While reviewing the outdoor aviaries that were recently added to out line of bird cages, it struck me that these large, sturdy enclosures could be put to good use by reptile and amphibian keepers. Outdoor pens, both at home and in zoos, have given rise to some of my most enjoyable times and memorable observations.
In addition to allowing space and opportunity for a wide range of behaviors, outdoor aviaries promote good health and reproduction by exposing pets to sunlight, natural day/night and weather cycles, and dietary variety in the form of wild invertebrates. My first crude outdoor pen, populated by green frogs and spotted turtles, provided, even to an unskilled 10-year-old, a first peek at herp reproduction and hibernation.
An outdoor aviary equipped with a can provide a lifetime of enjoyment….if you focus on native species, your workload will be minimal and breeding a very real possibility. Although unenclosed ponds also have great potential, many frogs wander and predation by dogs, raccoons, herons and other animals is an ever-present concern. Our outdoor aviaries will keep your pets safe and contained. They are available in 5 sizes, ranging from 3.5′ x 4′ to 9′ x 5′, and with bars spaced ½ inch and 1 inch apart.
Certain reptiles, such as adult green and rhinoceros iguanas, spur-thighed (“Sulcata”) and other large tortoises, tegus, and larger monitors are almost impossible to keep properly indoors. Others fare far better when given outdoor access for at least part of the year…success with chameleons, for example, nearly always soars once they are introduced to well-planted outdoor cages. They and other species are often stimulated to breed by a change in environment as well. Mixed species displays and many arboreal animals are also far easier to accommodate in large outdoor quarters.
A spacious aviary can also allow for the keeping of multiple-male colonies of territorial lizards, which will give you a unique view of display and reproductive behavior. I have worked with groups of sungazers, red-headed Agamas and various dabb lizards set up in this fashion…I learned a great deal in the process and enjoyed myself immensely.
For more information on keeping herps outdoors, please see my articles on Red-Eared Sliders in Outdoor Ponds and Bullfrogs in Outdoor Ponds.