Don't buy a nest box until you have read this!

Bird Butlers

Nest Boxes


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Many website businesses sell nest boxes.  Some nest boxes are being sold by people that can build a nest box but have no idea about raising parrots.  On the other hand, some people know how to raise parrots but don't have the carpentry skills to build a breeding box.  In addition, some nest boxes are made from the correct materials and some from the wrong materials.  Some nest boxes are also built correctly and some are not.  Nevertheless, whether you buy a nest box from us or from  someone else, for the sake of your parrots, please ask the following questions before purchasing your nest box:
1.  Is the nest box nailed, screwed, or glued together?  The nest box absolutely needs to be glued together!  At Birds, Etc., we use both glue and small finish nails in the construction of our boxes.  It is the glue, however, that truly holds the box together and gives it strength.  Most yellow glues will do, but we use Titebond II glue on every single nest box that we manufacture.  Though more expensive than other yellow glues, it is FDA approved for indirect food contact, such as use on cutting boards.  It also passes  the ANSI Type II water-resistance specification.  Why is this important?  The glue is parrot-safe, and the nest box will not fall apart in high humidity.  High humidity?  When parrots breed, the inside of the box will get very damp from moisture from several sources.  For example, the adults bring water into the box on their feathers.  The chicks and adults will also defecate inside the box.  With chicks inside the nest box, this is really not the time that you want the breeding box to split apart from swelling and warping of the wood due to moisture.  Any cracks will let in light which can cause problems.  The parents could abandon the chicks, drafts could enter the nestbox, or the parents could chew at the cracks and destroy the box--and all of this when there are chicks in the box!  IF THE NEST BOX IS NOT GLUED WITH A PARROT-SAFE, WATERPROOF GLUE, THEN DON'T BUY IT!             




2.  Are the seams where the sides, front, and back meet sealed against light?  We use glue (see above) on EVERY nest box that we manufacture.  On top of that, we examine each box as it is finished and use clamps on any areas where the wood does not completely meet.  This eliminates cracks that let in light and drafts.  Though the drafts are probably minimal, the light issue is a real problem.  The parrots tend to chew at the light and can eventually destroy the nest box.  There is a good chance that you will be able to see the marks on the nest boxes that we manufacture where the clamps are tightly applied.  This assures a good bond and eliminates cracks in the seams.  IF THE NEST BOX HAS NOT BEEN CLAMPED TOGETHER AND HAS CRACKS AT THE SEAMS, DON'T BUY IT!     





3.  Are you able to buy the correct size nest box for your parrots?  We offer a wide variety of nest boxes in numerous styles and sizes.  In my opinion, you should buy the smallest nest box possible that your parrots will fit in.  This is for several reasons.  For you, it is usually cheaper to buy a small box than a large box!  As far as the parrots are concerned though, the smaller the space that they are in, the less competitors they would have in the wild for that space.  If a maroon-bellied conure is in a 5" space, it has just eliminated all competition for that space from any other parrot that can not fit into a 5" space.  The smaller space is easier to defend from predators and the parrots feel more secure.  No matter how "tame" your parrot is, remember that these are basically wild birds as far as breeding goes.  They do not know that you have eliminated the snakes, rodents, and larger birds for them.  They are going to choose a nest box accordingly.  IF YOU HAVE TO SETTLE ON A NEST BOX THAT IS THE WRONG SIZE OR WRONG STYLE, DON'T BUY IT!         


4.  What is the nest box made of?  All of our nest boxes are made from BC plywood.  BC plywood is made for exterior applications.  It is readily available, comes in different thicknesses, is consistently sized, and generally stays inside a known price range.  This allows me to know in advance what it is going to cost me to make a nest box so that I can sell it at a price that is acceptable to both of us.  All of the materials used in our nest boxes are brand new.       
5.  Who is building the nest box?   We build every nest box that we sell.  We do not try to buy cheap somewhere else and resale them to you.  There are several reasons that we do this.  First is quality control.  (see the four points above!)  If there is something wrong with your nest box, then I know that I made the mistake and that I need to correct it.  Second is to give you a better selection.  We bred parrots for quite a few years.  At one point, we had 12 pairs of african greys, alexandrines, several pairs of pionus, two kinds of amazons, blue and gold macaws, about 20 pairs of ringnecks, numerous conures, and more lovebirds and cockatiels than I can remember.  I was president of the Capital City Caged Bird Club in Austin, Texas.  I guess I know a little something about parrots!  Why is this important to you?  Because I know why you are asking the questions that you need answers to.  I have "been there and done that."  I know why the nestboxes need to be glued together from first hand experience.  There is a good chance that I have bred the parrots that you are asking about.  (Okay, I never bred cockatoos, but you may ask about them!)  When I recommend a nest box, I have probably used that nest box to breed parrots.  As far as the ability to build a nest box, the pictures of the vases show what I do other than build breeding boxes.  And to answer your question, yes, I use the same glue to build the vases that I use to build a nest box!  IF YOU GET THE IDEA THAT THE MANUFACTURER DOESN'T REALLY KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PARROT AND A SPARROW OR KNOW HOW TO BUILD A NEST BOX, BUY FROM SOMEONE ELSE!

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6.  Am I buying from a professional company with a proven track record?  There are several ways to figure this out.  Do the people appear to know what they are talking about?  Have they bred parrots before?  Can they provide testimonials for their products?  Are they just reselling someone else's product?  Do you have to email to see about ordering and they will get back to you with a price and shipping?  Do you know all of the costs for the products and shipping before placing the order?  Do they take credit cards?  Do they have a toll-free telephone number?  How long have they been in business?  I just checked out our business license.  It is dated 03/13/1996.  I guess I have been doing this longer than I thought!  

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