When you’re a newlywed birdman, setting up home with your wife isn’t the only consideration – the birds need a new home too! Northern Ireland fancier MARK CARSON explains to Dave Brown how it has worked out in his case

DAVE BROWN: What is the story behind your new setup? 

MARK CARSON: Well, thankfully, following a postponement in July 2020 I was able to get married at the end of September 2020. This was followed by a new home with my wife, which of course meant a new birdroom. Growing up, I’d always had birds at home with my dad, so if I was ever to move on, the birds were coming too. I have to admit my wife has been a great help with the birds, so long may it continue.

DB: What birds was the new setup designed for?

MC: The new setup was tailor-made for exactly what I have always worked with: zebra finches and Bengalese. This year a few Gouldians have been added for something different and they’ve been a nice challenge. 

DB: What was your old setup like?

MC: An 8ft x 12ft shed with 24 cages and two flights.

DB: And the new one? 

MC: It’s 8ft x 8ft. Actually, when I was buying the house, this brand-new shed was already up and my first thought was: “This is perfect.” I was more than happy with it, so that got me off to a great start. Dad and I began by lining the walls with PVC hygienic wall cladding before the cages and flight were added. I went for two blocks of nine cages (18 in total), the exact same as I had with my previous shed. I went for a grey laminate flooring, just for some finishing touches.

There is LED lighting in all of the cages. This was something I always wanted to add, particularly for bottom-row cages, to ensure light in every cage is consistent. There is also a main light in the birdroom. This will go out first in the evening about 30 minutes before the LED lights, allowing the birds to settle down for the night before entire darkness falls. Recently I added a storage room to the side of the shed and it has been great for me to keep space in the birdroom and have all my products in a separate room. 

DB: What design of cages did you opt for? 

MC: Exactly the same as my shed at home, as I have always worked with this type. As the saying goes, you don’t fix what’s not broken. 

DB: Which are the features in the new design you felt were the most important to have? 

MC: A key feature for me has always been an extractor fan. It comes on every couple of hours and it is great for adding fresh air regularly into the birdroom, especially on days when I’m at home. Likewise the LED lights, for giving that consistent amount of light in each cage and also helping the process at night of turning everything off. When the last block of LED lights are due to go off, there is still some light from them to go around the shed, so it almost acts like a dimmer. 

DB: Is there anything you would do differently? 

MC: I suppose as birdmen we are never really happy – it doesn’t take long before we want to change something and make improvements. I have to be honest: at the minute everything is perfect, but eventually, over time, I would like a bigger shed. Something slightly greater in length where I can really make use of having a few flights and probably all my seed and products in the same room as the birds. 

I wish all Cage & Aviary Birds readers a successful season in 2021 and let’s hope it’s back to the shows for us this year so we can all have a great catch-up and return to doing what we love.

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