Bird grooming itself is part of its instinct just like other animals. They normally spend much time doing this. If your bird has a pair, they would normally groom each other which is a good thing for them and they like it when they have a pair to groom each other. However, there are instances similar to grooming behavior on birds where they pull out their feathers to the point of creating bald patches on their plumage. This condition is an illness called French moulting so be careful to identify whether your bird is actively grooming or suffering from this condition.
The need for you to clean the bird itself is not necessary as they clean themselves already through this bird grooming process. However, as a pet owner, it is your responsibility to keep their hygiene well maintained so additional cleaning and grooming is important. Aside from regular cleaning of the bird cage and the surrounding areas, you also need to check on your bird’s appearance such as their nails, beaks, wings, and some body parts that they missed from bird grooming themselves.
Tips in Proper Cleaning and Bird Grooming
Trimming their beaks
Bird’s beak grows continuously and through feeding, chewing, and beak exercises, they grow the way they are designed to be. But there are instances where the bird’s beak could grow misaligned or exceed over the proper form, so when this happens you can trim their beaks to become even. When a bird’s beak is uneven, it could cause them feeding problems.
Always be careful when trimming your birds beak as it could cause them trauma and stress. If you are not sure how to perform this, bring your bird to a veterinarian. For safer trimming of beaks, use a sand file instead of a cutting tool so you could shape the beaks better and that you can avoid making their beaks sharp.
Trimming their nails
Like their beaks, their nails could grow exceedingly too and makes it difficult for them to use their feet when walking, climbing, and perching. This will cause stress on the bird so it is important to trim their nails as part of their healthy well-being.
How to know if their nails are too long for them?
You will notice this if their toe is not touching the ground anymore and when the nails are starting to curl.
To cut their nails you can use a nail trimmer or a nail file. Make sure to cut only the overgrown part and not the entire nail as it could cut through the blood supply area of the nails. If you are unsure how to cut their nails, bring them to expert bird groomer or to the nearest veterinary clinic.
Clipping their wings
This applies only to the birds that are allowed to roam outside the cage like parrots and conures. For small birds like canaries and finches this is not needed as they always stay in their cage.
Why do we need to clip their wings?
This is very important for birds who spend some time outside the cage because if their wings are not clipped, there is a tendency for them to fly outdoors from the window , in to the ceiling fan, foods, boiling water, and other dangerous areas at home. Protecting them by restricting their capacity to fly high is recommended.
Clipping their wings for the first time could be very tricky and doing it the wrong way can hurt or injure your bird and can put stress on them. Have a veterinarian do it first and watch closely to learn the proper way. Like their nails, there is also a part of their wings where there is blood supply, and accidentally cutting through it can cause bleeding and pain on your bird.
Bird baths and misting
Bird grooming cleans themselves from unwanted dirt, but their style of bird grooming cannot actually clean them completely so sometimes you need to give them a quick bath and some misting too. Birds who enjoy water will find this activity very enjoyable. For birds who like bathing you can simply out a shallow pan with water in their cage for them to bathe themselves. For other birds, you can use a spray bottle with water and mist them all over in their cage. You can rotate the nozzle of the bottle to set it to mist effect rather than the actual spraying.
Remember that to raise a healthy bird, you need to take care of their hygiene. Aside from daily interaction and healthy diet, cleaning their cage and making sure their body parts are in proper form will help them grow and become healthy and lively pets.