Grease on wings

HannahandSunny

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Jan 13, 2019
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Hi everyone.
We have a bad mouse problem in the aviary and the mice have been eating the boys food. A few weeks ago my partner made a bird feeder, a metal pole that is dug into the ground with the feeder on top. He greased the bottom of the pole to prevent the mice being able to climb up it. We thought it should be okay as the boys are too nervous to go onto the floor of the aviary.
Well this morning I noticed Percy has grease on his wings and tail, and a tiny bit on Gizmos chest where Percy has probably brushed passed Giz.
I have caught them both, and brought them inside for a clean. We used warm water and a small amount dishwashing liquid. They are not tame at all so all of this is very distressing for them. Therefore I tried doing it quickly as possible. I have them in a small cage in the bedroom so they can keep warm as it?s pouring with rain and very cold outside. It?s been a few hours now and I can see Percy still has quite a bit still on of his wings. He can fly fine. But I?m really worried about him cleaning himself and dying from it!
What should I do?!
 

SailBoat

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As always, your instinct is correct. In North America we hav Dawn (original) disk washing soap. And lots of cool rise water. It is used extensively for Avians that experience oil spills. As you know, always wash in the outward direction of the feather. It will take longer for them to dry and flight will also take a bit longer than normal.

Assure that they are keep in a warming area, because it is your Winter time.
 

Noahs_Birds

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First of all what mesh are you using on the aviary and what flooring? If youโ€™re able to fix the mice problem first hand there should be no need to use grease and high up feeders.
 
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HannahandSunny

HannahandSunny

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Cockatiels. Percy & Gizmo

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Thank you for your response sailboat. Glad to hear that dishwashing liquid is the best way to go. Thankfully itโ€™s not all over his body so hopefully wonโ€™t effect his ability to stay warm too much. But of course Iโ€™ve kept them both indoors tonight to be cautious.
I will give Percys wings another clean in the morning, And they can stay indoors another day if need be. Luckily neither of the boys are covered too badly in the grease, so hopefully they will be okay. Itโ€™s just mostly a patch on one of percys wings. Letโ€™s hope if he consumes it, that it wonโ€™t make him too sick..
Iโ€™m so annoyed at myself :(
 
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HannahandSunny

HannahandSunny

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First of all what mesh are you using on the aviary and what flooring? If you?re able to fix the mice problem first hand there should be no need to use grease and high up feeders.

The mesh on the sides is regular aviary mesh I think. But the problem is them coming in from the floor. They have dug holes under and into the aviary. Stupidly I didn?t think of mice being problem when I put the aviary there.. I wanted the boys to be able to access the soil and grass for natural digging of roots and shoots. But yes in hindsight we should have concreted the floor.
Tomorrow we are doing maintenance to the aviary. Jon will dig up the mice holes and we Will will put a layer of stones/gravel on the floor and then natural put Red gum chips down. I know this will not stop the mice. But it means it?s a fresh start and I can block up holes as soon as I see one appearing.
The mice are a bain of our life at the moment, they are everywhere in our cottage too. It?s a nightmare
 

Noahs_Birds

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You can just put 5mm mesh across the floor. Grass will still grow through eventually and just put a layer of mulch or sand down over the top. You have to use 5mm mesh, the other stuff mice can squeeze through easily
 
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HannahandSunny

HannahandSunny

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Thank you for your help Noah!
We did the aviary up today, The boys are back out and the 2 new budgie boys have joined them. All are happy, chirpy and enjoying their new environment and friends.
PfglTNM.jpg

ngWgFTT.jpg

a1D3TsB.jpg
 
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AmyMyBlueFront

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Thank you for your help Noah!
We did the aviary up today, The boys are back out and the 2 new budgie boys have joined them. All are happy, chirpy and enjoying their new environment and friends.
PfglTNM.jpg

ngWgFTT.jpg

a1D3TsB.jpg

Very nice Hannah! Yes the boys look happy..all smiling for the camera.


Jim
 

wrench13

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Hannah what kind of 'grease' was used? There are all sorts of grease, depending on its intended use. Some have high molybdenum content or sulphur or other additives, which would definitely make them not usable for this specific application.

Love the aviary you made BTW. Wish I had the resources to make one like yours!
 
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HannahandSunny

HannahandSunny

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Hannah what kind of 'grease' was used? There are all sorts of grease, depending on its intended use. Some have high molybdenum content or sulphur or other additives, which would definitely make them not usable for this specific application.

Love the aviary you made BTW. Wish I had the resources to make one like yours!

Unfortunately my partner isn?t too sure what kind of grease it was. He tried to find one in the shed that seemed plain and simple.. but we don?t know. I was extremely concerned that it could possibly have harmful chemicals/toxins in it. Thankfully a few days have passed and Percy seems happy and healthy. But I will keep a close eye on him.
Said grease has since been wiped clean from pole. Will never be so stupid again!
 

Scott

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Chiming in late Hannah, your aviary is stunning! Might need a second touch-up cleaning to remove last bits of grease, unless you deem that too disrupting!
 

Kitekeeper

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Hi Hannah,

I was wondering if keeping the feeders hanging from the ceiling instead of having the pole feeder would not solve the problem of mice eating their food too.

