We’re going to start out with one of our favorite product lines that’s been solving birdcage cleanliness for more than a decade – Lixit water bottles.
Do you really need a water bottle? Birds being the messy creatures that they are will poop in their water dishes regardless of placement we think yes.
They spray food, poop, and other contaminants into their drinking water which carries bacteria that gets ingested by your bird causing mouth & throat infections. Think of the $200 vet bill….minimum.
One of the easiest ways to overcome these problems is to install a Lixit water bottle in your birdcage. Lixit water bottles enable you to introduce water simply and avoid having to change your bird’s drinking water throughout the day in order to keep it clean.
The key to selecting the proper water bottle takes into consideration the size of the bottle, the size of the nozzle, and your cage.
The nozzle size is the most important consideration because it will ensure that your bird gets enough water but doesn’t waste it. It can be a bit confusing so we made a de-confusing* video. *(one of my own words – everyone has them, right? A list of their own words?)
Lixit water bottles work based upon the “Vacuum-Valve” principle. A stainless steel metal ball bearing inside the tube is able to hold the water content because a vacuum is formed in the bottle that is sealed by a rubber cork.
The metal ball actually has a film of water that sits between the ball and the drinking tube opening. When your birds tongue or beak moves the exposed ball the seal is broken and the vacuum inside the water bottle is released allowing water to flow and hydrate your bird.
The water flows as long as the ball is moving and keeping the valve open. When your bird stop moving the ball, it settles back in place, the film of water then covers the ball again and the valve closes.
Every time the water has released a drip of water will come out which creates the new vacuum seal.
So that the vacuum forms within the sealed water bottle, the amount of water in a bottle versus the amount of air that is taking up space has to be equalized.
If you see a single drop when you first install the bottle it’s not a sign of a leaking water bottle. You actually want to tap the ball bearing several times with your fingertip after you fill the bottle which releases a small amount of water which speeds up the process of equalizing the vacuum pressure.
Naturally, the question asked most often is “how do I get my bird to use it”?
We recommend that you install it so the tip is directly over the existing water dish.
Or install the bottle where you want it and install a hook on or bolt on dish right below the nozzle with the cage water.
When the bird goes to the dish for water, they will bump their heads on the nozzle thus releasing some freshwater.
Most birds do make the connection. You’ll see levels of water going down indicating the bird is getting hydrated.
After a few days remove the water dish and reintroduce it for shorter periods for bathing or dunking food fun. Water bottles aren’t for every bird and birdcage but most birds do easily adapt.
(Sorry, the video’s name caused a flashback 🙂 “Ziggy played guitar, jamming good with Weird and Gilly, and the spiders from Mars. He played it left hand But made it too far” – David Bowie – What the heck I’m feeling violaceous today (yep another one of “my” words)
On the fence with water bottles? Like the water dish but would like to keep it poop (and bacteria) free? Check out my hipster info-graphic below.
This great Cup Cover will protect the water from being pooped in from above. Please note we no longer have the white-painted Cup Covers available to us. Instead, we have some heavy-duty Stainless Steel Cup Covers that fit the bill and last.
Feathered factoid: poop in a bird’s water dish is the leading cause of bacterial mouth and throat infections. Did I mention the $200 vet bill?
Caitec Seed Corrals are often overlooked as tremendous time savers by reducing the amount of bird food waste that gets sprinkled inside and outside of the birdcage.
We’ve seen other products with similar intentions come and go but this product has grown in popularity.
They are well-designed and built for durability. Installation is easy, attaching 2 hooks to the unit which link over a feeder door.
Will it be 100% effective? Don’t be daft – they’re birds, but imagine eliminating about 80% (our unscientific before and after calculation) of all the hull and husks your bird normally tosses out of its cage.
Your bird literally goes inside and leaves all the mess in the clear box.
If you have a larger bird like a Conure or small Amazon there’s an app for that. The Large Tidy Seed Feeder and Caitec just released the Large Seed Corral.
If you’re seeking to take caged bird keeping to the next level consider using Prevue T3 birdcage liners.
Although newspaper and rolled paper will safely collect the debris from your birdcage unless the paper is changed throughout the day a lot of bacteria may be harbored by the newspaper sheets.
Prevue T3 birdcage liners are treated with a silver ion, a naturally occurring element – this ion thingy inhibits the growth of mildew and odor-causing bacteria growth on the surface of the paper.
It comes in six package sizes and is easy to cut to size with scissors or use the box edge. The paper is conveniently marked per inch for easy sizing.
If it’s not in the budget for daily use or if you have a lot of bird cages, we advocate its use for newborn and younger birds as well as sick or recovering birds all of whom may have compromised immune systems.
None of these solutions is 100% and for that, there are some great bird-safe cleaning products that need to be part of every home.
Enzyme cleaners have been around for years known to help remove dog and cat pee from carpeting, well they work for bird poop too.
Poop-Off is the original birdcage cleaning product that does the job just as it states on the label.
Simply spray cages or walls or the floor using the 32 oz spray bottle and let sit a couple of minutes then take a damp cloth or towel or wet sponge and wipe away the mess. Don’t worry about your bird being exposed to it, it is completely safe even if they take a lick.
Just don’t spray your bird, that is common sense. For upholstery use the 16 oz brush top bottle and drizzle a bit of the liquid onto the pooped carpet or sofa, let it sit a couple of minutes then use the brush top to gently loosen the mess and allow the brush to lift it away. Amazing results.
The gallon refill bottle is a bargain to refill the spray and brush top bottles when empty.
A new enzyme kid on the block is Avitech AviClean. Another enzyme product with a fresh light scent that does the job well in a 32 oz spray top bottle and also a 16 oz Concentrate that makes a whole gallon of solution at a terrific price.
Some Common Sense Clean Cage Tips from Windy City Parrot
Don’t place dishes under perches
More pellets (and fresh foods) fewer seeds
Use hulless birdseed blends like Tropimix
Place ceramic dishes (species size appropriate) on the bottom grille
Use a Lixit water bottle instead of a water dish to eliminate Poop Soup
Use a plastic office chair floor protector under the cage and/or against the wall
Feed less millet or cut millet into smaller pieces and place in the dish on the bottom grille
Instead of pine shavings or other loose bedding material use large sheets of paper in the refuse tray.
Put a stack of paper in your birdcage bottom and remove one sheet a day.
Let us know if you have more specific birdcage sanitation issues you’re seeking assistance with by easily commenting below.
Written by Mitch Rezman Approved by Catherine Tobsing