Budgies are small, energetic, and mischievous birds.
They splash in the water and flap their wings, scattering seeds, shells, and debris everywhere. Worse still, budgies poop every 15-20 minutes (40-50 times per day), anywhere they please.
You can sometimes prevent your budgie from creating a mess by providing a larger cage with more room to play without interfering with its food and water.
You can buy hoods for the dishes to prevent the budgie from flinging food and put protective walls on one side of the cage to contain any mess. Also, toilet training and floor protectors are useful.
Are Budgies Messy Pets?
Budgies intentionally and unintentionally make a mess. With their willingness to throw seeds and poop wherever they go, it’s normal for them to be messier pets than cats or dogs.
Budgies fly, dance, and tear at objects to keep themselves entertained during the day. For example, throwing seeds can be a fun pastime for budgies.
A budgie’s willingness to shred items helps with its entertainment needs. Also, a budgie’s small size means that it can get in hard-to-reach places and cause messes.
However, budgies are no messier than other parrots. Most pet birds create mess by:
- Shredding paper and other objects in their cage
- Throwing food while trying to shred it with their beak
- Flinging seed hulls when trying to open seeds
- Flapping wings, knocking over food and water bowls
- Pooping a lot, even in their sleep
Budgie Throwing Out Food
Perhaps your budgie creates a mess by throwing around food, such as flinging seeds from its dish and dropping food from its claws while eating. There are ways to deal with this mess-making:
Seed guards are mesh netting that you can position outside a budgie’s cage. As the name implies, they’ll keep seed hulls from flying out of the cage and onto your floors and furniture.
These attachments also work with other foods. Whether it’s fresh strawberries or leafy greens, you can avoid food fragments around the cage or on the floor.
You may need to clean the seed guards if they’re smeared with foodstuffs, but this ensures all mess stays inside the cage, where it can be wiped off.
Hooded Food Bowls
Food bowls with a hood are made specifically for budgies that eat a lot of seeds. They reduce the chances of your budgie flinging food from its bowl, and it stops poop from getting into the bowl.
Change Budgie Food
If you’re having trouble with your budgie’s messy habits, consider changing its diet. For example, changing from seeds to pellets can reduce the number of seed hulls you’ll need to clean up.
Additionally, avoiding food that can be easily torn and flung, like corn, can reduce mess. Steer clear of anything mushy that can be smeared against walls, like blueberries.
How To Stop Budgies Making A Mess
You can train mess-making behavior out of your budgie. However, there are measures you can implement to better contain the mess and ensure they don’t affect the rest of your home.
This includes outfitting the cage, toys, perches, and spaces around the budgie with protectors. You can also introduce a cleaning routine to minimize how quickly your budgie can make a mess.
Selecting the right cage design for a birdcage can reduce the amount of mess. When choosing a cage, there are two design elements that you must consider:
Slanted Bottom Panel
A slanted bottom panel will mean that waste will roll onto the bottom tray, preventing it from dropping onto the floor.
When a budgie is on a perch, it’ll flap its wings around. If a food bowl is nearby, this can send the seeds flying everywhere. Budgies prefer to perch near the top of a cage, so use this to your advantage.
Opt for a tall cage that affords your budgie room to exercise without crowding its food and water dishes. If the food bowls are away from the perches, that means no more food-flinging.
Removable Bottom Tray
A removable tray helps you clean out budgie any poop so that you can clean the surface. If you find a birdcage that lacks this feature, it’s best to avoid it.
Protect Wall Behind Birdcage
Budgies can sling food out of their cages, coating your walls. If this is a problem you encounter, install a protective wall on the side of the bird cage, so the food stops there.
This can include mesh netting or plexiglass as a barrier between the cage and the wall. Plexiglass can be bought at a hardware store, cut to size, and attached to the cage with an s-hook.
Protect Floor Underneath Birdcage
Vinyl carpet protectors attach to the carpets, allowing you to sweep them as easily as any other flooring. Alternatively, you can drape plastic chair mats over carpets or floors.
Toys And Perches
You can limit mess by choosing the right materials for toys and hanging them appropriately.
Get toys that you can put in a washing machine. For perches, aim for a simple design and avoid edges and crevices. Ensure that perches are made from a material that you can wipe down.
You can easily swap toys out to clean the dirty ones by purchasing various perches and toys. If you’re short on time, you can leave them aside and clean them later in the week.
Daily Cleaning Routine
Many owners clean their cages weekly, which can increase the workload. You can remove small messes before they worsen through a daily cleaning regime.
Change The Cage Liner
The liner at the bottom of the cage needs to be changed daily. Consider layering paper or wax liners unless your bird likes bathing and splashing in its water bowls.
Create a thick stack of them, and only remove the top one.
Spot Clean The Cage
Wipe down food, spills, and any poop the liner didn’t catch. Do this with a bird-safe cleaning solution and wash your cleaning cloth afterward.
Change Water And Food Bowls
When offering fresh food, not seeds or pellets, the bowl should be emptied 30 minutes after consumption. Water bowls should always be full and completely replenished daily.
Clean Before Playtime
Playtime can see your budgie growing energetic and mischievous, sending dirt and debris everywhere as it flaps its wings and moves around its cage frantically.
Toilet (potty) training a budgie takes time and effort, especially when training older budgies. However, with patience and dedication, any budgie can be potty trained. Here are the steps:
Choose A Command
Consider a short phrase like “go potty,” and pair it with tapping the perch or part of the cage where your budgie usually goes to the toilet.
Add A Spot
Place a cage liner or other material to catch the droppings in one location. With enough time, your budgie will associate this material with being a toilet location.
When you notice that your budgie’s about to poop, give it your chosen command.
According to the Association of Avian Veterinarians Conference, birds react better to positive reinforcement training. So, give it praise, petting, and a snack.
Training requires repetition, and even a budgie who has been trained can have memory lapses. Providing regular training can help a budgie cement this new information.
Budgies are messy birds, but no more than other parrots. However, you can limit the mess a budgie makes with the right safeguards.