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The loss of a beloved pet bird is tragic for his owner, and the grieving process can take months. The bird's habitat will need attention. Determining the cause of the bird's demise is an important step when deciding whether to keep it for future residents, donate or dispose of the cage.
Once all the supplies are assembled, the cage can be cleaned. The website Pet Education recommends paper towels or bird cage wipes, sandpaper and a scrub brush or an old toothbrush. A mild antimicrobial solution such as products made from grapefruit-seed extract is a safe choice for disinfecting cages that will house birds again. Owners may choose to use baking soda, club soda and lemon as well as hydrogen peroxide as a bleach alternative.
Remove Toys, Accessories and Droppings
Before the cleansing can commence, toys should be removed from the cage. Drs. Foster and Smith recommend washing the toys with hot soapy water and allowing them to dry. Dishwasher-safe dishes and bottles can be placed in the dishwasher to be sanitized. Once the toys are out, the debris from seeds and droppings can be removed. The bird's cage liner or litter at the bottom of the cage should be thrown away. Scrape any remaining droppings off the sides of the cage with the scrub brush or sandpaper.
Scrubbing and Disinfecting
When the droppings and seeds have been removed, the cage can be washed out with hot, soapy water, or put in the bathtub or shower and washed with a handheld sprayer. Wood perches can be scrubbed with sandpaper before washing to ensure thorough disinfection. When the cage has been washed, it should be sprayed with the owner's choice of disinfectant sprays, according to Pet Education. The cage should be rinsed free of disinfectant after 10 minutes. The floor and walls surrounding the cage will need to be disinfected as well.
The Cage's Future
Once the cage has been thoroughly disinfected, the decision as to its future can be made. Though some owners prefer to keep their cages for a new pet, the cage and its accessories should be disposed of if its former resident died of a contagious disease, according to the Bird Channel. If an autopsy determines that the bird died of natural causes but is no longer wanted, donate it to a reputable animal shelter or wildlife rehabilitation center, where it can serve birds in need.
- Pet Education: Cleaning Your Bird's Cage
- Hagen: Disease Prevention Through Proper Sanitation and Disinfection in an Indoor Psittacine Breeding Facility
- Avian and Exotic Vets: Why Did My Bird Suddenly Die?
- Bird Channel: Loss Of A Pet Bird: What To Do With The Cage
- Bird Channel: Tips to Clean the Pet Bird Mess
- Drs. Foster and Smith: Keep His Toys Clean
- james steidl/iStock/Getty Images