Expose grates regardless of the quality of powder coating will be the first things that rust in a cage because of the constant interaction of water and fecal matter.
We actually keep our food dishes on a covered grates in one cage and on the floor of the cage for budgies.
Budgies are ground eaters, it’s natural but we have our Senegal’s food dish on the floor so when she decides she doesn’t like this or that morsel it doesn’t get as far as that top sheet of newspaper
Feel free to reach out with cage bird environmental questions any time.
build outdoor aviary
You will want non-coated galvanized steel wire for the cage – no thinner than 16 ga May19 g if it’s just finches. The floor should be solid so that you can hose it down. A porous substrate like gravel will absorb the bird droppings over time and will have to be dug out.
If you can’t use concrete you can use ceramic, brick pavers or even linoleum.
For free-standing aviaries not attached to the home you’ll need a secondary safety lock area so only one door is open at a time preventing the birds escape.
You can easily heat the aviary using clamp-on lights but they must have ceramic sockets and being outside you’ll want a higher wattage infrared bulb along lines of 150 watts – 4 at least
Keep in mind that if the birds are out full time they are easy prey from animals that can and will rip apart the lighter steel wire.
That said an outer layer of 1/2-inch-by-1/2-inch wire may keep the birds safe from possums, rats and cats. Smaller wire may prevent snakes and mice from gaining access to the aviary.
It’s best to have a covered roof so the birds don’t fry in the sun.
Try to make food and water dishes accessible from the outside of the cage to reduce the number of times you need to enter the cage. It’s best to have a minimum of 2 two feeder cups for food and two cups for water so larger birds don’t starve out the weaker ones.
If the birds are not to be segregated by sex make sure that you offer finch appropriate nests and build privacy areas where weaker birds can seek refuge from more aggressive birds in the big bird cage.
Try to place perches and other aviary accessories so when birds poop from a higher perch or aviary accessory like a bird toy or ladder the poop always falls the aviary floor. Not another accessory below which will reduce daily cleaning time
Also try to suspend perches so they are not using the cage wall for support. This will help the possibility of predators getting sleeping birds
If possible casters are great addition so that the aviary can be moved into another part of the home or garage for heat and safety
Also published on Medium.