Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Finnish Husband !

Russian' my husband worked, and he is now Finnish 'd!

The new Fort was completed Saturday afternoon, is in place and fabulous!

Everyone has been everywhere, literally! It is what Fort Living is meant to be, and quite rewarding to see our plans for the littl' guys' section come to fruition.

Strider (the budgie) still wants to lay claim to the big girl's swing.

Sammy (the cockatiel) is happy to be anywhere he has a clear view of food.

Coco (the amazon parrot) probably would have enjoyed eating a few pieces of popcorn while she watched the show! From the installation of the Fort to seeing the little guys explore it, she was quite entertained. She displayed plenty of body language and sass when her swing was hijacked for more than a few minutes!

In short, it has simply been wonderful!

Some Design Details:

* The base is 1/8" enameled masonite that is screwed into 3/4" chipboard. (We would have used 3/4" plywood, but the store's selection was unacceptable to the master craftsman.)

* Enameled masonite (a flooring used in kitchens and laundry rooms) makes for quick clean up. I use a diluted mixture of murphy's oil soap in a spray bottle, paper towels and a whisk broom. It is exceptionally easy to keep the fort areas clean. Much, much easier and quicker than cage cleaning.

* A bead of caulking was laid at the intersection points with Coco's flooring to prevent crumbs from getting between.

* The table itself (frame and legs) are made from white pine 2x4's.

* The table top is 1/8" enameled masonite in a frame of white pine 1x2's and screwed to the table frame.

* The corners are smoothed and buffered (for the safety of the flock's clutzy companion). I will still run into them, but it will not hurt as badly.

* Some toys are hung using clothing hangers. Tiny, but fairly deep holes allow the hangers to be inserted into the wood. The toys may then be turned and angled as desired.

* Other toys are screwed into pieces of wood.

* A stand alone piece of wood was designed for Sammy's favorite t-perch and mirror. It is secured into the table top base with screws.

* Both the swing and mirror that are favored by Strider are secured using clothing hangers.

* Side perches were added onto the Food Hut for additional perching space and toy locations.

* A center barrier was placed inside the Food Hut. Immediately both birds were stepping across one food bowl to eat out of the other, creating the opportunity for the food to be soiled. Sammy also gave Strider a dissertation on the food bowl he was eating from being his, and the food bowl he was not eating out of also being his....

* Again, any Fort design must be determined by the poop-line. The perches are angled so that when they are utilized, no soiling of perches below them occurs. Everything falls to the base or the flooring.

Because the birds like to walk around the edge of the fort, the flooring which is larger than the base of the fort allows for easy clean up and keeps the carpet clean.

With all the extra flight and activity, I knew the entire flock would sleep well. The only question was where! Coco slept in her usual spot at the top of her ladder next to the water station. Sammy chose to sleep at one end of the fort; Strider slept at the opposite end. Perfect!

That is one of the benefits of Fort Living: promotion of empowerment and choice. The next few days will prove interesting as flock dynamics continue to grow and change. Now I get to sit back and enjoy the show!



clifff123 said...

Awesome setup,your husband does professional work I see :)

Robin said...

Thank you, Clifff! I've passed your kind comment along to him!

wolfgirl1987 said...


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