and General Information
- Accommodation for birds maintained in captivity should be designed to allow the
birds to be maintained in good health, fulfil the 'five
freedoms' as defined by the UK's Farm Animal Welfare Council, and to breed (if this is
- Accommodation should also enable general management procedures, including
monitoring, feeding, catching, cleaning etc. to be carried out effectively and with
minimum disturbance to the birds.
- This requires sufficient behind-the-scenes space for food
preparation and storage, equipment storage, offices where records
can be maintained, etc.
- Consideration should be given to the aesthetic and
educational nature of accommodation on public display.
- Most birds are maintained in aviaries of various sizes. Some species,
such as waterfowl, large wading birds (cranes, flamingos, storks) and
large ratites (emus, rheas and ostrich) may be kept in large enclosures
or paddocks which are open or (for flight-capable birds) covered with
- Many birds are kept in mixed-species exhibits with other birds and
often other taxa. this can be advantageous in providing more space (e.g.
pheasants mainly occupying the floor and small psittacines,
columbiformes, passerines or other species utilising the upper parts of
the aviary); this is particularly useful for birds on display in
collections open to the public. Care is required to ensure than birds
are compatible, with particular consideration for disease control and
changes in compatibility during the breeding season.
- Enclosures should of a sufficient size to hold the number of animals contained
within them, or to look at the situation from the other direction, the number of animals
placed within an enclosure should not exceed the carrying capacity of the enclosure:
overstocking should be avoided, and thought given to expected population expansion.
Carrying capacity will vary depending on the number and species of birds kept.
- In addition to space for adult birds, whether on display or in
off-display breeding facilities, consideration needs to be given to
space and facilities for artificial incubators, chicks being hand-reared
or foster reared, food preparation, quarantine, areas for sick or
injured birds, food storage and preparation etc. (B438.8.w8)
- Note: many birds preferentially swallow shiny objects. It is
essential, when an aviary or bird enclosure is built, or maintenance
carried out, that personnel are strongly advised about the need to pick
up any dropped nails, bits of wire, etc. and that after construction the
whole area is searched visually and using a metal detector/magnet, to
remove potentially hazardous materials. See: Preventative Medicine for Birds (Bird Husbandry and Management)
N.B. Local climate and general conditions may vary widely and
appropriate enclosure design may vary accordingly (B7,
|"There should be enough
water and dry land at their disposal, with sufficient sunshine, shade, cover and
windbreaks and, whenever possible, plenty of grass for grazing." (Delacour, B7).
- Waterfowl are, as the name suggests, water birds and enclosures should
be designed to give access to sufficient water for bathing and swimming,
not just drinking; this is true particularly for the
- Many waterfowl species are grazers and enclosures preferably should provide
substantial grass areas for these birds.
- Waterfowl are frequently maintained in spacious, open enclosures containing
extensive water bodies. In most cases the birds kept in such enclosures will be
flight-restrained in some way.
- Whatever the size of the area in which waterfowl are maintained, every effort
should be made to avoid adding "one more pair" of birds to a collection in which
the number of waterfowl has already reached the capacity of the land and/or water area
available, as overcrowding leads to erosion of ground, reduction in grazing area,
decreased water quality and increased contamination of the enclosure with potential
Cranes are large, long-legged, long-necked, long-billed birds of
wetlands and grasslands, having spectacular dancing displays and loud
calls. They are omnivorous, generally hardy and adaptable, and best
kept in spacious enclosures. Pairs are monogamous, often life-long,
and territorial while breeding, although many species for flocks
outside the breeding season. Northern-breeding species are migratory.
- Cranes can be kept in very large enclosures, alone or with other
species, in smaller enclosures (one pair of cranes per enclosure) or
even, for the smaller species, in large aviaries.
- The type of enclosure will depend on the purpose for which the
cranes are being kept, particularly whether they are primarily for
display or for breeding.
- For display, cranes are seen to best advantage in large naturalistic
enclosures, although if these are heavily planted then the cranes may
not always be visible.
- Cranes have been kept in mixed-species exhibits with a variety of
species including hoofstock and tortoises. (P1.1974.w5,
- If it is desirable for the cranes to breed, then it is generally
recommended that a pair of cranes should be kept in an enclosure
without other occupants.
- For information on accommodation for chick rearing see: Rearing of Birds
Published Guidelines linked in Wildpro
and Breeding Considerations
- Enclosures should be designed to allow birds to carry out as many as possible of
their natural behaviours (migration will necessarily be impossible). Depending on the
species, large open areas for flying, ground cover for hiding, water for diving, plentiful
perches or multiple objects for investigation may be of most importance. The size, shape,
general layout, boundaries, construction materials, substrate, water, plants and other
furnishings of an enclosure should reflect the needs of the particular species to be kept,
including their social system (e.g. territorial versus colonial breeding).
- Consideration must also be given to the provision of separate pens for aggressive
birds, or for very shy and timid birds. With highly territorial birds, it may be necessary
to ensure than pens are placed apart from the pens of conspecifics (for example with an
unrelated species in the intervening pen) or to place visual barriers between the pens, to avoid
excess time being spent in aggressive behaviour between birds and to reduce the risk of
birds injuring themselves on the intervening fence.
- For many species, breeding will not occur unless an appropriate nest
site, building materials and/or environment are provided
- The risk of hybridization if closely related species are maintained in the same
enclosure must also be considered (see: Reproductive Management of Birds - Hybridisation).
- In all enclosures with birds on public display, at least one side should
be barred from access by the public to ensure that the birds are able to
rest away from people and reduce stress..
- A well-designed enclosure and its contents provides behavioural stimulation for
the occupants as well as fulfilling their physical requirements.
N.B. The information below should be used in
conjunction with the information on behaviour in the wild given in the section on
behaviour on the individual species pages. Where adequate information on behaviour is not
available for a species, data on similar species may be useful.
D1 - [full
text provided], V.w5)
|Flight and flight
- Waterfowl generally spend the majority of their time on water or on land, and are
frequently maintained in a flightless condition, with their flight restricted temporarily
by feather-clipping, or permanently e.g. by pinioning. This has the advantage of allowing
the birds to be kept in very large open enclosures without concern that they will fly
- Although flight restriction by pinioning of downies at a few days old has been
common avicultural practice for many years, consideration should be
given to alternative methods of flight restriction, and to enclosure
designs which do not require flight restriction.
- A number of species, particularly smaller perching species species, are
considered particularly suitable for maintenance in traditional, fully-enclosed aviaries.
Species which have been kept successfully in this way and for which this type of
accommodation may be considered include Callonetta
leucophrys - Ringed teal, Aix
galericulata - Mandarin duck, Aix
sponsa - Wood duck, sharp-winged teal (Anas
flavirostris - Speckled teal), Anas
castanea - Chestnut teal, Anas
hottentota - Hottentot teal, and many
perching species including the Whistling-ducks
(Tree-ducks) Dendrocygna spp. Larger perching
species such as Pteronetta
hartlaubii - Hartlaub's duck, and also Tadorna
radjah - Radjah shelduck have also been
successfully maintained in aviaries.
- Flight netting is an alternative method of flight restraint allowing birds to be maintained fully winged, which is being
used increasingly for even quite sizeable enclosures. Soft, knot-less nylon mesh is
preferred; this is durable and unlikely to cause trauma in the event of a bird flying into
the mesh. A small mesh size reduces the risk of birds colliding with the
netting becoming caught in it.
- Flight netting also excludes wild waterfowl such as mallard, which may pursue
female ducks in the breeding season and are also linked to outbreaks of Duck Plague, particularly
in the UK, and excludes large aerial scavengers and predators such as seagulls,
crows, magpies and owls, thus reducing feeding costs and predation.
- Flight-netting is impractical for use on very large enclosures and may be brought
down by heavy snowfalls and high winds.
- Waterfowl may also be kept fully-winged in open enclosures. Waterfowl to
be kept in this manner may be feather-clipped in their first year, to encourage the birds
to consider the enclosure as "home". N.B. not all species are
equally likely to stay if kept fully winged. Aggressive species and those which tend to
hybridise are not suitable for being kept free-flying (B7).
- It is recommended that only species native to the local area are
maintained in this way. There are both welfare and conservation considerations
against allowing non-native species to be maintained free-flying in an open enclosure.
Waterfowl which leave the enclosure and fail to return may not survive; the local
habitat and climate may be completely unsuitable. If they do survive, they may hybridise
and/or compete with native species. It may be an offence to allow waterfowl to escape: for
example in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) it is an offence
to release exotic (non-native) species into the wild.
- Free-flying waterfowl may also have a greater chance of transmitting
disease between a captive flock and native birds, in a similar manner to wild or feral
birds which may "visit" a collection
Sociability, Aggression and Breeding
- "On moderate-sized ponds, up to one acre, it has proved
advantageous to keep only one pair of each species of ducks and teal, as territory fights
occur in the spring, causing the harassment and sometimes the death of females. Only when
ponds and lakes are extensive enough to ensure the privacy of several breeding pairs can
they be associated." (Delacour, B7)
- Many species of waterfowl may be maintained in large, same-species or
mixed-species flocks. Many waterfowl species, including many geese, are sociable and would
commonly be found in flocks for much of the year in the wild. However, most species tend
to be territorial while breeding and some species are aggressive to other birds of their
own species or other species, either all year around or particularly in the breeding
season. Some species are also aggressive to people, which is of particular concern
for collections open to the public.
- Aggressive species may have to be maintained in separate enclosures.
Aggression, particularly in the breeding season, is usually directed to a large extent at
other birds of a similar size and colouration; it is sometimes possible for a pair of
small ducks to share safely an enclosure in which a pair of large, aggressive swans are
being kept. N.B. Individual birds vary in temperament.
