Birds do their business just like humans do. Their waste is noxious and toxic, and it can damage hard surfaces such as wood. Indoors, bird droppings can leave harmful germs in your bird’s food, water, toys and bedding. Just as you would clean your bathroom to keep it sanitary, you need to clean outdoor surfaces that have been “decorated” with bird droppings. Your pet bird deserves a clean, sanitary cage as well.
Bird Droppings Outdoors
Soak an old rag or shop paper towel with water and remove droppings that are still wet. Toss the rag or paper towel in the trash. Using a water hose, gently flush the area, then clean it with an all-purpose cleaner. Rinse with the hose. Again, use a gentle stream.
To clean dried droppings, turn the hose on, using low pressure to avoid having germ-infested droppings fly into the air when the water hits them, according to Acme How To. Use a scraper to loosen the now-moistened droppings and toss them into a garbage bag. As with the fresh droppings, clean the area with an all-purpose cleaner and rinse with a gentle stream of water from the garden hose.
For dried droppings and residue that won’t come off wood, you’ll need to use an enzymatic cleaner – one designed for bird droppings. These cleaners can be strong, so use long rubber gloves and wear a face mask. Always use these cleaners in accordance to manufacturer’s instructions. Test the enzymatic cleaner on a hidden spot to ensure it won’t damage the wood. Once you’ve cleaned the droppings away, rinse the surface completely to remove cleaner and any dropping residue. Allow the surface to dry.
Droppings in the Bird Cage
Change cage bedding or liners daily. Moisture leads to mold buildup. Old urine starts to build up ammonia, which will affect your bird’s delicate respiratory system. Wash water and food dishes daily with hot, soapy water. Disinfect them with a sanitizer safe for birds. Use a cleaning cloth that you reserve only for cleaning the bird cage to clean cage grates, bars and perches. Soak the cloth in a solution of white vinegar and water -- 50 percent each, recommends the Cockatiel Cottage website.
Monthly Deep Cleaning
Give the cage a complete disinfecting once a month to deter bacterial buildup. Clean the cage in the bathtub while the bird is in another room, since fumes from the cleaner can injure him. Douse the cage with hot water, then clean every inch of the cage with a stiff brush. A solution of 1 ounce bleach to 10 parts water is sufficient to disinfect his cage. Once you have completely rinsed the cage, dry it with a clean cloth.
Why Cleanliness is so Important for your Bird
Outdoors birds can easily fly away from a spot where they've just emptied their bowels or bladders. Your bird can’t. If you allow waste to build up, mold spores can accumulate, making your bird very ill.
Once the droppings dry, they can release dust when they're moved. Again, this dust will enter your bird’s beak and respiratory system. If his cage is allowed to get dirty enough, even flapping his wings will release noxious dust, potentially making him sick.
Genevieve Van Wyden began writing in 2007. She has written for “Tu Revista Latina” and owns three blogs. She has worked as a CPS social worker, gaining experience in the mental-health system. Van Wyden earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from New Mexico State University in 2006.