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 Green Parrots! Think Green, not ACTUALLY green ;)

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blacksheep

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Number of posts : 65
Age : 33
Localisation : Barrow-in-Furness
Registration date : 2012-02-20

PostSubject: Green Parrots! Think Green, not ACTUALLY green ;)   3rd March 2012, 8:46 am

Hello!

I am as eco friendly as I can be with a horde of fluffy children! My dog food comes in tins that are recycled, catfood in boxes instead of bags, I use natural clay cat litter, biodegradable poo bags, etc that are landfill friendly as meat eater poo can't be composted. My rabbit litter and excess food is all composted, for a large family our tiny black bin goes out once every TWO weeks, just to be cleaned, not always because its full! We recycle, reuse, and generally do our best to keep everything simple and environmentally friendly.

Then we got a parrot. *sigh* while this gives me a way of recycling my news paper, but once Elvis has used it, it can't go into the recycling bag. I am looking into composting newspapers etc, but until then, I've come up with this:


Mats all laid out and taped - the white tape is on the outer mats, the grey on the inner mats. You can just see the edge of the fire place.

Why go through all this trouble? Simples, I've just protected all the bits that my bird poops on when out playing with clean up friendly mats, eliminating the need for putting newspaper around the cage! Generally sticky foods will hit these mats when thrown from within the cage as well, fruit doesn't fly as well as seeds Smile So now all you need is a spray bottle of F10, some dish cloths and a bucket. When bird poops - or playtime is over if you are lazy like me - spray down the mats, whip up with reusable dish cloths, chuck them in the bucket. Once bucket is full, put them through a 90 degree wash with some F10 mixed in with normal cloths soap, dry, and reuse Smile

What you need:
  • Dog/place mats - Measure your cage. Add to it the normal area that you cover with paper when your bird is out. I got mine from The Range for 1 for massive ones, not sure if they still sell them but I will find out tomorrow as he's eaten some of them Laughing
  • duct tape to match the mats - I went with white. I clearly ran out. I will be fixing this next time I move his cage for a deep clean.
  • a hoover - you don't want mats on food!
  • scissors - tape is sticky, you don't want it in your mouth!
  • knee pads - you'll be down there for some time.
  • about an hour or two of time - OCD dependent Wink I had to have them perfectly lined up.


And here we go:
  1. Hoover the area to be covered.
  2. Put your cage in position - you'll notice the mats on mine are short on one side, this is because his cage backs into a fireplace and wall, which I've hidden with a massive sheet of cardboard, so everything he throws that way goes down the cardboard and under the cage, so that the floor/fireplace doesn't need additional covering.
  3. With cage in place, but a little bit of tape by each wheel, then move your cage. This is the footprint you need to cover.
  4. Hoover the area again to tidy up the bird food just thrown all over it.
  5. Lay out your mats so that about 8-12 inches of the mat sticks out from where you've put the tape, if you use dark tape and light mats its very easy to see where the marking is under the mats - I have black carpet so put white tape at the wheels then white mats over the top, so I could see where they needed to go to cover under and around.
  6. Go buy some more mats, you've just realized that there are massive gaps and no way to fix this. Its cool, I bought twice the mats I needed to cover the area and still had to go back. You want about 1-2 inch of over lap on each mat.
  7. Hoover the bird food, pick up 2 plastic dinosaurs and some shredded paper.
  8. Start in one corner, tape down your first mat. You want to tape every edge, even though it is going to be over lapped by the next mat. Trust me, tape every single edge, corner, etc.
  9. Tape all of the Outer Mats - these are the ones that actually stick out - the ones taped in white in the photo. It is important to tape the outer mats first, trust me.
  10. Hoover the middle area, hoover the mats you just put down. Pick up a few more toys and entertain your bird for 30 minutes, then return to matting.
  11. Once all outer mats are taped, you can go around and tape them all down with one continuous strip around the edges. I did not do this as Elvis eats mats. But if you don't have a bird that does this, then it keeps the mats down better.
  12. Place the middle mats, tape in place. Tape these around with one continuous strip as well. (Grey taped mats in the photo - again I didn't use continuous taped method after, just single taped)
  13. Hoover again
  14. Talk to your bird for a bit, maybe play tugs with a string of dinosaurs
  15. Roll cage into place, job's a good'un!



Cage in place, shows how far the mats stick out


Some notes:
SERIOUSLY DO THE EDGES FIRST! Trust me! Tape every edge of them! There are three reasons for this - First: when you roll the cage, it will catch the edges that are not tapped, then pull the mat, and you will end up with a crushed mat and food everywhere, if you put the middle mats down first you end up pulling up all of the stuck together edge mats when you do catch it with a wheel, or in my case a plastic storage box - if you catch a top middle mat, then you only crinkle a top middle mat. Second reason: Your bird will find any untaped edge and eat it. Reason Three: If 1 and 2 fail, you will find that bird seed, plastic dinosaurs, and other weird stuff makes its way under the mats, gets stepped on by a person, and punches through the mats, which will need to be replaced.


