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Cleaning a Bird Cage

You should clean your bird’s cage once a week, and should check up on the cage’s cleanliness every other day or so.


Star Finch - Yellow-headed variety
Star Finch - Yellow-headed variety: keep it clean!

Weekly clean-out:

  • All plastic components in the cage should be washed with hot water. If these plastic parts are particularly dirty, leave them to soak for a few minutes before scrubbing them clean.

  • Wipe down the outside of the cage with a wet cloth. If any parts are harder to clean, for example dried-on much and grime, go over them with a non-wire brush or a sponge (this avoids scratching off any paint).

  • If you notice that hot water isn’t quite cutting it, you can use a Pet Friendly detergent/. A detergent will also be needed if you are cleaning out the cage after the breakout of a disease. Also be sure to wash any pieces of equipment you plan on putting in your bird’s cage, especially antiques or older pieces.

  • If you don’t have any/can’t find any pet-safe detergent, plastic items can be put in the dishwasher for a better clean than stand-alone hot water.

  • Be sure to properly dry and dishes before putting food back in them, wet dishes will cause seed to rot which could lead to illness in your birds. LEave the bowls to dry for a half-hour before putting them back into the cage.

  • It may be a good idea to buy two sets of feeding bowls for your birds so that they don't go seedless whilst you are cleaning them out.

  • Empty and clean the bottom tray, this is where the majority of droppings will fall so be sure that it’s extra clean. The bottom tray should be lined with fresh paper or coarse sawdust.

  • Sweep up any seed husks, food or feathers that may have found their way out of the cage during the past week.


Clean canary cage
Clean cage = happy Canary!

Daily clean cage check

  • Remove any droppings that have glued themselves to the bars, perches or bowls of your cage.

  • Remove any uneaten food

  • Give the birds fresh water, at least once every two days,preferably daily.

While this cleaning guide is all well and good, take into account how your birds will react to all this. New birds that haven’t quite adapted to home life yet will always be a little bit nervous. It will take time for them to get used to your hand. (See, Handling in the Keeping Pet Finches section of this guide).

Once your finches or canaries have grown to view you as nothing more than a harmless creature or a mobile perch, cleaning perches and bars on a daily basis becomes no problem whatsoever. It will take some time to reach this stage of trust with your birds. In the early days of your bird ownership, it will be best to stick to a weekly cleaning routine rather than the daily one. This will minimise stress.

Monthly Cage Checks

Around once a month, a more thorough cage check up will be in order, this will help you make sure that all the more long-term cage items, such as perches, toys etc…, are all in working order and pose no danger to your birds health.

  • Examine cage attachments - this includes cuttlefish bone clips, swings, bells, mirrors, etc - to make sure that they are still all secure and that no sharp edges or toe-snagging holes have developed.

  • Rearrange any furniture, put in new perches, mix up the cage’s set-up a bit. This gives your birds something fresh and new to explore and keeps their minds stimulated. If you are placing in new perches or moving old ones, keep in mind that they have to be kept at the end of the cage.
  • Check all food and water bowls for any signs of wear and tear. Cracks or worn down areas are a potential new home for mites and bacteria. Be sure to keep all food and water containers clean.

  • If you have reached the point where you can safely transfer your finch from one cage to another, or even let the fly freely around the house for a bit, wash out the entire cage with hot soapy water. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly afterwards.

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