Guidelines on species which "should" be kept separate can never be absolute:
particular individuals of "non-aggressive" species may be aggressive, while some
pairs of "aggressive" species may be less aggressive than expected.
- N.B. Authorities vary to some extent in their
recommendations as to the species which should be kept apart because of their aggressive
behaviour. The Aviculture section on the individual species pages, which includes
information on aggressive tendencies, should be consulted before new waterfowl are
acquired. The following categories are adapted from Richardson, 1999 (D1 [full]):
Birds (Category 1.) (D1)- Birds
that are often aggressive to their own species, particularly during the breeding season
and may need to be kept in separate pens or separated when breeding: Coscoroba,
Black-necked swans, Orinoco, Blue-winged, ruddy-headed geese, Ruddy, Cape, Australian,
Paradise, Radjah shelduck, Eastern greylag Anser anser rubrirostris, Emperor,
Greater snow goose, Canada geese - moffitti, occidentalis, minima,
Patagonian crested duck, African black duck, pink-eared duck, comb duck, Hartlaub's duck.
Magpie goose. (See Appendix
from D1 for the species links)
Birds (Category 2.) (D1) - Birds
that are often aggressive to their own species all year round and to a wide variety of
other species during the breeding season. Should be kept separate as
appropriate: Black, Mute, Whistling, Bewicks, Whooper swans; Egyptian,
Ashy-headed, Magellan, Cereopsis geese; Branta canadensis canadensis; Falkland
steamer duck, Bronze-winged duck.(See Appendix
from D1 for the species links)
Birds (Category 3.) (D1)
- Birds that are often aggressive to all species all year round,
particularly during the breeding season: Trumpeter swan, Andean goose, Magellanic
steamer duck, Black spur-winged goose. (See Appendix
from D1 for the species links)
- Apart from considerations of aggression, frequently breeding may be
improved if pairs are kept in individual enclosures, particularly if the birds are to be
given the opportunity to hatch and rear their own offspring. Separate enclosures allow
greater control over feeding of both adults and their offspring, and also prevent
See: Incubation of Birds - Parent
Incubation, Rearing of Birds - Parent Rearing, Reproductive Management of Birds -
Breeding cranes are territorial and can be very aggressive. Except in very large areas, usually
only one pair of cranes is maintained in a given enclosure. (B115.12.w8,
B521.19.2.w19b) Cranes are more likely to breed if they are isolated from
neighbouring cranes by visual barriers (see below: Perimeter fences). (B115.2.w7,
P1.1986.w4) For extremely aggressive cranes, in addition to a visual barrier, a
gap of at least 1 m is needed between adjacent pens to prevent pacing
or fence-pecking. (B115.12.w8) Alternatively (in a zoo rather than a specialist crane breeding
facility), keep crane enclosures separate from one another. (P1.1986.w4)
- For nervous cranes, breeding may be encouraged by providing a large
enclosure with good visual barriers around the perimeter and screening
vegetation inside the enclosure, giving the birds more privacy. (B115.12.w8)
- For rows of crane enclosures, leave 5-10 m as a buffer zone between
- In a zoo situation, cranes are more likely to breed successfully in
their own enclosure rather than in a mixed enclosure with e.g. hoofstock
(even though cranes have been seen to chase ruminants from their nests
in the wild). Cranes have been observed successfully defending their
nests against other species including geese and various other birds, and
some cranes may breed in mixed-species an aviary or enclosure with other
birds, however careful choice of species, and good observational skills
are required so that any inter-species conflicts are noted early and
controlled, if necessary by removing one of the species to a separate
- Breeding pairs should not be housed next to predators (e.g. wolves)
as this may distract them from breeding. (P1.1986.w4)
- A secluded area should be available for breeding. Breeding may be
stimulated by the presence of a marshy area or a stream, and by
vegetation to provide cover. (P1.1986.w4)
- Note: Ideally, crane enclosures should be built so that cranes can be
moved between two enclosures annually, with one left empty, to reduce
pathogen loads (see Preventative Medicine for Birds).
For a row of crane enclosures, this allows occupied enclosures to be
separated by empty enclosures. When cranes are moved between the
enclosures, all should be moved on the same day to maintain the empty
pens between pairs. (B115.2.w7)
- In a large park situation, sveeral pairs of cranes can be kept and
will develop their own territories. (B521.19.2.w19b)
- The presence of a pool, pond or stream is appreciated by cranes
for drinking and bathing (B94,
and may encourage pairing and
- An overhead sprinkler, controlled by timers, can be used to simulate
the rainy season and encourage breeding in Grus rubicunda - Brolga.
- A hose can be attached to overhead wires, and there can be
several sprinkler heads to provide "showers" over a large
- Good drainage of the enclosure is important. (B115.12.w8)
- If pipes are in reach of the cranes then they must be
constructed from durable components, e.g. 16 mm polyvinylchloride.
Extended photoperiod lights
- For crane species which breed in the arctic or subarctic, and are
being kept at lower latitudes, simulation of the long arctic summer
days may stimulate breeding. (B115.12.w8)
- It is recommended that artificial lights for this purpose should
provide an average of 16 foot-candles at ground level, but lower light
levels, down to as low as one foot-candle at ground level, can have
some effect. (B115.12.w8)
- Lighting may be provided by a single large bulb or several smaller
- For a 200-300 m² pen, adequate light can be provided by using:
- Ten incandescent light bulbs, each 125 W, at 2.3 m (just below
flight netting) around the periphery of the pen. OR
- Two 400-1000 W metal halide bulbs (expensive, but requiring less
electricity to run), raised to 8-10 m high, at opposite corners of
- The lights can be controlled using timers.
Aggression within a pair of cranes
- For cranes which are paired (as indicated by e.g. unison calling,
the female laying eggs) but one crane is sometimes aggressive to the
other (usually male aggressive to the female), it may be necessary to
subdivide the enclosure into two parts, one used for each crane (with
eggs fertilised by artificial insemination). (V.w5)
- Alternatively, proving a large enclosure with landscaping and
plantings allowing the subordinate bird to retreat out of sight of the
dominant bird when it is too aggressive, may allow them to be kept
Group housing for subadults
- Subadults can be kept in small groups. It is important not to place
too many birds in a small enclosure. As a guide, 2-5 compatible
subadult cranes may be kept in an enclosure suitable for a pair of
breeding cranes, and up to 15 may be kept in an enclosure 30 x 60 m. (B115.12.w8)
- At least two feeding stations and two water sources must be provided
for a group of subadults. (B115.12.w8)
Cranes on public exhibit
- Enclosures should be designed to allow visitors to view the cranes
without the cranes being excessively disturbed. (B115.12.w8)
- Elongated pens allow viewing while also providing relative seclusion
for nesting at the back of the pen. (B115.12.w8)
- Cranes may be encouraged to remain near to visitors by providing
food and shade near the viewing area. (B115.12.w8)
- Pens bounded by a moat or with a raised viewing platform provide
good displays. (B115.12.w8)
- Raised platforms make it less easy for the public to appreciate
the size of cranes. (B115.12.w8)
- Tall grasses and shrubs make the cranes feel more secure, and make
the enclosure look more natural, but partially obscure the public's
- Water pools make enclosures look more natural and allow cranes to
exhibit water-associated behaviours such as bathing, but they may
increase the risk of some diseases. (B115.12.w8)
- Note: Cranes can be kept in a mixed species enclosure with
multiple other species, including mammals, (e.g. Balearica
regulorum - Grey crowned-cranes with hoofstock in an "African
plains" exhibit), but are much less likely to breed in this
- It may be more difficult to catch cranes in a mixed exhibit of
this type. (B438.25.w25)
Facilities for behavioural observation
- Basic observations of cranes should be made daily when they are
cared for (feed renewed, shelters cleaned etc.).
- Blinds can be used for more extensive, longer-term
observations with minimal disturbance to the cranes, for example when
pairs are being formed. It is important that blinds are located
carefully, and designed (including using one-way glass if necessary)
so that the observer cannot be seen by the crane. (B115.6.w9)
- CCTV cameras may be set up to allow remote observation
of pairing behaviour, egg laying etc. These can be set up in a corner
of the pen and apparently are soon ignored by the cranes, although the
birds do notice if the camera moves or makes a noise. (B115.6.w9)
Flight and flight restraint
- A variety of methods may be used to prevent cranes from flying out
of their enclosures. These include keeping cranes in fully enclosed
aviaries or flight-netted pens, feather clipping and vane clipping,
brailing and permanent surgical procedures. (B115.11E.w5,
Flight netting and aviaries
- Keeping cranes in fully enclosed aviaries or flight-netted pens
allows them to be kept full-winged, without either a permanent
surgical procedure to prevent flight or repeated catching for e.g.
feather clipping. (P1.1977.w2).
Keeping cranes full-winged may improve balance during
copulation, particularly for males of larger species, and improve
- Details of flight netting are provided below in the section on Perimeter
Temporary flight restraint
- Feather clipping involves cutting with scissors a number of
flight feathers on one wing. This unbalances the bird and generally
- Cranes have a large wingspan. It is generally necessary to cut
all the primary feathers and at least the three most distal
(outermost) secondaries, but usually most or all of the
secondaries; sometimes the three outermost primaries are left but
the remaining primaries and all the secondaries are cut. (B115.11E.w5,
- Note: It is important to record the date and note when
feather clipping needs to be repeated to avoid cranes flying away;
the primaries and secondaries are moulted every second year. (B521.19.2.w19b)
- Vane trimming is a temporary measure carried out on flight
feathers which are still growing and blood filled. (B115.11E.w5,
The feather barbs are cut off on either side of the main vane; 1-2
inches of barbs are left intact at the tip of the feather. (V.w5)
- Brailing can be carried out on one wing for temporary flight
restraint or may be used on both wings during shipping. (P91.1.w3)
- For flight restraint, brailing is applied to the wing for no
more than two weeks. If flight restraint is still required at the
end of this time, a brail is applied to the other wing. (P91.1.w3)
- See: Brailing
Permanent flight restraint
- Several surgical methods can be used for permanent flight restraint.
