Register with us or sign in
soak in jays fluid or bleach watered down over night this kills viruses bactiria that travel about on birds and gets all the muck off much easier its good
you dont need vetinerary disinfectant just use the old fashioned jays fluid spray this is a multi purpose disinfectant and once rinsed off its harmless to plants animals
kater1 - I'm having problems getting to the bottom of my plastic feeder too, and have just resolved to buy a new one that dismantles better so I can clean it more easily. If I find a cheap one I'll let you know!
full-time-mum - diluted bleach is fine, but make sure you rinse it well afterwards. Otherwise veterinary disinfectant is available from the RSPB shop
Birdie2 - if you have seen birds looking ill, it would be better to remove all the debris beneath your feeding station to avoid contamination of healthy birds.
I think you may be worrying too much. All this cleaning and disinfecting will harm the birds and the environment more in that you reduce their natural ability to fight diseases and infections. The same rule applies to households. Of course, if you do actually genuinely see an ill bird, do clean but otherwise I wouldn't even think about it. We've been putting sunflower seeds out on simple bird tables hanging from trees and our balconies, for years, and it's a sight to behold! Can't recall the last time we cleaned them. Birds are not that dirty, its the holders. I'd recommend sticking to simple bird tables with a low roof cover if you want, and hang them in places away from trees if you have a problem with squirrels...
Have just found a ceramic-topped plastic bird feeder in Aldi that has a wing-nut at the bottom for filling & cleaning - I think it was £3.99 but not sure.
I thought I'd be able to dismantle it completely but the top is fixed.
In spite of this I think it will be easier to clean because it's at the base that the seeds usually stick - the top should be clear - I hope!
JAG - I find that wood pigeons have been able to take most of the food put out on a low roof covered bird table, as they do with food I put on the ground for blackbirds etc.
JAG - I don't think we're worrying too much. By feeding the birds we are attracting large numbers of them to our gardens - very small spaces compared to woodland, for example. If they're all concentrated in a small space, interacting with each other, spitting food on to each other and - in some cases - defecating on each other, then we need to make sure our bird feeding stations are clean, as diseases can quickly build up.
kater1 - that sounds good, can you post a photo?
I'm sorry that I can't post a photo but I've just looked on the UK Aldi Special buys' site & the feeders & other bird things are on it. The feeders are £3.99, as I thought. They tend to sell these things quite quickly so they might not be available for long.
Ms Bradbury - fair point. But you'd be surprised how well they cope. And it does not necessarily mean, that all the birds that come to your table, actually live in the close surroundings. Animals adapt, and birds are extremely clever. Living in close surroundings hasn't harmed them for decades yet.
Of course, I see the point that some of the larger birds get at the food that was destined for the smaller ones, but who is to say that the larger ones are well fed anyway? Maybe they are just as hungry as the small ones?? I cannot say. As with the cleaning, do they actually poop all over the feeder? I cannot believe that. Cleaning detergents are unnatural, and definitely contribute to the diseases that exist today. Use plain water and soda crystals and a good scrubbing brush. What dirt stays, stays. Birds don't complain. They just want/need the food.
Holedigger - how on earth do the seeds sprout?! i have never heard of that before... if you put away the tables over the summer months when they are not needed, thus closing them off from sunlight ... crikey, why don't you just pull out the sprouting seeds when it happens?!
@JAG, I agree that cleaning detergents are unnatural and may contribute to some human diseases that exist today. But I would say that bird diseases are on the rise and some are now passing between species when they previously didn't (avian pox in great tits and trichomonas in finches for example). The advice of the RSPB and other wildlife groups is to keep our feeders clean, so I'm sticking with that.
I live in the country and have never seen a dead bird unless having been run over by traffic. Has anyone else seen many ? A good soaking with warm water and using a stiff brush will shift any dirt in seed containers I find.
I wash my feeders at least every two months. They are a pain to dismantle and getting harder as they get older- they must be about 5 years old now but still ok to use! I usually wash them in hot soapy water with bleach in using a long brush that I bought from the RSPB. I make sure that they are rinsed well and perfectly dry before filling them with seed.......