Cleaning.

MissMac

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2021
180
Media
15
Albums
3
276
Parrots
Females, Lutino Indian Ringneck Missy and Silver Lavender IRN Gracie.
Hi all, I have a major problem that I simply didn't think of when getting my, now two, female IRN's.

Bird mess. Have any of you got tips and tricks to keep the cleaning of the birds easier and to a minimum?

I have had birds as pets for a lot of my life, but they had always been caged or only allowed out if I were there, and considering I was working full time and a parent of two, at the time, young boys, it definitely wasn't long. I can't recall this being an issue with previous birds.

My two girls are out all day, from when I get up till when they go to bed. They are both clipped so they don't fly much and they are pretty much confined to the complex that I have built for them, which is big. See photo.

I have a very large food tray that I keep all their food and water on for the day and this is taken down at night and cleaned. So it isn't food mess that is the problem... it's what comes out the other end.

How do you keep on top of all their pooping? I have a bad spine and it's just getting too much for me to handle and it's affecting my mental health too. I feel like I am living in filth and I don't know how to make it easier for me to keep clean. They poop like every 10 minutes and add this up over a day and it's a lot. Sure I could watch them and clean up after every poop but I have things to do that are more important than becoming the poop monitor. I love them but my mental state isn't coping with this well.

Please don't judge me for not thinking of this before getting them. My spinal condition is relatively new to me and having, basically free range birds, is also new to me. I only have the one cage for the both of them so caging them more, even tho it might help, I don't think it will help them to be basically locked in and not able to be with me, on me, at will. I am sure their mental state would suffer from doing that.... no matter how many toys I were to give them to play with. I am also on disability so buying another cage will be costly for me, and being in a small home, would mean I would have to shrink their play gym to accommodate the new cage.

I know that there is going to come a time in the not too distant future that I will have to release my girls to a new home as I simply won't have the space for them anymore. Being disabled means I cannot afford to rent and I am on priority listing for housing which, if successful, will mean I will have to downsize to one room. It's not something that I am looking forward too as I do love my girls but I do have to think of their health too.

I am lost and I am struggling. Any help with kind intentions will be greatly appreciated.
 

Attachments

  • 20220410_130824.jpg
    20220410_130824.jpg
    279.4 KB · Views: 38

ShanCaz

Member
Jul 21, 2022
20
34
Parrots
Sun Conure
Green Cheek Conure
You should consider potty training videos for birds! I personally haven’t tried it myself so I can’t give much advice (although I want to try it musket). You should look up videos or for help on here from people who are more experienced with that type of training. That should help. Your set up looks large so I would put various potty spots just incase.

Hopefully that will mean less of a mess to clean up so that your birds don’t have to be inside their cage for too long. You are right about it not being good for their mental or physical health.
 
OP
MissMac

MissMac

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2021
180
Media
15
Albums
3
276
Parrots
Females, Lutino Indian Ringneck Missy and Silver Lavender IRN Gracie.
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
You should consider potty training videos for birds! I personally haven’t tried it myself so I can’t give much advice (although I want to try it musket). You should look up videos or for help on here from people who are more experienced with that type of training. That should help. Your set up looks large so I would put various potty spots just incase.

Hopefully that will mean less of a mess to clean up so that your birds don’t have to be inside their cage for too long. You are right about it not being good for their mental or physical health.
I've been wary of potty training as some "experts" in bird behaviour suggest that it can cause the birds to "hold it in" till they can get to the correct elimination place and thusly would start to cause constipation. I will look into the videos and see if I can work with it in some way. Many thanks.
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
3,132
5,600
How about a swiffer mop, or a cleaning pad on a long wand?

I have an o-cedar brand scrubbing wand for my bath and shower so I can stand and scrub it.

I have trained a few birds to potty in certain areas and it’s worked ok for me. The main problem is if you teach them to poop on paper, don’t leave any important documents out.
 
OP
MissMac

MissMac

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2021
180
Media
15
Albums
3
276
Parrots
Females, Lutino Indian Ringneck Missy and Silver Lavender IRN Gracie.
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
How about a swiffer mop, or a cleaning pad on a long wand?

I have an o-cedar brand scrubbing wand for my bath and shower so I can stand and scrub it.

I have trained a few birds to potty in certain areas and it’s worked ok for me. The main problem is if you teach them to poop on paper, don’t leave any important documents out.
I have a steam mop for my floors but I have to stand on a chair to properly reach the platform so it's hard for me to hold it and use it there. I bought a window steam cleaner for the birds platform but it doesn't lift of dried poop. Those ones need scouring and I have to do that with a scrubbing brush... more back breaking.
If I am successful in potty training them I will definitely keep documents out of sight... I do now tho as Missy likes to leave her mark on paper... beak bite here and a beak bite there kind of thing.
 