Methods of permanent flight restraint are sometimes performed to allow
cranes to be kept and managed in large open-topped enclosures, without
the need for repeated catching and feather clipping, and to remove the
risk of feather clipping being left too late or forgotten, and the crane
flying out of its enclosure. (N28.10.w1)
- This involves the use of a thermocautery device to sever
the tendo longo of the musculus tensor propatagidalis
and the tendinous attachment of the musculus extensor metacarpi
radialis. The synovial capsule of the wrist (junctura carpi)
is destroyed, resulting in permanent ankylosis. Prior to surgery, 2-3
mL 2% lidocaine hydrochloride is infiltrated into the area. Five
minutes later, immediately prior to the procedure, the skin surface is
frozen with ethyl chlorine spray. After the surgery, the wing is taped
into a tightly folded position for six weeks to promote ankylosis of
- Tenotomy provides a wing which does not extend sufficiently to
allow the crane to fly, but is more aesthetically appealing than a
- If the crane does manage to fly/jump high enough to get over the
fence of its enclosure, feather clipping of the primaries can be
- (B115.11E.w5, P91.1.w3)
- Patagiectomy involves removal of the patagial membrane, with
apposition of the radius and humerus; the wing is left in a
permanently-folded position (cannot be fully extended) but can otherwise
be moved by the bird for preening etc. (J23.11.w5,
- Amputation (Pinioning)
- The wing tip is removed distal
to the alula. (N28.10.w1)
- If a crane is to be pinioned for management reasons this should be
carried out during the first week (P2.1986.w4)
when the chick is 3-4 days old. (N28.10.w1)
- In the UK this is considered an act of veterinary surgery and
should only be undertaken by a veterinary surgeon; this restriction has recently
 been clarified by RCVS. (W162.Apr13.w1).
- In England, anaesthesia is required if pinioning is carried out on
birds aged 10 days or older. (LUK35)
- Note: Pinioned cranes may still be able to clear a six-foot
or eight-foot high fence, particularly in gusting winds. (B438.25.w25,
- Feather follicle ablation by laser
- Ablation of the individual primary (and sometimes some secondary)
wing feather follicles using a surgical laser has been described. The
procedure could only be carried out on fully grown feathers, not blood
feathers). During a period of nine months after the surgery, regrowth of
9.5% of treated feathers was recorded. (P133.2012.w4)
|Associated techniques linked from Wildpro
Fences and Netting
- Perimeter fences and aviary walls and roofs need to be designed not just to keep birds in but to keep predators
- When designing aviaries it is important to ensure that the
strength of the roof is sufficient to prevent access by predators such
- Aviary or enclosure boundaries have to be constructed to contain both the
smallest and the largest, strongest birds which will be kept in them.
- For aviaries or enclosures housing species with precocial chicks it
is important to provide either sufficiently small mesh on the bottom
30 cm (one foot) of the netting that chicks will not be able to get
out, or to use a solid material on this bottom area.
- N.B. A perimeter fence, of whatever construction, will not be
sufficient to contain fully-flighted birds: Flight Netting or
aviary-type construction is required for fully-flighted birds if they are to be prevented
from leaving an enclosure.
- A predator-proof fence, buried to e.g. two and a half feet, and
electrified, may be constructed around a facility. (P1.1977.w2)
- Fences need to be checked regularly. (P1.1977.w2)
- For enclosures on public view, naturalistic roofing materials such
as "invisible" nets are preferred. (B704.42.w42)
- It is important to consider the risks of birds flying or climbing up
and getting trapped in mesh, and taking measures to prevent this. (B704.42.w42)
- Waterfowl are frequently maintained in open (unroofed) enclosures, which may be
- Enclosures should be surrounded by a predator-proof perimeter fence, designed so
as to prevent predators from coming through, climbing over, or digging under the fence.
- The fence should also be constructed so as to prevent waterfowl, including the
smallest newly-hatched individuals, from exiting through the fence or extending their
heads out of the enclosure.
- Consideration should be given, in designing a gate, to everyday requirements but
also to the possible future need to be able to bring in machinery, for example for grass
cutting or silt removal. A concrete sill may be useful to avoid erosion, rut formation and
puddling in this area of heavy wear and to prevent predators digging under the gate.
||Cranes may be kept in large
aviaries (generally the smaller cranes, particularly demoiselles),
enclosures covered with flight netting, or large open paddocks.
- Cranes kept in open paddocks will need to be flight restricted, for
example by wing-clipping (feather trimming). (V.w5)
- It is recommended that fences should be 2.3-2.6 m high. (B115.12.w8)
- Note: Even cranes which are pinioned or wing-clipped can
sometimes jump over a 6 ft or 8 ft high fence if there is no flight
netting, particularly if the wind is strong or gusting. The risk may
be increased if the enclosure is built on a slope. (B438.25.w25,
- Cranes may also scale fences if sufficiently motivated, e.g. to
attack a crane on the other side of the fence. (N1.80.w1)
Fence materials and construction
- Perimeter fences have two functions: keeping the cranes in and
keeping predators out.
- The materials and construction of the fence should minimise the risk
of injury to the cranes; it
should be smooth and there should not be any projections into the
- Galvanised steel 5 cm 11 gauge chain link mesh is probably the most
economical. Aluminium chain link is preferable, being smoother than
steel and causing fewer injuries, but is much more expensive. (B115.12.w8)
- When buying chain-link, specify "knuckled" to avoid
getting rolls with twisted barbs at the top or bottom of the fence, as
these can be hazardous. (B115.12.w8)
- Another alternative is 16 gauge or thicker poultry wire. This is
likely to result in more cuts to bills, wings and legs than is chain
link. If poultry wire is to be used, then 2.5 cm mesh is preferable;
it is stronger than 5 cm mesh, and causes fewer injuries. (B115.12.w8)
- Alternative materials can be used, depending on availability.
- Posts should be set at 5-8 m intervals, preferably on the outside
of the enclosure on at least two sides. Steel posts or pressure
treated, rot-resistant wooden posts, preferably set in concrete, can
be used. Corner posts need to be stabilised, with support braces
preferably placed outside the enclosure, and if they must be inside
then lying against the fencing so that it is not possible for a crane
to catch its head of a foot behind the braces. (B115.12.w8)
- Perimeter fences need to be predator-proof, preventing access
by both digging and climbing mammalian predators. (B115.12.w8)
- Requirements for predator protection will vary depend on the
local predators. Suggestions include:
- Bury perimeter fences 0.5 m, back-filling with 5 mm washed
- At the base, a 0.5 m wide horizontal skirt of 2 cm mesh is
suggested on the outside of the fence to deter digging predators. (B115.12.w8)
- Protection against climbing predators can be provided with
electric wires on the outer side of the perimeter fence, supported
on insulating posts or on insulators attached to support brackets. (B115.12.w8)
- Visual barriers preventing eye contact are important between
adjacent pairs or even adjacent individual cranes. (N1.80.w1,
- Visual barriers reduce disturbance from cranes in neighbouring pens.
or from humans. Depending on the individual cranes, visual barriers
may be needed on one or more sides of the pen. (B115.12.w8)
- Visual barriers can be dual-purpose; as well isolating them from
neighbouring cranes, they also can make the fence smoother, reducing the
risk of injures, particularly when cranes are introduced into a new
pen or are being captured. (B115.2.w7,
- Appropriate materials for barriers include tennis netting or reed
mats. The barrier material is clipped or tied to the external fencing.
- These materials are flexible, which helps to prevent
traumatic injuries if a crane collides with the fence or tries to
attack through the fence. (B115.12.w8)
- Other materials which have been used to provide visual barriers
include vines, canvas, plywood sheets, solid fencing panels, and
rows of conifers planted along the fence. (J23.14.w5,
- Close-growing plants such as conifers can be used to provide
shelter from bad weather as well as a visual barrier. (V.w5)
- Flight netting is a form of flight restraint, in that it prevents
cranes from flying out of their enclosure. (B115.11E.w5)
- Birds in flight-netted pens can be left full-winged (B115.11E.w5,
thought to aid balance during copulation, therefore increasing the
chance of natural reproduction without the need for artificial
- It is recommended that crane pens should be covered with flight
B521.19.2.w19b), 5 cm mesh for larger species (e.g. Toprite XL nylon mesh),
2.5-3 cm mesh for smaller species. (B115.12.w8)
- A maximum mesh size of 5.1 cm (two inches) is recommended. With
this size mesh, occasionally a crane springing up passes its head
through the mesh and is momentarily held suspended there, but
pulls free under its own weight (sandhill cranes, usually also
whooping cranes). Whooping cranes have occasionally remained
suspended until a person has pulled them free, but no injuries
have resulted. (B115.11E.w5)
- Larger mesh sizes are not recommended. Occasionally,
birds held under such nets have become snared and suspended by one
or both wrists. (B115.11E.w5)
- Smaller mesh sizes can be used. (B115.11E.w5)
- A recommended height for flight netting is 2.5 m; this is a
compromise between providing height so that cranes can fly and dance,
and the increased risk of injury if more space allows them to reach
higher speeds. (B115.12.w8)
- Flight netting is attached to the perimeter barriers of the
enclosure at intervals of 5-10 cm, and is supported by guy wires
across the enclosure at intervals of 405 m; more guy wires per unit
area are needed for larger enclosures than for small enclosures. Guy
wires need to cross the boundary fences at the fence posts. (B115.12.w8)
- The 5.1 cm woven-nylon mesh is supported using 1 cm diameter
(0.375 inch) plastic-coated steel cables at intervals of about 6.1
m (20 feet) across the enclosure. (B115.11E.w5)
- It is important to ensure that flight netting is strung tightly, not
sagging, and that there are no gaps along the fence or the guy wires.
