One might not realize the importance and necessity of grooming your parrot. After all, they preen and groom themselves several times a day. Don’t they do the job without your help?  No, they don’t. There are some they can’t do, and still others with which they may need additional help.

Grooming helps keep your pet’s feathers beautifully and colorfully soft and helps keep the skin moist and healthy. In the wild, birds avail themselves of shallow pool of water to bathe, but in their cage, they don’t have that opportunity. You must give them the opportunity to bathe at least weekly.

There is a process with grooming your pet. With their fragility, it is important to observe the proper steps and methods for grooming. Each grooming tasks have particular considerations for keeping your bird clean, safe, and happy. Some considerations with grooming are:

  • Wings
  • Nails
  • Beak
  • Bathing
  • Molting

Wings 

Clipping the outer feathers on the wing will keep the parrot from being free flying. There is some debate as to the benefits and ethics of clipping. Those in favor of it say that there is great danger of the birds drowning or injury if it flies into a window glass, which it is not able to see. It also prevents their escape out an open door or window, they say. Those opposed say it is unfair to deny the bird of its ability to fly freely as it would in the wild. They claim it is much more ethical to provide a safe flying area, such as a room with windows covered, for the bird to fly in under supervision.  In fact, it does stress some birds when they cannot fly for some reason.

You will need to weigh the options and decide whether to clip or not. If you do decide to clip, this should become a routine grooming chore to keep the wings clipped and your bird safe.

Nails 

In the wild, a bird uses its nails for grasping, climbing, and resting on trees with bark on them. The scratch and dig for food items. All this use keeps their nails from growing too long. In captivity, they rarely have the opportunity to use their nails. This means they grow too long. This can be dangerous for your bird. They may get their nails caught o a rough perch, or in the sides of a cage between bars and suffer injury.  You should trim the nails periodically.

Their nails have a “dead” area on the end and a “quick” area where their growth occurs. When clipping, it is important to avoid cutting into the quick, as they will then bleed. Keep a styptic pen available to stop bleeding if you accidently do cut too deep. Many are uncomfortable doing trimming the nails and get an avian veterinarian to do it for them.

Beak 

Again, in the wild a bird is able to manage their beak length by using them for eating seeds and nuts, using them to climb, and by rubbing them against tree bark to “file” them shorter. In captivity, this is not possible.  Help them keep the beak groomed and the proper length by providing branches with bark on them for the bird to strip. Provide plenty of toys made of wood or leather for them to self-groom their beaks.

Keep an eye on the beak to make sure it doesn’t get too long. Be aware of what is an acceptable length. You can’t trim the beak in the event of an overgrowth.  If there becomes a problem, you will need to consult an avian veterinarian.  

Bathing 

Never use any soap or cleaner when bathing your bird. It is best to provide him with a shallow container of slightly warm water and let him splash in it and bath himself. If he doesn’t avail himself of the opportunity, you can lightly mist him with a spray bottle of tepid water. Some birds like sitting under a showerhead turned on at a low pressure.

It is rare for a bird to resist getting wet, but a few are adverse to it. In this event, provide him with some greens misted with water. He will likely roll around on the greens, and may even decide to taste them. The moist greens will effectively moisten his feathers and skin. 

Molting 

Molting is very stressful for a bird. It is a natural process, but still stressful. When grooming the bird, brush off any loose feathers he has been unable to remove. Mist him daily during molting to keep new feathers softened and easier to grow in.

Check him thoroughly to note any bald spots. The new growth should immediately replace molted feathers and there should be not bald spots. Check for broken and/or bleeding feathers. Remove these damaged feathers. The bleeding feather should stop bleeding once removed.

Just these few methods of grooming should keep your bird comfortable, happy, and beautiful. Take that opportunity to note his appearance. A healthy bird will be sleek, eat well, and attend to preening. A ruffled, bunched up bird that may not be eating well is the first sign of an ill bird.

Article source: http://www.petssensation.com/a-schedule-for-keeping-your-parrot-well-groomed/

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One might not realize the importance and necessity of grooming your parrot. After all, they preen and groom themselves several times a day. Don’t they do the job without your help?  No, they don’t. There are some they can’t do, and still others with which they may need additional...