Can You Manage To Keep A Bird And Still Have A Clean Home?

  The pet birds themselves are extremely clean, always grooming and preening their feathers, bathing themselves in their water, etc. But they can make a terrible mess for you in many ways leaving you feeling like they’re just too high-maintenance in your busy life.   Try a new perspective! Yes, there’s an awful lot of dander, feathers, quills, down, bacterial concerns, food and empty seed hulls and debris, droppings, water mess, chewed toy debris, and more! Especially when you have a bird that really likes to fling these things outside of the cage or perch. They often crumble food in their beaks and let the rest fall. But in the wild, all of this served a purpose. Droppings fertilized forest floors, dropped food composted and re-seeded those forests for other animals to hide and eat. Molting and preening gave nesting materials and compost. Chewing and rubbing kept their beak in good, trimmed condition.   So it’s no wonder they still do all of these “naughty” things naturally. Having a different perspective helps you “forgive” them. And still, we love the colorful creatures and some of us want to make them a permanent family member. So don’t stress over the mess, we’ve got some tips for keeping your home clean when you have pet birds!   As an extra measure, use the cleaning as an opportunity to watch the health of your bird. In the mess found on the bottom of its cage, look for the condition or amount of feathers to change, if there’s vomit, if the droppings look different or if there’s more food waste than empty hulls.   Combat Debris With Cage Features Don’t go cheap on your cages if you want some help keeping things clean! Cages often have a removable tray floor so you can dump the waste and scrub the tray clean more easily. Some cages have tilted floors as well – a slanted bottom keeps food rolling to the center instead of out through the bars at the edges.   Layers Of Liners If you’re crafty and your bird doesn’t mind, you can line the cage with paper towels that drape over the panels so debris and droppings removal is a quick and easy chore with less scrubbing as a bonus. Likewise, there are actual scoopable bird litters on the market.   Using paper towels, a purchased cage liner, butcher paper, or newspaper, you can also try putting down several layers into the clean tray so when you need to, you just roll one layer and toss it away, revealing a clean layer below that. Keep a garbage can close because you will undoubtedly leave a trail of waste if you have to walk your liners very far. And we suggest changing the liner more frequently so there’s less mess that escapes.   Small Seeds And Big Dust Bigger birds literally create dust, so an air purifier is a champion in your home.   The smaller the bird, the smaller the seed. And the smaller the seed hull, the easier is flies around with movement and wing flapping, so a seed guard purchased for the outside of your cage might just do the trick! There are debris catchers of various kinds to look into, and you might try a pelleted diet with Nutri-Berries or Avi-Cakes to cut down on seed mess. Yet another trick is to purchase gear that sits in, around, or over the food itself, such as a hooded food cup. One last tip is to empty the seed cup daily instead of dumping fresh seed on old hulls. You’ll soon find out why when they go into a flapping fest or flinging fest and the cup contents become airborne.   Office Chair Mats You’ll want to protect your floors from goopy droppings and spilled water, so look at your office supply chain for help. You can purchase one or two large office chair mats that are clear or colored! No more spot cleaning or scraping and you can remove them to thoroughly soak and hose down in the tub or outdoors.   When You Need To Scrub Get a stiff nylon brush, a bottle brush if their water is from a bottle, a toothbrush, Mr. Clean Erasers, Dawn dish soap or another enzymatic and bird-friendly cleaning solution, and very hot water. You can cut the cost of paper towels by using washable microfiber cloths or regular washcloths. Also, perches will need to be cleaned, so if yours are porous wood, aside from washing them, you may need a bit of sandpaper from time to time.   Some mild natural cleansers and antibacterial/antimicrobial things you can use around birds are, juice from lemons, club soda, diluted mixture of white or apple cider vinegar and water (cleans and disinfects), antimicrobial grapefruit-seed extract itself or in a product, baking soda, olive oil and mineral oil, hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach, and cornstarch.   Suck It Up A broom may not be enough. A small handheld vacuum used once or twice daily for seed hulls may or may not be enough. If you have many birds or very large debris, you’ll want to get a small Shop-Vac so you don’t burn out your regular household vacuum!   Misting Spray To The Rescue Before you roll up that liner or wipe up a mess, it can be quick and logical to spray a non-toxic misting spray first. Anything will do, really, including just water. Just the misting effect is the most important part. This will lock down the dust and fly-prone seed hulls so you can roll the liner up and toss or wipe up the messes without things going airborne.   Try Out This Cleaning Schedule Lastly, we’ve got a simple bird cage cleaning routine for you to try. Don’t feel overwhelmed here, it really won’t take too long. And if you change your habits and keep a routine, it will be super fast and simple!   For daily bird cleaning chores:   Spot clean any wayward droppings Sweep/vacuum/wipe up mess from floor 1-2 times per day Toss out food waste/clean any soft food dishes Change out dirty water/wipe out water dish   For bird cage cleaning once or twice per week:   Complete cage cleaning and disinfecting Clean thoroughly and disinfect all toys, perches, and any other accessories More thorough wash of floor mats   As needed cleaning:   Cleaning filters on air purifiers Layer the liners at cage bottom Remove toys and accessories showing wear and replace   Let us take care of the housework