- Plastic clips or stainless steel hog rings can be used to attach
flight netting to the tops of external fences. (B115.12.w8)
- If it is anticipated that the flight netting will need to be
removed, then it can be attached simply by being hooked over the
cut end of the chain-link fencing. (B115.12.w8)
- In areas where aerial predators do not constitute a significant
risk, pens can be left open (no flight-netting) if the cranes are
- Note: In addition to keeping the cranes in and aerial
predators out, flight netting also restricts access to the enclosure
by other birds (except for very small species), which may be
advantageous to reduce loss of food to scavengers and to reduce the
risks of disease transmission from wild birds. (V.w5)
- Flight netting prevents individuals from jumping over or otherwise
scaling fences; cranes have been known to get over qquite high fences
e.g. to attack another crane. (N1.80.w1)
- Snow/ice and netting
- In areas with heavy snow fall or ice storms, flight netting may
collapse under snow and ice, unless heavily braced. Permanent
interior support posts are needed in such geographical areas, or a
large workforce and enough temporary support posts. (B115.11E.w5)
- The service gate should be wide enough to allow basic maintenance
equipment such as a mower into the pen. (B115.12.w8)
- Avoid any obstruction, such as a sill, which would impede a
caretaker when exiting rapidly away from an aggressive crane. (B115.12.w8)
- Sliding doors to the house, operated from outside the pen, are
useful for locking cranes in or out of the house for maintenance etc. (B115.12.w8)
- For cranes on public display, particularly the larger species, it is
important to provide a stand-off barrier outside the fence, preventing
people from approaching too close.
- This is required in the UK. (D15
- full text provided)
- Warning notices e.g. "Warning: these birds may bite" are
- In the UK, "An adequate number of clearly visible safety
signs, providing warning by means of a symbol, words, or a
combination of symbol and words, should be displayed at each
enclosure containing any species of hazardous animal which is
likely to cause injury." (D15
- full text provided)
- If parent-rearing of chicks is intended, it is important that the
netting, at least low down, is of sufficiently small construction (0.5 -
2.5 cm) that chicks cannot exit through it or stick their head through
it, or is covered on the inside with a solid material to prevent this
from happening. (B115.12.w8,
- The smaller mesh should extend below ground for at least 10 cm
to ensure the adults do not dig under it. (B115.12.w8)
|Associated techniques linked from Wildpro
Internal Divisions and
|Within a perimeter
fence, an enclosure can be subdivided to allow various groups of birds to be managed
separately, for example due to behavioural incompatibilities (e.g. separating aggressive
species) or for breeding purposes (including preventing hybridisation).
- Internal barriers
for in general do not to be as robust as perimeter fences, since they do
not also need to withstand predators.
- Internal barriers for non-flying birds may not need to be as tall as
- Where internal barriers separate breeding birds with altricial
young, it is important to ensure that at least the bottom portion of
the barrier is solid or of small enough mesh size to prevent young
chicks from squeezing through.
- Where internal barriers separate aggressive, territorial birds, the
barrier has to be sufficient to prevent fighting through the barrier.
Solid barriers or barriers providing visual separation may be needed.
- Waterfowl require a relatively large enclosure area to avoid erosion and
poaching. The area required for a given type and number of waterfowl will vary for example
with soil type: heavy clay soils with poor drainage tend to become poached and larger
areas may be required if grass is to survive.
- Mixed exhibits should have sufficient space to allow birds chased by more
aggressive individuals to escape.
- General guidelines for minimum enclosure size for a pair of waterfowl
are: swans: 400m2, large geese: 300m2; small geese: 200m2; large ducks 100m2,
small ducks 50m2. Most waterfowl require approximately 50% of this area to be water. A
larger proportion (up to 80%) may be land for geese. Even the most aquatic species require
some land as a loafing area (D1 [full]).
- For a mixed-species group it is more difficult to give precise recommendations
due to the wide variation in the size and requirements for land and water of the species
involved. One suggested guide is: "Ten pairs of the smaller geese and forty pairs
of ducks to an acre of water are a good proportion for enclosures." (Delacour, B7).
Internal barriers for waterfowl:
- Need only to be about three feet or one metre high. As with external fences,
fences should be designed to prevent waterfowl, including the smallest newly-hatched
individuals, from exiting through the fence or extending their heads out of the enclosure.
Constructing or overlaying the bottom 8-12 inches (20-30cm) of fencing with either a solid
material (e.g. boards) or small-gauge wire netting (e.g. 1 inch by 1/2 inch weldmesh, or
1/2 inch chicken wire will "proof" the pen against exit by even the smallest
- Planting bushes along fences both disguises the fences (for public display) and
provides shelter for the birds. Additionally, such bushes provide a visual barrier between
birds on either side of the dividing fence; such a barrier may be necessary to control
- Where internal fences also act to separate the birds from members of the public,
bushes may also be used on the outside (visitor-side) of external fences as stand-off
- N.B. As with external fences, regular inspection is required to
ensure fences are in good repair.
Enclosures should give cranes enough space for locomotion and dancing, and
- Cranes can be kept in enclosures which vary from quite small up to very
large enclosures (several acres). (P89.1.w1)
- Enclosures for cranes should be sufficiently large to prevent
build-up of parasites/micro-organisms in the soil or within shelters.
- Fences between pairs of cranes should be opaque. (N1.80.w1)
- For a breeding pair of cranes, the minimum size of enclosure should be
150 m² for smaller species, 200-300 m² for larger species. (B115.12.w8)
- While breeding has occured in enclosures of 150 m2, 400 m2 or larger
is recommended. (B521.19.2.w19b)
- The total allotted area for each pair of cranes should be twice
the minimum area, each pair having two enclosures, used in
alternate years, for parasite/pathogen control. See:
Preventative Medicine for Birds
- Larger enclosures are preferable for some crane pairs. (B115.12.w8)
- Relatively small enclosures are recommended for full-winged cranes which
often fly, to reduce the risk of injury. (B115.12.w8)
- Note: A 1980 survey in the UK found that the smallest
enclosure size in which fertile eggs were produced by cranes was
33.5 square metres. (N4.8.w1)
- Note: If crane pens are placed in series, with a pen left
empty between each pen containing a pair, then the phsychological
territorial space for each pair is much increased by the empty pen
on either side. Annual movement between such pens (one year housing
a pair, one year empty) also reduces soil compaction and parasite
- A full-height internal fence may be used to divide an enclosure into
two parts either temporarily, to allow introduction of a pair of
cranes, or permanently for an enclosure to house cranes which are
paired (as indicated by unison calling, egg laying by the female) but
in which one crane is aggressive to the other (usually male aggressive
to female). (V.w5)
- Internal fences for introduction of new pairs should include a gate
allowing cranes to be moved easily from one half of the pen into the
other half. The door(s) between the pens should open a full 180
to lie back against the fence line. (B115.12.w8)
- This allows handlers to move birds between the pen halves
without touching them, and allows a nervous crane to retreat back
into its own pen. (B115.12.w8)
- If there is a single, divided, shelter, it is useful to have a
door allowing access between the two halves of the shelter. (B115.12.w8)
- Subadult cranes can be kept in group pens, with up to 15 birds in a
30 by 60 m enclosure. (B115.12.w8)
- A smaller enclosure, suitable for a breeding pair of cranes, can be
used to house 2-5 compatible subadults. (B115.12.w8)
- If cranes are kept in a flock, it is important that the enclosure is
|Associated techniques linked from Wildpro
Source & Drainage
|For most bird species,
which require only a small about of water for drinking and perhaps for bathing, water may
be provided easily from the normal mains water supply, and as easily drained into the
normal drains. If waterbirds such as waterfowl, flamingoes or penguins are to be kept,
provision will have to be made for the supply and disposal of large quantities of water,
and/or sufficient recirculation/filtration systems.
- It is important to ensure, when facilities are designed, that water
pressure is adequate for filling pools and for cleaning. (B438.8.w8)
- Drains for pools must be sufficiently large for the pool to be
drained in a reasonable length of time, and be sited correctly (i.e.
at the lowest point of a pool). (B438.8.w8)
- The general drainage of an aviary or enclosure must be considered
also, taking into account the local weather conditions and soil type,
with appropriate substrate type, slope and/or drainage holes provided
as required. (V.w5)
- Waterfowl require more water than most other bird groups and high water quality
is particularly important. A constant flow of water is ideal. Water may be taken from a
stream running through the area, diverted from a stream or river, taken from an
underground source (e.g. by sinking a well) or mains water may be used. Pipes or a narrow
connecting channel may be used to transport water from the source to ponds in different
enclosures. Generally, mains water will be suitable as a supply only for relatively small
- Water pressure should be sufficient to facilitate rapid cleaning and refilling of
- In all systems, high water turnover rates assist in keeping water clear and
reducing build up of waste products and disease agents such as bacteria and parasites. It
may be possible to keep a greater number of waterfowl on a given area of running water
than on a similar area of stagnant ponds.
