During the cold winter months, skin irritations can become a problem for your feathered friend(s). There are several reasons for this including:
1. Lack of Humidity. If the air is too dry, it can cause your parrot’s skin to become cracked, flaky or irritated. Feathers may also start to look dull and brittle. As you observe your parrot perched on his parrot playgym, or busily playing with bird toys in his cage, take a few moments to examine the condition of his skin and feathers. If dryness seems to be an issue, you may want to invest in a humidifier. Offering regular baths and occasionally misting your bird with water are also good options in helping restore moisture to the skin.
2. Inadequate Nutrition. Some skin and feather problems stem from a nutritional deficiency. Birds that live solely off of seeds and or pellets are especially at risk. Fresh, wholesome food is essential in maintaining the health of your feathered friend. Although it may require extra effort on your part, it will be well worth it. Your feathered friend will have more energy to play with his bird toys; he will be more attentive to his surroundings and much happier overall. Vitamins A & E are especially important for healthy skin. Green leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli and squash are rich in Vitamin A.
3. Stress. If your bird has recently lost a feathered companion or feels neglected, these factors may affect his health—including skin and feather quality. The best remedy for this situation is to identify the stress factor and do your best to eliminate it. If your bird is feeling lonely, spend a few extra minutes playing with him; if he is bored, invest in some new parrot toys to keep him/her occupied.
Additional Skincare Tips
Some birds may experience skin issues due to allergies or environmental toxins. Harsh cleaning chemicals or other household products could irritate your parrot if he comes in contact with them. If this is the case, consider switching to natural cleaning products or just use soap and water, especially when disinfecting your parrot’s cage. To make sure your feathered friend’s skin is well-hydrated, provide access to clean water at all times. It is important to keep in mind that certain parasites, such as mites, can cause major skin issues. If you suspect something is wrong, take your parrot to an avian veterinarian just to be sure.