One of the key factors in keeping your bird in a healthy condition is frequent cleaning of your bird’s cage, play stands, and accessories. Once a routine has been worked out, you will realize that daily and weekly cage cleaning can be fast and efficiently. You will be satisfied knowing your bird is healthy.
While cleaning, it is important to look out for signs that your bird is not feeling well. Try to look out for dangerous objects or hazardous conditions in the cage. Observe the following:
Make use of hot soapy water to wash their dishes which should be dried thoroughly. Cleaning of dishes should not be done where food is prepared. Some people wash them in the dishwasher or use a disinfectant to provide some cleaning power. You have to be sure no trace of soap or disinfectant is left on the dishes as THIS COULD HARM YOUR BIRD! Make sure the food dishes are dry before adding food since damp seed or pellets can turn into mold quickly. To avoid waste, feel the dishes with the amount the bird can eat until the dishes are cleaned again.
There should be a daily replacement of the liner. Black and white newspapers (some colored ink may be toxic) and other paper liners would make a good choice since they can be easily replaced and give room for good observation of the droppings. Some people put many layers of liner in the cage, for smaller birds, so they only have to remove the one at the top. If this is the procedure you prefer, make sure the liners left are clean, and water or droppings have not soaked through.
Alternatively, having two or more sets of dishes is a good idea. This is because while one set is being cleaned, the other set can be used to feed the birds. Making use of stainless steel or high impact plastic dishes is recommended because they can be cleaned easily and can withstand repeated washings, hot water, and disinfectants.
If you must use a water bottle, it should be cleaned thoroughly with a bottle brush. Just like the case of having two or more sets of dishes, having two or more bottles available often makes cleanup easier. Make sure the bottle is checked to ensure the ball is loose and works correctly.
The floor should be swept or vacuumed to remove seeds, hulls, feathers, and other debris. Using a cage apron would go a long way to help to collect this material, and can be removed and emptied on daily bases. If the surrounding area is carpeted, a plastic carpet liner or a mat designed for use under an office chair is a good idea because it can be cleaned easily and disinfected.
If your bird has the luxury of having a birdbath in the cage, remove it, and washed with hot soapy water and/or disinfectant, Make sure you rinse very well and refilled with fresh water.
Droppings should not be allowed to accumulate on perches or toys
How often you need to do a major clean up depends on the type and number of birds you have, the size of the cage, how much time your bird spends in it, etc. It is known that generally, the cages of bigger birds and Lories and lorikeets should be cleaned very well on a weekly basis. For some smaller birds, monthly cleaning may be just okay. Below are seven steps to follow in your cleaning routine.
- 1. Assemble supplies: For weekly cleanups, assemble all your supplies in one place. Your supply should include:
To make cleaning easier, place a trash can next to the place.
- Take the bird to a safe area, preferably to another cage in some other room where fumes from cleaning will not affect it.
- Take away all toys and accessories from the cage.
- Take away seeds or loose droppings from the cage. The cage should be scrubbed with hot soapy water. It is important to rinse the cage well with plain water, and then spray it with a disinfectant. Make sure you rinse it very well and let it dry up completely before putting clean toys and perches. Air-dry the cage in the sun, if need be.
- Take away droppings from perches and toys with a common dish-washing detergent. Sandpaper is another suitable material that can be used to remove droppings from wooden perches, blocks, and toys. With the cage, wash and rinse the perches and toys before using a disinfectant. It’s good to know that some wood, plastic, or stiff rope toys and perches are dishwasher safe. You can place softer ropes in the washing machine. Once cleaning is done, disinfect all items and rinse very well. Ensure that toys and perches are thoroughly dry before they are placed back in the cage with the bird. Air-dry them in the sun, if you must, or dry them in the oven at 250º for 10-15 minutes. Be reminded that it often saves a lot of time to have two sets of perches and toys so dry, clean ones can be quickly placed in the cage while the other set dries. Throw away any perch or toy that does not come clean, is frayed, or damaged.
- Ensure that you empty and wash the cage apron and clean the area beneath the cage. Tile flooring, vinyl, and plastic carpet runners can be cleaned and disinfected. It is important that you check the walls too since food or other material may have been flung against them by the naughty bird.
- Finally, after you have done a good job, place all the dry items back in the dry cage, with a clean liner, fill up the food and water dishes, and bring your bird back, to its clean home.