Grooming Birds

By ACS Distance Education on December 22, 2013 in Pets & Wildlife | comments

In general your bird should not require much grooming, as they keep themselves clean by spreading a waxy natural oil from the preen gland found at the base of their tale over their outer feathers. This substance helps keep moisture and grime off the feathers.

If your bird becomes soiled, pure water spray is best, however if you need more vigorous washing, a gentle shampoo (such as baby shampoo) or natural milk based soap can be used to gently clean soiled feathers. You can brush lather up the soap with a soft shaving brush and gently wash the feathers. Soap suds and shampoo residue should be gentle yet thoroughly rinsed away with warm water. Following the bath, the bird should be dried to prevent the bird becoming chilled. 

Keep your bird away from air pollutants such as cigarette smoke, which can not only stain their feathers but could cause more serious illness.  Some other grooming which can be done include:

  • Wing trim – to prevent flight (birds will still fly short distances).  Your veterinarian can show you how to perform this properly and how to best restrain your bird to prevent injuries.  If you have never trimmed feathers before, do not attempt to ‘have a go’ you may cause serious and irreparable damage to the wing.

  • Nail trim – if you birds nails appear to be overgrown you can trim small amounts off frequently.  Take cake not to cut to short as the bird will bleed profusely if you cut the quick.  Always have styptic powder on hand to stem any bleeding.  If you have supplied natural perches this should not be necessary.

  • Beak trim – should not be necessary if your bird has sufficient material to chew on.  If the bird’s beak does appear overgrown, consult your veterinarian to see if it needs trimming and purchase some more chewable toys and perches.

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