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Last sync:2023-01-24 11:45
Jessi explains the best ways to give a companion bird a bath or shower and why it's important.

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Who likes birds?  I do!  This is Ginger, I'm Jessi, and today, we're going to talk about birds and baths. 


Birds like to be clean, which is why when you put a birdbath in your yard, it attracts birds.  The reason that birds like to be so clean is because their feathers need to be in tip-top shape to work properly.  Feathers are used to keep birds warm and dry and in most cases, they're used for camouflage and flight, but if they're dirty and unkempt, they can't do any of those jobs very well.  Even birds that aren't living in the wild and don't depend on pristine feathers to survive benefit from staying fresh and clean.

Not only do birds just feel better when they're clean, it can also keep them healthy.  Dirty feathers can cause itchy skin which can lead to over-grooming and feeling unclean can lead to anxiety.  Here are a few ways that you can keep the birds in your care feeling fresh and fancy.

Offer fresh water in a large dish every day.  Early morning is when most birds love to take a nice bath.  They'll usually dip their chest and belly first, fluff up, and then flail around.  They might dunk their head, flap their wings, and shake their tail.  Be prepared for water going everywhere. 

Some birds love their baths while others just won't do it.  For those that are bath shy, you can offer them a shower instead, either in the actual shower or using a mister.  For the shower shower option, I'd suggest getting a shower perch that sticks right to the wall.  Some bird companions get the idea right away while others are a little bit more wary.  For the skeptical birds out there, try showing them how it works.  You can either take a shower yourself or just put your hands and arms in the water and show them how safe and fun it is.   

Many birds like to do what their human companions do and they'll mimic their actions.  If you do take a shower with your bird, make sure that you avoid getting any soap, conditioner, or any other heavily fragranced materials on them or in the air.  Birds are twice as sensitive as humans are to particles in the air and one last thing about showers in the shower.  Many birds have a special oil that covers their feathers and makes them glossy and water-resistant.  Using hot water can strip the oil from their feathers, so using cool water is best.

For another shower option, you can simply use a mister and mist them in the comfort of their own home.  I like to use a continuous hand-held mister because some of our birds get spooked by the short bursts of a spritzing mister like this.  Some birds love the mister, like Archie and Zoe the Amazon parrots.  Neither of these two will take a bath in standing water, but they really enjoy the mister.  Other birds are much more nervous and try and avoid the stream, like Joy the macaw.  See how she's moving away?

If they won't take baths on their own and don't like a shower in the shower, then the mister is the last option to keep them clean and healthy.  Go slowly and show them the mister.  Touch it and let them know that it's not going to hurt them.  Gently mist to one side of them and then slowly move the mist towards them.  Have the water aimed at their belly and chest and then their tail.   Avoid misting directly into their face.  If they move away, slowly follow them and encourage them to enjoy the experience by using your voice.  You can sound happy and excited or soothing and reassuring, depending on the bird's personality and your relationship with them.  Try to mist them until their feathers become a bit saturated.  You can tell when this happens because they'll turn a darker color and the water droplets will soak in instead of beading up and rolling off.  I recommend misting or showering birds that don't enjoy bathing themselves at least every two weeks and more often if they enjoy it.  This will keep them fresh, clean, healthy, and happy.

Thanks for joining us today.  If you like animals and like learning new things about them, subscribe to our YouTube channel AnimalWondersMontana and if you'd like to learn more about us and our animals, go to our website  Thanks.  We'll see you next week.


Will you move the other ones?  You smell it.  You gotta work a little bit harder for those other ones.  Right now she's getting frustrated.