Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman
The easiest way to combat the mess is to be proactive in everything you do from inside the birdcage to paper or coverings on the floor.
Too many people think of the “mess” as just that, one big mess but it’s not.
I identify “mess” into four components:
- Seeds & nuts
- Hulls from seeds & nuts
- Feathers and food particulates like dried fruit
At feeding and cleaning time usually done in parallel, I start at the top and work my way down.
Here’s a picture of Barney’s cage with three bird food cups integrated into the play stand.
The top right cup where Keto the Ringneck is feeding, contains sunflower seeds and he’s the only one that eats from that dish.
The one below it on the right contains either cockatiel food or parrot food.
The dish on the left where Barney the gray cockatiel is eating, has parakeet mix.
Keto gets 4 or 5 sunflower seeds after the old hulls have been removed.
Both the parakeet food and parrot food dishes are filled to the height of about 1/4 inch.
With so little food in the dishes, there is not a lot to be choosy about so little ends up on the floor.
The ringneck and Quaker get Safflower Gold Parrot, while Barney the cockatiel gets Safflower Gold Conure.
All 3 get Prevue ceramic crocks placed on the bottom grate while sitting atop layered cage paper.
Now the budgies are a different story.
In a perfect world, we would keep all the food on the bottom of their cage But it’s hard to keep it out of the food trajectories.
They will also shred any paper that we put on the bottom grate of the cage
In their case, I put the paper under the grate to collect the poop and seed hulls.
Every once in a while the grate goes into the utility sink in the basement to be cleaned while the tray gets emptied every couple of days and relined with paper.
We’ve had as many as 12 birds in the budgie aviary. You need to be careful about providing enough feeding stations when you have multiple birds so one bird doesn’t block another one from eating due to jealousy or dominance.
The very best product in the world to use for this application is a King’s Tweeky Clean feeder which can be installed both inside and outside of the cage.
Our aviary has three installed which seem to do the job, everybody seems happy and well-fed.
Every day we empty all three Tweeky Clean Feeders into a blue plate that lies on the grate at the bottom of the cage.
The Ringneck and Quaker go downstairs every morning to their countertop work cages where the bowl of food from their home cage follows them but they get fresh water and fresh veggies for breakfast.
The budgies and cockatiel stay upstairs and their waters change at the 4:00 shift when the two parrots get home from work.
At night 30 minutes before the full spectrum lights over all their cages turn off everyone gets “nummies”.
I want to take a minute to talk about lighting and timers particularly because last Sunday was the switch from Daylight Savings Time.
Birds are extraordinarily time-sensitive so we decided years ago that we would not change the timers on any of the birdcage lighting.
That means the lights now turn off and come on at 7:30 instead of 8:30 for the next 6 months and we have to remember to feed the kids their bedtime treats at 7:00 instead of 8:00.
Lastly, I create a simulated artificial sunset by turning off three lights that surround the birdcages so the room gets slightly darker prior to the birdcage lights turning off altogether.
Currently, Keto, Barney, and the budgies each get their own short sprigs of millet before bed.
Chili is not a big fan of millet so he gets a small piece of Avi-Cake.
Every other day, paper in front of the bird cages is replaced but not before the cages are moved about and vacuumed under and behind.
10 ft long sheets of paper then sit in front of the three big cages but I put a 20-in wide piece of paper underneath the long paper but centered underneath the door of each bird cage.
Birds like to sit on the edge of their cage or the cage door to eat and poop and so this dual paper scenario catches the bulk of their social eating mess
At the end of the day, your mindset must be that cleaning bird cages is part of your daily routine. Something that you do like cleaning the house or laundry or anything else.
By following some simple procedures I’ve outlined above cleaning up after your bird should not be a burden no matter how many you have.
Written by Mitch Rezman
Approved by Catherine Tobsing