great storage unit for my equipment and a great stand for a large breeding unit.
Notice the 50mm x 25mm steel base frame. I could have used timber, but I had the steel laying in my workshop, so I used that instead.
This storage unit / breeding unit stand is 3.658m x 61cm x 73cm, or, 12ft long x 2ft deep x 2ft 5in high in the old scale.
I had all the steel and the 12mm MDF (craft-wood), so I had only to purchase the chipboard, 2.44m long x 61cm wide x 22mm thick, or 8ft x 2ft x 1in and two sheets of 5mm MDF. One at 2.44m x 1.22m (8×4) and one at 1.22m x 1.22m. (4×4).
I used one and a half sheets of the 22mm chipboard for the unit top, the rest will go into building the breeding unit.
Here are some of the tools that I use for the job. If you don’t have many tools don’t worry, the yard will be only too happy to cut your material to size.
Now all I have to do is paint the front and the top of the unit a high gloss brilliant white before I start building the breeding units. (Any volunteers out there for the painting lark? I detest painting:-)
I can make the sliding door runners and the doors when I finish building the breeding units.
I would normally purchase 2.44m long x 1.22m wide x 22mm thick, or 8ft x 4ft x 1in chipboard but as I had no way of transporting sheets of this size to my home, (I no longer own a work Ute’) I had to go for the narrower lengths that would fit in the back of my car.
Building the breeding unit.
I cut the chipboard for the breeding unit on my Triton work center saw bench.
If you have two thin pieces of timber or chipboard and want to join them together to make one useful piece, hammer a few 75
Back to building the breeding units.
Next, I cut the side panels to suit. This is a three-tier unit, so I cut the side panels to 1.2m
Next, I assemble the pieces of chipboard and screw and glue them together (face down) The right side panel is missing, I’ll be joining this 4ft section to the 8ft section.
Drill pilot holes for the screws. I use an eight gauge screw in this 21mm chipboard, so I drill a 4mm pilot hole.
A 4mm pilot hole is also good for six gauge screws.
Next: Apply a layer of wood glue to the shelves and the side panels, and apply the back sheet and screw or nail securely. (I’m using a sheet of 1.22m x 1.22m (4ftx4ft) x 5mm Craft-wood screwed down)
Next: I place these retaining strips, 70mm x 15mm, to help keep the shavings that I use for floor covering inside the cage where it belongs.
This shot gives you a better idea of what I’m on about with a retaining strip in place.
Next: The Divider Guides: I normally make the divider guides from 15mm x 15mm or 19mm x 19mm pine strips, but this time I thought I would use 8mm Hoop Pine doweling, countersunk into the cage top and the retaining strip. It came up okay!
Next: After fitting the divider guides and the glue has dried, I then cut a 10mm section out of the retainer strip from between the guides, to accommodate the divider.
Now I have the fun of painting the unit, and I don’t like painting:-(, but it has to be done before I can get on with finishing the units.
I hang the cage in front of the hooks, and the locking toggle secures the cage front at the bottom as shown in the photo below.
Cage front in place.
I have run out of locking toggles but as you can see this 21 cage breeding unit is almost finished and yes, I will paint the divider panels white:-)
Well that’s about it, the breeding unit just needs the remaining cage fronts installed, the dividers painted, and the jobs are done, ready for my birds just in time for the breeding season.