If you are considering adding a budgie to your household, it is very likely that you have a lot of questions, including wondering exactly how much mess budgies are going to make.
Are budgies messy? Unfortunately, budgies may be small, but as any budgie owner can attest, they can – and frequently do – make very big messes that can be time-consuming to clean. Tossing food around their cages, splashing around in their water dishes, and sending feathers flying about the room are just a few of the ways they like to entertain themselves.
So how much of your precious time will it take to clean up their mess? And how much work are they, really? Let’s find out.
Budgies are pros at making mayhem. If you are envisioning a clean, budgie-filled house, you are sure to be disappointed. Here a just a few of the messes you can expect to find, courtesy of your budgie:
- Food – Your budgie is likely to spill food while he eats, as well as toss any morsels that are not to his liking out of his cage and onto your floor. (Some budgies even dig in the dirty bedding and create a mess, as we show you here!)
- Puddles – Budgies love to bathe and play in their water, and you will frequently find small puddles of water on your clean floor. Any water he spills in his cage causes food to stick to the items he enjoys, including his perches and toys.
- Waste – If you want your budgie to have plenty of freedom, be prepared to find his droppings throughout the entire room, as well as on your clothing. Even when his poop is confined to his cage, it can still be messier than you might anticipate.
- Feathers – While a budgie may only molt once or twice a year, you will still frequently find feathers flying around your home and floating around his cage.
Cleaning out your budgie’s cage is a multi-step process that can realistically consume several hours a week. Most budgie owners find that chunking the cleaning into both daily and weekly steps help to keep the workload manageable and their budgie healthy.
Daily (thirty minutes)
- Your budgie needs his cage liner changed every single day. If you have newspapers trimmed to fit his cage in advance, you can put an entire stack down at once and remove only the soiled layers each day. If you mist the paper lightly with water before you roll the paper up, it will help all the seed and waste stick to it so that it is easier to discard.
- A budgie requires a spot-cleaned cage to keep dangerous bacteria at bay. Use a bird-friendly cleaner or a vinegar solution, and pay extra attention to his perch, the bars of his cage, and his toys, where hidden germs may live.
- Your budgie’s food and water dishes must be checked to make sure they are free from any waste. Rinse them out with hot, soapy water and make sure they are dry before you return them to his cage.
- The birdbath your budgie enjoys also necessitates a thorough cleansing to ensure that the water stays fresh so he can splash to his heart’s content without any concern from you.
- The areas under your budgie’s cage should be cleaned consistently as well. A hand-held vacuum is a great choice for keeping your floor free from debris, as it gets the tiny seeds that a broom may miss; it is also a quick alternative to mopping every day.
Weekly (at least one hour)
- Your budgie’s toys and perches need a more thorough cleaning once a week. Use sandpaper and an old toothbrush to remove any stubborn, crusted-on droppings. Then wash them in dishwashing soap and hot water. Many budgie toys are dishwasher safe, and softer toys are often able to go in your washing machine. Your weekly cleaning time is a good time to rotate new toys in for your budgie’s entertainment.
- If you have a cage skirt, it must be taken off and cleaned. While cage skirts prevent a lot of debris from reaching your floor, they do not prevent your bird from making a mess in the first place.
- Wipe down each and every bar of your budgie’s cage. Since he spends so much time climbing around on his bars with his feet and his beak, it is extremely important that the bars be clean of any dried droppings. Some owners choose to put the cage into their shower or bathtub and spray it down with a handheld showerhead for some extra power. Steamers also do a great job of breaking down stubborn, stuck-on debris.
- The bottom tray of your bird’s cage must be free from anything that could invite bacteria, mold, or insects. Pull out the liners from the bottom of the cage each week and wipe out the bottom until it is spotless. Concentrate on the corners of the cage where bacteria thrives. Make sure the tray is completely dry before you put the liners back inside.
- The floors under your bird’s cage require extra attention at the end of each week. After your daily vacuuming, mop the floors and put any soiled rugs in the washing machine. If the rugs are not washable, spray them off with a hose outside and leave them to air dry. Check the walls around the cage for any far-flung food or droppings and wipe them down. If he’s had any extra freedom, you will need to check the entire room for surprises.
Tips and Tricks
Expert budgie owners know that there are tips and tricks to help you clean smarter, not harder. The less time you spend cleaning, the more time you can spend enjoying the company of your loveable feathered friend.
- Purchase an air purifier that is made with pets in mind. This will catch a lot of your bird’s airborne dander and will reduce any bird-related odors.
- If you know your bird is most active at a certain time of day, try to clean before he starts his playtime. Then there will be less debris for his wings to send flying around the room when he starts to flap.
- Consider investing in a robot vacuum if it is within your budget. Program it to roam around your budgie’s room once or twice a day to decrease your daily workload.
- Buy a spill-proof feeder. These have chambers that your bird enters so that when he eats, the mess stays within the feeder instead of scattering around his cage — and throughout your house.
- Think about replacing your current cage with an extra-tall one. A budgie prefers to perch toward the top of his cage, so always put his food and water on the bottom. The more space there is between where your bird eats and where he perches, the less food is sent airborne when he flaps around up above.
- Buy some extra dishes and perches so that you can rotate them out during each cleaning session. Having extras on hand allows you to clean the dirty items at your leisure which may come in handy during an extra-busy week.
- If you don’t already have one, a well-designed cage skirt is one of the best things you can buy to reduce your daily workload. A good cage skirt will keep the bulk of your budgie’s mess inside his cage and off of your floor.
- Consider the items in your bird’s room. The less surface area he has in his room, the less dust and dander can collect on it. Also, make sure to limit chairs or couches that are not easily wiped down, as dander particles will become embedded in any fabric pieces. Remove any drapes from around the windows as well for the ultimate cleanliness.
If you need more tips on that, we recommend that you read Your Budgies Are Messy? Do This!
Also, if you want to know how to clean your birdcage with vinegar, we explain that in this article!
Another very inexpensive cleaning solution is using a mixture of lemons and baking soda. We explain how you can use lemons in this article!
What is the easiest bird to keep as a pet? Believe it or not, budgies are actually one of the easiest birds to keep, and they are considered perfect pets for bird beginners. Canaries, finches, and cockatiels are also popular, lower-maintenance birds.
What is the best cage for a budgie? While the minimum size of a budgie’s cage is 18.5 inches high and 18.5 inches wide, budgies do enjoy flying horizontally inside their cage. Make sure the bars of the cage are no more than a half inch apart.
Is it hard to take care of a budgie? While budgies do require you to clean up after them, they are still relatively simple to care for. Your budgie has basic needs, but beyond that, they desire your love and affection. The biggest demand on your time with a budgie is not cleaning – it is attention.