There seems to be a variety of opinion on the use of fresh branches from yard to cage.
My concern about transmittable disease has always prompted me to cook or Clorox branches before use; and even then I have a lingering concern.

There was an article in this morning's Rocky Mountain News about Canada Geese carrying antibiotic-resistant strains of disease including salmonella and e-coli.
I just wanted to pass that along for those who are on the fence about treating branches before use. I think it's worth the effort.

Sincerely,
Joanne
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There seems to be a variety of opinion on the use of fresh branches from yard to cage. My concern ... the effort. Sincerely, Joanne If it's right for you, then it's right, . . . . . for you!!!

I use branches from my land and other than a brief wash in the batjh with a dilute bleach solution and a plastic pan scourer, I do nothing else. I think it is possible to be too mimsy about hygeine.
On a scale of 1=no concern and 10=mimsy (for those of us who don't talk Pammy, mimsy means: prim or affected; over-refined; mincing), I'll admit to being a ten.
You describe your method as near 10. My bleach bath would be stronger than mild and longer than brief. I'm just not up for sick birds with untreatable illnesses.

Sincerely,
Joanne
If it's right for you, then it's right, . . . . . for you!!!

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Big snips
I use branches from my land and other than a brief wash in the bath with a dilute bleach solution and a plastic pan scourer, I do nothing else. I think it is possible to be too mimsy about hygiene.

On a scale of 1=no concern and 10=mimsy (for those of us who don't talk Pammy, mimsy means: prim or affected; over-refined; mincing), I'll admit to being a ten.
I am new to this group and I am wondering how safe is the bleach. Branches can absorb the bleach and may not be rinsed out. If I am using branches from trees I planted and have never used insecticides on shouldn't they be safe after a mild wash. In this area we see ducks but only in the early Spring and late Fall flying hundreds of feet in the air.

Joan
Big snips

I use branches from my land and other than a ... think it is possible to be too mimsy about hygiene.

On a scale of 1=no concern and 10=mimsy (for those of us who don't talk Pammy, mimsy means: prim or ... we see ducks but only in the early Spring and late Fall flying hundreds of feet in the air. Joan

I've used bleach for cages, toys, dishes, perches, walls, floors, etc. for years. It's terrible on my hands but I've never had any adverse effect on birds. After a bleach bath, change the water and let the perches soak in clear water. Repeat as often as you need to to feel safe. Bleach is used in wells after they have been uncapped for sanitation. Bleach can be put in the water supply of motor homes. Bleach can be put in wild bird baths to help them from transmitting disease to each other.

It's not just geese, ducks, etc. Did you have corvids dropping over dead last year from West Nile Virus in your area? We did. Wild birds are filthy.

Sincerely,
Joanne
If it's right for you, then it's right, . . . . . for you!!!

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There seems to be a variety of opinion on the use of fresh branches from yard to cage. My concern ... those who are on the fence about treating branches before use. I think it's worth the effort. Sincerely, Joanne

I think the advantages of green leaves far outweigh any potential danger. Fresh leaves, fresh bark are good for birds, they provide enrichment, are good distraction for feather pickers, as well contain trace minerals. I rinse off the leaves with the hose before I give them to my birds to knock off any insects. I've done this for years, almost a decade, and both of the zoos I've worked for do the same, including with some very endangered birds.

If we're going to be worried about outside germs we need to be worried about the stuff we track in our feet. Wild bird poop typically lands on the ground (especially goose poop, I've never seen geese roost in a tree!), plus dogs, cats, rats, raccoons, etc. Also, whatever we get on our feet from the petstore or show. How many of us have dogs and cats that go inside and out? How many of us don't take our shoes off before we go inside, or even into the bird room? My vet told me about a B&G she treated that got worms from his owner's rottie, repeatedly, because he let it play on the floor. I would be far more concerned about that kind of disease transmission then fresh branches.
Gloria
Big snips On a scale of 1=no concern and 10=mimsy ... late Fall flying hundreds of feet in the air. Joan

I've used bleach for cages, toys, dishes, perches, walls, floors, etc. for years. It's terrible on my hands but I've ... have corvids dropping over dead last year from West Nile Virus in your area? We did. Wild birds are filthy.

West Nile is transmitted through mosquitoes or, perhaps, direct blood contact. Not through poop.I'm with Pam on this one, if we go too far trying to protect our friends we may end wearing cleansuits! Okay, maybe that's a little exaggerated, but if we're going to disinfect everything before we give it to our bird we shouldn't take them outside, even in a carrier on a leash, we shouldn't take them to the vet because there are sick bird in the building, and we definitely shouldn't take them to the petstore, or even a store that just sells pet supplied, but no pets, because someone might have brought in a sick animal.

We should remove our shoes before coming inside, and not let our dogs and cats go in and out, because they may track in germs. Heck, if we really wanted to be careful and not bring in germs we should set up a shower in the garage, shower completely and change our clothes before entering the house!
Some of these suggestions are sensible (I don't take my birds to the pet store or bird show, even the good ones), and some aren't (establishing full quarantine, complete with shower, cleansuit, and bouffant cap*). As owners we have to decide what sort of risk is acceptable to us.

Gloria
* for the average pet bird situation
West Nile is transmitted through mosquitoes or, perhaps, direct blood contact. Not through poop. I'm with Pam on this one, ... we have to decide what sort of risk is acceptable to us. Gloria * for the average pet bird situation

Dammit, Gloria. I never thought about the dog coming in and out.

Everything else you mention are precautions I take.

I always strip in the laundry room and wash the outfit including shoes in bleach after a bird show. I use clean flip-flops every day. The birds only go out on my shoulder. I cringe at the thought of the vet, but it's a necessary thing at times. I always insist they sterilize their scales, tables, take my own towels, etc. Nobody touches my birds without washing first. I wouldn't dream of taking a bird to the petstore, and the groomer who comes here uses clean towels and sterilized tools.

And, out of respect, I wouldn't touch another keeper's birds without taking precautions to protect them from me and my flock.
I never switch dishes among my birds unless they have been washed and bleached first. I use GSE on all fruits and vegetables for them and for us as well. I sterilize the sink between bird use and personal use. I steam clean the carpets at least monthly.
And it breaks my heart when I hear of someone who's bird has contracted one of the nasty to deadly diseases our birds are at risk for. You know the list.
I do understand when birds are kept in outside aviaries that compromises must be made. I know everyone is doing the best they can considering their circumstances. My birds are not rare, they are only precious.

Sincerely,
Joanne
If it's right for you, then it's right, . . . . . for you!!!

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I am new to this group and I am wondering how safe is the bleach. Branches can absorb the bleach and may not be rinsed out.

Actually, bleach biodegrades into it's harmless constituents rather rapidly. A 10% dilution of bleach (1 measure of bleach, to 10 measures of water) is potent enough, and won't linger for long.

Dave
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