Cleaning your bird's cage can at first seem like a tedious chore. With so many bars, cracks, and crevices to scrub, it can be hard for new bird owners to figure out where to start. |
According to Stewart Colby, DVM, practitioner of exotic animal medicine in Alpharetta, Georgia, cleanliness may be one of the single best ways to keep your bird healthy. Bits of pet bird food and droppings can attract insects, which are often vectors for illnesses
Transmission of psittacosis is associated with dried bird feces. Food that has been left out for too long can grow fungi, and dirty water can grow a variety of bacteria that can make a bird sick.
According to Jane Gesser, bird breeder and co-owner of Critters Closet in Georgia, a parrot's role in the wild is to disperse seeds from fruits and nuts, both in droppings and in unused portions of food that fall to the ground. Parrots and many other species of birds are nature's feathered farmers. They help the environment by dropping seeds that germinate and grow.
Unfortunately, pet birds don't discriminate between our homes and the jungle floor of their native habitat. Owners must take responsibility for cleanliness and hygiene in the home to create ecology of well-being for all who live there.
The bulk of the mess in the bird cage area comes from food, although droppings and feather debris can be nuisances, too. A key part of my daily cleaning routine involves removing wet edibles from feeding cups and the cage bottom as soon as possible. Wet food attracts insects more quickly than dry foods. Dry nourishment consists of pellets, seeds or nuts, but in a humid environment even these dry bits will absorb moisture and begin to create some of the problems associated with the wet material.
No matter what you do, there will still be shells, hulls and bits of food that end up on the floor near your bird's cage. I discovered that the easiest way to clean this dry material off the floor is with a mechanical brush sweeper. This handy device shouldn't frighten your bird the way a vacuum might, and it discreetly stores in a corner near the cage for easy access.
Birds cannot be expected to clean up after themselves. Simplify your daily cleaning chores by creating manageable routines based on some preventive measures and basic cleanup habits.
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