- Where continuously-running water cannot be provided, ponds should be emptied and
cleaned regularly. Small ponds need to be cleaned more frequently than large ponds, and in
general cleaning is required more often in summer than in winter; e.g. weekly cleaning in
winter and twice weekly in summer may be required. A practical alternative to complete
drainage and refilling for large ponds is to partially drain and refill. This may be more
effective for water exchange than continual water input with overflow drainage. Removal of
half the water followed by rapid refilling is also effective in reducing algal blooms (B23.37.w1).
- Permission is required from the riparian owner before water may be abstracted
from a stream or river. In the UK this will usually be the Environment Agency. A licence
for water abstraction may depend on reaching stringent conditions of cleanliness prior to
returning the water to the source. Water may be cleaned by using reedbeds (Phragmites
for Water Cleaning) or sedimentation pools.
- If a stream runs through the pens, it is important to know minimum and maximum
water heights for siting of nests and nest boxes.
- If water is used to fill a series of ponds, parallel or serial
filling and drainage may be used.
- Parallel filling involves water running separately into each
pond from the water source and leaving each pond directly into a drainage system. This
system tends to use more water, but is preferred due to the reduced risk of
transmission of water-borne diseases between pens.
- Serial filling involves water running into one pond and then,
generally by gravity, using connecting streams or pipes, from one to another of a series
of ponds, before leaving the final pond for the drainage system. This system may require
less total water output, which is advantageous particularly where water is scarce.
However, the system produces a considerable potential for transmission of
water-borne diseases between pens.
- Pipes connecting ponds to one another or to source/drainage systems should be
constructed in such a way as to ensure that waterfowl cannot become caught in them, or
pass through them. Outlets should be inspected daily to clear debris which may block them.
- Where water is scarce, a recycling system may be used. This is frequently used in
combination with serial filling, but could also be used with parallel filling.
Incorporation of a filtration system (e.g. sand filtration) is advisable to reduce both
silting and transmission of potential pathogens, and the water may also be aerated.
- Mechanical, chemical or biological filtration systems may be used.
- Bubblers are effective at oxygenating water and also provide some degree of
turbulence and therefore water mixing. Compressed air is pumped to a diffuser on the
bottom of the lake or pond, from which air bubbles rise to the surface. Fountain-type
spray systems may produce some degree of aeration although this is likely to be
significant only on small ponds. Mechanical aerators paddlewheel aerators create
turbulence and thereby both aerate the water and promote water circulation.
- Small ponds may be constructed on a mound,or on naturally sloping ground allowing
drainage by a simple siphon.
- Alternatively, a permanent drain pipe with plug may be built into the bottom of
the pond at the time of construction.
- Drains should be of sufficient diameter to allow a reasonable speed of drainage
and to reduce the risk of blockage.
- Used water may be led away to a soakaway (see: Soakaway for Water
Drainage), ditch or main drain.
(B7, B10.26.w1, B11.33.w1,
B94, B95, B97,
- Fresh drinking water should be available at all times.
- For drinking water, hygiene is greatest with a continuous
run-through system in elevated watering cups (as used at Patuxent);
automatically-filling water troughs operated by a float system can be
- The functioning of these systems should be checked daily and the
cup or trough cleaned weekly using a stiff brush. (B115.2.w7,
- Buckets need to be available to use if the automatic watering
system fails for any reason.
- An alternative is to use heavy-duty rubber buckets (nine litre), in
a secure position.
- These are less easy to keep clean and need to be emptied and
scrubbed daily and disinfected once or twice a month.
- Note: In cold climates, drinking water may freeze unless a
heating system is provided, such as a built-in heater or a pole-type
- To maintain hygienic conditions in a pool, either there should be a continuous
slow through-flow of water, or the pool should be cleaned at least
every 3-5 days - more frequently for an enclosure with a chick in it.
- Unless the flow of water is sufficient
to prevent stagnation, then a drain system is required such that the
pool can be drained and cleaned every few days. (B115.12.w8)
- Disease hazards:
- Pools may contain a variety of parasites and bacterial pathogens due
to faecal contamination from the cranes, wild birds, and rodents. (B115.2.w7)
- Pools which are allowed to stagnate may contain pathogens such
as Clostridium botulinum.
|Associated techniques linked from Wildpro
Pond / Lake / Watercourse Design, Structure and
- Waterbodies and/or watercourses provided for birds should be designed with
consideration for the needs of the bird species to be maintained. Depending on the
species, water may be required for drinking, bathing, swimming, feeding and mating.
- Some birds such as waterfowl, flamingoes and penguins require much more
water than do non-aquatic birds.
- Water depth and pond design needs to be appropriate for the species
- For many non-aquatic species only shallow water should be provided, even for bathing. This
will reduce the chance of birds drowning if, for example, they are startled during the
night and are crashing about the aviary.
- Conversely, water more than one metre deep may be needed to assist
flamingos when mating.
- Gradual rather than steep slopes should be provided at pool edges,
even for deep pools.
- The area and depth of water required will vary considerably with the species of
waterfowl kept as well as with the number of birds. For most species, except in very large
enclosures, it is suggested that approximately 50% of the total area of the enclosure
should be water, for enclosures of size: - swans, 400m2; large geese, 300m2; small geese,
200m2; large ducks, 100m2, small ducks, 50m2. With geese, this may be reduced to only 20%
of the area, although more should be provided if enclosure size permits.
- For dabbling ducks, large areas of shallow water are preferred, while diving
ducks require at least 50% of their water area at least 60cm (two feet) deep and
preferable 90-120cm (three to four feet) deep, with a maximum depth of two metres or more;
neck-deep is preferred for swans.
- Ponds intended to house mixed species should vary in depth to fulfil the
requirements of different waterfowl species. Ideally, still and running water and large
and small water areas should be provided within an enclosure to suit their varied
N.B. Overcrowding should be avoided, as this leads to fouling
and build up of potentially-pathogenic micro-organisms.
B37.x.w1, B97, D1).
- Banks need to be sufficiently shallow (30 degrees preferably, and no more than 45
degrees) to allow birds to exit the water easily, with particular regard to the
requirements of species which are clumsy on land, downy young, and individuals being
chased. Ramps may be used on areas of steep bank to
avoid birds becoming trapped on the water, but these are not suitable for diving ducks.
Ducklings which cannot exit the water and become wet may quickly drown (see: Drowning)
- Banks are also subject to considerable wear. Banks of streams and lakes are
subject to wear from water movement (flow, waves). Banks of all waterbodies and waterways
used for waterfowl also are liable to damage from the waterfowl themselves probing and
dabbling. In general, some form of protection will be required to reduce erosion,
extending out from the water for a full neck's-length of the waterfowl species kept.
Erosion at the junction between a surround and the soil may produce a muddy area in which
bacteria such as Mycobacterium avium (Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex)
may build up.
- Concrete may be used to reduce bank erosion; this requires an
initial outlay in time and materials, and tends to be rather obtrusive but is relatively
long-lasting. Concrete may be made less obtrusive by matching the colour to the soil. It
is important to ensure that the concrete is smooth to reduce the risk of chronic trauma
which may lead to bumblefoot.
- Stone flagging, crazy-paving or natural rocks placed along the banks provide a
more aesthetically-pleasing alternative to reduce wear on banks, and also form a loafing
area on which waterfowl may sunbathe.
- Netting laid on the ground may also be used to reduce erosion. This should be
securely pegged down and extend well below (1 ft or 30cm) the water level. Grass or
other vegetation growing through it will soon hide the wire. Netting used in this way is
less durable than concrete or flagging, but may be cheaper and take less time to put down.
- A wider surrounding area of gravel, cement, paving stones, bricks or shingle may
be used to reduce the amount of soil carried into the water on the feet of the birds.
(B7, B10.26.w1, B11.33.w1, B29,
B37.x.w1, B41, B94, B97,
Pond linings may be used for waterfowl:
- Natural: Natural, mature lakes or ponds with sufficient depth,
water input and natural aquatic flora and fauna are usually of great benefit. Shallow
natural water bodies with low natural water input, or which have been neglected, may
require considerable work in restoration and maintenance.
- Premoulded plastic ponds are expensive for their size and are
rather small. They should be considered suitable only for e.g. one or at most two pairs of
small ducks (e.g. mandarins (Aix
galericulata - Mandarin duck) or wood ducks (Aix
sponsa - Wood duck )), or for domestic waterfowl. They are simple to
construct, requiring only the excavation of a suitable hole to allow the pond to be sunk
to ground level. Such ponds quickly become fouled and required emptying, cleaning and
refilling frequently - perhaps even daily, particularly in warm weather.
- Concrete ponds: have been used for many years and may be
constructed in a variety of shapes (see: Pond
Construction (Concrete)). More recently there has been increasing use of
various synthetic liners (see: Pond
Construction (Synthetic Liner)).
- Clay: clay soils may allow the construction of
ponds without any lining other than the clay. The clay must however be well compacted
(puddled) if it is to hold water reliably. Clays with fine particle size have better
water-impermeability. Clay may also be applied to a dug out area of other soils in a layer
at least 30cm (12inches) thick, and compacted well. Specialist equipment such as rollers
or a hydraulic excavator may be required for puddling clay for large areas. Leaks may
develop if the clay is allowed to dry out (e.g. if water levels fluctuate) or if
deep-rooted plants grow through it (B93 -
[full text provided - see
Islands or floating islets:
- Should be constructed in ponds where possible. Most waterfowl species feel secure
on islands and prefer to rest and/or nest on islands. These also provide a degree of
protection from predators. Simple rafts may be constructed from inch-thick (2.5cm thick)
planks fastened together with battens. Plastic containers, partially filled with water and
fixed to the underside may be used to provide buoyancy and the raft may be anchored to a
weight or to the bank (B108).
