Birds spend an average of one-third of their lifetime cleaning and grooming themselves. If you have several birds, they can even clean and groom each other. This is very good as long as the feathers are not pulled excessively, something that, unfortunately, is quite common in certain species of tropical birds.
The constant deterioration of the plumage of the birds can be very harmful to your pet since the feathers protect them from sudden changes in temperature and allow them to fly. On the other hand, many waterfowl need plumage to repel water, maintain their body temperature and avoid sinking into the water.
As long as you watch your bird is healthy and does not pluck the feathers, you can leave hygiene to your pet. However, you must always take care of the cleanliness and hygiene of their cage. This is not really difficult, but it will take some time each week.
Birds also need to bathe
There are birdbaths for birds specially designed to be placed inside their cage and that they can take a good dip. Of course, most domestic birds cannot swim, so you should choose a birdbath of adequate size. You must take into account the size of your bird, the number of birds you have and the total size of your cage.
You have to make sure that the birdbath is big enough so that your birds can enter and soak without problems, but not too big so that you can not get out of it easily. Of course, just let them bathe under supervision, because, as we said before, they do not have the ability to swim and can slip or suffer accidents.
On the other hand, waterfowl have the ability to swim, so you have to make sure you provide enough water depth so that they can introduce their head and wet their face and neck, as this is how this type of birds wash their eyes and face.
It is also highly recommended that the water you provide is warm (not hot, unless you want to make a bird’s calf) and that at certain times you avoid bathing, especially before nightfall, so they do not sleep wet, and in the periods of very cold.
Ammonia is dangerous to the health of birds
Bird droppings contain a type of nitrogenous waste. When these wastes decompose, they release ammonia into the air. Ammonia is a dangerous chemical both for the lungs of your birds and for yours. For this reason, it is so important to properly and regularly clean the cage of your birds.
When you clean your birds’ cage, use another temporary cage to move them to another room and wait until the ammonia smell of your newly cleaned cage is gone. To make the process faster, it is advisable to leave the advantages open or put a fan that moves the air in the room. When there are no remains of ammonia in the air, you can put your birds back in their cage.
It is also very important that you use cleansers that do not leave traces of odors in the air. You can find many specific cleaners that eliminate odors but do not replace them with others. Avoid using ammonia, bleach or any other product that releases toxic gases.
Clean their bird feeder and drinker regularly
The feeders and drinkers of the bird cages are the forgotten ones during the cleaning and at the same time, they are two of the cleanest and most disinfected elements to have. While pellet dry food dispensers can be cleaned once a week, the troughs and feeders with moist food must be cleaned at least twice each day.
To wash the feeders or drinkers, just use any kind of mild soap, such as the one you use to wash dishes in your house. However, you should make sure to drain the soap very well and not introduce food if it is still wet. Sometimes it’s good to have a couple of spare feeders and drinkers, to let them dry naturally during the night while your birds feed and hydrate in others.
Preventive hygiene will greatly simplify the cleaning of your bird’s cage
Do not bother trying to keep your birds from getting dirty. Some parrots are able to learn to relieve themselves in certain places, obtaining something as a reward. However, most birds can not learn or control when to relieve themselves.
If you put greaseproof paper, wood chips or wood pellets in the bottom of your birds’ cages, you will get them to absorb the excrement, keeping the cage clean for much longer. This will make cleaning a little easier since you will only have to remove the bed and change it for another one.
Another option is to use a cage in the bottom of which there is a removable tray and fill it with kitchen paper or newspaper. When cleaning this type of cages, removing the tray and replacing the paper will have more than half of the work done.