Cleaning Schedule

Daily Tasks

Weekly Tasks




Cleaning Schedule

In addition to a well-balanced diet; clean, sanitary living quarters is essential to keeping healthy birds. When it comes to cleaning the aviary, there isn't a single overwhelming task that takes all my time, but rather the cumulative effect of a number of small tasks. Over time, I have found ways to improve upon my routine to make cleaning the aviary more efficient.

Establish a Schedule

The birds wait near this perch for the fresh millet to appear after an aviary cleaning.

Establishing a schedule has worked really well for me. It accomplishes a couple of things. First, it helps ensure I don't forget anything. Because I do the same things at relatively the same times each day/week, the routine becomes second nature and I never forget to change the water, change the paper floor liner, prepare fresh food, etc.

More importantly, I believe the birds are less stressed when I'm on a schedule. They become accustomed to me invading the aviary space at certain times for certain tasks and there is very little commotion caused by my intrusion. Sometimes they come to expect certain things at certain times. In the morning, when they first get up, they start immediately looking for the plate of fresh food I provide. After I finish the weekly aviary cleaning, they start visiting the perch I place the millet spray near (normally not a very popular perch) waiting for the fresh millet to appear. Therefore, I believe the birds recognize consistency and that it has a stress-reducing effect on them.

Frequency of Cleanings

There are a few tasks that I believe must be done on a daily basis. The rest can be left for the weekly cleaning. The more invasive the task, the more preferable it be done on a weekly basis. For example, I don't see a great advantage to cleaning the perches every day. Although they do get soiled, they don't collect nearly as many droppings as does the aviary floor (strategic perch placement is helpful here) and droppings on perches are not as big a concern as droppings that accumulate near food and water. Cleaning perches is a very intrusive task - you must get right in the aviary with the birds. This is stressful for the birds and I believe the harm caused by this extra stress on a daily basis outweighs the benefit of having extra clean perches.

This is exponentially more important when your birds are breeding. Some species/individuals are very tolerant to interference when breeding, but many are not so forgiving. Too much interference could cause eggs or hatchlings to be abandoned or tossed from the nest. A hand-off approach is often recommended for these birds, even at the cost of a little less sanitary environment.

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