Aviary Perches – Where to Put Them


Posted by Rob | Posted in Aviary Tips | Posted on 10-09-2009

Did you know that perches should be placed at about your chest level so that the birds know their place in the hierarchy? Lower than this and they will be frightened, higher than this and they think they’re in charge – the more dominant bird always sits on the higher branches!

When placing your perches and toys, make sure that your birds can move about without running into anything. With perches, put them to the sides however, not so close that the bird’s tail is touching the aviary wall when sitting on the perch.

Go for a walk in the bush and find a fallen branch – this is preferable to the dowel ones as the uneven shape of the branch means that the bird is not always putting pressure on the same part of their feet. Scrub the branch well and dry it in the sun before putting it in your aviary.

Rope (untreated cotton) is also a great idea for an aviary – but it can be removed and washed in your washing machine. You just need to keep an eye on it for any fraying that little feet can get caught in.

Do not place your perch directly over food or water dishes.

Many birds prefer to roost on a flat surface – a 15cm wide plank will be sufficient along the long wall of the aviary.

Plastic perches are not the best option as they can be slippery and your birds will chew and shred them which can cause problems and lead to vet bills.

Aviary choice and location


Posted by Rob | Posted in Aviary Tips | Posted on 10-09-2009

If you’re thinking about buying an aviary but are relatively new to bird keeping, here are some basic matters you’ll need to give some thought to before you make a final selection.

As a general rule your bird cage or aviary should be at twice the wing span of your full-grown bird in width, depth and height, obviously the more birds in your aviary the larger you will need your aviary to be.

The shape of your aviary will depend on the type of bird you are keeping:
Budgies – tall and wide;
Canaries and finches – wide and long;
Cockatiels will need enough room to move without damaging their crest and long tail.

Securing the door
Be sure that you are able to properly secure your door. If there is just a thin latch, your bird may spend the day devising an escape plan. So a good latch on the door and even a padlock will stop the most determined escape plan and also protect from any unauthorised human visitors.

Birds are people too. If your bird is happy with people around, choose a location near the family. If your bird is less social (and you’ll know which your bird is), then choose a quieter area, but whatever the location make sure that you can see them to guard against predators (larger birds, cats, snakes, etc).
Find a spot where your birds will get the morning sun and were they will also be protected from the elements.

Aviary maintenance chores


Posted by Rob | Posted in Aviary Tips | Posted on 10-09-2009

Buying your first big aviary? Just about everything has a chore or two to go with it and aviaries are no different! To keep your birds happy and their home looking spick and span, here are some of the chores you can look forward to.

1. Flooring – paper should be changed daily. If you are using an aviary litter, this should be raked over daily so that droppings fall to the bottom.
2. Food and water containers should be washed in hot water using a mild soap (if you use a feeder, just wipe off the droppings and clear off the top layer of seed).
3. Wipe droppings off perches.

1. Flooring – if using aviary litter, this should be removed weekly and replaced with fresh litter.
2. Wash the walls, perches and other inside surfaces with mild soap and hot water.
3. If you use a feeder (that you have wiped clean daily), this should be emptied and cleaned thoroughly during the weekly clean.
4. To clean plastic surfaces, use a solution of vinegar and water (2tbs vinegar to1 litre of water). Use a soft cloth to avoid scratching the plastic.
5. Household bleach can be used as a disinfectant in your aviary, but you must remove the birds as the fumes can be harmful to birds (if you clean your aviary regularly, there will be little need for disinfecting). Rinse thoroughly before returning your birds to the aviary.

To make things a little easier on yourself and your birds, if your aviary is large enough you could consider putting some shade cloth across one half of the aviary – the birds can then retreat to the other side while you clean.

A Blokey Afternoon in the Garage


Posted by Rob | Posted in Garage and Carport Tips | Posted on 10-09-2009

Why not get your mates together in the garage this weekend and have a bit of fun with your car?

Body kits are available in a wide range. You’ll most likely have an idea of what you want to achieve to make your car stand out from the crowd. Some accessories can be practical as well as looking cool! Body kits include ground effects, such as skirting, that divert and control the amount of air that passes through under your car, improving down force.

If you want to get a “racy look” body kits come with instructions on how to adjust and customize your car to give it that “racy” appearance. Wings and spoilers are also popular body kits. They can either be placed in front or in the rear of the car to reduce aerodynamic drag and increase traction during acceleration. There are also kits featuring customized hoods, fenders, side mirrors, mags and windows.

There are generally two kinds of kit available – fibreglass and urethane. Most motorists prefer the fibreglass because they fit better and can easily be repaired. Fibreglass also looks better than urethane when finished because of its compatibility with paint. The advantage of urethane is that it is more durable and resistant to slight impacts. The downside is that it’s more expensive and more difficult to repair a damaged piece.

Make a day of it. It’s the sort of activity garages were made for!

Maintaining Your Car – Touching up the Paint


Posted by Rob | Posted in Garage and Carport Tips | Posted on 10-09-2009

You keep your car in the garage to protect it from the weather, but nothing can protect it from shopping trolleys, people’s car doors and careless drivers who nudge your car, leaving a little dent but no note.

Some scratches on your car can remove all the paint down to the metal and the area can begin to rust, causing permanent damage. Using touch-up paint on your car can be an inexpensive way to protect its value. It’s something you can at home.

There are a number of options for applying touch-up paint. Spray cans can be used for large areas. You’ll need to protect the walls of your garage and any other items stored in their as spray paint tends to go a long way.

For smaller chips and scratches, you can brush the paint or use a paint pen. Often, a paint pen will be easier to apply to very small chips, as you can apply the paint more precisely.

Women find using touch-up paint is easy because they’ve had practice applying nail polish! Rumour has it that some women have even painted their nails with automotive touch-up paint to match their vehicles.

