Cleaning Pet Bird
& Bird Accessories
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Your Pet Bird's cage is it's home. It's vitally important
to their Health to keep that home Clean and free of pathogens.
In the bird's cage or aviary, water & food containers are perfect
breeding environments for all sorts of pathogens. Egg and
other soft foods sitting in the warm sun invite salmonella, ecoli
and other bacteria to grow. Bird feces on perches spread bacteria
and release dangerous airborne viruses. Corners and crevices in
cages and aviaries that are difficult to clean are ideal breeding
places for bacteria, fungi and viruses. And, the more birds you
keep together the greater the risk of infection and the easier it
Prevention of Disease Starts with a Clean Bird Cage
If you prevent diseases from getting to your birds it is much
easier and much less expensive than trying to treat an
infection after it manifests and spreads.
Cleaning your bird's cage is the cheapest investment in bird
health you will ever make. Don't wait to lose a bird or for
one to get sick as a wake-up call to do a better job
of cleaning and disinfecting
What to Use to Clean & Disinfect Bird Cages
In order to create the safest environment for your pet birds, you need
to not only clean the bird's cages and perches but also disinfect.
Many people think that if a product says that it "kills
germs" it's doing a good job of protecting their birds from
disease. This is not the case. There are a host of pathogens that
can harm birds and soap is not going to protect them.
Soap and water are great as a first line of defense, but
all you are doing is removing most of the organic material
and reducing the pathogenic population. But, soap does not
kill many pathogens.
Remember this: disinfectants are toxic. That is why they work.
Because they are toxic, there is always a risk in using them.
Birds are far more sensitive to the environment than humans.
Their respiratory systems are different and their metabolisms
are much higher than ours, making them much more vulnerable
to chemicals, spores, bacteria and viruses.
* Chlorine sodium hypochlorite: household bleach
Bleaches are very harsh but very effective disinfectants. However,
bleach creates toxic fumes as it dries which can be especially
irritating to birds with their efficient respiratory systems
(especially to young birds and especially through repeated
Bleach must only be used with considerable ventilation and
should never be used around birds.
Bleach is tough on metal. It will seriously shorten the life of
any metal object it contacts.
* Chlorhexadine: Nolvasan, Virosan
These are safe products to use routinely. They are more expensive
than bleach, and although safer, according to the manufacturer,
should not be used when birds are present.
They are effective against many but not all, bacteria and
yeast (especially candida), they are not effective against
giardia, most viruses, mycobacteria spores and pseudomonas.
* Stabilized Chlorine Dioxide:
Stabilized chlorine dioxide is a chlorine derivative which
is a powerful oxidizing agent. It can destroy many pathogens,
including bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. Chlorine dioxide
deactivates avian polyomavirus. Many studies have suggested
that stabilized chlorine dioxide is a superior disinfecting agent to bleach
for use around pet birds.
It is used in Europe to treat drinking water because it does
not form carcinogenic by-products like bleach does. There are
very few products that are both effective and can be safely
used around birds, stabilized chlorine dioxide appears to
be the best choice available for aviculturists today.
At the present, the only stabilized chlorine dioxide products
available is a product called Cleansing Gel.
Cleansing Gel is a cleaner containing stabilized chlorine
dioxide. It is excellent for routine cleaning of cages and
aviaries as it will clean and provide some disinfectant
protection. Plus, it is not harmful. It is also an excellent
washing/soaking solution for syringes, food dishes, feeders and
water containers. For hard surfaces, the solution is sprayed on
and then wiped off after a 5 minute exposure.
These products are reasonably priced, and are Effective and
Safe to be used around birds.
Schedule for Cleaning Bird's Cages & Accessories
Food and Water Containers: Use only plastic, glass or stainless
containers. These clean and disinfect much better than other
materials. Buy two sets of containers so that you can use one set
while the other is being cleaned, disinfected and dried. Mark
them so that the containers are returned to the same cage or
Wash and thoroughly clean every container, every day
in Cleansing Gel. Don't forget to wash the bottoms
also. Rinse thoroughly.
Spray exposed aviary or cage surfaces with Cleansing
Gel (diluted 1Tbs. per quart of hot water). Wait 5 minutes and
wipe off. At least once a week treat all surfaces after cleaning
with a good disinfectant.
Bi Weekly Cleaning
Remove perches & toys and scrub with stiff brush and Cleansing
Gel. Rinse thoroughly.
Rinse and allow to dry thoroughly before returning to cage.
Cleaning Cages: Remove birds from cages and scrub cages with stiff brush,
soap and hot water and treat with Cleansing Gel. Rinse
Allow cage to dry thoroughly before reintroducing birds.
Cleaning Indoor & Outdoor Aviaries
Completely scrub all surfaces, including aviary wire with a
stiff brush, soap and hot water and treat with Cleansing
Gel. Rinse thoroughly.
Cleansing Gel is Safe for your
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