Cleanliness is the first need of successful management. Clean, well-cared-for budgerigars are usually healthy birds, free of parasites and infections that bring other, more serious problems their way. As a result, a solid husbandry system is quite important.
To eliminate the abundant droppings left by the hens during egg laying, the aviary should be cleaned up at least once a week, particularly during breeding season. There is no need to keep everything pristine, as in a hospital, since this might distract the birds and negatively impact breeding success, but a basic cleaning is a necessity.
Before doing anything else, the aviary floor should be cleaned every day. This is particularly critical during the moult. All that is required for the cleanup is a paint scraper, brush, bucket, and shovel. Remember that filth is the most prevalent source of sickness; it harbors lethal germs, and I am convinced many budgerigar fatalities are due to a lack of hygiene.
I normally wipe the floor with hot water and a powerful disinfectant once every two weeks. The exterior flights are raked on a regular basis, and they have a 12cm thick layer of washed gravel. The rain normally washes any debris off the surface, with the gravel functioning as a filter. A disinfectant may be applied around twice a year; however, I would recommend that you water well before giving the birds access.
Regular cleaning of all appliances is recommended. Clean the water drinkers once a week with a bottle brush and a little Vanodine in warm water. The seed pots, grit pots, and other containers are cleansed on a regular basis in a Vanodine solution. Only when fresh wood shavings are placed to the nest-boxes during the mating season are they cleaned. They should be carefully washed with hot water and disinfectant at the conclusion of the breeding season, dried off, and stowed away for the next season.
In addition to weekly cleaning, a thorough cleaning should be performed at least once a year. If this is done both after the mating season and then again in the fall before starting breeding again, all the better. All breeding cages should be cleansed with warm water and disinfectant or Vanodine in the autumn.
The walls of the birdroom may be cleansed, and it is recommended that a gentle spray of water and Duramitex be applied to them before any contact with the birds. Any necessary maintenance and painting may be completed at this time. If you are thinking about creating new cages, I would highly suggest utilizing melamine-finish wood since it will make future maintenance and cleaning much simpler.
Outside the Aviary
Autumn is an excellent time to spruce up the aviary’s exterior. Creosote all of the wood, inspect all of the wiring for weakness or breakage, and lastly inspect all of the roofing. Nothing is worse than a leak in the roof during the mating season, so repair as needed.
Two critical elements in the birdroom’s hygiene control are:
- Ventilation: Always ensure there is adequate ventilation in the form of windows that open, wired doors, or extractor fans and air ducts. Plenty of fresh air helps to keep down the threat of disease and dust accumulation.
- Adequate Space: Make sure there is plenty of perching and flight space. A rough guide is 16cms of perch per bird. Overcrowding brings about stress, which in turn brings about the chance of stress-related diseases.
Birds, like other creatures, face internal and external challenges. Most breeders are acquainted with the signs – ruffled, puffy look, filthy vent, and so on. Sick birds should be separated as soon as possible, kept warm, and treated as necessary. This quick separation will aid in the containment of any sickness that may be present. Always visit a veterinarian if you are unsure about any symptoms of sickness or therapy.
Watch your Numbers
The key to proper management and cleanliness is to never have more birds than can be readily cared for; otherwise, the labor becomes a chore rather than an enjoyable pastime. The most vital items for health and illness prevention are good diet and cleanliness; without these, you cannot expect to grow healthier budgerigars.
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