How to Bathe a Bird
Although many people probably don't realize it, bathing serves very important purposes for birds. First of all, baths stimulate preening and remove dust, extra oils, dander, loose feathers, and insects from a bird's plumage, as well as help maintain the insulation properties of feathers. Second, your bird's skin is made for humid conditions. It is considerably drier in your temperature-controlled home than where your bird would live in nature. Baths can help counteract your home's dry air and keep his skin moist and healthy.
Here are a few different methods of bathing that your bird might enjoy:
Methods of BathingThere are many options of how to bathe your bird—it's just a matter of finding the method that your bird prefers. Your bird can bathe inside his cage with a low-profile bath bowl on the bottom of his cage or you can mount a bird bath on the side of his cage.
Some birds prefer to bathe outside of their cage. Many birds prefer a perch inside your shower, which allows him to flap his wings and bathe there. Other options are to let him bathe in the kitchen sink or use a spray bottle to mist him down.
No matter what option your bird likes best, you should avoid spraying him directly in the face. Do not use a hair dryer to dry him off. They can burn your bird and dry his skin very quickly. They can also produce toxic fumes, which if inhaled by your bird, can make him very sick.
Bathing TipsAlthough you may find it relaxing to bathe in hot water, birds like to bathe in lukewarm or room temperature water. Water that is too hot or too cold can shock a bird's system or burn him. Also, make sure not to completely saturate your bird's feathers because it will contribute to a loss of body heat. Lastly, be mindful of when you bathe your bird. Bathing during the warm part of the day is advised so that your bird will have enough time to dry off before the coolness of the evening.
Not all birds love to take a bath. Don't stress out if your bird doesn't want to take regular baths. For a bird that really hates bathing, wait for a big rainstorm and either place a shallow dish of lukewarm water in his cage or lightly spray him with a spray bottle. This usually works because rainstorms cue most birds to start taking a bath.
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