As with humans, adequate hygiene and cleanliness are important for the health of your bird. In cages, it is mainly feces and leftover food that fall on the floor and develop into a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Regularly cleaning the birdcage, therefore, prevents the development of diseases and fresh sand ensures good digestion and sufficient material to clean yourself thoroughly. Cleaning is generally not complicated and you can find all the important steps in the following post.
Regularity for Large and Small Birds
The question of “how often” to clean the birdcage cannot be answered across the board. As a rule, big birds – big dirt, small birds – small dirt. Of course, it also depends on whether there is only one bird or several birds in the cage. It is therefore advisable to use common sense when cleaning. If there is still enough fresh sand on the floor and there are hardly any droppings or leftover food, cleaning is not yet necessary. On average, the cage has to be cleaned every 5 – 6 days. But as I said – if there is a lot of soiling due to temporary malnutrition or moulting, cleaning tools may of course have to be used earlier.
Open the Cage
Of course, the explicit cleaning depends on the type of cage. If you have a correspondingly large model, some of the work steps are more complex and the areas are larger. But the first step is to open the cage and remove the top of the cage from the bottom/shell. Since your bird is probably in the upper part of its seat, it is important to place the upper part on a flat surface lined with newspaper. The paper prevents your table or the surface on which you place the cage from becoming soiled with feces while cleaning.
Clean the Birdcage
The old sand with the remains of excrement and food must be completely removed. An old broom and a small shovel used only for this purpose are ideal. If the leftovers stick too tightly to the bowl, it is advisable to soak the bottom with warm water for a while. Warm or hot water has an antibacterial effect and kills any germs that may have developed. All residues can then be removed with an old sponge without any problems. You can also rinse the base briefly in the shower and use neutral soap for stubborn dirt. Please do not use aggressive detergents or soaps with perfume. These can be harmful to your bird and the smell can be irritating. In addition, an environment that is “too sterile” due to disinfectants is also unhealthy for your bird. Without germs, your bird’s immune system cannot develop sufficiently and your feathered friend may get sick more often and more severely. Also, remove any dirt residue on the cage grid. Then there is nothing left to do with a new layer of sand.
Scatter New Sand
A new layer of sand has to be strewn sufficiently so that the ground is covered and there is enough sand for play and food. As mentioned earlier, sand is part of the bird’s diet and helps digestion. Therefore, when choosing the right sand, make sure that it fits the needs of your bird and is also suitable for the right species. A good mix usually includes quartz sand, grit, and minerals. Especially grit with pieces of mussel and coarse grains of sand helps to provide sufficient lime for the mineral balance.
Cleaning of Food and Drink Bowls
The bowls and drinking bowls in the cage should be cleaned significantly more often than the floor. Standing water in the drinking bowl can lead to contamination and deposits that are harmful to your bird’s health. Algae infestation and germs in drinking water are inevitable. We, therefore, recommend cleaning every 1 – 2 days. The procedure for cleaning is similar to that for the cage. Warm water with a neutral soap is usually sufficient for a thorough cleaning. Deposits can be removed with a brush and a narrow cleaning brush can also be used in small corners. This is especially important for narrow drinking tubes, as these are difficult to clean. Tip: Just use an old toothbrush or a piece of cloth on a string. The piece of fabric can easily be pulled through narrow spaces and cleaned thoroughly.
Of course, thorough cleaning also includes removing any residue from the perches and houses. Soak wooden rods lightly before cleaning and clean with a coarse brush. Please do not use soaps or detergents on all wooden objects. Detergents can soak into the wood and cannot be removed even after being rinsed several times under clear water. Your bird loves to nibble on wood, and chemical cleaning agents can cause poisoning. Of course, this does not apply to plastic parts or toys. Just make sure you clean it thoroughly and carefully remove all detergent residues.
A well-kept birdcage makes a happy bird. Cleaning is part of care and some components, such as the right bird sand, are more than just hygiene requirements. While it may sound like a lot of work, it’s important to understand that your bird’s health depends on the regularity of cleaning. So just do it in a similar way to Sunday cleaning – once a week, at a fixed time, the birdcage is thoroughly cleaned. Then just pay attention to hygiene in the feeding bowls and spend a lot of time with your bird. Then you will have a lot of joy in your bird and he will give you a lot of love in return.