Type: Senegal Parrot
Weight: 120 grams
Height: 9 inches
Age: 9 years, 10 months
Type: Cape Parrot
Weight: 330 grams
Height: 13 inches
Age: 8 years, 1 month
List of Common Parrots:
Monk Parakeet (Quaker Parrot)
Green Rumped Parrotlet
Blue Winged Parrotlet
Dusky Billed Parrotlet
Yellow Faced Parrotlet
Peach Faced Lovebird
Lilian's (Nyasa) Lovebird
Black Cheeked Lovebird
Red Faced Lovebird
Lories and Lorikeets
Cherry Headed Conure
Blue Crowned Conure
Green Cheeked Conure
Black Headed Caique
White Bellied Caique
Red Bellied Parrot
Brown Headed Parrot
Congo African Grey (CAG)
Timneh African Grey (TAG)
Blue Fronted Amazon
Yellow Naped Amazon
Yellow Headed Amazon
Orange Winged Amazon
Yellow Crowned Amazon
Galah (Rose Breasted) Cockatoo
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
Bare Eyed Cockatoo
Red Shouldered (Hahn's) Macaw
Blue And Gold Macaw
Blue Throated Macaw
Red Fronted Macaw
Green Winged Macaw
This is a quick review of some of my favorite cleaning gadgets that I have found helpful. I have probably spent a thousand dollars on things to make cleaning easier. Some of these items turned out great while others were duds. I'd like to save you the trouble of trying everything out by directing you straight to some of the better cleaning devices you can buy.
#1 - Black & Decker Pivot Vac 18V Cordless Pivoting Hand Vac, PHV1810
A handheld vacuum cleaner is a must have device for every parrot owner from budgie to macaw. Parrots are messy creatures and being able to easily collect that mess is a part of daily parrot care. Not only do parrots throw food around but they also shed a lot of feathers and chew things down to dust.
I have gone through many handheld vacuum cleaners until I tried this model. That is when I stopped having to change brands and stuck it out with one for the longest time I can remember. This one is simply the best. Not only is the battery/motor more powerful, but the filter is less prone to clogging so the power doesn't diminish. The 18V battery gives more umph while maintaining a charge for longer. You can get a good 15-30 minutes of cleaning time with this one so the battery life doesn't end up inhibiting you like on the cheaper models. The suction port angle can be adjusted and cleaning it out is nothing more than opening the door.
The only downside I can think of to this handheld vac is that it is heavy. I don't consider the circa-$50 price tag a downside because of the quality and value. I've had mine for over 3 years now and it's running like new while the cheaper ones I had for $25 had to be replaced more frequently in the same span of time. Since your parrot will put you in the habit of using a handheld vac daily, this is a place where quality/durability are essential.
I have also used this same vac to clean my staircase and car, so it has been by far the greatest cleaning asset. The slightly higher price tag actually makes it seem cheap compared to the longevity and value that it has truly offered. So I highly recommend the 18V Black and Decker handheld vac to all parrot owners. There is no other cleaning gadget I am as thrilled to use as this vac. I rate it 5 stars on all parameters.
#2 - Shark Steam Pocket Multi-Purpose Portable Steamer, SC630
The Steam Shark or Shark Steam, whatever it's called, is a "steam cleaner." Don't confuse it with other steam cleaners that just rub the floor with hot water. This one actually blows out steam. The steam should help sanitize surfaces without the need for chemicals. Since chemicals and parrots are a risky combination, the idea of simply blowing hot water on a surface to disinfect it is highly appealing. My main resignation, however, is that I'm not sure that the steam exposure is long enough to do a complete job so I do resort to parrot safe chemicals every now and then. That said, I prefer to use this cleaner on a more regular basis.
I don't find this cleaner as awesome as the vac I previously mentioned, but there are a few things it can help with that make it worth having for most parrot owners. The downsides are that it is cumbersome and slow to use. It takes time for the water to heat up and steam to come out. Since there is water inside, it is pretty heavy to hold. The worst part is that the steam comes out a fairly small nozzle so you can only clean a small area at a time. Cleaning a bird cage with chemicals ends up faster than using the cleaner.
But where this steam cleaner really shines is in the hard to reach places: the cracks and crevices in parrot perches. Poop and dirt seem to find their way into perches, between cage bars, in cage corners, and all those hard to reach/clean places. The steam cleaner not only heats those places but it also blows the contaminants straight out of where they are. Essentially, the steam cleaner is like a miniature power washer. You can blast dried poop out of just about anywhere. It may take you a few minutes to clean a spot only a few inches across, but when you need to clean out the bark on a perch, there is pretty much no other way. This cleaner comes with a long cord so it is convenient when you need to clean multiple trees and cages.
