As you all know, I keep a number of birds as pets, including a couple dozen or so red factor canaries, which live with me inside my Winter House. They have a large wooden cage I designed after one that came from France, built around 1900 - probably to house doves or quails.
I love having canaries - their pleasant singing makes me so happy. Canaries are very hardy, but to keep them healthy their cage must always be as clean as possible. Every day, the cage bedding is changed, and all their dishes and water containers are washed. On a regular basis, the entire cage is also thoroughly cleaned and checked for maintenance. Carlos and Fernando took on this chore last week. Here are some photos.
In order to give the bird cage a good, thorough cleaning, we moved it to the shower stall in my stable, where there is ample room and close access to hot water. All the canaries are moved to another cage while this one is being cleaned.
Fernando thoroughly rinses the cage inside and out, dislodging any surface debris.
It is also important to clean all the crevices of the cage where dirt, bird waste and old seeds can collect.
Fernando removes the doors for easier rinsing.
And washes down the large galvanized trays. I use these very large garden trays as the floor of the cage and cover it with a corn cob bedding.
Using soap and water, or a special enzymatic bird cage cleaner, Carlos follows with a good scrubbing.
Be careful when choosing a cleaning solution for your cage – birds can be very sensitive. A solution of vinegar and water is one option and can be a good disinfectant. Pet stores carrying bird supplies also have a variety of bird cage cleansers.
Carlos scrubs down the doors that were removed.
And then sets them outside where they can dry naturally in the sun.
The galvanized trays are also brought outside to dry for the day.
Carlos scrubs down the inside of the cage – my canaries are very active and love flying to and from all their favorite perching spots.
Carlos also wipes down the ceiling of the cage.
And all the tight corners
Carlos uses a scrubbing sponge to remove any hardened droppings. Nylon brushes or bottle brushes can also be used to get into tighter areas. The important thing is to remove as much dirt as possible.
While cleaning, Carlos also looks for any hazardous conditions that could harm the birds in the cage, such as loose wooden slats or broken netting, etc. Fortunately, this cage is well-built and very durable – it is in great condition.
Once Carlos has scrubbed the entire cage, he gives it a good rinse with hot water.
The large cage is brought outside to the stable courtyard, where it is able to dry under the sun with the other cage parts.
Using the leaf blower, Fernando blows any water that may have ponded in the corners of the cage.
The cage will sit here until it is completely dry before it is brought back into my Winter House.
Here are my canaries, back in their clean, clean cage in the bird room. My canaries are quite happy here and they sing beautifully all day long.
The bottom of the cage has a fresh layer of bedding, clean water and a fresh vegetable buffet. New, clean, natural wooden branches are placed into the cage to use as perches.
My canaries love their cage. Named after its beautiful plumage, the red factor is one of the most popular canaries. These birds are delightfully entertaining, hardy and very easy to keep healthy and happy.
Over the years, many of you have asked for the building plans to my bird cage. I built a similar one on my television show – just go to my web site for instructions. http://www.marthastewart.com/264700/birdcage