Eragon, I'd still consider a double door. I've never heard that double doors were just for free lofted birds. What if your bird works free of the tether? I've had that happen a couple of times over the years. Just my two cents. -Joby
You'll want to cover the gravel with non-loop thick-backed grass carpet so talons aren't dulled during bating.
Keep an eye out on trash day or at yard sales for an old style Dog Loo. You don't need the floor or door, just the shell. Years ago, when I was shopping for material to build A-frames, I saw the Dog Loo and thought "Hey, bet that would work better". It does! And it's easy to convert. I've used Hawk Loos for all my birds (found little Loos for my K and Merlin too) for over 20 years, and wrote an article in the Hawk Chalk about using them as shelters. Here's how to convert the Dog Loo into a Hawk Loo:
You'll be able to see your bird through the wire. Always look first before opening the door. No real need for a double door, but if you feel it may be safer, you can install one.
Migisi, That's a great idea and would work great on a zip line set up similar to what I've got in my weathering area. I'm going to be setting up an additional weathering area and really didn't want to have to build a new "house". Here's the link on my current weathering area (http://apfalconry.proboards19.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=facilities&thread=3823&page=1). I'll be using an 8x12" dog run with a zip line down the center. The igloo will work great. Thanks for the idea!! -Joby
i got mine from valu but im sure any of the bigger stores would carry it.
And i know the feeling i built mine myself too its not to bad though since you can save some money it makes the work worth it. i got a few of my buddys to help by just buyin a pizza for everyone for dinner worked for me pretty well gets the peagravel moved pretty fast that way. anyways good luck and have fun building!
I highly recomment the Dog Loo for a shelter, Joby. They're SO simple to convert and maintain, and they last for years (I have some that are 20 years old). I'm not so handy with building things, so this was my salvation. They say it's made of "foam", but it's really double-walled resin.
I cut the front extension off (with a saber) to enlarge the opening because some birds are intimidated by a small entrance. I didn't want them sitting on it either. For overly active birds, I split a garden hose lengthwise and slip it over the cut edge on the entrance. A few screws or some glue will keep it there, just to cushion against impact. Works very well.
The perch is screwed on 'wall to wall' through the shell, and positioned in the center inside so when the bird raises its tail, it doesn't swipe the back wall and soil feathers. Also, position it low enough so the bird can't scoot under it.
I don't use the attachable floor. I have carpet over gravel under the Loo, so it's just a simple matter of scooting it over to clean up mutes and scraps, and hose the Loo down.
You want the extra large or giant Loo - fits all sized birds with room to spare - except an eagle. I have mini Loos that nicely fit Ks, Merlins, Sharps, Screechies, etc.
The new ones have an airvent on the top. The old ones didn't. I remove it so leashes/jesses/talons won't get snagged on it, and duct tape over the hole several times where the vent was. Some of my birds sit on top occasionally, but not for long periods. They prefer their perches. I don't put any perch material on the top because, again, I don't want equipment or talons snagged. If they do sit on top, their mutes stream down the shell and don't soil feathers.
My birds use them at night, during inclement weather, for shade in summer, if they get spooked, and to nest in. Yep, I have a Great Horned and a RT that lay eggs inside them. That's how much they love their Loos.
Where do you get outdoor carpet? Just Lowes/Home Depot?
I bought some last year from Menards, and was NOT happy with it. The backing separated from the fabric after ONE washing. Your sponsor got a different grade and had the same problem.
I'll be looking for carpet asap too. If I find some good stuff, I'll let you know. For your small mews, you could check out the remnant section at the stores. You really only need an 8x8 square under the bird, nailed down by 12inch nails and washers along the edges (prevents wind lifting it).