Glad to hear everything is fine now.
 

soozannah

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The mesh on the sides is regular aviary mesh I think. But the problem is them coming in from the floor. They have dug holes under and into the aviary. Stupidly I didn?t think of mice being problem when I put the aviary there.. I wanted the boys to be able to access the soil and grass for natural digging of roots and shoots. But yes in hindsight we should have concreted the floor.
Tomorrow we are doing maintenance to the aviary. Jon will dig up the mice holes and we Will will put a layer of stones/gravel on the floor and then natural put Red gum chips down. I know this will not stop the mice. But it means it?s a fresh start and I can block up holes as soon as I see one appearing.
The mice are a bain of our life at the moment, they are everywhere in our cottage too. It?s a nightmare
The mice will still be able to get in and will drive you nuts. To prevent this you can use pavers. You can also use in conjunction or by itself, sheet metal. Cut strips between 6" and 24" wide and as long as you can manage. Then dig a trench or hammer the strips into the ground and overlap them(I think 24" best but most think it's overkill... uh... so to speak) all around the perimeter bottom. Ensure the bottom of your aviary is heavy and there are no gaps between the bottom, the ground and the sheet metal. When you put the sheet metal strips around the bottom, leave a tiny bit sticking out so you'll know they are there. You might consider placing pavers under your aviary as well as in the center if still possible. Then you can use caulk around the bottom and sink or bury the sheet metal vertically to prevent digging under the bottom of the aviary. This is a bit of an over doing it though as the animals that would dig under then dig up most of them can't get past the pavers. It's been my experience however, rats especially will always find some way to get in. You must consider all predators and others such as raccoons, opossums, squirrels, moles, voles, mice, rats, predatory birds, bugs, even bats - all love birdseed. Make your aviary intruder proof. Otherwise you will get multiple predators. Rats LOVE bird seed and have the unique ability to compress their skeleton to fit through flat spaces as small as 1/2". I'm not sure if they can fit through a 1/2" wire mesh. Maybe baby rats could, I would not totally count that out. Rats have also snuck into my bird room, grabbed a bird that was sleeping, kill and eat them. If you don't take these predators into consideration, you will lose your birds but always you'll lose a lot of bird seed. Mice will multiply once they find a secure food source and you will be overrun. Don't start blocking holes. You will be doing this forever and they will still get in. Block all of them using the sheet metal, dug into or hammered down around the outside of the aviary and pavers. Putting a layer of 1/4" wire mesh on the floor (just make sure it is secured to the aviary on all sides and there are no holes that a rat or mouse could squeeze into) flat on the floor is also a good idea. Make sure all of the entries into your aviary have secure latches (consider placing a lock on them) and there are no gaps where a varmint could squeeze through. This is tricky. Don't just use wood. Use wood and wire mesh to fill the gaps around doors, pipes or where ever the wire mesh had to be fitted. You can also use filler foam. I don't think anything can chew through it once it sets up. It's spray on and comes in a can. It's easy but really messy, it will expand and completely fill small gaps and any holes that may exist around walls and framing. I don't know if it's toxic to birds should they find some to chew on. Good luck! Let us know what you wound up doing.
 
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HannahandSunny

HannahandSunny

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Jan 13, 2019
519
379
Australia
Parrots
Cockatiels. Percy & Gizmo

Forever in my heart. Sunny the Corella
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The mice will still be able to get in and will drive you nuts. To prevent this you can use pavers. You can also use in conjunction or by itself, sheet metal. Cut strips between 6" and 24" wide and as long as you can manage. Then dig a trench or hammer the strips into the ground and overlap them(I think 24" best but most think it's overkill... uh... so to speak) all around the perimeter bottom. Ensure the bottom of your aviary is heavy and there are no gaps between the bottom, the ground and the sheet metal. When you put the sheet metal strips around the bottom, leave a tiny bit sticking out so you'll know they are there. You might consider placing pavers under your aviary as well as in the center if still possible. Then you can use caulk around the bottom and sink or bury the sheet metal vertically to prevent digging under the bottom of the aviary. This is a bit of an over doing it though as the animals that would dig under then dig up most of them can't get past the pavers. It's been my experience however, rats especially will always find some way to get in. You must consider all predators and others such as raccoons, opossums, squirrels, moles, voles, mice, rats, predatory birds, bugs, even bats - all love birdseed. Make your aviary intruder proof. Otherwise you will get multiple predators. Rats LOVE bird seed and have the unique ability to compress their skeleton to fit through flat spaces as small as 1/2". I'm not sure if they can fit through a 1/2" wire mesh. Maybe baby rats could, I would not totally count that out. Rats have also snuck into my bird room, grabbed a bird that was sleeping, kill and eat them. If you don't take these predators into consideration, you will lose your birds but always you'll lose a lot of bird seed. Mice will multiply once they find a secure food source and you will be overrun. Don't start blocking holes. You will be doing this forever and they will still get in. Block all of them using the sheet metal, dug into or hammered down around the outside of the aviary and pavers. Putting a layer of 1/4" wire mesh on the floor (just make sure it is secured to the aviary on all sides and there are no holes that a rat or mouse could squeeze into) flat on the floor is also a good idea. Make sure all of the entries into your aviary have secure latches (consider placing a lock on them) and there are no gaps where a varmint could squeeze through. This is tricky. Don't just use wood. Use wood and wire mesh to fill the gaps around doors, pipes or where ever the wire mesh had to be fitted. You can also use filler foam. I don't think anything can chew through it once it sets up. It's spray on and comes in a can. It's easy but really messy, it will expand and completely fill small gaps and any holes that may exist around walls and framing. I don't know if it's toxic to birds should they find some to chew on. Good luck! Let us know what you wound up doing.
Wow thank you so much for your very detailed response! Much appreciated.
Iโ€™ll look into buying some pavers this weekend, thatโ€™s a great idea!
I wonโ€™t get cats as I have too many wild native birds to worry about :)
 

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