Keeping your pet bird’s cage clean does not have to be as daunting and well, poopy, as you might think or have previously experienced. Here are some tips from this veteran owner of parakeets and cockatiels to keep you and your tweeties healthy and tidy.
Do Some Cleaning Every Day
Just as with any household chore or good habit such as exercising or praying, do some work on your bird cages every day. For example:
- Change the water in all cups. Not only is fresher water better looking, it is healthier and has less bacteria. Birds soil water with food and dropping. Mine have been known to bathe in their water cups on a hot day or when the spring and /or fall molt (losing of feathers and growing in of new ones) is bothersome to them. As do all pets, birds drink lots of water on hot days.
- Check their seed and pellets. My birds usually need a refill every other day. On the day I do not add or completely change out the contents of the cups, I remove the seed hulls (shells), leaving just good seed.
- Any remnants of fresh foods such as lettuce, broccoli, and so on should be removed.
- Vacuum the floor, window sills, etc. under the cages.
- Switch out the paper or corncob bedding at the bottom of the cage. (By the way, thin layers of either paper or bedding is fine as long as the entire tray is completely covered. Try to avoid paper that is inked or is easily shredded as bird tend to reach through the bottom grate to pick at the cage bottom.)
Clean Metal, Plastic, Cement and Wood Parts Weekly
Sudsy soap and water and thorough rinsing cleans cage parts well. The rough side of a scrubber sponge works on droppings and other debris adhering to:
- perches, ladders and swings
- plastic side pieces
- cage bottom grates and trays
I am very wary of using bleach for bird cages and accessories. If possible, dry cage parts in a sunny window or on a deck during warm weather. Sun sanitizes and dries well. Cloth seed catchers go right into the washing machine and dryer. The cage itself may be washed in a laundry room or outdoors monthly.
Location, Location, Location
Bird owners know that drafty windows and doors are not good for pet birds as a rule. However, well-sealed windows are fine all year round. My birds love watching the snow in Western New York! Remember, though, that those windows, curtains, shades and blinds will need periodic cleaning depending on which way the bird debris flies.
And regarding floors, try to locate your cages away from tables, rugs with tassels, etc. Tile, wood, floor and very flat carpeting is easiest to vacuum and scrub, or if you prefer, place and old sheet or blanket under the cages for daily pick up and shake out.
Keep After It
As with any occupant in a house, including the human ones, a little cleaning on a regular basis and forethought about who you are taking care of goes a long way. Bird cages don’t have to be a burden.