Grooming Your Parrot

201204007-1600-parrot-mcaw-preening-colorful-1335283449Just like dogs and cats, your feathered friends need regular grooming to stay healthy. Most birds groom themselves naturally by preening their feathers.

Remember—a healthy parrot likes to look his best! However, there are a few additional grooming techniques you may need to apply, depending on your bird.
•    Trimming the nails. If your parrot’s nails get too long, they can start to curl and then dig into the skin, causing intense pain. In order to make nail trimming a stress-free and easy process, start handling your parrot’s feet while he/she is still a baby. This will remove any fear your parrot may have. If you keep a few pedicure bird perches in your parrot’s cage, this may eliminate the need for nail trimming.

•    Clipping the feathers. Not all parrot owners want to trim their bird’s feathers. However, it does have many practical purposes. In the first place, keeping your parrot’s wings trimmed will prevent him from escaping too easily. He/she will be unable to fly out the door and will be less likely to get caught in a ceiling fan in your home. Trimming wing feathers is an extremely easy and pain-free process. Ask an experienced bird owner or your avian veterinarian to show you how. You can easily distract your bird during the process by showing him a colorful bird toy or letting him sit on his/her favorite bird stand during the trimming.

•    Trimming the beak. Through playing with bird toys, many parrots are able to keep their beaks trim and slim. Foraging bird toys and bird toys that encourage chewing are especially useful. However, sometimes a parrot’s beak will grow too long and need to be trimmed. If this is the case, take your bird to an avian veterinarian to ensure the trimming is done properly. Some birds may only need their beaks filed—similar to filing your nails.

•    Bathing. Many birds love baths. Others hate them. If your bird enjoys bathing, you can give them a bath as often as once a week. You may even consider taking your parrot in the shower with you. For parrots that dislike bathing, try misting them with a spray bottle.

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2 responses to “Grooming Your Parrot

  1. Have a question about my orange wing amazon….she has trouble reaching under her wing (and her sides), due to several incidents of trying to follow her previous owner by running into the walls, so how or what can I do to help her preen that area??

    • Hi Leah,

      Has your Orange wing seen an avian vet? I generally do not recommend petting under wings because it can be taken as sexual and can cause problems later on. I am really not sure. Are their any pin feathers under her wings that you can see? I would check with an avian vet to see what they would suggest. There are sprays that can be used to help with preening but I would first see what they vet suggests.

      Sorry I could not be of more help.

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