How to Stop Your Bird From Getting Bird Food on the Floor

By Ben Team

Parrots, cockatoos and many other pet birds are messy eaters. Not only do they scatter seed husks everywhere when they are eating, many “play” with their food by flinging it into the air. This is an important adaptation for many species, who function as agents of seed dispersal in the wild. Accordingly, it is nearly impossible to prevent birds from engaging in these behaviors; instead, you must try to contain the mess as much as possible.

Spill-Proof Feeders

Pet bird in cage

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The simplest way to keep bird food off your floor is by using a spill-proof feeder. Spill-proof feeders usually feature two different chambers -- a large outer chamber that your bird can enter, and a smaller inner chamber that contains the food. You can purchase spill-proof containers or you can make your own by placing the bird’s feeding dish inside a larger container, such as a big food storage container or a two-liter bottle. You will have to customize the opening so your pet can completely enter the outer chamber, and you must ensure that your bird finds the seed easily once you add the outer chamber.

Seed-Catching Skirts

Hanging birdcage with bottom food catcher

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One way to keep birdseed from covering your floor is by installing a device under the cage to catch spilled seed before it hits the floor. Called “seed catchers” or “seed skirts,” these items are essentially large funnels that hang underneath cages. You can purchase them from pet stores, or you can make one yourself. If you make one yourself, use smooth plastic or durable fabric to ensure that the skirt is easy to clean. Skirts should extend for several inches past the sides of the cage to be effective. Use wire or string to attach the skirt to the bottom of the cage.

Protective Barriers

Close-up of yellow bird sitting in cage

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Another way to keep birdseed from spilling out of the cage is by creating small walls at the bottom of the cage. Do so by attaching small pieces of acrylic sheeting or stainless steel -- which your bird is unlikely to break off or swallow -- to the inside walls of the cage. The walls should be 3 or 4 inches high. You can attach the panels to the cage bars with suitable adhesives or by drilling holes through the panels and using small, smooth-head bolts and nuts. Be sure that all adhesives and moveable hardware are located on the outside of the cage.

Hygiene and Housecleaning

Cleaning floor under birdcage

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Birdseed on the floor of your home is messy and looks bad; but it also represents a potential health hazard. Spilled food may come into contact with your bird’s droppings before it hits the floor. Once out of the cage, it may spread germs throughout your house. For example, psittacosis is a disease spread via bird droppings that can cause illness in humans.