LeeC

Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2019
309
Media
2
347
Harrisburg, PA
Parrots
Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
I've been wary of potty training as some "experts" in bird behaviour suggest that it can cause the birds to "hold it in" till they can get to the correct elimination place and thusly would start to cause constipation. I will look into the videos and see if I can work with it in some way. Many thanks.
@MissMac Please update us. I heard the same, about potty-training being a bad idea. I'd love to know if you find better info.
 
OP
MissMac

MissMac

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2021
180
Media
15
Albums
3
276
Parrots
Females, Lutino Indian Ringneck Missy and Silver Lavender IRN Gracie.
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
@MissMac Please update us. I heard the same, about potty-training being a bad idea. I'd love to know if you find better info.
Will do LeeC. I've only heard it from Bird Tricks that this is bad. I have heard from those that do it that there has been no issue.
 

LeeC

Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2019
309
Media
2
347
Harrisburg, PA
Parrots
Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
@MissMac, your photo helps a lot! I know the feeling of never-ending cleanup due to "full-liberty" parrots. Mine are all fully flighted, but they mostly poop where they perch and hang out. I put paper (brown paper from shipping packages and I bought white butcher paper on a big roll) under those places. That helps a lot.

Are these the two main areas where you get droppings?

1664138449550.png
 

LeeC

Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2019
309
Media
2
347
Harrisburg, PA
Parrots
Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
Will do LeeC. I've only heard it from Bird Tricks that this is bad. I have heard from those that do it that there has been no issue.
I think it comes down to the specifics of the training. Barbara Heidenreich is a reputable source.

However there are some important rules about potty training your parrot. If done incorrectly parrots can learn to “hold it” for hours until they hear their cue or are allowed access to a place for pooping. This can be very unhealthy for a parrot.
 
OP
MissMac

MissMac

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2021
180
Media
15
Albums
3
276
Parrots
Females, Lutino Indian Ringneck Missy and Silver Lavender IRN Gracie.
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #10
Are these the two main areas where you get droppings?
Yea there but they also over hang their little asses sometimes. I have plastic vinyl mats on the floor surrounding the complex so it catches poop and any food (why do my birds like to take things to the edge and simply... let it go?), but it seems to spread... seed goes everywhere even tho it sits in the middle of a large tray. Gracie is a flicker. She will flick till she finds a seed she likes and it seems Missy has caught on to do this now. They have their own bowl but for some reason, (my birds don't get along) whatever bird is eating out of one bowl, the other has to have it and Missy will pick up the bowl and toss it, if she doesn't get her way. Thankfully she hasn't over-turned one yet but it get's close.
 

LeeC

Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2019
309
Media
2
347
Harrisburg, PA
Parrots
Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
Yea there but they also over hang their little asses sometimes. I have plastic vinyl mats on the floor surrounding the complex so it catches poop and any food (why do my birds like to take things to the edge and simply... let it go?), but it seems to spread... seed goes everywhere even tho it sits in the middle of a large tray. Gracie is a flicker. She will flick till she finds a seed she likes and it seems Missy has caught on to do this now. They have their own bowl but for some reason, (my birds don't get along) whatever bird is eating out of one bowl, the other has to have it and Missy will pick up the bowl and toss it, if she doesn't get her way. Thankfully she hasn't over-turned one yet but it get's close.
I love my parrots, but they can be tough to keep up with.
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
3,132
5,600
I have done potty training just by praising the bird when he goes where I prefer him to go.

I wait until the bird gets squirmy and then hold it over a garbage can or paper or whatever and say “go potty!” Then praise as soon as the potty happens in the desired place.

When my bird is on his basket I praise him for going on the paper in his basket. Which is where he’d logically poop. But I want him to know that’s his place to go. Or if I put him back in his cage and he poops then I tell him “good potty!” “Good smart bird!” So it’s not like he has to go someplace rare but just to go in his cage, into his basket, into the garbage can, onto the newspaper on the table…

I haven’t had a problem with birds holding it.

I wouldn’t want to be restrictive about where they should go, but always have a place available.
 
OP
MissMac

MissMac

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2021
180
Media
15
Albums
3
276
Parrots
Females, Lutino Indian Ringneck Missy and Silver Lavender IRN Gracie.
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #13
I love my parrots, but they can be tough to keep up with.
Same here.
I love them but they are so messy.

I love them but they are so loud. I love them but they can be very picky with food.

