Bird Cage Seed Guards – A Pet Bird Keepers Solution Or Problem?

Bird Cage Seed Guards – A Pet Bird Keepers Solution Or Problem?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

I purchased a new cage for my severe macaw about a year ago and the seed guards are only 3 inches in width. Since she seems to like to hang on the side of the cage, and of course poops while there, the guard doesn’t catch it and we have a mess on the floor.

Could you recommend a particular cage approx? 20 deep x 24 wide with larger seed guards? thanks!


Hi Deb:

Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately wider seed guards will only ensure that poop will fall farther from the cage. I recommend removing the seed guards on the current cage, ower cage food dishes to the floor/ grate – debris will now fall into the tray, not outside the cage

Purchase an office chair mat for under the cage to protect the floor
Place a perch on the outside of the cage where your bird would like to sit and place a single piece of newspaper under that one area.

Without the seed guards, your bird may choose not to perch 360 degrees and stay on the single perch

Hope that helps

Best Regards

Mitch Rezman – 1/10/2009 1:07:27 PM

This article is in response to a Facebook comment about cage seed guards. Do you know those big pieces of metal that are supposed to keep everything so clean but are always covered in poop and dried fruit? 

A comment from Facebook on 2/4/15 from Anne M “The cage liners are flawed though Windy City. I’ve never seen a cage without slanted sides, and my birds at least like to sit at the ends on perches so doodoo falls and lands on the bare plastic. What I’ve been trying to find is something like kitty pan liners that fold out over the sides of the cage to catch it all. Kitty pan liners work but are rectangular while most cages are square”.

Showing pictures of parrots pooping is kind of like fart jokes, I’m not a big fan so here’s a video I found a Super Bowl commercial (from a couple of years ago) that I’m pretty sure never made it live

To your point Anne: I’m not a real big fan of cage seed guards and I understand that your birds like to sit on the edges.

What Anne is referring to are seed guards

First full transparency this is really well thought out but is purely subjective. My official position is that seed guards do more harm than good. They’re ineffective and can be dangerous by design. Even a peg and clip design can come off in a minute or two for tags but those four clips can be challenging when trying to squeeze together sheet metal.

Seed guards that are screwed or bolted on take even longer to remove and put back on. Setting aside the cleaning issue – seed guards add an average of 8 inches (20.32 cm) to 10 inches (25.4 cm) to the footprint of any birdcage side to side and front to back.

Some cutting-edge cage manufacturers like Prevue have 4 rounded corners which do reduce the potential for sharp corners (see the guard above) to injure a terrestrial family pet or small human. But they require the removal and replacement of eight nuts and screws with seed guard servicing.

Birdcage seed guards can slice drywall like a hot knife through butter, tear wallpaper and scratch wooden paneling. Talk about design with unintended consequences. 

This is why seed guards do not appear in my caged bird keepers tool kit (list coming soon)

Here are a few ideas we’d like to throw your way. Let’s hear yours.

  • Our 4 top “Keeping It Clean” Bird Products
  • Less seed more fresh food and/or pelleted food
  • Move bird food dishes lower – place on the floor of the cage
  • Place section of newspaper directly on slide-out grille under the dish
  • Use office chair mat under cage & on wall(s) area
  • Lose the seed guards – they’re actually more stuff to clean
  • Use Lixit water bottles instead of an open drinking water dish
  • Cut millet into smaller pieces

Written by Mitch Rezman
Approved by Catherine Tobsing

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