Happy birdy, happy people, happy carpet Smile

Generally I can clean all the mats with one cloth, so one cloth per day - better then loads of news paper Smile You can of course wash the cloth out in a sink and reuse the same one, I just don't like to touch bird poop Wink I use to soak them over night with the rest of his pooped-on toys and stuff, but with the amount of toys he has I only end up doing a load once every other month and you don't want them to sit around that long, seriously ew - so I generally wash them with the rest of my towels, makes it easier and I'm already doing laundry, so no extra loads!

I get the 10 pack for a pound white dish cloths at Tesco - they are NOT very absorbent, but are really scratchy, so good for scrubbing. They do wash alright, but never go back to the same shape, although this may be because I put them through the dryer with the towels as well. I am looking at switching to a more tea towel style ones to soak up split bath water, juice, tea, and whatever other parrot related liquid needs. I have carpet, so this is a big bonus to me, I no longer have to scrub up bird poop and mashed grapes because the dumb dog moved the newspaper, or someone forgot to put it down to start with! The mats are always there and always ready Smile

One day I will have wood floors and a mop LOL, but until then, mats it is. I want to get a piece of lino cut for under it one day, but for a tenner all in, this was a very cheap option Smile EVENTUALLY I want to get some clear plastic matting like you use to put under rolly computer chairs back in the day and put that down, then clear Plexiglas to cover the fireplace etc so it looks nicer, but hey - once covered with bird food it all looks the same anyway lol!
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blacksheep

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Number of posts : 65
Age : 33
Localisation : Barrow-in-Furness
Registration date : 2012-02-20

PostSubject: Re: Green Parrots! Think Green, not ACTUALLY green ;)   3rd March 2012, 8:48 am

Originally I got the mats for use in the pull out cage bottom so we didn't need to use paper inside it. It worked BRILLIANTLY as long as the bottom grate was in. I have since taken it out as he spends a lot of time on the floor of his cage rolling balls, picking through paper and food, etc, so was just frustrated all the time that he couldn't pick up things he dropped as they fall through the grate. Once it was removed he loves playing down there sooo much more, but it means he has direct access to the mats and can eat them - and he has. So its back to paper in cage, but it is a good start on using less paper! We use to chuck out a bag of news paper every week, now its a bag a month! (alright its balled up newspaper which takes up more room, but 4 to 1 is still a good reduction!)
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jules



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Age : 52
Localisation : heanor,nr derby
Registration date : 2010-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Green Parrots! Think Green, not ACTUALLY green ;)   30th September 2013, 5:30 am

well i don't know how i missed all this, and from a year ago lol

i love your idea with the mats, taping them together. i think these would work better than lino as wont that curl up and crack, even when taped, over time? i need something like this under jaspers play stand as this is where she spends most of her time. thankyou for this great idea Smile
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blacksheep

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Number of posts : 65
Age : 33
Localisation : Barrow-in-Furness
Registration date : 2012-02-20

PostSubject: Re: Green Parrots! Think Green, not ACTUALLY green ;)   27th October 2013, 8:34 am

Same way I missed your comment from over a month ago :oops:haha

Well, over a year later, and now in his own bedroom, he still has his taped down mats XD They have cracked in a few places as this carpet is more plush, so I may put some board under it next time I move everything for a deep clean. May do the wood in 6x2 foot sections or something to give a 6x6 area, though at the moment its more like 8x6 or... something. He roams the entire room anyway so its not like it matters lol just makes the most of the poop easy to clean up Laughing

I gave up using them in his cage, he chews them for fun, and I go through more plastic than paper! Little Flocker Rolling EyesLaughing
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jules



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Age : 52
Localisation : heanor,nr derby
Registration date : 2010-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Green Parrots! Think Green, not ACTUALLY green ;)   2nd November 2013, 9:21 am

awww, and now your birdy has his own room and a plush carpet lol. the board would work wouldn't it as it would prevent the mats from sinking in to the carpet, therefore cracking Smile

do you go and sit with him in his room or does he come and sit with you in the living room? i've often wondered how this works when birds are given their own room Smile
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blacksheep

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PostSubject: Re: Green Parrots! Think Green, not ACTUALLY green ;)   2nd November 2013, 11:01 pm

That's what I was thinking Smile

It WAS my office, thus there is a pc and spare bed. We take turns though, sometimes i sit up with him and if he's been a good boy he gets to come cuddle me AND husband in the living room on Saturday nights for a movie. Sometimes if he isn't sleeping well - storms etc - I'll lift the frontbof his cover and read stories then sleep in there with him. He mutters in his sleep XD he also sleep shuffles, sometimes right off his sleepy perch o.O
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jules



Number of posts : 299
Age : 52
Localisation : heanor,nr derby
Registration date : 2010-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Green Parrots! Think Green, not ACTUALLY green ;)   8th November 2013, 9:23 am

oh no, poor elvis. sleep shuffling, that's a new one. i bet he enjoys watching films and having you sleep in his room. he sounds very happy anyway, glad he's settled with you both Very Happy
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