I would not rely on this cleaner exclusively for cage cleaning but if you are already well stocked on other cleaning supplies, this is a good extra gadget to add to your arsenal. It is pretty much the only power cleaning tool you can use for parrot cages (except a power washer outdoors) so it's worth mentioning. If you are very poopy-phobic, which is hard to imagine for any seasoned parrot owner, with enough patience, this cleaner can be used to clean down your parrot's cage entirely without ever touching anything.
Just remember that you can burn yourself or your parrot with the hot steam coming out so always be conscious of where you are spraying it. I use this device a few times a week and recommend it as something that most parrot owners should eventually end up getting. It's not a must have device but it is quite helpful. It's a little pricey but the value is good. The construction and capability leave some to be desired but they are generally good enough for common parrot cleaning purposes. I'd rank it 3/5 on quality, usefulness, and value. But I'd give it 4/5 when it comes to cleaning tight places such as between cage bars, perches, trees, toys, etc. I give it 5/5 as being parrot safe (as long as your parrot is away to avoid getting burned).
#3 - BISSELL Spotbot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner with Deep Reach Technology, 33N8
The spotbot is really cool because it's the only fully automatic cleaning gadget I'm aware of. This one is particularly handy for people with a lot of carpet/rugs. No matter how much you try to potty train your parrot, accidents will happen from time to time. With some, more than others. Kili is pretty good so this device wasn't paying off with her. But, with Truman on the other hand it's been worth every penny. When he was younger and couldn't hold it in long enough, when i would let him out in the morning he would sometimes spill his load while flying across the room. It wasn't just a matter of having a mess on the carpet in one spot. He'd leave a whole trail that was a nightmare to clean. Using my spotbot, I was able to run it a couple times and be done with it.
The way the spotbot works is it has a round opening on the bottom, approximately 9 inches across, that runs a complete wash/scrub/vac cycle for you. All you have to do is add water/detergent to the canister, place it over the mess, and activate it. The machine will run the complete cleaning cycle and then beep to alert you when it is done. Since you don't want it to beep any more than necessary (or else your parrot will be doing that all the times there isn't even a mess to clean), you have to run over right away to turn it off.
Almost every time I've had to run it, the spotbot took care of the mess on the first run. Rarely have I had to run it a second time and I really can't think of a time when it couldn't cope with the mess. It sure beats getting on your knees and scrubbing bird poop out of the carpet for half an hour. The only thing I suggest about using the spotbot is to remove as much of the mess with a papertowel beforehand as possible and then let the machine do the hard work. The device also comes with a hose for handheld cleaning. I've never had to use that for a bird mess but I admit it was handy for cleaning the floor mats from my car. Otherwise, I've found no other uses for the machine.
The spotbot is the most expensive of my parrot-specific cleaning gadgets so I least recommend it for all owners. It's the gadget you'll end up paying the most for and using the least. If you don't mind the expense or have a lot of carpet messes, I do suggest it. The quality of the machine is good but the frequency of these pooping on the carpet accidents are just so rare that the cost effectiveness is the only concern. Perhaps I've used mine 50 times. That still comes out to $3 a cleaning. So keep in mind that you'll be paying a lot for little use. But the amount of tiring effort that it saves is really worthwhile. I'll rate the quality/capability of the gadget 5/5 but 2/5 on price and 2/5 for how essential it is for parrot owners. Not a bad device by any means, just limited in use and expensive.
When it comes to regular vacuum cleaners, etc, I don't feel it worth reviewing. That comes down to your personal cleaning preferences and is impacted less by owning parrots. Whatever vacuum cleaner, mop, or other device you like to clean with shouldn't be affected too much by having a bird. The 3 devices I mentioned above I would not have if it weren't for parrots so that's why I thought they are especially worth mentioning. Over the years I've tried many and have thrown out most of them. The 3 I listed here have lasted for years and served me well. I have no motivation to push those products except that I hope they can make your life taking care of parrots easier like they have mine.
Feel free to leave comments if you've tried these devices or have other cleaning gadgets you'd like to recommend.
Part of: General Parrot Care, Blog Announcements, Product Reviews
Cleaning Vacuum Gadget Device
CommentsPost Your Response
Posted on June 8, 2013 08:37PM
Your new little macaw is very cute Michael.
What are your plans regarding having them out at the same time? I think truman is big enough to fend for himself, but Kili is going to be tiny compared to your new bird (scarlett macaw eh?).
I know of a meyers who got on the wrong side of the macaw and died becuase of it .
Posted on June 8, 2013 08:58PM
I'll play it by ear but the current plan is to just keep Kili & Truman as one group and the macaw separately. It's going to be a very young baby when I get it so I'll want to keep it separate for the first 6-12 months regardless and then we'll see how things develop. I said it's a macaw cause I don't think it can be confused with any other type from the most recent picture. I didn't say what kind. You guys still have to figure it out.
Posted on June 9, 2013 04:25AM
I think its a green wing macaw. Congrats on your new birdy baby. Are you currently handfeeding him or is the breeder doing that?
