Guest Author - Heather Thomas
Companion birds need regular baths to maintain optimal feather health. Their feathers become soiled from food, droppings and natural oils from their skin. Human interaction also plays a roll in bath time necessity, oils from your skin, cosmetics and feather separation, due to handling, are all additional reasons your bird requires routine bathing. Typically, bathing your bird once per week is sufficient to keep their feathers in healthy condition. Most birds enjoy taking a bath and this time can also become a source of fun and exercise. There are several ways you can give your bird a bath; often your birdís preference will dictate which method you choose.
A bowl or shallow dish of water offered to your bird is often all that is required to pique their curiosity. Birds are naturally attracted to water and enjoy fluttering and splashing. It is best to do this on a solid surface that is easy to clean up, as water will get everywhere. Your cage liners will get saturated if you offer this bath in the cage, so if you do, be sure to do it right before you change the liner to avoid mold growth. Use warm water 1/4 to Ĺ inch deep.
Some birds show no interest in bathing in a bowl but greatly enjoy being sprayed with a spray bottle. Set the nozzle on spray, not stream. Fill the bottle with hot water; by the time the water droplets reach your bird they will have cooled to a warm mist. A standard spray bottle from your local garden center works perfectly for bathing your bird. Do not use a spray bottle that previously contained anything that could be potentially harmful to your bird. It is worth the peace of mind to spend the couple of dollars to have a fresh unused spray bottle, reserved solely for your birdís bath time.
If your bird enjoys being misted with a spray bottle another option could be to install a shower perch. These perches are held in place with suction cups. They are widely available and allow you to give your bird a bath right in the shower. This greatly reduces the amount of mess created by a wet flapping bird. Check the suction cupís seal before every use to avoid startling your bird with a falling perch.
Many manufacturers now produce a birdbath that sits in the opening where your birdís water dish goes. There are different sizes for various size openings. These baths have a cover to contain the splashed water and provide an easy way to offer a bath to the untamed bird. Simply fill the bath with warm water and hang it in the food door opening. Remove the bath after use and replace it with the birdís regular water dish.
Bathing your bird weekly reduces dander, cleans the skin and feathers and is a fun and healthy way to spend quality time with your bird.