Does my pet parrot need a shower?

Yes, for two reasons, they get dirty, and they need to keep clean to feel comfortable and promote good health. Most of our companion parrots are just a few generations out of the wild. A good bathing program can satisfy many of their natural Needs, Wants and Desires.

Natural Bathing Instincts for Parrots

Parrots in the wild have three main methods of keeping clean. Powder down, water, and preening are all part of every parrot’s grooming behavior. The utilization of the three methods can vary widely between species and in a captive environment, will vary greatly for each individual’s personal method and degree of interest in grooming.

Powder Down

Powder down is common to all parrots, but to only a few classes of birds. A general rule of thumb is, the drier the climate a parrot species is native to, the more powder down and dander they will produce.

Close-up look at powder down feather from a parrot. Click on picture for rest of the storyAll down feathers are not powder down producers. Powder comes from specialized down feathers that continue to grow for an extended period. The fine hair-like extensions continuously break off and coat the skin and feathers. The powder has a slight water repellent property and sticks to everything, including dirt. As the bird preens and exercises, the excess powder falls off, taking the dirt with it, which helps keep the bird clean. Dander from the skin works in a similar fashion.