Cleaning Cages, Accessories and Surrounding Areas
I'm often asked about the best way to keep things clean when it comes to pet birds.
The best way in my opinion is to stay on top of it!
It's much easier to do a little cleaning every day than to wait until the mess is overwhelming!
Take care to never use chemical cleaning agents anywhere around your birds. Birds have very sensitive respiratory systems. The fumes from these products can quickly cause the death of pet birds.
I use plain black and white newspapers for lining the bottom of the cage. These should be changed every day or at least every other day.
Keep on hand a spray bottle filled with water, 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 20-30 drops of NutriBiotic® GSE*. Spray this solution on dried-on food and droppings while you are changing papers and tidying up. Within a few minutes these spots will have softened enough to simply wipe off.
Be sure to spray this on perches too and clean them well to prevent bacterial infections and foot sores.
You can also mix a bucket of this same solution for larger jobs like cleaning cages and floors, or for soaking toys that have been soiled by droppings.
*WHAT IS GSE? GSE® (Grapefruit Seed Extract) is a highly concentrated, natural disinfectant that contains CITRICIDAL®. CITRICIDAL is a natural quaternary compound synthesized from the pulp of certified organically grown grapefruit. The process converts the grapefruit bioflavonoids into an extremely potent compound that has been proven highly effective in numerous applications.
Toys need frequent cleaning as well whenever they become soiled. The vinegar / GSE solution works fine or you can wash them with hot water and dish soap. Be sure to rinse well and allow to air dry. Wood toys, being porous do not clean well. Once they become soiled, it's best to throw them out and replace.
Once a month or so I wipe down the entire cage. I remove all perches, soak them and scrub if necessary.
When I have a large amount of toys that need cleaning, I load them in the dishwasher through the antibacterial cycle (or as hot as your dishwasher will allow). This also works well for sanitizing some perches.
A few minutes of daily cleaning really is much easier than letting it build to the point that it's an overwhelming job. Think of it as quality time spent with your bird or birds. And remember, the birds would just love it if you'd take the time to sing some silly songs - or whistle -while you work.
KEEPING THE BIRDS CLEAN!
Showers are an extremely important part of your birds good health.
You can use spray bottles of course and bathing in a dish work well for some smaller birds. I've found the easiest way is to shower with my birds. My Macaw sits on a free-standing small perch on a bench seat in the shower. Others sit on a tension rod overhead at one end. Some days they don't want to get wet, but they always enjoy the humidity. On the days that they do want to get wet, I take them down on my hand or finger and let the water gently bounce off my shoulder so it's not hitting them directly. Just another way to squeeze in a little extra quality time with your feathered friends! Remember - Happy birds have happy humans!
Oh and sometimes they just need to get REALLY wet like in the photo below. Just like kids through a sprinkler they are!