Just wanted to say thank you for all that posted pictures of their Mews and Weatherings. Some really talented and creative Falconers out there. I shall be sure to incorporate some of your ideas into my set up when I finally get going and will post pictures.
Post by silverleapers on Apr 17, 2010 7:37:56 GMT -5
I live in an area with vast ground to fly on (Canada) and travel a lot. We get 6 feet of snow and 70 mile per hour winds and -20C. I hate giant hoods for overnight birds for more than a day or two. I was also living in a Condo unit when we got our first hawk. So I modified a 14 foot travel trailer into a mews. NOTE: beware removing cupboards, beds, shelves, etc as these are STRUCTURAL and help make the trailer strong enough to be driven at 65 miles an hour! If you remove these parts of the trailer have an engineer look at what you have done by re-bracing the area where you have removed the structure (ie cupboards, beds, shelves, etc)....and/or move it slowly behind a large van to block the wind. I do not recommend you build one and am not going to take any legal responsibility if you do and it causes any sorts of problems. This is what I done and it worked for ME. An old trail of 14 to 24 feet in length can be had for about $500 in most areas and renovated for about $100 (try and have an aluminum sided 20 foot mews with fiberglass shutters contractor built for that amount of money). Beware rotting wood in every old trailer you look at buying and remove the wall paneling before you buy it (asper and weak wood)! 5% bleach solution any mild surface mold on the wood. Newer traiulers have steel framing instead of wood and while I haven't modified one of these I bet it would be even easier and better. Change/check the wheel bearings every year or if its been awhile since you moved it last - before you make a major moves. Jack it up on blocks when not moved regularly to save the springs and tire. Never tow a trailer without lights and a heavier than needed set of safety tow chains.
I have used two of these travel trailer mews - a 14 foot and a 24 foot with a front prep room (ie I left the kitchen intact). They worked great, looked great, and were seriously economical!
I have also learned the wife does not like it when the hawk is in a custom designed 24 foot trailer and she is in a tent, in the rain, at +1C. Feeding the hawk fresh quail and her hotdogs is not advisable either.
Comfy hawk getting used to her new home and falconer...
"...and the diversions founded upon their ravenous appetite is become obsolete and nearly forgotten." 1486 The Book of St. Albans - How far we have come!
Huh. Thanks. A few more questions if you don't mind. I am considering building a weathering area with two solid walls for protection from the north and west. This would be my bird's primary housing area. Would this work with a 10ft by 10ft design with two solid wood walls and two chain link pannels? She would be tethered to a bow perch in the middle with access to her water. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
If you are in a snow area, I would go with one open side instead of 2. One open side is more than enough for air circulation and offers enough access to the sun. One open side will also cut down the amount of snow that will drift into the enclosure. At 10x10 I would also set it up the ability to free loft in mind
"At 10x10 I would also set it up the ability to free loft in mind"
So, what would be the minimum dimentions for a free lofting mew? I am also considering using the four 10' chain link pannels for a weathering yard and building a separate free loft mew instead of the combo idea that I wronte about above.
There are just so many things to consider and so many options available. Sigh. It would also be nice if the mew were semi-transportable.
HawkWind, The mews I built has 4 8x8' walls, which using L brackets, attach in the corners. These then can be unscrewed, and the walls would be able to be moved as separate panels [one wall is solid, two have 3x4' window, and one has a 3x2' window and door]. The roof is 9x9', and we built a 1'x8' long part to sit on top of one wall panel to raise it and have it slope back so it wouldn't be a flat roof. Soffits were screened at the same time I screened the windows, but they could easily be covered with wood and have regular roof vents put in. My weathering yard, a 10x10' dog pen, is attached to the mews on the side with the door providing a double-door system. The thing went together in about two weekends' of work. If you'd like, I can send a copy of the plans I used for it... here's the thread where I posted photos: apfalconry.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=facilities&thread=6840&page=1#105028
The corners can be covered up with a 1x6" to make it look pretty and the diagonal bits for the side by the roof can have siding put up on that, too. If you want any close-up photos, I'd be happy to go out and take some more [though my weathering yard is somewhat of a jungle right now ]
Lots of options there, sand is a good one because it's not going to harbor mold. It can get a little dusty and there is some controversy out there about whether it dulls or sharpens talons. Is your hawk going to be free lofted or tethered? My preference for flooring is pea gravel (found at most landscaping places) but if your hawk is going to be tethered, I would maybe suggest something like the sand as a base and lay an astroturf mat over it where the hawk could reach by bating. That way he/she isn't throwing sand all over the place and trenching it with her talons.
If you dislike someone, walk a mile in their shoes. Then, you are a mile away from them, and you have their shoes. --Jack Handy