Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Orlando, FL Bathing: Umbrella Cockatoo "Linus"
I believe whole-heartedly that you should bathe your bird as often as it wants a bath. Meaning, that you offer it a bath once a day and if it takes you up on it, GREAT! And if it doesn't, no biggie, maybe next time.
Out of all my birds, my cockatoos will be the first to take me up on a bath practically every day. If they don't, it's usually because they already had one that day via the aviaries and Florida rain. And if it's cooler outside they usually don't want to be wet either. So I try to offer baths on hot days when I know they will be most likely to want one.
When Linus lived with me over five years ago for about eight months or so, he would bathe all the time! We would set up his shower perch and run the water and leave him to do his business. We'd come in a few minutes later and peek in from the shower curtain and Linus would be huge and poofy LOVING the shower!
Photo by Patty Location: Austin, TX Wet bird: Umbrella Cockatoo "Linus"
I've always felt that more bathing = less plucking. Sometimes it's all a bird needs to stop plucking completely. Birds bathe SO often in the wild, they need that in captivity, especially when they can't control what is in their environments. They used to constant air flow and freshness of the outdoors. Lord knows they don't get close to that in most homes where people keep them indoors and put covers over their cages which stops even more air flow than they already had minimal of.
Whenever I'm in doubt or looking for an answer, I look at how they act in the wild. These are tropical birds that live in tropical places. Tropical places get A LOT of rain, and I'm grateful to be in Florida where the weather is natural to them and good for their health of being outside year round.
So start bathing your bird daily, or at least as often as you can. You may see a huge difference in your plucker should you have one.
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.