The car’s colour code will be on the identification plate under your bonnet. If you can’t find the code, telephone the manufacturer and ask them. With the correct paint and good instructions, applying touch-up paint should be no more difficult than painting your nails – and if you’re a “he” you can always ask “her” to do it!

Unusual Uses for Your Garage


Posted by Rob | Posted in Garage and Carport Tips | Posted on 10-09-2009

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary a garage is a shelter or workshop for automobiles, but people seem to have discovered a wider range of uses for their garages.

If you’re a little eccentric you may have though of some of these ideas yourself:

  • A pool hall – great for getting all your mates around for some serious relaxing!
  • A skate park – construct a half pipe ramp all you need is some 4′ x 8′ plywood and some studs. You can get plans online.
  • A bowling lane – use a light ball to avoid wall damage!
  • Drive in theatre – for when you just love being with your car.
  • Pool table and darts – a bit old hat but nevertheless a popular use for your garage, best to make sure the car is out of the way for both of these activities.
  • Spa bath – you just need to take a little care with floor surface (best to put a slip proof coating on the floor as untreated garage floors can get very slippery. Watch your walls as they’re not meant to have water splashing around, if you want to have a serious spa, it might be an idea to tile the wall area around your spa.
  • Party/games room – a nice big room for teenagers to let loose in without fear of too much damage.

Turning your Garage into a Home Gym


Posted by Rob | Posted in Garage and Carport Tips | Posted on 10-09-2009

Everyone wants to get fit and look good. Often time is a prohibitive factor. By converting part of your garage into a home gym, you save time (travel) and money (gym fees).

A home gym is not for everyone. If you don’t have the commitment and drive to stick to your goals without a mentor, then you might have to continue going to the gym for a while. For the self motivated, the garage gym can be the perfect answer. It’s also very convenient – no matter what time it is day or night you can work out.

Floor exercises are an easy way to start without going to the expense of specialised equipment – start with that and see if you are committed enough to work out at home.

Treadmills, stair masters and ab equipment are easy to use for weight loss and aid in increasing muscle tone. Weight benches and universal systems are for bulking up and you can see results in just a few months.

Spend as much or as little as suits you. You can find treadmills and stair masters with great features and accessories for less than $300. Any good sporting goods store can help you with a range of dumbbells or weights, and the price tag is usually less than $100.

So if you are sick of missing out on your gym session because of work commitments, waiting in long lines to use the equipment or just commuting to the gym, set yourself up in the garage and get fit at home!

Do you Need Floor Covering in Your Garage?


Posted by Rob | Posted in Garage and Carport Tips | Posted on 10-09-2009

The humble garage can be quite a neglected are of your house. You wouldn’t think of leaving any other room in the house without floor covering, but the garage rarely gets a thought.

Flooring in the garage will protect it against grease and oil from the car, mower and any other motorized equipment you are using in the garage. There is also a possibility of paint spills, glue spills, and any number of liquid spills that result from the many and varied activities that occur in garages. These are more easily dealt with when there is some type of floor covering.

But what are the flooring options for a garage?

Garage floor paint – is the least expensive option and comes in a range of colours to jazz up your garage.
Garage floor epoxy – hard wearing and comes in a range of colours. It’s a bit more expensive than paint, but will last for years.
Garage floor tiles – these come in a locking system and if any part of the flooring is damaged just the section can be replaced.
Garage floor mats – they’re available in a range of styles and designs. Have as many as you need.

Whichever option you choose, floor covering will provide protection for your garage floor and at the same time giving you a safer surface to walk on.

Safety in Your Garage


Posted by Rob | Posted in Garage and Carport Tips | Posted on 10-09-2009

Most garages tend to be a bit messy because all sorts of things get left in there. Keeping them tidy is an important step in garage safety but if you want to show even more love to your garage and yourself:

  • Attend to any spilled grease as soon as you see it as it will be easier to remove when it is still wet – put some liquid detergent on it and scrub in a wide area where the spill has occurred and around. Blot up the spot with paper towel and discard. You may have to go through the process a couple of times to completely remove the spill. You could also try covering the spill with some absorbent kitty litter – leave it covering the spill for a couple of days to give it time to work.
  • Safety equipment was invented for a reason. Wear those goggles when you are using welding equipment. It only takes one spark to cause permanent damage to your eye.
  • If you are working with loud equipment in your garage, such as a power saw or circular saw, wear some sort of ear protection. Hearing problems occur slowly over time and by the time you realise you have a problem it will be too late.
  • Do you have a fire extinguisher in your garage or anywhere in the house for that matter? If you keep flammable liquids in there having a fire extinguisher nearby could mean the difference between minor and major damage to your house.

What do you do in your garage?


Posted by Rob | Posted in Garage and Carport Tips | Posted on 10-09-2009

Gone are the days when you simply parked your car in the garage. Nowadays, people utilise their garage space for all sorts of things.
If you have a double garage you can still park one car there and use the rest for:

  1. Office space -a free standing partition can make part of it into an office.
  2. Work shop – if you’re working with wood, you might need a cover over the car to protect it from flying chips of wood.
  3. Storage area – as much or as little as you like, around the walls or free standing banks in one half.
  4. Laundry area – a washing machine in one corner and fold away line for hanging your clothes if you either don’t have a clothes line or it’s raining and you need to get some clothes dry.
  5. Games room – it is a very rare house indeed that has a room large enough to house your pool table without putting the cue through the wall. The garage is the perfect size.

In the case of either a single or double garage that you don’t use for a vehicle, you could turn it into your special place for watching big games like the grand finals. Set up a comfy lounge and bar area and on the big day simply move the big screen out there. You’ll find yourself very popular!