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    How to keep your garden clean and hygienic to birds

    ArticleBird AdviceWednesday 20 March 2013
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    Feeding birds is not only kind and helpful to them; however problems can start when you are feeding too many which can cause a unhealthy environment for them. Below we take a look at some useful advice on how best to keep a clean garden so birds can feed and rest easily. Remember that prevention is better than a cure. Your birds will thank you for this later on.
    Some important points to note first:
    • The most common diseases originate from bird droppings and if you garden is shared by other animals then rats, mice etc can add increase this issue. It is when the food gets contaminated with the droppings the real problems can occur.
    • You also have to take into account seasonality and with the warmer weather. Bacteria can spread quickly due to food perishing at a much faster rate. Unfortunately the summer makes ideal conditions for bacteria. However on the other hand the harsh conditions of the winter can make birds more vulnerable to illness.
    1) Keep a close look at how much food you are providing daily. If some of the food is still there after a few days then not only is this waste but this food will decay and cause the spread of bacteria.
     
    2) Try to use a bird feeder or a hanging table. It is not recommended to use the patio, grass or ground. Not only can you easily clean a bird feeder or hanging table it also means that rodents such as rats are not able to reach them where on the ground they would be able to reach this source of food and produce further contaminations. Remember that rats often come at night when you are not aware.
     
    3) Of course regularly clean the surface areas where you provide food. Any food that is going off should be cleaned likewise droppings should be disposed of where possible. Every once in a while consider using disinfectant and giving the surface a thorough cleaning (please do not use common products but ones specially designed for birds). The products you use to feed and water should also be cleaned such as a bird feeder. Buying a bird feeder which can be taken apart easily is important so you can thoroughly clean it.
     
    4) Try to move feeding areas regularly to different parts of the garden. This can help the accumulation of droppings building up around the areas beneath.
     
    5) Try to provide fresh water daily and regularly wash out water containers. Droppings can contaminate the water. In the warmer months of the summer this is especially important. Furthermore in the winter months remember to break any ice that has formed.
     
    6) Remember not only the birds should be looked after but also yourself. Never clean the tables and water containers inside. This should always be done outside with a hose and with gloves. If the unfortunate incident arrives where you to carry a dead bird away then remember to wash your hands afterwards. Remember, what happens outside stays outside.
     
    7) Try to avoid overcrowding. The more birds, the higher the risk of contamination. If you find you have too many visiting then purchase more feeders and spread them apart from each other.
     
    Source: RSPB
    Photo Source: Wikimedia
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