The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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Keeping a bird at home is not going to be easy, and you will have to make sure that you clean the bird’s cage, and give the bird lots of entertainment along the way. Most people love to keep parrots in their house, and for good reason.
Parrots make for excellent pets if they are cared for. They are fantastic companions that are going to remain with you virtually throughout your life, and because of their unique ability to mimic human speech and emotions, they will soon become a lively part of your household.
However, you should know that it doesn’t matter just how much freedom you give your parrot, keeping them in a cage is very important.
Your house is going to be too big of an environment for the parrot to move about in, and at night, the bird will want to sit in an area that is cozier and safer. Parrots are unable to let go of their instincts in the wild, no matter how much they have been domesticated.
As a result of that, it is important that you keep the bird in a cage at night. This is mutually beneficial not just for the parrot, but also for you.
Parrots are considerably more sensitive to sounds as compared to humans, so in case something happens during the night that fails to wake you up, there is a good chance that it’s going to definitely startle your parrot.
When the parrot finds itself scared in the dark and unable to identify which direction the sound is coming from, or to figure out if it is a threat or not, the bird is likely to try and fly off in all directions. More importantly, there is a pretty strong risk that the bird will end up hurting itself in the process.
So, it is generally accepted practice that you keep the bird in its cage at night, and leave the cage in a dark environment, free from all distractions. This plays a critical role in making sure that the bird gets a good night’s rest and also ensures that you know where to find the animal exactly at the right spot in the morning.
Birds are creatures of habit, and need to have a routine to follow. If your bird remains up during the night and has a haphazard routine, it’s going to have a major impact on its health. However, when you keep the bird in its cage, you also need to make sure that you clean the cage on a regular basis.
Most people buy a cage that is of an appropriate size for the bird, allowing it to stretch its wings and preen if it wants to. You also need to understand that the droppings in the cage have to be cleaned as well. Birds in the wild don’t have to worry about such frequent exposure to their droppings, mainly because those fall on the ground.
But, when the bird is kept in a cage, the bird only poops on the floor, and if you don’t have a proper cleaning strategy in place, it’s going to be very difficult for you to clean the cage on a regular basis.
Obviously, it can be quite difficult to get the bird out and keep it somewhere else while its cage is being cleaned. Instead, there are ways by which you can clean the bird’s cage without taking the bird out. Here are some of the best ways to do that.
1 – Use a Dropping Tray
One of the best methods that you can use to clean the bird’s cage without taking out the bird itself is to make use of a dropping tray. Almost all modern cages now come with a dropping tray installed underneath.
This way, when the bird poops, the droppings don’t fall off on the ground; they instead accumulate on the tray.
All you have to do is to take out the dropping tray at the end of the week and then clean it up. The bird will still have a firm grille at the bottom of its cage to sit on or hold on to, and it’s going to look on in amusing fashion as you take out the floor, quite literally, from under its feet and start cleaning.
Dropping trays are incredibly effective in keeping the bird cage clean. However, most people don’t want to go through the hassle of taking out the dropping tray and washing it again and again. Instead, one of the best things that you can do is to put some disposable plastic sheets or newspaper at the bottom of the tray, and then slide it into the cage.
You need to take care, however, that the bird shouldn’t be able to reach this surface with its beak. Otherwise, given their nature, it won’t take long before your parrot bites through the entire newspaper or disposable sheet, leaving a mess at the bottom of the cage.
Just make sure that the newspaper or sheets are lined up closely to the bottom of the surface, make sure the creases are tight, and then put it in. It’s a pretty simple and effective way of cleaning the bird cage without taking the bird out.
2 – Cleaning the Bottom
However, you should know that despite the dropping tray, there is always a chance that the grille at the bottom is going to get covered up with debris such as dry feces or old food. With the passage of time, this is going to crust over the grille, and it’s going to get your cage dirty and maybe even smelly.
Cleaning the bottom clearly and disinfecting the cage are both important things that you need to do. To go about this step, you have to be a bit careful. Since the bird is going to be inside the cage, you have to make sure that you avoid using any spray disinfectants.
Remember, these disinfectants work very differently on humans as compared to parrots. While they won’t have any impact on you, they might prove to be noxious to your bird. Therefore, using the sprays is absolutely not possible. Instead, you need to first make sure that your bird gets on a higher perch.
If you can, hang the cage somewhere so that you are able to access the bottom of the cage with considerable ease. Then, you need to take a cleaning rag and blot it with liquid disinfectant.
You need to slowly rub the disinfectant on the grille at the bottom (remove the dropping tray from the cage), thus allowing you to clean the grille properly.
If your bird is in a playful mood, this whole process is going to become slightly more difficult for you. The bird might feel like jumping around at the bottom of the cage to see what you are doing.
However, in most cases, birds don’t like it when you put your hand in their cage, and they are probably going to sit at the perch on the top of the cage and carefully observe what you are doing.
Once you are done with the cleaning, just give it a little bit of time to dry up. Make sure that you avoid using any harmful things such as a hair dryer, because the noise itself can be quite damaging for the bird.
You have to make sure that you avoid making the cleaning a negative experience for the bird. Once you have cleaned the cage, wait a bit to ensure that it has dried properly before putting the dropping tray back in its place.
Finally, you need to make sure that you leave lots of treats in your bird’s cage so that they are able to associate the cleaning as a positive thing.
It’s always best to go with eco-friendly cleaners and avoid using harmful substances such as bleach. You absolutely don’t want to do something that may make the cage experience unpleasant for your animal.
3 – Cleaning the Food Dishes
Finally, you have to clean the food dishes as well. Thanks to engineering and some clever design techniques, cleaning the food dishes isn’t going to be a problem at all.
These dishes can be easily removed from the cage without taking the bird out, and you can easily wash them in a normal sink before putting them back in. A common mistake that many people make when cleaning the dishes is that they tend to use soap or other harmful cleaners or disinfectants.
Again, you need to make sure that you either use completely organic cleaners (you can even make one using household materials), or you choose one that is designed to be used primarily on bird food dishes. Don’t use conventional soaps or liquid detergents that you would for cleaning your own plates and trays.
These are just a few things that you should know about cleaning a bird cage while your lovely bird still remains inside the cage!