Tips on Bathing your Bird

bird-bathThe natural habitat for many species of parrots is tropical rainforests that have high levels of humidity. As a result, these birds bathe on a regular basis. Even birds raised in arid environments enjoy bathing, which actually stimulates preening and is important for healthy feathers. Sometimes, parrots not provided the opportunity to bathe will begin plucking out feathers, a behavior that can be difficult to correct.

Recommended Methods of Bathing

Of all methods for bathing, the following are the ones recommended most by reputable avian veterinarians:

  • Using a spray bottle to create a light mist
  • Providing a water bowl separate from the one used for drinking
  • Adding a few inches of water in a sink or bathtub
  • Allowing the bird to sit on a T-stand or shower perch with the owner while taking a shower (something enjoyed most by caiques and lories)
  • Setting the cage outdoors and gently misting with a garden mister or during gentle rains
  • Soaking leafy greens and placing in a shallow bowl on top of the cage to “leaf bathe”

Encouraging a Bird to Bathe

To encourage a bird to bathe or take a shower, there are specific do’s and don’ts:

Do’s

  • Spray indirectly with a gentle mist to the side of above the bird
  • Spray water in a neutral area away from the cage and cage environment
  • When providing a bowl to bathe, provide the bird with an easy way out
  • Bathe and/or shower with the bird on a regular basis
  • Use only fresh water

Don’ts

    Use sprayed water as a punishment

  • After taking a bath or showering, a companion bird should be allowed to dry off naturally or if preferred, a soft towel can be used or a blower dyer on low heat and held at least two feet away. When weather permits, direct sunlight while drying can have added benefit (Vitamin D) while they preen and sun dry without getting over heated

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