Bathing Birds Better


Inside and Outside Bird Bathing When Using Bird Cages for Parrots

Bathing Birds, Like Other Pets, Requires Patience, Persistence & A Few Skills, Especially for Parrots & Other Large Caged Birds

Maintaining proper hygiene for pet birds is important for avian health including the prevention of self-destructive behaviors. Water and humidity keep parrot skin healthy by preventing it from drying out, making it less likely for birds to engage in feather chewing and plucking. Birds can have between 2,000 and 3,000 feathers, and cleaning, or preening, them each day is an important ritual. There are simple ways owners can encourage feather cleaning inside of bird cages. For parrots and other small bird species, routine bathing or misting not only hydrates their skin, but also helps rid their plumage of dirt, extra oils and insects.

Why Bird Cages for Parrots Make Bathing Necessary

Feathers serve many different purposes for birds.  They protect a bird's skin, contribute to sexual attraction, provide warmth, waterproofing and the ability to fly.  Birds preen their feathers each day to keep them looking beautiful and healthy.  Bathing encourages this activity.  Feathers can be indicators of overall bird health.  Glossy, beautiful, clean feathers are signs of good health, while dull, torn or dirty feathers may indicate malnourishment or illness.  In the wild, birds may bathe in the rain, puddles, lakes, rivers, or wet grasses. 

But bird cages for parrots pose some hygiene complications.  Bird cages for parrots get messier faster than parrot nests in the wild.  Because they are caged, pet birds rely on their owners to maintain a sanitary living environment.  Additionally, temperature-controlled homes are likely to be drier than most wild avian habitats; therefore, bathing is even more important either inside or outside of bird cages for parrots to help maintain moisture levels.  Most avian specialists recommend bathing birds at least once a week and misting in between to maintain the humidity necessary for proper feather care.

Proper Bathing Techniques and Tips

Birds can be bathed or spritzed inside of bird cages for parrots, in an adult shower, or even in a kitchen sink. Below are some bird bathing guidelines for owners:
  • Spray birds using a mist setting on a spray bottle. This can be done either inside of bird cages for parrots, outside of the cage indoors or outside of the house.
  • Do not spray birds directly in the face. Spray their backs and then spray the air directly above their heads so that the mist can fall down on their faces.
  • Use warm water for baths unless the bird is being bathed outside in warm weather (then use cool water).
  • Bathe birds early enough so that they will dry before bedtime.
  • When bringing a bird into the shower, begin gradually, allowing them to become accustomed to the noise of the shower. Bring them slowly into the edge of the shower's spray for short periods of time until they are comfortable doing this themselves. Shower perches can be hung for regular bathing.
  • Sinks or bathtubs can be filled with shallow water for birds to splash around in while owners help them soak their feathers.
  • Shallow bowls can be filled with water and placed inside of bird cages for parrots for an impromptu bird bath
  • Birds can either air dry outside on warm days or owners can use a towel to help pat them dry inside.
  • Cage-mounted baths can be temporarily attached inside of bird cages for parrots. They are easy-to-clean and keep moisture off of the cage floor.
  • Moistened green leaves placed inside of bird cages for parrots provide nutritious snacks and a means for dampening feathers. This can be a strategy for introducing reluctant bathers to the process.
Most birds will readily participate in bathing, but owners must observe their birds to discover their bathing preferences. There are commercial sprays and shampoos available for bird bathing, but owners should always consult their veterinarians before using any of these products on their pets. For example, Cockatoos, Cockatiels and African Greys should only be bathed in water because of their powder-down feathers. However, there are species-specific shampoos that may be used for especially dirty areas. Soap should be avoided for all birds because it removes natural oils from birds' feathers and dries out their skin. If a bird gets anything on its feathers that cannot be easily removed with water, the owner should consult with a veterinarian.

The BIG 3 Bird Feeding Links!
Poop Off Brush Top Applicator
No-Scratch-Cage-Cleaning Pad
Anti-Microbial Cage Liners
hand feeding of new cage birds can be done by pet bird owners
Bathing your pet bird doesn't have to be a chore. Just look how much fun this rainbow lorikeet (an east asian type of Parrot) is having. With a few tools and techniques, you can turn this sometimes stressful activity into a great adventure for you and your caged bird.

small birds need play toys for development

There are many bathing options inside of bird cages for parrots. Cage-mounted birdbaths are excellent options for small and medium-sized birds. offers birdbaths that fit any size wire cage.

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