Is your bird scratching a lot? More than seems normal? Bird’s naturally scratching themselves as a way to remove dust and dirt from their 1000's of feathers. Your bird instinctively needs each of its feathers to be clean and aligned. That’s why a healthy bird can be observed preening its feathers throughout the day. But, if your bird seems to be scratching too much it you may want to check it out.
Take a closer look at your bird. Do you see bald spots? Does your bird’s skin look red or have abrasions? Are your bird’s feet or exposed skin around the face flakey? These are all symptoms that something is wrong.
The first thing to rule out is to determine if your bird is going through a normal molt. Birds molt about once a year, sometimes twice. You can learn more about molting here. Next, determine whether your bird has a mite or a lice infestation. This is pretty rare for captive parrots kept indoors. But it happens, and if you feel that your bird has any sort of parasite, please take it to your avian vet.
Most frequently, birds scratch due to dry skin. Most of our parrots are from sub-tropical, very humid climates. They have opportunities to bathe and get sprinkled with fresh rainwater throughout the day. I'll bet your home is not nearly as humid as a rainforest, nor does your bird have as frequent opportunities to bathe. Nor is the climate as temperate.
You can help relieve all of the itching due dry skin by following these simple tips:
1. Bathe your in tepid tap water bird several times a week. This could be a simple misting or a soaking shower. Bathing removes dirt and dust from feathers and skin and it promotes healthy preening. It you opt for the soaking, make sure that your bird doesn't get chilled or exposed to drafts. Some people blow their parrots dry in the winter. Just make sure that the blow dryer doesn't over heat. Bathe your bird during the day so it has time to dry off completely before bed time.
2. If your bird hates baths, try setting a heavy, shallow dish in the cage where it can enter at will. Small birds enjoy rolling around in soaked leafy greens. Curly Kale is a great option. And, if your bird gets a nibble of this vitamin rich veggie, all the better!
3. Spray your bird with Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera has many homeopathic medicinal properties but it is a well-known analgesic and it soothes dry or irritated skin caused by low humidity levels or prickly new pin feathers. Always use a bird safe formula like Avivera that is additive-free and steam-distilled.
3. Feather-In is a finely milled herbal powder that you mix with water. It contains a rich mixture of components found in oat seed that seal in moisture and protect the skins moisture barrier. Feather In can significantly relieve itching that is due to dry skin. Combine with Avivita Vitamins and Featheriffic to enhance overall health including the health of your bird’s skin.
4. Consider increasing the humidity in your home or in the area that your bird lives. Bird safe plants will do the trick as will a water fountain. If you chose to use a humidifier remember to frequently refresh the water and clean the components and filter. The last thing you want to do is spew bacteria and fungus all over your bird room.
We hope that you found these tips helpful. If you have other ideas, please let us know in the comments section below. And, don’t forget to share this information with your bird loving friends.
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