Birds take care of their own grooming. They have their own natural way of preening themselves to get rid of parasites and dirt. They also have the preening gland at the base of their tail, which helps to keep their feathers both waterproof and flexible.
However, there comes a time when this isn’t enough and they’ll require human help to groom themselves to the required standards. Meaning, you have to step in and clean up their feathers.
So how do you proceed about it?
Pick a warm spot
If you’re planning to clean up your bird’s feathers using water, then you have to start by picking a warm area. It’s advisable to do it during the day when the sun is shining at its brightest.
In whatever you do, avoid washing their feathers when it’s raining or cold. Also, don’t do it indoors unless you have a more natural way of warming up the bird.
Give the bird time to get comfortable with Water
Don’t take your bird and throw it in water and immediately start washing its feathers. Instead, try to put the water outside and let the bird play with it first before you can go ahead and start cleaning it up.
This is particularly important if your bird has a strong aversion towards water. And mind you, lots of bird don’t warm up to cold water. So you might want to consider warming it up to lukewarm before placing it outside.
You can pour the water in a bowl or small basin to about two-third full. If your house is warm enough, then use your kitchen sink instead. Another option is to use a spray bottle or shower perches.
Wash the Feathers
While washing the bird’s feather, you’re advised against using soap, save for situations where the bird’s feathers are super-oily. Otherwise you’re better off just cleaning the feather with just water, and nothing else.
Of course there exist a series of bird products that your might consider checking out. But most of the time, it’s perfectly fine to stick with water alone.
Mist the Bird
In the event that your bird is extremely dirty, then you’re allowed to clean him up by misting. Just get a spray bottle and fill it up with water, and then proceed to spray it up with a light stream of water.
Just spray it until the feathers appear clean. But be careful enough while at it to avoid hurting the bird. A simple trick is to set the water spray on light pressure. You’d be surprised by how much your bird enjoys the sprays.
When to wash the Feathers with Soap
You’re strongly prohibited against washing your bird’s feather with soap. However, if the feathers are oily or covered with a substance that’s really hard to clean it up with water alone, then you’re allowed to use mild soap.
It’s also important that you clean your bird immediately after you’re done to avoid creating unnecessary complications. Just run plenty of the mist spray on the feathers until you’re convinced you’ve completely removed all the soap’s lather.
If the bird is covered in a substance that’s proving to be really difficult to remove, you’re advised to take it to your vet.
Give your Bird Time to Air Dry
Birds cannot fly with wet feathers. So you might want to leave them outside in the sun to dry.
In whatever you do, don’t use a drier on them as this might burn their skin. Also, avoid using a towel on them as there’s the possibility of you ruining the feathers with the pressure. Plus this might interfere with the natural arrangement of the feathers, besides drying up the oil that’s responsible for waterproofing them.
It’s a Wrap
Your bird may shiver, but don’t fret. This is their own natural way of generatingthe much-needed heat, which might actually help to dry up the feathers much quickly.