Building a Starplate Aviary

For people looking for more attractive ways of keeping their birds, I suggest trying this geodesic structure. I keep pheasants in mine. What will you keep in yours?

Starplates are a geodesic building system offered by Stromberg’s a U.S. poultry supply company. They will ship this system to Canada, which is where I am. They are one of my favorite choices for aviary construction, as they are sturdy, economical, and look impressive. A Starplate structure is said to be able to withstand ten thousand pounds of downward pressure, which is good when building aviaries near large trees. Construction with this system is fast and fairly simple provided you take your time and measure properly. In fact, a couple of people with the right tools, and a bit of imagination, can create a beautiful sturdy aviary in a day or two.

Depending on your local climate Starplate aviaries can be used for everything from smaller soft bills, to chickens, to ornamental pheasants. A Starplate aviary even will make a excellent home for reptiles such as iguanas, or smaller monitors, in warmer climates. Hard bill birds such as parrots will require additional features for safety and security that I will not be covering.


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What You Get And What You Need

What you get with the Starplate Building System is a set of 11 Starplate connectors. The connectors are good quality metal plates and their price plus shipping is reasonable. What you will need to get is 25 2X2s, 2X3s, or 2X4s, depending on the size of structure you are planning on building. The sizes of these pieces of lumber can be up to 9′ in length using this system.
Anything larger is not recommended with Starplates. For aviaries larger is better. For my Starplate aviaries I have used 8′ 2X4s. In addition to the lumber you will need to purchase 50 each of nuts, bolts, and washers according to the size of the structure you are going to build. You will need some additional pieces of lumber for construction of doors or if you want to add additional horizontal support struts.

The structure will need to be covered completely with a wire mesh, not plastic or fabric. For larger birds such as pheasants you can use 2″ stucco wire which is inexpensive. For medium sized birds you can use poultry wire, for smaller birds, such as finches, or for reptiles you will need to use a hardware cloth or good quality poultry wire. Make sure it is galvanized or PVC coated to prevent rusting over time. To attach the wire mesh to the structure you will need either U nails or the appropriate size of good quality staples.

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  1. interesting and informative,thanks Mark

  2. i have visited a lot of aviaries and I always feel sorry for the birds. I’m sure they are better than cages in the house though. And for chickens they must be a good choice if they have to be penned. Well written article. Best wishes, Ruby

  3. In the unit that uses 8 ft lenghts of wood, you have 110 sq feet of floor space inside. By adding logs, branches, and levels you can increase this. For birds like chickens they only need to be penned when you first get them, when they are young, or at night – for their own protection from predators. The shape is better than square cages, because there are no interior corners. All in all a much better unit for birds who must be contained.
    Some breeds of birds are very rare in the wild, but safely kept by aviaculturists. Also some birds must be kept in pens due to zoning laws.

  4. I like that these are well planted and have things of interest for the birds.

  5. hi there….my husband is building an outdoor aviary of 16 feet high and it has an igloo shape.can anybody recommend me a web site to get info about cohabiting species, tips on how to care for the birds…..etc…many thanks in advance

  6. hallo, i live in germany and i´d like to build such a niche hous. But ther is until now nobody who like to send me this Starplates.
    If you know somebody ples giv me the adress. I cand belive that it is not possible to get them in germany.

    PLEAS! PLEAS! PLEAS!

  7. Good article. I had no idea you could buy something like this, and then set it up so easily. Any structures on the farm that I used to live on was put there the hard way. Thanks!

  8. Hi,

    Ich habe eine Adresse von einem Original Starplate-Lieferanten in Deutschland.
    REsser@cfl.rr.com

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