Parakeet cages need cleaning once a week. It’s a simple matter of emptying the bottom tray and washing it, along with plastic toys and bowls, in hot, soapy water. The bars should be wiped too. Bird-friendly disinfectants can be bought in pet stores, or mixture of one part white vinegar to two parts water is a cheaper and greener solution.
What To Do With A Parakeet When Cleaning The Cage
A hand-tamed parakeet will be able to fly free while you clean his cage, or can easily be placed in a spare cage. Younger, untamed birds may have to stay put in the top part of the cage (placed on the floor) while you sort out the tray.
Whenever you clean the cage, give it a quick check to make sure the fixtures and toys are all in good order, with no rust, mold, or sharp bits.
Clean cage = happy parakeet
Parakeet Cage Trays
Some cage trays include a floor of bars, which the birds’ droppings fall through to the wood shavings beneath. These bars should be thoroughly cleaned as part of the weekly cage makeover.
Wood shavings or sand sheets are the best cage linings. Don’t use loose sand, as the parakeet will eat the grains, a habit that has been implicated in premature parakeet deaths due to a blocked crop (the muscular pouch in the bird's throat, where it can temporarily store swallowed food), or tumors.
Parakeet Sandpaper and Parakeet Sand Sheets
These are still quite popular, and available in most pet stores, and they are sold with the claim that they help keep the parakeets’ toenails trim. However, bear the following in mind:
- The sheets are easy to insert and remove, but there are cheaper alternatives that are just as user-friendly.
- Plain paper or thick, plain, unprinted kitchen towel can be used.
- If you have natural wooden perches in the cage, they provide enough rough texture for the parakeet’s toenails to be kept down to size.
- Parakeets sometimes eat the sand, a habit that has been implicated in digestive problems, blocked crops, and tumors.
- If your parakeet likes walking on the floor of the cage, sandpaper may irritate its feet.