Spent a full hour today cleaning out nest boxes and faeces off chicks feet.
First I took down one nest box at a time, but only the ones that contained hatched chicks (just 2 fortunately, or not depending how you look at it).
I opened the end panel of the nest box, took out the three chicks that were in there and put them safely in a cardboard box. Then I removed the concave insert and was forced to scrape the dried up faeces off it with a wallpaper scraper, and then I had to also scrape part of the inside wall for the same reason.
After returning the concave insert I got to work on cleaning my baby budgies feet. To do this I had to soak each foot in turn for about a minute in luke warm clean water (no additives or detergents), whilst trying not to give the baby budgerigar a bath in the process.
Then I needed to carefully prise the dried faeces off the chicks feet and claws – difficult to do without a soaking first, the soaking of the foot loosens the dried up faeces so it’s easier to remove, but still challenging as it is important not to injure the baby bird in any attempt to clean.
When done i dried the chick by padding down any wet with a piece of kitchen roll (highly absorbent and does a better job of drying and soaking up any dampness) before returning the baby budgie to the nest box.
I then had to repeat the process with the other two baby budgerigars from that nest box, then repeat the whole thing with the other nest box that also contained three budgie chicks; much to the annoyance of the parent birds who were often squawking at me for disturbing their babies.
Fortunately my birds never seem to hold a grudge whenever I do this and are soon my friends again, especially if I bribe them with some treat.
If you are breeding your pet or aviary birds this is a process I’m sure you will be familiar with, if you’re not familiar with this then you should be!
Until they fledge and leave the confines of their nest box naturally all their activity is within there, including going to the toilet. Bird droppings, whether from adults or chicks, will dry up into solid clumps that can be very difficult to remove. Even more difficult when trying to remove it from a baby birds feet and claws, which will undoubtedly get clogged up and can in worst cases cause a permanent deformity in your birds as they grow.
So be sure to check your nest boxes regularly and do whatever cleaning is required!