I still love them, even tho they seem to have taken over my entire living room and I have to keep anything of value (my art) well away from them.
It is somewhat sad, that you never see a video on YouTube from a parrot owner saying all this. A video showing the down side to owning birds these days. I've had birds for most of my life but it is only recently that the "experts" insist on not keeping them caged (If I had fish should I make them a lake or a stream so they can free roam?). Domesticated IRNs have DOUBLE THE LIFESPAN to their wild counterparts. Yet wild IRN's is their natural state... they live less years in their natural state. They were wild before they became tame, so living 30 years, twice as long, is NOT natural for IRN's.

Right now, because of my life situation with, not only my disability, but with my housing issue, I doubt I will have them for those possible 30 years.
 

LeeC

Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2019
309
Media
2
347
Harrisburg, PA
Parrots
Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
Same here.
I love them but they are so messy.

I love them but they are so loud. I love them but they can be very picky with food.

I still love them, even tho they seem to have taken over my entire living room and I have to keep anything of value (my art) well away from them.
It is somewhat sad, that you never see a video on YouTube from a parrot owner saying all this. A video showing the down side to owning birds these days. I've had birds for most of my life but it is only recently that the "experts" insist on not keeping them caged (If I had fish should I make them a lake or a stream so they can free roam?). Domesticated IRNs have DOUBLE THE LIFESPAN to their wild counterparts. Yet wild IRN's is their natural state... they live less years in their natural state. They were wild before they became tame, so living 30 years, twice as long, is NOT natural for IRN's.

Right now, because of my life situation with, not only my disability, but with my housing issue, I doubt I will have them for those possible 30 years.
I got my first pet of any kind, which was my first companion parrot 3 1/2 years ago. I was inclined to have him out as much as possible. Within a few days, he was "full liberty", without any guidance to do so. They need room to fly and they need flight for good mental and physical health. My house happens to be open-floorplan, with high ceilings. I wanted them to have the space. They only really make a mess at their main perching spots, so their having "free range" isn't really the problem. It's just the challenge of one me, and multiple them. :]
 

LeeC

Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2019
309
Media
2
347
Harrisburg, PA
Parrots
Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
It is somewhat sad, that you never see a video on YouTube from a parrot owner saying all this. A video showing the down side to owning birds these days.
Interesting point. I've seen a few videos that try to warn people about what it's really like to keep a parrot, but those videos are rare indeed.

Domesticated IRNs have DOUBLE THE LIFESPAN to their wild counterparts. Yet wild IRN's is their natural state... they live less years in their natural state. They were wild before they became tame, so living 30 years, twice as long, is NOT natural for IRN's.

As I understand it, parrots are not domesticated. That requires many generations of very selective breeding, which is just not possible or practical with parrots. Selective breeding means only breeding the ones that have good characteristics for human companionship--and do not have incompatible behavior tendencies.. Mean dogs would not be bred, for example.

I have heard that captive parrots live longer; yet, we know relatively little about wild parrots. I care as much about their quality of life as their longevity. It is quite challenging to give them a decent life in captivity. They are birds. Birds fly. Decent quality of life includes flight. It also includes an opposite-sex, same-species companion, as they are engineered by Nature to bond with for life. "We" try to give them extra plastic "toys" to compensate for not getting to fly or have a proper companion. It makes me sad for them.

I have encountered numerous, serious challenges with giving them same-species, opposite-sex companions. Letting them fly in my house is pretty easy.
 

LeeC

Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2019
309
Media
2
347
Harrisburg, PA
Parrots
Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
@MissMac, I hadn't thought to mention, I have a nice, long, dragonwood perch over my kitchen sink (side to side). My one Senegal uses it a lot. I get to rinse those droppings away, but I have to be careful about where I leave things in the sink, and once in a while, she drops on the faucet.
 
OP
MissMac

MissMac

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2021
180
Media
15
Albums
3
276
Parrots
Females, Lutino Indian Ringneck Missy and Silver Lavender IRN Gracie.
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #17
@MissMac, I hadn't thought to mention, I have a nice, long, dragonwood perch over my kitchen sink (side to side). My one Senegal uses it a lot. I get to rinse those droppings away, but I have to be careful about where I leave things in the sink, and once in a while, she drops on the faucet.
I have what I call, The Freedom Bridge, for my birds that goes from their complex to a window perch so they can sit there and watch the comings and goings in the street. I have a piece of paper under that. I need to think of a way to make it "two way" as Missy often corners Gracie there and Gracie is forced to take flight.
 

Littleredbeak

Well-known member
May 27, 2020
616
844
I think I would be going thru at least 20 sets of diapers a day - each bird. They poop every 10 minutes.
You don't change them everything they poop. You do need to change them when they get full tho. I used them for a chicken before.
 

Most Reactions

Latest posts

Top