It’s All For

…well…the birds. Cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection of their cages, that is. If you’re a bird lover and a bird owner, it’s important to know how to effectively care for them. Birds are very sensitive to their environment, making the cleaning and disinfection of their cages one of the most important aspects of avian care. Ensuring that they have a clean habitat is one of the best ways to make sure your feathered friends thrive!

Why Cleaning And Disinfection Is So Important

Like all species, birds are susceptible to a range of diseases, many of which are spread through contaminated environments. Making sure their environment is not only clean but disinfected and sanitary as possible is one of the best ways to protect them from:

  • Psittacosis (Parrot Fever)
  • Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD)
  • Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD)
  • Polyomavirus
  • Candida

There isn’t any treatment for PDD or PBFD, only supportive treatments to manage the disease for the remainder of the bird’s life. Polyomavirus is usually fatal. Psittacosis is both highly contagious and a zoonotic disease, which means it can be passed to other birds, other animals, and people.

Steps for Effective Sanitation

Three cleaning routines are recommended for your bird’s cage: daily, weekly, and monthly.

Daily cleaning of cages and aviaries is essential. Remove uneaten food, feces, and any other waste materials. Reline the bottom of the cage with newspaper or paper towels. Other types of bedding like:

  • Wood chips or shavings
  • Shredded or recycled paper
  • Corncob bedding
  • Cat litter

aren’t recommended as bedding options because they make it difficult to monitor your bird’s feces, which is a prime indicator of their health.

Their food and water bowls should be washed daily with a soap safe for birds. Rinse them very thoroughly and dry them before refilling. You should also use a damp towel to “spot clean” the cage, including toys and perches.

A more thorough cleaning should be done every week. You should remove toys, perches, and feeding dishes from the cage and clean them separately using hot water and a mild, bird-safe soap. This is a good time to remove trays and grates that cover them to wash and rinse them completely. Everything should be dry before you put it back in the cage.

At least once a month, and more frequently if needed, the entire cage should be cleaned and disinfected. This involves removing everything (including your bird) from the cage, after which you can take it to the area where you clean it. You should remove all visible solid waste using a damp cloth or even a bristled brush. After that, you can thoroughly clean every area of the cage with hot, soapy water, followed by rinsing it thoroughly.

Disinfecting Your Bird’s Cage

After deep cleaning the cage, every single surface, toy, and bowl should be disinfected. You can use a solution of one cup of bleach to one gallon of water to disinfect, or another solution recommended by your veterinarian. Bleach solution can only be used in an area away from your bird, though, because of their sensitive respiratory tract. After disinfection of the cage and accouterments, rinse everything thoroughly (twice or three times if needed) and allow it to dry completely before returning your bird to it.

Homey Gnome Veterinary Clinic

If you’re in the Oakdale, MN area, Homey Gnome Veterinary Clinic provides care for exotic pets including birds. Contact us so we can provide care for your bird and any additional information you might need to keep them happy and healthy.

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