how to clean branches for birds

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Choosing Safe Natural Perches

Why not use this opportunity to add some natural tree branches to your bird cage or play area now that the spring cleaning is all done?

Natural tree branches can be a great way to simulate movement, exercise your feet, and have a lot of chewing fun. Whenever I can, I leave my weeping willow’s bark and even its leaves. The birds enjoy plucking the tender new green shoots from the branches. Taking off all the bark is a lot of fun, especially for my big parrots. Select branches that don’t have any obvious wild bird droppings or other debris. Verify that nothing you decide on has received any kind of pesticide or fertilizer application. To eradicate bugs and germs, small branches can be thoroughly cleaned in the shower, tub, or sink using soapy water or a vinegar-and-water mixture. After rinsing, they can be put on a baking sheet and baked at 250 degrees for a few hours. Larger branches can be cleaned with a hose or power washer outside, thoroughly rinsed, and then placed in a secure spot to dry in the sun for a day. The sun can be just as effective as bleach without being as toxic at killing bacteria and mold. Branches can be inserted at any suitable angle between the cage’s bars. Birds don’t care if their perches are aligned or straight. Additionally, birds don’t mind if the branch is the right size. I’ve been observing my large male Amazon, Ronnie, as he walks along a little branch that appears to give slightly under his weight. He gripped it and moved it like a vine, using his toes to exercise I’ve observed my smaller conures perched on a big branch, seemingly using it as a platform for resting. If the branch is heavy and large, you can put big screws into its ends so they fit between the cage’s bars. The ends of the branches can be shaped into slats that fit more snugly into the cage if you are skilled with tools or have a helper who is. If nothing else, place some firmly placed branches over the cage or play area and observe your bird enjoying itself. To get you started, here’s a list of a few tree branches that are deemed safe. * Pine is frequently listed as a safe tree, but beware of any sap as that could cause problems for your bird. APPLE ASH ASPEN BAMBOO WHITE BIRCH BEECH BUTTERFLY BUSH CAMELIA CRABAPPLE CRAPE MYRTLE DATE DOGWOOD DOUGLAS FIR ELM MAGNOLIA MAPLE (DO NOT USE Red Maple) MANZANITA MIMOSA WEEPING WILLOW

I make sure the branches and leaves are looking fresh and healthy before I pick them out, and I try to choose the best-looking ones (without ruining the tree, unless I’m using the entire tree).Ah, fun, I’m sure she’ll love that! I then use water, vinegar, and a sponge to scrub down the tree and bark sections, and I go through all the leaves looking for things like snails or outside bird droppings. I simply take off all of those leaves if there is any dirt on them. I then apply some vinegar to the leaves as well, and I make an effort to wash everything under hot water in the shower. Finally, I let them dry in the sun for a while, usually adding a little water to the ends to keep the leaves moist. I realize that many people would never dare to give their birds natural branches without first baking or boiling, and that’s true, but when it comes to fresh fruit straight off the tree, I contend that it’s essentially the same as purchasing fresh fruits at the grocery store because they were probably grown outside, exposed to all the same conditions as the branches they grew on, and weren’t cleaned by boiling or baking either. It would be different if someone found a dead branch on the ground; I wouldn’t give that without first baking it because I might want to kill any number of creatures that might be living there. However, in my experience, fresh twigs and branches right off the tree are much easier to keep safe and clean:) POSTED


How do you disinfect birds branches?

Before installing in any cage: Scrub the branches with detergent (dish soap) and clean water. Soak the branches in a dilute chlorine bleach solution (2oz bleach to 1 gallon of water) for 20 minutes. For large branches (too large to be soaked) put the solution in a misting bottle and spray the entire branch well.

How do you treat wood for bird perches?

Branches from non-toxic trees (see list below) outside can also be used as perches. These, however, should be washed and disinfected by heating them in an oven at 200°F for 30 minutes as the wood might contain microscopic fungus and insects that can be harmful to birds.