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How to disinfect perches?

December 31st, 2007, 10:35 AM
Hello all!

In preparation for acquiring a painted conure in a few months (the breeder is still growing one for me!), I bought a huge cage this Christmas from Craigslist. The previous owner said that he had bought a bird from a petstore which they assured had been handfed, owned the bird for a week, but it kept biting and was not taming up so they sold it to a breeder (I explained the hazards of bird-pet-store-buying - if bird wants to be left alone, it bites fingers poked in its cage and learns that biting is effective and sometimes fun!)
I have totally sterilized the cage with bleach, but he also gave us some leather and wood chew-toys and some manzanita branches - how do I go about disinfecting those? I read somewhere that a small amount of diluted hydrogen peroxide works on branches, but now I can't find where I read that so I don't really trust it.
Would prefer to keep my future bird as safe and healthy as possible, so thanks for your help on this!
~ Kerry :thumbs up

December 31st, 2007, 10:40 AM
welcome! Sorry I cant help you with bird info but I am sure there are some who will be along! Just wanted to say I googled the bird you are speaking of and it is absolutely beautiful! What is the average lifespan of those?


December 31st, 2007, 02:28 PM
I use a bleach solution 1 - 10. I also use crabapple branches. I have never heard of manzanita branches, what tree are they from. Manzanilla is the Spanish word for chamomile, is there any relation?

January 1st, 2008, 04:59 PM
Hi there!

Cindy - I know, it seems that painted conures are pretty rare in North America as pets, although I found a video of one on Youtube. From everything I've read, they seem the best apartment birds though, quiet(er) and cuddly. My husband has never owned a bird before (he's a cat person), and I wanted a parrot that would be both loveable and an easy transition for him. As to lifespan, I've seen figures ranging from 12 years to 30 years - my best guess is that, as one of the smallest of the pyrrhura species, a lifespan on 12-18 years would be normal. I found a nice breeder out in Western Ontario who seems both highly recommended and extremely competent, so I think it'll be worth the drive!

Chris - manzanita is mostly found in BC, I've seen it for sale at Petsmart. That's pretty much the extent of my knowledge. A quick trawl of Wiki indicates the name derives from 'manzana', apple, so it translates to "little apple", and is known as 'madrone' in the States. Crabapple or normal apple would be my first choice, but I don't have a back yard anymore!

January 1st, 2008, 05:11 PM

cute little birds. maybe one of these sites can give you a hint as to the disinfection?

January 1st, 2008, 07:42 PM
What about Detol? It's used in hospitals to disinfect .

January 1st, 2008, 07:46 PM
please remember, ANYTHING you bleach for birds, leave it in the sun for at least a full day, better if it can get 2 days of sun. :) i would strongly suggest the use of bleach because the sun neutralizes it completely. somethign else MAY leave a residue.


January 1st, 2008, 08:54 PM
Also please remember once you get this beauty your days of burning candles, Glade plug ins and anything else with essential oils in are over. Deadly!

January 1st, 2008, 10:10 PM
same with teflon!! :) hello iron skillet, bye bye teflon coated pots and pans!


January 1st, 2008, 10:20 PM
Yes, you are right W4R. I had forgotten that. I have my lovebirds in another room away from the kitchen and don't often use teflon or other coatings.
Here is a site for learning what is safe and not around birds..........

Also......this might help for cleaning..

First, you need a disinfectant that is designed to kill the bacteria and viruses that are specific to birds. Vinegar, which is an excellent cleaner, is NOT a disinfectant. The easiest way to go is bleach (which kills everything) but you need to use more than you think. There are instructions on the bottle for disinfecting, but I'd use a little more than what they say. Another product that's excellent is Pet Focus, which is formulated for the use for and around birds. The fumes won't harm them, nor do you have to rinse it.

Second, you need to clean the cage either with soap, or vinegar, to clean away all the organic material (poop, food, etc) . Disinfectants cannot disinfect organic matter.

Third, you apply the disinfectant to all the surfaces. Let stand at least 10 minutes... I prefer to wait 20 minutes, just to be sure. Rinse, especially if you've used bleach.

Now, all you need are new cups, perches, and toys.

If you need to find Pet Focus:
5 days ago
For the last 13 years I have been working with parrots from all different aspects. I'm a mobile groomer, bird & pet store manager, rescue worker, hand-feeder and socializer, rehabilitaor, and consultant for human companions to parrot breeders. I've been a dog and cat vet tech specializing in rehab for paralyzed animals, stroke victims, orthopedic post-surgery. Nutrition is my specialty.

January 2nd, 2008, 09:16 AM
I can let you have plenty of crabapple branches if you live near Newmarket. As far as teflon goes, I believe that as long as they are not used at a high heat, there should be no problem. We have 6 birds (3 pairs), although none are in the kitchen, we live in an old church and it is pretty open concept. Then again I could be wrong.

January 2nd, 2008, 09:28 AM
Hi Chris :)
Actually, my son lives in Newmarket. :) I am good for branches though. I live on an acreage with lots of trees.
That one site I put in my reply has new information about teflon. They are saying as low a heat as 285 can release the fumes and that is what kills the birds.
How neat it would be to live in an old church! I looked at one when I was househunting years and years ago but didn't have the cash to convert it. I would love to see some pics. :D

January 2nd, 2008, 09:30 AM
and ooopppss, I just looked at my earlier post from yesterday. That part about cleaning didn't come from me. It came from a website! Didn't want to confuse you. I don't know that much about birds except I love them. :o Sorry for confusion.

January 2nd, 2008, 10:44 AM
14+kitties-thanks for the link. I normally use the frypan from 3-5 on the dial, I don't know what that is in celsius though, will somehow get it figured out.
Regarding living in an old church, after 23 years it is still an old church, never did get around to finishing. One day when I figure out how to downsize photos :yell:I will post some then you will be happy you never went for it.
Sorry to go:offtopic:

January 3rd, 2008, 08:33 AM
Hey everyone, thanks for the great info!

Sarah, Darlene from is who I'm getting my painted from! She seems awesome! I've seen the rest of your links too - painteds seem so elusive, I wanted to dig up as much info as possible! Thanks!

14+kitties - I bleached the whole cage, piece by piece (although the previous owner said he had already done so, and it certainly was pristine), and let the gel bleach sit 15-30 mins on each piece before rinsing, so I'm not too worried about that. Also, I've kept budgies most of my life and never use any non-stick, so I'm not too worried about that. Now, how to counteract the smell of 2 kitties without using Febreeze.......:cat: