Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ahhh, the Cleaning Issue

This post co-written by Yo-yo.

Keeping up with all the cleaning involved with parrots is not easy- the myriad ways they have to make extreme mess must be kept in some massive secret manifest of parrots somewhere, because there is no way they could keep up with them otherwise. Of course starting this long list is the obvious poop, also known as fecal matter, natural waste, and some other far less polite terms- often brought out when you find you are the recipient of their gift after you are in your board meeting, or perhaps when your house guest finds a little once-gooey packet on their suit case. If you are really lucky, you have a poop shooter- Lola is terrible for that, it comes from so many years in a tiny cage bringing out her clean nest instinct. Several years later, and she will poop inside her cage on special occasions, mostly she shoots it out the bars. Yep, fun. Particularly for visitors that make the error of standing near the cage.

Moving on, there is of course the issue of tossed food. I am sure you have all heard about the important mission shared by all parrots, to populate their respective habitat with new plants by throwing most of their food, and therefore most of their food's seeds, to the ground. Parrots take this very seriously. For any of you who do not believe parrots are making your house wild, and are instead thinking that keeping them in a house makes the parrots tame, simply look at your wall and floor after a nice meal. Yep. They win. I could go on and on, from the feathers and dust, to the wood chips, to the water stains after a bath... it goes on and on.

Keeping up with that mess, as I said, is not easy for anyone. Most people today have very busy life styles, which makes it only that much harder. This is a time when a schedule makes things easier. Decide when and how often you need to change the paper, wipe down the bars, clean perches, etc., find that time, and stick to it. Perhaps change the paper right after feeding, wipe the cage down quickly before bed, and take an hour, or however long you need, on Sunday afternoon to check over and scrub away accumulated waste. Once a habit, a little time here and there will keep it from becoming such a huge disaster, however much potential your parrots hold in that area. It will be hard at first if it is not something you already do, since setting a new habit is not easy.

To make it easier, keep everything you need right by the cage. So, in my case, I have a box with several cleaning rags, the cleaner I use, another spray bottle with plain water, several different kinds of brushes, from a toothbrush to a wire one for perches, a plastic putty knife (very useful, if you do not have one, get one!), a scrubby sponge and a soft sponge. I also have a small brush and dust pan and a larger broom.

Along with that I have the roll of paper I use for the cages (it is the end of the roll from the local newspaper, un-printed) and a pair of scissors specifically for cutting the paper. Sounds obvious, but for a while I had temper-tantrums over lost scissors, so now I have a nice little kiddie pair from my childhood, bright pink, that is kept on top of the roll (huge sigh of relief from the parrots on that one!)

So whenever I go to clean the cages, I have everything I need right there. This means the task is much more streamlined, and much faster. Now, my supplies are whatever works, and kept in a cardboard box, hardly picture worthy. However, if it will make you feel happy, go find a nice basket or bucket and pretty shiny cleaning stuff. I have to admit, it does make it more cheerful, even if not necessary. A good playlist doesn't hurt, either!


iskra said...

I'm not a huge fan of cage cleaning, but it has to be done :) I use Poopswoop and Aviclean, so those two make my cleaning easier.

Meg said...

Yep! I think Aviclean is very similar to the cleaner I use, basic enzyme cleaner.

Coco said...

Phooey. Today's a cleaning day here. Not looking forward to it.

Meg said...

Ha! I had about a 1/3 cleaning day here, since there was no power to do it properly. But power now, yay!