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.
birds wait near this perch for the fresh millet to appear
after an aviary cleaning.
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
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.
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
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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for a description of the Daily Cleaning Tasks