Like any animal on this planet, my bird Froley poops. Since he spends a lot of his time in his cage, on his cage, or flying over his cage, a lot of that poop ends up encrusted on those bars.
As such, his cages need to be cleaned regularly.
Cleaning his cages (there are two of them) becomes a big production because his regular cage, the one he spends his waking hours in, is rather big. And given the fact that it gets full of poop and feather dust, I have to take it outside to clean it. Wrangling that massive cage through the front door is one way to exercise your arm muscles, that’s for sure.
The first thing you have to do when attempting a thorough cleaning of Froley’s cage is remove all of the toys he has hanging from the roof. Froley watches me in alarm whenever I unclasp his favorite ornaments and put them away in his toy box. If he is feeing especially anxious about their safety, he hisses at me and nips at my arms.
After clearing up the clutter of toys, I have to move Froley to whatever cage I’m not cleaning. He will be bitter about it.
I then have to squat down, grasp the cage by the underside, heave it up, and carry it outside. After that, I also gather Froley’s cage-scrubbing brush, a plastic shopping bag, and some paper towels and take them out too.
In order to wash up every inch of the cage, I have to disassemble it. There are four parts to each cage. There is the plastic bottom that comprises the lower fifth of the cage. There is the plastic tray that slides in and out of the bottom and holds Froley’s poopy papers. There is the single barred floor that rests over the tray and prevents Froley from stepping on his poopy papers. Lastly, there is the interconnected barred surfaces of his cage walls and ceiling.
Each of these parts has to be hosed down and scrubbed. Even if there is no poop clinging to a surface, I spray it with some water just to be safe. The poopy papers have to be thrown out before any watering happens, but after that, it’s seriously just a lot of scrubbing.
Once you’ve eliminated every iota of bird poop, you dry each individual part. I use paper towels, but you could probably also use a more environmentally conscious option.
Then you bring every individual piece of the bird cage back inside, piece by piece. In the safety of my home and under the supervision of Froley, I reassemble his cage. I spread out new poopy papers, hang up new toys so his museum home remains interesting (have I mentioned Froley doesn’t really play with his toys so much as he visually appreciates them?), and then I set up new food bowls.
Froley has to be enticed back into his cage because he seems to prefer it when it’s slightly dirty. He’s really one for the lived-in feel. I have to put millet and Cheerios in his bowls to have him walk in and inspect his freshly cleaned surroundings.
He eyes me grumpily and ungratefully, but deep down I know he appreciates me.