The birdhouse itself measures about 6.5 x 6.5 m (22 x 22 ft), with the ceiling at 2.50 m (8.5 ft). The walls are thermally insulated and the south wall has double-glazed windows with ventilation louvres, plus a door to the garden; the passage is fitted with an insect screen.
In the middle of the birdhouse there is a little garden of 3.5 x 3.5 m, enclosed by a brick wall about half a metre high. This enclosure is filled with garden soil and planted with various tropical plants including bromelias, dieffenbachias, ficus, lacanthuria and orchids. In the floor are a few drainage holes to prevent acidification of the soil.
On one of the walls there are three rows of five breeding cages measuring 100x50x50 cm (3.3×1.7×1.7 ft) internally. Below these, there is a storage space with sliding doors for various hardware and commodities, including cages for temporary use in exhibitions and fairs. This space is 5 m long, 90 cm high and 60 cm deep, which is adequate.
Along an other wall are two rows of four somewhat larger cages measuring 125x60x60 cm, below which there are four large exercise cages of 125x125x70 cm, in which the young birds can learn to fly. The partitions separating these cages from each other can be removed to form larger spaces, ultimately even one single cage.
My birdhouse measures about 40 m2 (450 sq.ft). There are large windows facing at the sun side and some dome shaped windows in the roof. It is a fairly bright room without any dark corners. The lighting plan is as follows.
There are four 58 W daylight TL lamps (Philips colour code 965) on the ceiling in front of the cages, four 36 Watt daylight TL lamps in the centre, which is a total installed power of 380 Watt. In addition, there is a 7 Watt TL lamp inside each of the standard cages, while the larger cages have a similar 13 Watt lamp. These low-power lamps have colour code 840 (colour 965 wasn’t available).
It is perhaps better to use TL full spectrum daylight lamps.
The room is heated by underfloor heating. The system extends underneath the garden and the terrarium, thus providing optimal heating also in these parts. The minimum winter temperature inside is 20 ºC. If the sun is shining in the summer, the temperature is higher of course. It goes up then until 28-33°C.
The Relative Humidity (RH) in my birdroom is between 60 and 70%.
The room is ventilated by ventilation louvres and by opening the dome shaped windows. For the breeding season there is a central system of ventilation tubes with holes drilled into them, which runs through all of the cages for mechanical ventilation.
In order to avoid the need to frequently empty the vacuum cleaner, I designed a central dust extraction system which discharges directly into a container (hidden from view); the vacuum cleaner itself remains empty. When the municipal dustcart goes around the streets, it’s easy to disconnect the container, close the lid and roll it out, into the street.
The surface of the entire floor is tiled and a drain has been provided so that the floor can be scrubbed.