September 2009 was the month that we started to build our aviary. After looking at many designs on the internet, we decided to go with a cold frame aviary because we liked the look of it, and the fact that much of it is made out of metal, which won't warp like wood would. The finished aviary is 12'x30' and houses 4 pairs of ducks in the winter and 3 pairs during the breeding season.
We decided to place it next to our chicken coop and duck barn. The pictures will show the various steps.
We decided to layout everything we wanted in the aviary first. We have added much more than we originally placed inside, but if you are going to have a pond, you should definetly do this first.
First, we dug a border where the main supports would be placed and leveled it out. The upright posts you see will be where the nest boxes are placed.
The next step was to place the 2x6 border frame in the dug out border. The upright posts for the aviary will be pounded in the ground and attached to the 2x6.
Next we pounded the support posts in every six feet on the 30' side. The arches will be bolted to these. It is key to keep everything level and square during each process.
The last step to build the skeleton structure was to put the arches up. Once they are up, a perlin runs the 30' length and attaches to each of the six arches (the perlin is the long metal pipe at the top of the aviary).
Our next step was to frame out each end with 2x4's and to put up the sight barrier.
We framed out the front and back with 2x4's. The front includes a door that is hung with self closing hinges.
It is important to have a sight barrier at the bottom of your aviary. This is to keep predators from directly seeing your ducks and to keep your ducks from seeing things that might frighten and spook them. Our OSB sight barrier rises 18" up and is framed at the top with 2x4's.
Instead of burying chicken wire around the edges to prevent predators from digging under, we ran two lines of electric wire. One line is right against the ground on the 2x6 and the other line runs along the 2x4s at the top of the OSB sight barrier. It provides and electric shock for anything that tries to dig or look in. The wire is solar powered.
The door is covered in hardware cloth and has a few different locking mechanisms (not all are shown in the picture). Both ends are also covered tightly in chicken wire and attached with many zip ties. The top will be covered with aviary netting.
For more pictures and information, go to The Aviary Page Two.