N.B. General Maintenance is required:
- A portion of each pond should be shaded (either naturally or by artificial
- Large-leafed underwater vegetation assists in maintaining oxygenation and
water-life but are unlikely to be maintained in a small pond.
- Sturdy marginal species may be established at the edges of even small ponds.
These improve the aesthetic appearance and provide cover. (See: Marginal /
Emergent Planting of Waterbodies).
- Shallow water bodies, including natural water bodies, may require periodic
dredging to remove sediment.
- Leaves falling into ponds from overhanging trees should be removed to reduce
sedimentation and blockage of drains.
- In freezing weather in winter, birds may be able to keep an area of water open
themselves. If water does freeze totally, on small ponds it may be possible to break the
ice and remove it. Alternatively, water should be provided in bowls, refilled several
times daily (B11.33.w1,
B29, B40, B41, B93
[full text provided] B95, B97,
- Cranes like to bathe and should be provided with sufficient water to
do so comfortable. (B94)
- Crane breeding may be encouraged if the cranes have a marshy area in
their pen (P1.1986.w4)
or a pool in their
pen in which they can wade, rather than just drinking water. (B115.2.w7,
- Pools with natural vegetation are more likely to stimulate
reproductive behaviour than are pools without such vegetation. (B115.12.w8)
- A stream with a central island may be chosen as a nesting site,
if available. (P1.1986.w4)
- A concrete or plastic pool can be used. (B115.12.w8)
- A gradual slope to a depth of 20-60 cm is suggested. (B115.12.w8)
- Most crane species nest close to or surrounded by water in the wild
and many crane pairs in captivity will build their nest close to water
if there is a pond or stream in their enclosure. Examples:
- At Jersey Zoo, a pair of Grus vipio -
White-naped cranes build their nest each year, usually on
a favoured site in the middle of the
stream running through their enclosure. (N1.98.w1)
- If available, a stream or pond will be used for drinking, bathing
and foraging as well as nesting. (N1.98.w1)
- Given the opportunity (sufficiently deep water) in captivity, adult
cranes of most species will swim. (B479.w16)
- Misters or sprinklers can be provided. (N19.12.w)
|Associated techniques linked from Wildpro
|The substrate is the
general ground covering for the accommodation. Factors to be considered include wear
and abrasion of the birds' feet, the role of ground-covering
plants as feed (e.g. grass for grazing species), the local weather (amount
and type of precipitation) and drainage characteristics of the area
(e.g. sandy versus clay soils, flat land, slopes etc.), the wear or damage that the
occupants may produce, and pathogen control.
|In choosing substrates for a
waterfowl enclosure it must be remembered that waterfowl are prone to puddling and eroding
the ground. Puddling is particularly likely to occur on clay soils and in wet weather.
- Being hardwearing, concrete is commonly used as a substrate in areas which are subject to
considerable wear, for example at gateways and around food troughs and the banks of ponds.
However, the use of concrete should be minimized as it may lead to the development of
callus, foot abrasions and Bumblefoot
particularly if it has a rough, abrasive finish.
- Grass is important for geese, swans and some duck species (e.g. wigeon) for grazing. It
is difficult to provide sufficient grazing for winter, when supplementation may be
required. Stocking density should be sufficiently low to allow grass to become
re-established each spring (see: Food and Feeding
- Well-managed grazing areas may provide much of the total nutritional requirements
of grazing species, while overgrazing may lead to poaching of the ground, the encroachment
of coarse, unpalatable grasses and other plant species such as nettles and thistles or
loss of ground vegetation. On the other hand, grasses which are undergrazed and allowed to
become too long increase the risk of the development of gastro-intestinal impactions
- The ideal sward length varies depending on the bill length of the waterfowl
grazing it: shorter grass is better for species with shorter bills, longer grass for those
with longer bills.
- As well as providing food, grass should act as a protective covering for the
soil, reducing erosion, particularly in wet periods and under the puddling attention of
waterfowl feet and bills. As with other vegetation, it is advisable to allow grass to
become established before waterfowl are introduced to an area.
- Annual or biennial (every second year) cultivation, resting and reseeding has
been recommended to minimize contamination by pathogens by increasing desiccation and
exposure to sunlight. Re-sowing and resting for at least 12 months is required before
an area may be considered "clean" of parasites such as Cyathostoma
- Unpalatable grasses have sometimes been used to provide a ground covering for
aesthetic purposes. If such grasses are used it then an alternative supply of green food
must be provided for grazing species.
- In cold winter weather, depending on the climate, the ground may become covered
with snow and ice. In such conditions, straw may be provided as a temporary
substrate to give an alternative surface for the waterfowl to stand and sit on. This
provides some protection against Frostbite.
(J23.16.w3, B10.26.w1, B11.33.w1, B29,
B37.x.w1, B40, B95,
Substrates both inside and outside should be soft for maintenance of
good foot health.
- Outside, natural substrates such as grass are recommended. (B115.2.w7,B704.42.w42 )
- Naturally short grasses can be used as substrate; mowing may then
not be needed, or may be minimised. (B115.12.w8)
- Note: If grass grows too long and it is necessary to mow, this should be
carried out after, not during, the breeding season. (B115.12.w8)
- Soft wet and/or dry soil areas should be available in which the
cranes can probe.
leucogeranus - Siberian crane in particular, which are the most
aquatic of the cranes, providing soft substrate (ponds with mud bottoms) for at least part
of the year may be beneficial to reduce the development of
Osteoarthritis in Siberian Cranes. (P1.1999.w3)
- Inside, wood shavings are appropriate. (B115.2.w7)
Natural ground-covering vegetation is beneficial.
- Particularly if allowed to grow long, vegetation provides cranes
with opportunities for foraging, both e.g. of seed heads and on
invertebrates and even small vertebrates associated with the
- Long vegetation enables cranes to conceal their nest, providing
them with a sense of security. (N1.80.w1,
|Associated techniques linked from Wildpro
/ Plantings / Shelter
|Trees, shrubs and other
plants in enclosures serve a variety of functions for the inhabitants, including provision
of shade and shelter, nesting sites, perches and visual barriers between
individual birds. Low overhanging shrubs
also provide a degree of protection from aerial predators. In addition, a well-planted
enclosure has increased aesthetic appeal.
- Protection from cold: furnishings may also be required to
provide protection from extremes of temperature and precipitation. Heated night
enclosures/sheds, bedding material over snow, windbreaks and water kept unfrozen by
artificial means may improve the ability of some species to withstand cold.
- Protection from heat and sunlight: for species in which
sensitivity to high ambient temperatures is problematic, advantage should be taken of
natural microclimates, such as the existence of shade trees. Valleys may provide reduced
exposure to sunlight and exposed locations tend to have cooling breezes. Shade netting
should be provided where natural plantings do not provide sufficient protection from the
- Note: it is important to consider the behaviour of the
species in providing plantings. For example, for ostrich and rheas a few
trees (vertical objects) may be useful, but care must be taken to avoid
horizontal objects which running ratites are likely to trip over,
leading to serious injuries.
- Plants for waterfowl enclosures should be chosen with the needs of the birds in
mind. Additional considerations are aesthetics and ease of management. Native plants
should be used if possible, and non-native plants which are known to be invasive should be
- Trees may be used to camouflage fences and to provide shelter. Conifers are very
useful for these purposes. Live hedges may play a dual role of hiding low fences (internal
fences) and also provide shelter and seclusion for the birds. Trees
and bushes may additionally provide roosting sites, shade, nesting sites, nesting material
and habitat variety, as well as visual barriers which may assist in reducing
aggressive interactions between birds.
- For maximum aesthetic appeal, and to increase habitat variation, trees and shrubs
may be planted in groups, with plenty of space in between. Suitable shrubs should be
provided at the edges of the pond for species which prefer cover for sleeping; low,
overhanging shrubs provide some protection from aerial predators.
- Where natural plantings are inadequate to provide protection
against wind and draughts, artificial wind-breaks may be provided,
for example by the use of screens of wattle or osier hurdles, round
the enclosure sides or on pool banks. Shade should be provided over part of the water
area, by means of shade netting if necessary.
- In general, waterfowl tend not to not use man-made shelters such as sheds.
However an open-fronted shelter may be useful for feeding birds in
bad weather, or in snow, and shelters with supplemental heating may be required for
tropical species in winter.
- Perches should be available for the Perching
Ducks and the Whistling-ducks
(Tree-ducks). Partially submerged logs and tree stumps will be used by a wide variety of
N.B. SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS:
- The amount and type of shelter required will vary depending on the local
climate and on the waterfowl being kept. In some climates heated housing may be required
for less winter-hardy species for the whole winter.
- Dense cover, while being beneficial in terms of shelter for the
waterfowl, may also produce damp shaded areas allowing survival and build-up of bacteria
such as Mycobacterium avium (B37.x.w1).
- Densely growing tall grasses, reeds, bamboo etc., while excellent in
providing cover and nesting sites for waterfowl, may also provide shelter for pests such
- The edges of ponds and lakes should be planted with emergent and marginal plant
species as well as larger shrubs to provide cover and nesting sites. (See: Marginal /
Emergent Planting of Waterbodies.
- Consideration should be given in the siting of deciduous trees to the problem of
leaves covering ponds and clogging their outlets.
- Domestic waterfowl are commonly kept in enclosures which
are not predator proof, and housed at night. Houses should be predator-proof and of a size
sufficient for the number of birds to be kept (3 square feet per duck - B16.19.w1). The floor should be covered with bedding, such as wood shavings, and
these must be cleaned out and renewed regularly.
