Birds often have "accidents" on their toys and perches as well as intentionally goop them up with regurgitated food. Toys and other cage accessories that have been pooped on can harbor dangerous bacteria and pose a risk of infection to your bird. In our article Maintaining a Clean Environment we laid out a recommended routine as well as some helpful hints for cleaning your bird's cage. It is also important to incorporate the inspection and cleaning of toys and perches into your weekly environmental plan.
The nature of the materials used in a particular toy or perch dictates the appropriate cleaning procedure to follow:
Plastic or Acrylic
- If they won't melt, plastic and acrylic toys can best be disinfected by washing them in the dishwasher.
- If you need to clean wood toys, don't soak them. It is best to scrape off any fecal matter and then wipe them with a damp cloth or sand the soiled area until clean. If your bird loves to dunk his toys beware that moisture can promote bacterial growth and the toys should either be discarded or thoroughly cleaned and dried in a low temperature oven (250°) before returning them to your bird.
Cloth, Leather or Rope
- Again, don't soak these materials for extended periods. You can clean them by brushing or scraping off any solid waste material and then hand washing them with soap and water followed by a thorough rinse. These items should be dried thoroughly before returning them to your bird's cage.
- Cement perches have lots of nooks and crannies where bacteria can hide. They should be soaked in a dilute bleach solution (1/2 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water) and scrubbed weekly.
When using a cleaner or disinfectant be sure to remove all chunky organic material (food, poop) prior to cleaning so that the disinfectant can operate effectively. Remember to always use bird-safe cleaning products and to remove your bird from any room where you are using cleaners.
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