How to keep your Garden Birds Healthy.

There’s a particular problem with Avian Flu at the moment so we need to be extra careful to look after our garden birds as well as we can. Ensuring our feeding stations are cleaning and hygenic will help. A dirty birdfeeder can harbour bacteria, mould as well as diseases that can easily spread as your bird feeders and stations are where your birds are most social.
Fortunately it’s an easy problem to solve.

Problems with Dirty Feeding Stations
In addition to the diseases that are spread by bird poop and mouldy seed, dirty birdfeeders can also cause other problems, in particular waste seed and smells can attract insects, mice and worse still rats…

Cleaning a bird feeder, however, does not have to be a difficult task, and will help prevent these types of problems.

Tips for cleaning Bird Feeders
It’s important to clean your feeders regularly to minimalise the spread of illnesses but don’t forget fresh, clean seed is more appealing and nutritious so keeping your feeders clean will attract more wild birds.
  • Choose easy-to-clean feeders: Choose feeders that come apart for easy cleaning. In this case plastic and metal feeders are a good option as they are easy to keep clean.
  • Clean regularly: All feeders should be thoroughly cleaned at least once per month.
  • Use proper cleaning solutions: The best solution is one part bleach to nine parts hot water.
  • Soak feeders first: Soaking a dirty bird feeder before scrubbing will loosen debris and make it easier to clean the feeder thoroughly. Use your kitchen or utility sink to make sure the entire feeder can be submerged for a good soak.
  • Clean all feeder parts: For the best sanitation and disease prevention, each feeder should be cleaned inside and out.
  • Use proper equipment: Use rubber gloves to avoid any contamination and use stiff brushes to ensure thorough cleaning. A bottle brush and an old toothbrush are the perfect implements for cleaning small parts, feeding ports, and tight corners. (Keep the brushes specifically for this use).
  • Rinse thoroughly: After cleaning, the feeder and all cleaned parts should be rinsed thoroughly with clean water to be sure all chemical residue is removed..
  • Dry completely: It’s really important to leave the feeders to dry thoroughly before refilling with seed (as otherwise it will go mouldy)
Cleaning around your Bird Feeders
In addition to keeping bird feeders clean, it’s really important to clean all nearby areas where birds perch and congregate while feeding. Eager and hungry birds can spill seed several metres away from feeders so it’s critical to address these areas too.
  • Remove old seed and seed husks from beneath all feeders
  • Remove rotten fruit from trees where birds feed, including fallen fruit
  • Refresh mulch or gravel beneath feeders to cover any droppings
  • Keep your birdbath and other perches clean
  • Keep the grass short underneath feeders so it’s easy to keep the area clean
Keeping your birdfeeding station and feeders clean will help keep your birds healthy and in turn will attract more wild birds to your garden.

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