- Domestic waterfowl quickly learn to be driven into their house at night
by a single person. Patience, perseverance and possibly an extra person may be required
initially. The house should be sited along a fence and preferably in a corner, so that
birds can be guided along the fence line into the house.
B40, B95, B96, B97,
- Enclosures providing natural cover and shade are preferable for
- In open-topped enclosures, shade trees can provide natural shade. In
flight-netted enclosures, shrubs can be planted and shade can be
provided by attaching 10 m² of tennis netting, reed mats or similar to
the top of the flight netting during the summer months. (B115.12.w8)
leucogeranus - Siberian crane are heat-sensitive; shade and access to water are important in the heat
of the summer. (B479.w16)
- Landscaping should be designed to minimise the development of
standing water in places where pathogens are likely to multiply. (B115.12.w8)
- Some trees/bushes may be useful to provide shade, shelter from
the wind, and as visual barriers behind which cranes can retreat.
- However, breeding cranes generally choose nesting sites with a
clear view, therefore excessive shrubs etc. should be avoided. (N1.80.w1)
- A house or shelter may be required for protection from the elements,
and also provides a dry place for food to be offered. (B115.12.w8,.w5)
- The type of shelter needed will depend on the species of crane and the
- Cold-hardy cranes can be provided with only a three-sided
- Subtropical species need supplemental heat or should be kept in
when temperatures drop below 0 °C (32
Grus antigone - Sarus crane,
Grus grus -
Common crane,Grus carunculatus - Wattled crane,
japonensis - Red-crowned crane and
Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane are
hardy. In the UK these species should be provided with a dry shed
which they can enter at will, but do not need any further
protection from the climate. (B94)
leucogeranus - Siberian crane are cold-hardy (B97),
but need time to adapt to cold, damp conditions. (B479.w16)
- In Connecticut, USA,
Grus canadensis - Sandhill crane,
Grus vipio - White-naped crane,
Grus antigone - Sarus crane,
japonensis - Red-crowned crane,
Grus grus -
Grus monacha - Hooded crane and
Grus virgo - Demoiselle crane
were all wintered outside, with a windbreak of evergreens for
Grus paradisea - Blue crane and
Balearica cranes required shelter in winter (but
could be outside during the day). (N1.III.3.w1)
- In Massachusetts, USA, Grus virgo - Demoiselle crane,
leucogeranus - Siberian crane and
Grus grus -
Common crane were wintered outside (with shelter from
Balearica pavonina - Black crowned-crane have probably the lowest tolerance
to low temperatures. Although they cope quite
well with northern European climates, they need a dry, draught-free and
frost-proof indoor shelter in winter (and need to be shut into
this at night in cold weather) and in colder areas also additional heat.
- They may need to be kept inside most of the time in very cold
weather, although they may benefit from being let out for a short time
each day. (B479.w16)
- Toes may get frost-bitten if they are not given sufficient
- They will readily perch on bales of stray in the shelter if these
are offered; this may help avoid frostbitten toes. (V.w5)
- A shelter which can be fully closed can be useful, since cranes can
be shut into this during severe storms (e.g. snow storms or ice
storms), while enclosure maintenance or repair is carried out, for
veterinary care, or, briefly, during periods of excessive risk from
nocturnal predators. (B115.12.w8)
- Shelters should have a sloping roof and adequate drainage. (B115.12.w8)
- If cranes are locked inside a house, good lighting and ventilation
are important. (B115.2.w7)
- Good ventilation is particularly important if cranes are to be shut
into the shelter for days to weeks, as may occur during quarantine. (B115.12.w8)
- There should be a non-breakable window allowing cranes to be
observed from outside the shelter, and providing daylight to cranes
inside the shelter. (B115.12.w8)
- An overhead light in the shelter is needed to provide additional
light for cranes if they are confined for prolonged periods, and may
be needed for some husbandry activities. (B115.12.w8)
- To control crane access to a fully enclosed shelter without entering
the pen, a sliding guillotine door with ropes/wires allowing operation
from outside the pen is useful. (B115.12.w8)
- It should be possible to see the vicinity of the guillotine door
while operating it, to ensure that it is closed at the correct
time (with the crane inside or outside the shelter, as required)
and to minimise the risk of injury to the crane. (V.w5)
- If a floor is required, it should be long-lasting and easy to wash
(e.g. concrete). (B115.12.w8)
- The floor should slope slightly towards the main service door
(external door for personnel), for drainage. (B115.12.w8)
- Concrete floors need to be covered with 5 cm of sand or
shavings; in very cold weather, 15 cm of shavings is required. (B115.12.w8)
- In very cold climates a head pad may be buried in the concrete,
providing underfloor heating. (B115.12.w8)
- In temperate climates an insulated shelter may be required for
subtropical crane species, with about 10 m of space for each crane
which will be shut into the shelter. (B115.12.w8)
- A heater may be required: for a 4 x 4 m insulated shelter, a
1,300-1,500 W heater hung from the ceiling is sufficient. (B115.12.w8)
|Associated techniques linked from Wildpro
nesting sites for birds, consideration should be given to their natural nesting
preferences in the wild, as well as factors such as competition within an enclosure or
aviary. It should also always be remembered that birds do not read books, so may be found
using sites which are not suggested for that species.
|Suitable preferred nesting sites
should be provided for each species, including a variety of sites close to the water. Considerably more sites should be provided than birds which may use them, with a
choice of at least two "suitable" sites in an enclosure for one pair of birds.
Consideration should be given to how the nest sites will look to the waterfowl which are
to use them, for example facing nest boxes towards the water. The weather should also be
considered: wind direction, particularly for raised nest boxes to avoid draughts and rain
being swept into boxes, and provision of shade to prevent boxes overheating in direct
sunlight. Protection from predation is also important.
- Many species of ducks and swans prefer to nest surrounded by water. On
sufficiently large ponds, an island may be constructed built up from the pond bottom, or a
floating island (raft) constructed, covered in turf and secured out in the water. On large
islands, several well-spaced nest boxes may be provided, well concealed and placed well
apart from one another.
- Most species of waterfowl nest in cover of vegetation, for example in grass,
weeds, reed beds, between rocks or tree roots, under bushes. Reeds and rushes should be
planted around pond edges, clumps of sedges in more open areas and pampas grass and sand
sedge may be used in dry soils.
- Many ducks will nest only a short distance apart from one another if
there is ample concealment available.
- Natural cover may be supplemented by the use of clumps of branches, such
as evergreens or broom stuck into the ground.
- Suitable nesting materials such as grass, small branches, leaves etc. should be
provided for species which build substantial nests (e.g. swans, some geese, whistling
ducks). In general, nesting material will simply be pulled into the nest if it is in
reach, not specifically carried to the site.
- Nest sites such as boxes off the ground should have suitable nesting material
provided inside, as the birds will not take nesting material (other than their own down)
into the box.
- Nests consisting of piles of vegetation may be provided partially build in
suitable locations for swans, with a base of sticks topped with softer materials. If water
depth may vary these nests should be sited above expected high water levels. Loose
nest-building material should also be provided around the nest base for the swans to
complete the nest for themselves.
- Open-fronted nest boxes, without a floor (i.e. eggs rest on the earth) are
often acceptable. These should be rectangular, and of a size allowing the intended user to
turn around. Sizes may vary from 18 inches by nine inches (45 by 22.5cm) to 3ft by 1.5ft
(60 by 45cm). Similar boxes with a hole just large enough for the intended user to
gain entrance should also be offered. Boxes fixed on a pole just over the water are
also used, and bottle-shaped woven baskets placed along banks. Hollow
logs, old metal drums and old chimney pots may be used as nest boxes. All of
these may be hidden in clumps of tall grass or under thick shrubs, or screened with cut
branches if natural cover is not available. "Wigwams" may be constructed from
straight branches or bamboo, with the bottom ends stuck into the ground and the tops tied
together with string. Lawson Cypress plants may have the tops cut off and be trained to
trail at low level, providing cover for nest boxes and even, once they reach the ground,
nest sites beneath the plant itself. Old tyres with earth and dried grass inside may
be used by geese; these provide cover but also allow the goose to observe its
surroundings. Soil several inches thick should be provided in every structure which is not
directly on the ground.
- Artificial burrows for shelducks may be created by using a length of
drainpipe for the entrance tunnel with a buried box forming a small nesting chamber at the
end. The nesting chamber should have a removable lid of e.g. wood or slate to allow access
to the nest for inspection or egg removal.
