In both summer and winter, birds need water to hydrate, wash, or cool down. That is why it is important to place one or more drinking troughs in your garden. And just like with feeders, these little ponds need regular cleaning. We explain why and how.
Why do drinking troughs need to be cleaned?
Have you ever seen a pool of water up close? Often it is filled with softened leaves, all kinds of insects and other organisms. This standing water can then be a vector of microbes or diseases such as salmonellosis (not without danger to birds). As a result, when the birds come to drink or refresh themselves in the water troughs, it is not uncommon for them to catch bacteria that can sometimes be fatal to them. Hence the importance of properly disinfecting these water points.
How to clean the drinkers?
FYI, depending on the season, the water should be changed every two to three days. And when in doubt, know that cloudy water is rarely synonymous with cleanliness.
Empty the water from the drinkers
To avoid infecting the birds that visit your yard, put on a pair of gloves first, then drain the water from all water troughs. There should be no leaves, algae or tree branches. In addition, if the container is dry, it is not necessary that it be clean. It must therefore be carefully cleaned.
Disinfect drinking troughs
After the water has been emptied, all you need to do is disinfect the container. For this you need white vinegar and a little cold water. Dilute the two liquids and place a few drops on a sponge. You can also add baking powder. Rub vigorously and rinse thoroughly. Be careful not to use industrial products that can be toxic to birds and the environment (such as bleach).
Here are 4 tips to prevent water for birds from freezing too quickly in winter. And if you are interested, how do you clean the feeders?