Friday, May 19, 2017


I would like to think that I could train my flock to use the toilet like this fabulous Grey, but...reality's just not going to happen in my lifetime.   Like many of you, I am content or resigned as the case may be to collect soiled papers and a day's worth of toy carnage, and then provide my flock with clean cages and fresh papers on a daily basis.  It's a routine that I'm committed to.  Not my favorite thing to do, but it's part of the big Companion Parrot Picture.

However,  I have to admit that my birds do not have the courtesy to keep their messes within the confines of their cages.    Nut shells get thrown (and then stepped on with bare feet),  food gets thrown and then cleaned up by the canine family members, and droppings sometimes just miss the mark.  It's just how it is.  And, a long time ago I took off all of the aprons around my cages due to space limitations..(I never thought they worked that well, anyway - THEY get dirty, too!). 

I have a few observations about this and I thought I would share them:

1  What are your cages sitting on? If they are located on a carpeted area of your home, you are in for a constant cycle of cleaning up the spots, whether from the flinging of food or the "other."   There are easy alternatives to this to make your life easier.    

A   If you need to leave the cage(s) on carpet, consider buying a few yards of clear plastic carpet runner.    Place it under the cage, extending out where your bird(s) share their mess.   It's much  easier to clean than carpet with just a quick spray of safe cleaner and a rag.
B   Move your cage to an area that has a tiled floor. Again, the mess is very easy to clean up.
C   Buy a remnant of linoleum and place it under the cage area.  Inexpensive fix.

2  Are the aprons on your cages?   If you have the aprons attached to your cages and continue to wipe them down, consider placing sheets of newspaper around them.  Just fold the paper in half and lay it over the entire exposed area with the other half falling over the outside edge.    These can be changed when cage papers are changed.   No fuss. 

3  Resolve the issue from inside the cage.   No matter what your cages are sitting on, you can minimize the projectile droppings from hitting the nearby wall or spraying onto the floor.   Some of our birds are just messier than others, especially one of mine who-shall-remain-nameless.  He's big, he's red, and on a daily basis he does his best to leave his mark on everything except the newsprint at the bottom of his cage.   Most of this issue has been resolved by hanging a piece of heavy plexiglass to the side of his cage which blocks the path of his droppings.  We drilled two holes in the top of the plexiglass and then attached it to the inside of the cage with clevis pins.  You could also use zip ties to hold it on.  If you have lorikeets, you might consider a thin sheet of plexiglass attached to the nearby wall, to save on vertical clean-up!   
4   Do your bottom trays get caught in the crossfire as well?  If they do, and your cage design allows it, just fold a sheet of newspaper in 1/2 and slide it under the bottom grate, and over  the bottom tray with the edge extended to cover the lip of the tray.  It keeps the bottom tray clean and just replace it when you change all of the papers.

So, those are my ideas for solutions that have worked for me.  Literally potty-trained?    Not even close.  But the situation is manageable and not too time consuming.    What works for you and your birds?  Please share in the comment section below.   

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