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Posts Tagged ‘housing’

Mews: Phase III

August 3rd, 2009

Mews Phase III


This past weekend I was able to get the additional materials needed to complete the mews structure. We cut the pieces to the proper size to replace the worn, warped boards. I used a nice laminate board for the inside liner, and then screwed them together. This is an important phase in getting the mews completed: the main construction. With the patio paver base and drain completed in Phase III, the relatively flat surface was ready to support the main structure.

So, there are a few details left to complete before the mews is inspection-ready. I’ll finish the inside liner panels soon, and then be able to work on the perches, because those have to be just right. The door latch system needs to be figured out, as the old latch was a little difficult to work. It will get sorted out soon enough. Another last final step is to get the drain properly buried and set. Progress is constantly being made in a positive direction! This is good, because this is one of the larger projects I’ve undertaken in my life.

Now that the lining panels have been installed, my attention turns to the door-latch system. I was able to get the door more secured with the latch system, and put in some new bolts; now it closes and is held closed by the new latches. I’ll need to add an inside latch, as well as a drape or a shower curtain to prevent the raptor from flying out the door when I enter the mews.

Another major aspect of the inside of the mews is installing the proper perches in the right places in the mews. Each window needs a perch, as well as a night / roost perch that’s a little higher up for her. I just need to get the proper wrapping and they’ll be ready. I also need to build one flat-perch made out of wood, with a foam base, and cover it with green outdoor carpeting. I’ll differentiate that “green outdoor carpet” is much different than “astroturf.” I purchased some astroturf to cover the perches in the giant hood, as well as for the scale. That serves a special purpose to provide good comfortable cushion for getting on and off the scale, in and out of the giant hood.

Stay tuned for Phase IV, as I’ll include the detailed pics there.

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Mews: Phase II

July 14th, 2009

 

Mews Phase II: Completing the base

 

Base I:

 

 

The base for the mews was carefully designed to meet the location requirements, placing it far enough off of the lot line (10 ft.) to comply with local township ordinances.  The paver base was set and leveled with 1 ton of slag sand.  Once the desired flatness was achieved, I was able to put up a decorative rock wall on the high side of the circle.  The rocks will serve as support to hold the dirt and clay in place.

I also dug and placed a drain inside the circle to drain the paver base and inside the mews for cleaning time.  This drain, combined with the brick pavers should suffice for the drainage requirement for raptor housing.  The bricks are fairly heavy, and will also serve as a predator barrier for any animal that should want to *attempt* to burrow under the mews and get in.

 

Base II:

 

An additional picture showing the brick pavers about 1/3 of the way complete.  Once the main bricks are all in place, we’ll fill in the remaining spaces and cracks with some fill sand, andthen set the outer border of bricks into the slag a little deeper, in order to make them flush with the inner pavers.  Once everything is all set, I’ll begin phase III,  constructing the walls, windows, and doors along with a temporary roof.  Many of the details will be completed later, but I wanted to get the main construction completed for inspection.

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Mews: Phase I

July 6th, 2009

Hawk Mews:  Phase I

 

Initial Set-Up

After lengthy planning sessions with the landscape designer, we settled on an octagonal mews design that would be unique and aesthetically pleasing. With many revisions and internet searches, it was difficult to find anything close to what we were looking for, even to be able to adapt to the mews requirements for raptor housing. It seemed that we were heading in the wrong direction when my sponsor left me a message on my VoiceMail indicating that someone had posted a note in the Website forums. The note indicated that a previous falconer had an octagonal mews that they wanted to *give away* to a good home. Wow, sometimes the Lord works in mysterious ways, and this was a true gift that I couldn’t pass up.

I called up the owner and arranged a time to come pick it up. While the wood is not in the greatest of shape, the basic design was pretty solid. I brought the mews home, stored it under the deck on the patio, and began planning for the base and other things we’d need to get this octagonal mews constructed properly. I spent about an hour on Saturday afternoon, putting up the mews in a flattened grassy area so that I could get an idea about how big this object would be after placing it in the back yard. The first, initial assembly is pictured above.

With 8 x 4 foot sheets of plywood, and a few angled cuts, this little mews went up pretty quickly. The sides are 8 foot tall, producing a footprint of approximately 9 1/2 feet by 9 1/2 feet; about 80 square feet. The slight inward angle only puts the height of the mews just shy of 8 feet high. While the roof is not present in this picture, a simple, flat-board roof will be the temporary roof for inspection purposes. In order to make the structure blend into the garden landscape, we’ll need to design a sloped roof with proper surface to compliment the placement in the back yard.

 

The Big Dig


I needed to create a footprint that had enough space around the mews to walk on and provide about an extra 18 inches around the perimeter. So with some string and a stick, we measured a nice circle in the lawn and began to dig. Removing the sod took a bit of work, and then a few loads of dirt with the wheel-barrow were removed for leveling. This picture above is the completed leveling phase of creating a nice base with a drain and some patio pavers. I’ll need to put down some slag-sand base for the pavers, and then place the brick pavers around in a circular pattern. Stay tuned for the next phase of the mews!

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