Monday, December 12, 2011


Did you ever have one of those jobs that just seem impossible to tackle. You know, the one that you put off month after month until years have gone by. Well, today  we finished a job that we have been dreading for years... vapour barrier and drywall ripped out from the old aviary. As it turns out, the job only took a three hours - how crazy is that - all those years of stressing. Oh, there are a few more little bits and pieces left, but NBD (no big deal) :-)


When we first moved into the house 17 years ago, we were accompanied by 5 breeding pairs of parrots - 2 pairs of red-sided Eclectus, 1 pair of Blue & Gold Macaws, 1 pair of African Grey Timneh and 1 pair of African Grey Congos. We knew that we wanted to build an aviary that was easy to keep clean, could easily be disinfected, bright, and had room for large flight cages. Thus the "birdroom" was born. The floor was coated with a special rubber paint, the walls were carefully sealed using a huge piece of thick vapour barrier (see below), the baseboards were made with rot proof cedar, 4 sets of full spectrum lights were installed in the ceiling, and large flight cages were built using dog ex-pen panels (which are now in use on the camper).  The floors of the suspended cages were wire, so all food and feces just fell to the floor. Every night the floor was swept - we had a pretty active composter in those days. On the weekend the hose would come out and the whole room, except for the strip on the ceiling where the lights were, was hosed down and scrubbed. The room functioned perfectly. Many many baby birds were hatched in that room.


zack_2001_0813aThe wallpapering of the birdroom with vapour barrier deserves its own special mention. Have you ever wallpapered with your spouse? Well I'm here to say that wallpapering with regular old wallpaper is NOTHING! Try instead to put up one continuous sheet of plastic around a 14 x 24 ' room. With no holes punched through, and not only does it have to go along the walls, it has to go across the ceiling - uh huh - divorce time. Seriously though, there were words. It seemed an impossible job and we had to yell and scream at each other until we came up with a method. Which we did. We built a jig out of 2x4s that helped us get the job done. And the amazing thing? Once we got our method worked out not a shout was heard again (for that task anyway!).

mortica_2001_0823 oscar_2001_0817a
zackbubs_2001_0813b zack_2001_0813a
room_2001_0813b timneh_2001_0813a


I suppose part of the reluctance to tackle that job was not wanting to face the empty room...