Clean Spring Fling

When you have a lot of birds, you do a lot of cleaning. Canaries and finches make more mess than a conure, but on a smaller scale. Still, they all need to be cleaned and for the health of the flock, the cleaning has to be consistent and thorough.

Certainly those statements are not a huge revelation to anyone. We all do the best we can. But the warmer weather allows me to do a great shuffling of cages so that all get to come outside and be hosed without greatly inconveniencing the occupants.

My secret is to have as many extra cages as I have in-use cages. No, of course not! Unless I had a warehouse to store them in, that would be silly. I have half as many extra cages. Maybe less. But I can switch the birds over to the clean cages, pull the dirty ones out to the yard, hose and soak and scrub and clean to my Virgo heart’s delight, and then switch out more.

I have three cages like this one in the bird room: One is full of canaries, one is full of finches and a single rosy bourke parakeet, and one has a pair of sun conures. I would prefer to get the conures into a cage more appropriate for them, but at this time is works pretty well.

These cages: are commonly called utility cages, and these are the wider of the two sizes they come in. I have 4 with love bird pairs, and one with a pair of budgies. We don’t use the bottom section on the stands for cages, because it’s too easy to overlook the birds when they run out of food and water or need medical attention. Yes, this is the voice of experience.

Our male Indian ringneck parakeet is in a cage like this: and that covers the bird room.

In the living room, we have 12 cockatiels in two large cages (which apparently aren’t being made any longer). The cages are identical except for color, and the side doors are wire tied open, the cages are lined up so the doors match, and then tied together. This way the teils can be in either side, either cage. It works pretty well. To clean the cages, I need to take two days back to back. I chase all the birds into one side, and Mike closes the doors. We untie the cages, and the empty one goes out to clean. Depending on what else I am doing that day, it might stay out overnight. Then we put it back together, and move all the birds over to the clean one. Repeat with the cleaning, until we have two clean cages again.

My lovebird Jake has this cage: it is right next to my computer desk so he can see me all the time. To clean this one, I just need to put him in any other cage available and suitable for him. You might think that’s a big cage for a little bird, but he is active and gets around through all of it over the course of a day. He used to get unlimited out time before Maynard came along. Maynard has attacked Jake the one time I wasn’t fast enough to stop Jake from coming back into the office. So now Jake never gets out time if Maynard is out. And if you had to choose between an Amazon screaming or a Lovebird screaming, which would you choose?

Beeby and Esme, a half-moon conure and a green cheek conure, have a cage exactly like the two the cockatiels are in. At one time, we did have the three cages tied together, but moving it to clean the floor was unbearably difficult. So we made changes. Because Beeby is so aggressive, it’s fun putting them into a different cage for the day while theirs is being cleaned. I have a spare parrot cage that I slide them into, a smaller one and not as easy to roll around. That’s probably why it’s not in continual use at this time.

Dani, the orange front conure, has a cage to herself due to her vulnerability and special needs. Again, I can’t find a similar cage to link to, and while I don’t claim to be a Google Search Diva, I would think I could have found it by now. The sun conures in the living room are in a very tall cage, similar to the cage Wraith is in, but taller. To clean Dani’s cage, she gets to sit in a carrier for a while, or on my lap. For Sunny and Zazu, they go into the same cage Beeby and Esme got to use.

Next Wednesday I’ll talk about the cages our larger parrots are in, and the outside cages. Have a great week!


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