Category Archives: Basic Care

How to Clean Rope Bird Perches

I’ve been using rope perches for my cockatiel’s for quite some time but I hate cleaning them!  Are you too looking for a better technique to wash those rope perches?  Well look no further, here are a few options.

The Dishwasher

I mention the dishwasher first because this is my new favorite way to clean the perches.  I do an initial wipe down to get off the big stuff and then I stick the perches into the dishwasher.  I use the pots/pans cycle or the heavy wash and my dishwasher has a Sani-Rinse option to rinse really well with hot water and a Hot Temp option to use really hot water during the wash cycle.  I don’t put any soap in, just use the plain hot water.  I’m really concerned about any toxic soap residues being left behind and I’m sure hot water kills bacteria.  But if you insist on using some kind of disinfectant I’ve noted some options at the end of this post.

The (Laundry) Washing Machine

Prior to the dishwasher I used the washing machine.  WARNING: Only use a top load washing machine.  Or you may end up with a broken washing machine like this sad bird owner:

I was cleaning the cages this past weekend, and I took the birds rope perches and put them in the washing machine like I always do. Well…they BROKE it! Oh it was a disaster and now we have to get it fixed. Plus, it broke a few of the rope perches as well (plastic ends & frayed rope). This has never happened before to the perches and am completely shocked.

If you do decide to use your washing machine you should use an old pillow case or the mesh sweater bags to keep the perch and hardware contained.   You may also want to throw in some towels to add some padding so the hardware doesn’t bang around and dent your washing tub.

The Power Washer

Another alternative is to power wash the perches.  In this case I would recommend taking the entire cage outside and leave the perches in the cage while you do a thorough power washing of everything.

The Tub Soak and Manual Brush

The most manual way to clean your perch is to soak it in a tub or bucket and then use a wire brush or any brush with hard bristles to scrub the perch.

Disinfectant Options

If you want to add some soap power to any of the options noted above here are some ideas:

  1. Add some vinegar
  2. Dishwashing soap
  3. Diluted bleach solution
  4. OxyClean

How to Dry the Perches

  1. Leave them out in the sun
  2. Stick them in the oven at 170 degrees
  3. Hang dry

Hope this helps you to keep your bird perches clean.  If you feel that I’ve missed an option or if any of these work for you please share in the comments.  Thanks for reading!

A Cockatiel’s First Illness Symptom

One of the first signs of illness for a cockatiel is a change in weight. Unfortunately, most pet owners are unaware of this and do not own a scale or check weight on a regular basis.

Birds naturally mask illness. By the time we notice that they are sick they are often very ill. Catch illness sooner by observing loss in weight.

A cockatiel usually weighs:
70 to 125 grams (according to Margaret A. Wissman, DVM on the

My birds are 78 grams and 104 grams. Depending on where you got your birds from you can expect some variety.

Slow weight loss (a few grams) over a few days may indicate illness.
When I see 10% weight loss I start to get worried and I seek veterinary help.
The first cockatiel I had lost 20% by the time I realized he was sick and was too ill for treatment to succeed.

When shopping for a scale, remember that the resolution must be at least 1.0 gram. Some food scales are sufficient. However, it is convenient if the scale comes with a bird perch. You mayPurchase A Bird Scale Here.