- Species which normally nest in tree holes above ground level require nest boxes
or barrels raised several feet above the ground, e.g. on a post, or in a major fork of a
tree if suitable low-growing trees are present in the enclosure. For
flight-restricted birds, these require an access ramp or sturdy branch leading from the
ground or water to just underneath the entrance hole. Suggested entrance hole sizes vary,
e.g. about five inches diameter (Aix
sponsa - Wood duck), or four inches (Aix
galericulata - Mandarin duck) (B41) versus three
and a half inches diameter suggested for mandarin-sized birds (B29). A sloping
roof is suggested and the roof should overhang the entrance hole, shading it. Weldmesh or
coarse hessian sacking attached to the inside under the entrance hole will provide
footholds for exiting ducks. A hollow log may also be used for tree-nesting ducks, again
with a ramp leading up to the entry hole at the top, and a wooden lid. Tall logs (e.g.
four feet high), placed standing vertically, may be subdivided with a false
"floor" half way down to form two chambers, and e.g. earth placed in the top
- Elevated nest boxes, placed over water or land, are appreciated by most Dendrocygna
spp., although pinioned birds will use ground-level boxes. A suggested size for these
species is 30.5cm square, with a height of 56cm at the front sloping backwards to 51cm, an
entrance hole of 13cm and a perch on front for pinioned birds. Such boxes may be
constructed of plywood or pine, 1.3cm thick, and holes may be drilled into the bottom for
drainage. A "climbing" ladder such as a strip of wire mesh attached to the wall
leading up to the exit hole should be provided to assist ducklings in exiting (J23.13.w10).
prefer a dark, protective rushy environment for nesting. Land-based nest boxes surrounded
by vegetation on the shore may be used. An ideal site may be produced by constructing a
floating or fixed raft. A fixed structure should be placed sufficiently far from the bank
to allow waterfowl to swim behind it and to provide protection from predators and is
constructed on top of four poles driven into the pond bed, with a wooden frame, about 5ft
square, attached at a couple of inches (a few centimetres) above water level and floored
in weldmesh or stiff wire netting, with a very shallow ramp leading into the water to
allow for a decrease in water level. Floating rafts must be constructed with regard to
buoyancy and should be tethered to the bank for (human) access. In either case the edges
should be lined with rushes or junctus reed, with their roots reaching the water. Rushes
should be used to construct a nest in the centre, with the whole structure hidden by
pushing willow branches or bamboo into the pond bed on the sides, bending them over the
raft and tying them together. N.B. easy access is important, remembering
that stifftails are clumsy on land (B29).
(J23.13.w10, B7, B29, B41, B95, B97,
- Most cranes prefer to nest near or surrounded by water. (B107.w8)
- Cranes will build nests from whatever materials are available, and
may not construct much of a nest. However, if kept in large, naturalistic, heavily-planted or marsh-type
enclosures, cranes may construct nests similar to those seen in the
- Nesting and egg laying is more likely to occur if there is an area
of the pen which is undisturbed, in which the cranes feel secure. (P87.7.w5)
|Associated techniques linked from Wildpro
Temporary / Hospital Accommodation
|Temporary and hospital
accommodation are designed for the short-term care of individual animals or groups of
animals, particularly during treatment and rehabilitation. Hospital accommodation is
commonly constructed with hygiene and easy cleaning as the main considerations, but the
specific needs of the patients, including behavioural needs, should also be considered.
- Perches should be provided for most species of birds. The size
of the perches should be appropriate for the species of birds being hospitalized, with
more than one perch provided if possible, and with variable diameter and surface texture.
Additionally, most birds prefer to be located high up, where they can look down on
- Tail guards may be used to avoid damage to the tail feathers.
This is particularly important for species such as raptors in which flying and precise
control of flight are vital.
- If possible, provision should be made for hospitalized social species to have
contact with other individuals of their own species. Visual and/or auditory contact should
be provided if physical contact is not possible or is contraindicated by other factors.
- Hygiene requirements: The possibility of patient to patient
spread of infection and the risk of zoonoses must be remembered and minimized. Good
ventilation is essential. Rooms should be easily cleaned and dust-traps avoided. Cages
should be constructed from impermeable materials (e.g. metal, plastic, fiberglass, sealed
concrete) which can be easily cleaned and disinfected. Wire mesh cage doors should be
avoided due to the risks of feather damage; doors constructed with vertical bars are
safer. Perches should be placed away from food and water containers, to avoid
contamination of food and water with droppings.
- Substrate: Cage floors may be covered with disposable paper
and/or constructed with a removable tray-type floor. For larger birds, consideration of
appropriate substrate is very important. Floors should be non-slip, particularly for
long-legged birds, non-abrasive and easily cleaned. A cage floor made of plastic-covered
small-mesh netting may be used for water birds. The use of straw and hay should be
avoided, due to the risk of Aspergillus spores.
- Heat: Hospitalized birds frequently require additional heat and
a heated hospital cage is very useful for small birds. Rooms used for larger birds should
also be capable of being heated. Heat lamps, which mat be raised further from perches to
lower the temperature, or fitted to a dimmer switch to control their output are useful in
allowing birds some freedom to chose their preferred temperature, but must be used with
caution if the bird is immobile and unable to move away from the heat. An ambient
temperature of at least 26°C may be useful to decrease the energy requirements of ill or
injured birds, and an even higher temperature such as 38°C may be useful initially (24-48
hours). Placing a bird inside a box or cage next to a hot radiator may be useful
temporarily, or placing a hot water bottle, well wrapped in a towel, in the bottom of the
- Ventilation: Good ventilation is important, but without
- Lighting: A reduced lighting level is frequently useful for
hospitalized birds. Hospital accommodation (rooms and/or cages, as appropriate) should be
designed to provide a dark environment (e.g. for birds recovering from anaesthetic, or
which have been stunned) and also subdued lighting but with sufficient light to allow
feeding. If a cover such as a towel over the door is used to provide darkness it is
important to ensure that the cage occupant is still observed regularly.
- Water containers: water bowls should usually be provided above
floor level and be sufficiently small to discourage the bird from trying to bathe in the
bowl. A shallow bowl may be provided for bathing if required. Provision of deeper water
may be important for some aquatic species. When swimming water is provided it must be kept
clean, preferably by using a constant flow with surface skimming, or if this is not
possible then the water should be changed frequently - e.g. two to three times daily.
- Privacy: Wild birds, unless habituated to humans, are liable to
be highly stressed by close proximity and sight/sound contact with humans and domestic
species such as cats and dogs, while all "prey" species are likely to be
stressed if in sight of predators. Such stressors should be reduced as much as possible.
This is particularly important to consider when birds are being maintained in a hospital
which is also used for other species. Provision of a sheltered area such as a box in or
behind which the bird may hide may be advantageous, although a balance is required
concerning the need for monitoring.
- Enclosures used for longer-term accommodation of birds during convalescence and
rehabilitation should have at least one side which is "out of bounds" to humans.
It the area is visited by the public (as may be the case with some wildlife hospitals) it
is particularly important to ensure that fencing and/or plantings enforce this
- Monitoring: Wild birds will frequently attempt to hide their
illness from an observer, making monitoring of their true condition difficult.
Consideration should be given in designing hospital accommodation to enable the occupants
to be observed without their being aware of the observer. This may involve one-way glass
panels, a wide-angle lens viewer in the door or the use of close-circuit television.
- Temporary accommodation, such as may be used in treatment of
birds in the field (e.g. at the site of a botulism outbreak (Avian Botulism)) , should be
constructed of materials sufficiently durable for the intended period of use.
Consideration should be given to the requirements of the occupants for food, water,
shelter from the elements (wind, precipitation, excess sunlight), perching etc. Netting
which may not easily be visible to birds should be marked (e.g. with pieces of tape) or
covered with opaque material to avoid collisions due to birds trying to fly through it.
|Although a dry, warm enclosure with
non-slip flooring may be sufficient for brief hospitalization, hospital accommodation for
waterfowl should take into account their particular needs, particularly in substrate and
GENERAL - SUBSTRATES AND FURNISHINGS
- Accommodation should be designed to allow maintenance at a higher ambient
temperature if required, for example 35-40°C for oiled birds before washing.
- Social species should be housed in groups if possible, and within sight/sound of
their conspecifics if this is not possible.
- Maintenance on concrete for any length of time may lead to damage to the foot
surface and the development of Bumblefoot.
Butyl rubber matting or artificial turf are more suitable substrates. Net-bottomed cages
may be used short-term for species which normally spend the majority of their time on
water, for example prior to washing oiled birds (P14.5.w5).
- Perches should be available for perching ducks and whistling-ducks (tree-ducks);
flight-restricted individuals of these species will appreciate a low perch which they can
step or hop onto.
- Temporary pens, which may be used e.g. for waterfowl being treated for botulism,
should be moveable (to prevent excessive contamination of substrate with droppings etc.)
and/or built on an easily-cleaned and disinfected surface. Appropriate water and shade
provision should be incorporated.
PROVISION OF WATER
- For waterfowl species which normally spend the majority of their time on
water, it may be necessary to provide specialized accommodation which enables the birds to
remain on water. This is particularly important for seaducks and stifftails. Foot and leg
joint problems are common if such species are maintained in solid-floored accommodation
and Keel Lesions may
also develop. Net-bottomed cages may be used short-term, for example prior to washing
oiled birds (P14.5.w5).
- Water for bathing is essential unless absolutely contra-indicated by the
treatment or state of health of the birds (e.g. waterfowl being treated for botulism and
unable to hold their heads up reliably should not be given water they can drown in).
Maintaining waterfowl without access to water may result in plumage problems including
loss of waterproofing, foot problems and cloacal problems (see: Cloacitis (Vent Gleet)).
- Provision of water for swimming is also particularly important in waterfowl
recovering from leg injuries (B11.33.w1).
- Hospital housing for cranes should provide a small indoor treatment
pen (about 3 x 2 m) with an outdoor pen (about 2 x 5 m) for each
hospitalised crane. (B115.12.w8)
- The pens should be designed for easy catching. (B115.12.w8)
- Several such pens should be available for a facility with large
numbers of cranes.
- Hospital pens should have lights and heating available. (B115.12.w8)
- If the indoor pen can be darkened and its floor is lined with indoor
carpeting with a thick rubber matting, this can be used as a recovery
room. Otherwise a recovery room with those specifications, and about
2 x 3 m in size, is needed. (B115.12.w8)
- Hospital pen flooring must provide adequate traction; this can be
achieved using hard rubber mats, which can easily be disinfected. (B704.42.w42)
- Turf, sand and wood-chip can be used as alternatives to non-slip
|Associated techniques linked from Wildpro