Grooming Tips for Picture Perfect Parrots

We all know how important proper hygiene is for us humans! Growing up, we learn the importance of brushing our teeth, trimming our nails, washing our face, etc. cleanliness is next to godliness, and parrots are no exception! Parrots are typically very vein and LOVE to look at themselves in the mirror for hours and groom themselves, pulling out loose feathers, primping and preening. However, they can not get everything they need done themselves. Below are some tips on how to properly and carefully get your parrots hygienic needs tip-top!

Towel Training

Before you can or should work any any other grooming, it is very important you get your parrot accustom to a towel! It will help smooth over the grooming process and reduce stress in case of emergencies or vet visits. Find a nice, plain velour-type towel to train your parrot. Allow him to play on the towel to catch his attention and peak his curiosity by scattering food and various toys across the towel. Once your parrot is comfortable standing on the towel, gently raise the corners and encircle your parrot within it. He may be a little startled at first, that is okay. Put the towel back down and gently try again until he is comfortable.

Trimming Flight Feathers

  • Step 1: Grab your partner! Trimming feathers is a 2 person job.
  • Step 2: Have your partner wrap your bird in the towel on his back, and gentle pull one wing to emerge through the towel, and extend the wing.
  • Step 3: Locate the flight feathers. Starting from the wing tip and moving towards the birds body, the primary flight feathers will be the first group of long feathers on the underside of the wing.
  • Step 4: Check for blood feathers. These feathers look waxy and pinkish with visible blood feathers running through the quill. WingClip (1)Be careful not to trim these feathers, they will bleed.
  • Step 5: Leave one or two of the longest feathers for aesthetics, and begin to snip the following five to seven primary flight feathers one by one. Use the overlapping feathers above the primary flight feathers as a guideline for where to snip.

make sure to perform regular checkups on your parrots wings. If you are planning to learn to trim wings at home, make certain to take your bird in to a professional and request to witness the process one or two times before trying it at home!

Toenail Clipping

  • Step 1: Have a styptic powder ready. Even when you are being very careful, it is very easy to accidentally cut into the quick. Loss of blood can be potentially very dangerous to birds. Pisces recommends: Four Paws Quick Blood Stopper (antiseptic styptic powder)
  • health-nailStep 2: Gently wrap your bird in his favorite familiar towel, and talk to your pet in a soothing voice. Your bird will likely be anxious and disoriented, hearing your voice may calm your parrot down.
  • Step 3: Begin trimming the nails. Make certain to only trim the tip of the birds nail. You want to avoid cutting into the quick and causing your pet pain.
  • Step 4: Work carefully but quickly. Make sure you have a firm grip on your bird with his towel, but not enough to cause discomfort or pressure on the chest.

If you are planning to learn to trim nails at home, make certain to take your bird in to a professional and request to witness the process one or two times before trying it at home!

Break Trimming

Now, Hopefully a break trimming will not be necessary for your bird, but it does occur. Parrots naturally keep their beaks by interacting with chew toys, cuttle bones, conditioning perches and pelleted nutrition. If your birds beak has overgrown, scissors or has developed “parrot beak”, your should bring your bird to a vet. Veterinarians have special  equipment to shave or trim beaks, to make it as least stressful for the bird as possible. There is a significant risk of inducing bleeding when an overgrown beak is trimmed. As a result, owners really should never try to trim their birds’ beaks at home.

Did You Know?!

Pisces offers FREE nail and feather clippings, so please call or visit us in store to book your appointment!couple_parrots_love_male_female_white_background_78590_1920x1080