Everyone likes a new look. Freshening the living room with a new wall color, finding a fresh and lively area rug and moving a few pieces of furniture around for a more efficient flow to the room are all ways to modernize, to make things more interesting and to ensure your environment doesn’t get stale.
Most people enjoy doing this to their homes now and again and it really doesn’t take much to make things fresher and more pleasant.
You can do the same thing in your pet bird’s cage to change things up and make it more fun for her. There are many ways to do this but it all starts with a good cleaning.
Start by removing your bird. Then remove all of the cage furniture. Take out all of the perches, the bowls and the toys. Spruce them up by running everything these cage accessories through the dishwasher. Ensure the only accessories you put in the dishwasher are those that will survive the dishwasher cycles and high temperature. Stainless steel bowls and most wood perches should be fine.
Remove any cage papers and discard and remove the bottom cage tray as well as the bottom grate and either wash them outside using a scrubber and the hose or you can simply pop them the tub to soak in hot water and a little cleaner.
If you have a place outside to wash your cage, have at it. Get it outside and hose it down thoroughly. If you have to wash your cage in side move it to an area where the floor can get wet. In lieu of this, a large piece of plastic or tarp placed and the floor underneath the cage works quite well.
Using a bird safe cleaner in a spray bottle, spray down the cage and let it do its job by letting it soak for a while. Most cleaners need time to do the magic and this soaking process will simply making the job easier.
Once the cleaning fluid has been soaking for a few minutes, use a toothbrush to get into all of the nooks and crannies to ensure all of the little bits of fried on food, dander, dust, and pellet pieces are off of the cage and onto the plastic or onto the ground.
Using a microfiber cloth, wipe down all of the bars on the inside as well as the outside of the cage. You might have to reach through some of the little doors that swing out to replace the food and water bowls, but try and get every surface thoroughly.
Move on to the top of the cage and ensure that is completely wiped down and free of any dust and debris both on top of the bars as well as below them. Powder down species such as Cockatoos and African Greys shake off an enormous amount of this down so cleaning this powder down as well as the dander off of the cage is important for their health as well as making it more pleasant for them.
When your dishwasher contents are clean and fresh, you can set them in a sunny spot to dry off and freshen them up. Sunlight will not sterilize anything, nor will it disinfect anything, but it does reduce the amount of bacteria on them. The ultraviolet rays help reduce this bacteria that is essentially everywhere. Those same beams of light that can cause sunburn and skin cancer, essentially do the same type of damage to bacteria, as well as other micro-organisms. It kills them. So use the sun to help keep your bird’s accessories clean.
Once everything is clean and dry, it is time to reassemble the cage. Put the grate and the bottom tray back in place and cover the bottom grate with newspaper if that is how you set up your cage.
Now it is time for a little creativity. You are going to want to try and move things around a bit for your bird, making it a bit of a challenge to her when she moves from place to place within her home. This exercise as well as the stimulation of having to gauge how far she need to reach to get on a perch or reach to play with a toy gives her problem solving skills a work out. Place the perches in different spots and ensure that they can reach their toys from these new positions. But don’t make it too easy. Companion birds need exercise and this is one way to ensure that they get some by moving around their homes. There are all kinds of perches available. Manzanita and bottle brush are both excellent choices as well as rope perches which are very easy on their feet. Sand or cement perches are simply not recommended not are just a plain dowel perch. Include different perch size and dimensions as well as perches made of different materials.
Replace the toys with new, fresh ones except for those long loved favorites she can’t be without. If you have multiple cages with multiple birds, you trade them out and place those toys into another’s cage for a toy that is new to that bird. This simply makes things more interesting for them.
Now that her home is clean and fresh with new toys and new places to perch, put your bird back into her updated home. Now you can sit back and admire your hard work and watch your bird play happily in her new looking digs!