Keep your bird healthy and clean its cage

Tips on how to keep a bird healthy and make the messy job a little easier!


Let's face it--birds are slobs.

They don't care if their seeds are scattered far and wide. They don't mind if there's something floating in their water. And they have no qualms about relieving themselves whenever and wherever the mood strikes! Without consistent cleaning, your bird's area can look like a disaster. There are ways to cut down on some of the messes birds make, though. All it takes is a little time and planning. Here are a few helpful hints to try.

If at all possible, invest in a cage with a slide-out bottom tray. This makes it far easier to remove the dirty paper or tray litter than a cage with only a door to work through.

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-- Cut a stack of paper sheets to fit the bottom of the cage. Place several layers of the cut sheets in the cage. When it's time to clean up,  it's a simple matter to remove just the soiled top sheet and discard it. A clean layer of paper is already in place. You've just saved yourself a few minutes of cleaning time!

Clean the cage in the shower. Let the bird out to play (with supervision, of course) and give the cage a good scrubbing. Remove the perches to be scraped clean and replace them after the cage is finished. Stand the cage in the shower and wash down the bars with a clean scrubbing brush or coarse pads. Never use any harsh chemicals to clean your bird's cage! If the cage is unusually dirty, you may wipe the bars down with a mild bleach solution. Turn the shower on to rinse well, then let dry.

To make it easier to remove food spills or messes, give the bars of the cage nearest the food cup a light coating of a non-stick cooking spray. Don't forget to coat the lower surfaces of the bars, and if the cage has a sloping area above the bottom, carefully apply the cooking spray here as well. The cooking spray will make the messes slide right off with minimal scrubbing and won't harm the bird. (Note: Never spray the cage with the bird inside!)

Keep a spray bottle filled with clean water near the cage. As soon as Polly makes a mess, lightly spritz the area with water and wipe up. The bird will probably enjoy being spritzed, too!

Position the seed cups and the water cups apart from each other. This will cut down on the number of seed hulls and food scraps that find their way into the water. Cuts down on having to scrub messy water cups as often, too!

Make sure perch positions are staggered. If you place one perch directly below the other, it will be covered with droppings in a short time. To clean a wooden perch, scrape off the heaviest amounts of droppings, then use sandpaper to carefully smooth away the rest.

Sharing your life with a bird is rewarding and fun but sometimes the messes can be overwhelming! Using these tips will help simplify what can be a time-consuming, aggravating job and most importantly, give you more time to enjoy your bird.