Posted on June 9, 2013 05:38AM
Thanks for this, Michael, you've inspired me to buy a Bissell similar to the one you reviewed (that exact one isn't available in the UK). I have a dog as well as my young Senegal and my carpet is suffering! Your new baby is huge[/i:yv8qoev2], my guess is that it's a Hyacinth.
Posted on June 9, 2013 05:58PM
He's beautiful! Can't wait to see him fully grown in all his glory.
You're going to need a bigger poop cleaner for sure! X
Posted on June 10, 2013 02:54PM
[quote="janetafloat":12c3q4fl] Your new baby is huge[/i:12c3q4fl], my guess is that it's a Hyacinth.[/quote:12c3q4fl] Nah, cant be with the red on its head !
Posted on June 10, 2013 05:57PM
Ohhhh, okay, just goes to show, I have no idea what I'm talking about!
Posted on June 10, 2013 06:37PM
[quote="janetafloat":16xlrqnh]Ohhhh, okay, just goes to show, I have no idea what I'm talking about! [/quote:16xlrqnh]
I am pretty sure my guess of scarlett macaw is wrong as well. Those babies have more yellow on them...
From a quick googling I am not sure which species it is, my best guess would be a hybrid, but I dont think Michael would support that?
Otherwise maybe a Red-and-green Macaw, a Red-fronted Macaw, or a Great Green Macaw, but none of them looks just like the photo of the baby macaw Michael posted.
Posted on June 11, 2013 10:12PM
His bird is a scarlet macaw. If it were a green wing macaw, then it would have red streaks and markings on it bare white face near the eyes. However, the bird's face is a clean, pure white, like a scarlet macaw, therefore this bird is a scarlet macaw.
Posted on June 12, 2013 04:29PM
But there aren't ANY yellow feathers, [url=http://3219a2.medialib.glogster.com/media/b9/b934b9ae119b2be0faa12fb85a12d107909f2e253c41578ffa0dff77df448e08/scarlet-macaw-two-chick-44-day-2007-1-jpg.jpg:3t4tqc29]which there probably should be if it was a scarlet[/url:3t4tqc29], right?
And I can se a whole lot of green wing feathers too, which I'm not sure is so scarletty either, i dunno.
Only thing I can think of that fits perfectly to me is a Ruby macaw, a greenwing/scarlet hybrid. Just a guess, but could be a Greenwing too of course.
Posted on June 19, 2013 01:33AM
I'm going with your guesses of greenwing too! How exciting! When did you decide to get a macaw, Michael? I did a search and I didn't find another post on your blog about it. (But maybe I missed something.) I'd really like to read about how you chose this bird. I'm still researching what bird I'd like to get when I am in the position to take care of one, so I enjoy reading about how other people decide.
Posted on June 29, 2013 10:10PM
Congrats on the new Macaw, appears to be a Green Wing, he/she is very beautiful. Any ideas on what you are going to name him/her? Also wanted to mention that I am almost midway through your new book. Really amazing so far, I like the detailed way of explaining all the steps and breaking it down simple. I have read many of the books out there, really is one of the best I've come across so far. Keep up the good work and anxiously awaiting your blogs on the progress of your new Macaw.
Posted on July 18, 2013 01:31AM
I picked up the Black & Decker. I can't be happier. Lots of power and long battery life.
Posted on July 19, 2013 09:32AM
Awsome Post Micheal.
I got the shark steam cleaner today and couldn't be happier, after washing the cage, the amount of first still on there is incredible. This is by far THE BEST investment in cleaning plus it disinfects!!
i cant even tell you how much more comfortable i am knowing my little sennie is less exposed to harmfull bacteria!
Posted on July 19, 2013 01:43PM
My best cleaning device is this:
iRobot Roomba 780
http://www.amazon.co.uk/iRobot-Roomba-V ... roomba+780
A robot vacuum cleaner which cleans our appartment three times a week on a schedule while we are at work. The results are great (I found it hard to believe that they were effective before getting one, but its better than me at vacuuming ).
This has really helped with my dust allergies =), and it keeps downs, seeds, chewed wood etc to a minimum.
The only downside is that its quite an investment, but I was starting to look at hiring cleaning help (as I want my house clean, but dont enjoy cleaning) and that would be a lot more ^^.
Actually it cleans all rooms except the parrot room, which I still clean myself with a standard vacuum cleaner and a bucket with a mop while the birds are out flying in the rest of the appartment, as they dont really like the sound of a vacuumer ^^.
Posted on August 2, 2013 09:40AM
My guess is that it's a Ruby Macaw (Greenwing - Scarlet Hybrid), they have the colors of the scarlet, but also have green, and the gentleness of a greenwing.
Post Your Response
Posted on November 23, 2013 01:29PM
When will you be receiving the macaw?