Cockatiel Review

How to Bathe a Cockatiel?

how to bathe a cockatiel

Winter is coming. Is it a bit colder in your room now? There should not be cold draughts near the cage. But don’t keep your cherished birds too close to the heater. Meanwhile, your pets need to be clean and in good health at any season. How to bathe a cockatiel? Let’s discuss the best time and regularity to do it. Temperature of air in the room and water also matters.

Do Cockatiels Need to Take a Bath?

Do your pets love bathing? It depends on the way you introduced them to water. If you don’t force or pressure them to get wet, they enjoy it. Birds commonly love water, as they need bathing. This opportunity is important for your pets, as it:

  • softens dirt on cockatiels’ feathers;
  • removes pollutants from them;
  • encourages preening;
  • eliminates dry and itchy skin issues.

Regular bathing keeps cockatiels’ feathers clean and bright. It softens white keratin coating of new feathers. Do you know how to clip cockatiel wings? Avoid cutting new feathers. They start growing, being filled with blood. Hard plastic coating protects them up to a certain time. It might look as if they had dandruff. But don’t try to remove it.

So, when the coating is wet, it sheds faster. Your pet birds preen easier, removing feather dust. They might pick several feathers. However, lack of water and bathing may lead to itching and plucking. Feather plucking may also indicate a disease or psychological discomfort. Smoking, new chemical scents may cause itchy and plucking behavior. For example, a fake Christmas tree could frighten the birds or cause allergy.

Why Do Birds Bathe in Dirt?

In the wild, parrots clean them naturally. They take a bath in a puddle of water. When it rains, they take a shower. Living in the best cockatiel cage, some birds might follow this pattern. They might bathe themselves in their water bowls.

In the wild, small birds also take a dust bath regularly. It helps them to:

  1. Soothe irritated skin.
  2. Remove parasites.
  3. Get rid of excess moisture and oil.
  4. Keep plumage flexible and clean.

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Why do birds take baths?

It’s a part of their regular preening practice in the wild. Bathing promotes reducing amount of feather powder. Dust comes from tiny down particles; they disintegrate gradually, coating the birds’ feathers. As a result, dust makes them waterproof. Meanwhile, your cherished pets should not breathe in dust. Above all, try to keep their sinuses clear of organic powder.

Therefore, bathing in water is preferable. It helps the birds to maintain their feathers in good condition. Water performs similar functions that dust does. Additionally, birds cool their bodies with water in summer, when the weather is hot.

why do birds take baths

How Often Do You Bathe a Cockatiel?

When your pet bird is nasty, try to distract him or her. Maybe, your cherished cockatiel is just bored. So, the bird starts biting or picking feathers. Spend more time with your pets, playing, and training them. One hour a day is the bare minimum. Socialize your cockatiel. Buy best cockatiel toys to keep the bird busy.

Meanwhile, plucking behavior may be caused by nutritional deficiency or a serious disease. See your avian vet. Additionally, bathe your cockatiel daily. Make sure, the cage is clean. How often do birds need to bathe? It depends on multiple factors. In summer, when cockatiels suffer from extreme heat, do it every day. In winter, 2-3 baths a week, or even one is acceptable.

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Do all birds take baths?

Baths per week 72-3
Water/room temperature °F 70-7565-70
Drinking water,times/day 3-52-3

Spray your birds with water between the bathes, if they like it. What about the temperature? Cockatiels come from tropical and rain forests of Australia. So, they appreciate warm environment that is about 70-76 degrees.

If the temperature in your room drops to 60 degrees at night, your pet birds bear it normally. Avoid draughts that might be caused by a ceiling fan or an HVAC device. Cover the cage with a sheet or a fleece throw blanket to provide overnight warmth. Buy a little blanket in a pet store. Put shredded paper on the bottom of the cage.

How to Give a Cockatiel a Bath?

how often do birds need to bathe

Give cockatiel a full bath, only if indoor temperature is above 70. Put a big bowl of clean water into the cage. ¾ or one inch of water is enough. Your birds may come to water by themselves. Just watch them.

What water temperature is the best? Bathwater should be lukewarm and pleasant. The room temperature is quite suitable. Some cockatiels like to drink cold water while bathing. Anyway, it is to be fresh and clean. Can I wash my cockatiel with soap? Don’t use even baby shampoo. It removes natural oils from cockatiel’s plumage. His or her feathers might stick together.

Bathing your cockatiel, avoid:

  • getting water in their faces and eyes;
  • too hot or too cold temperature;
  • draughts and cold areas;
  • bathing at nighttime;
  • blow-drying;
  • forcing your pet birds to get wet.

Male vs female cockatiel is more talkative, brighter in color. Female birds need more water to drink during the breeding season. They increase their water intake to fill developing eggs. They also need more frequent bathing. For example, Sweetie loves water. Now, she drinks it more than before.

Anyway, the bathing bowl is to be heavyweight, ceramic. The birds won’t turn it over or spill the water when it’s hot, mist cockatiels with a spray bottle. It simulates a shower of rain. Therefore, this method is beneficial. Most importantly, it allows oil and grease to run off the cockatiels’ plumage. Meanwhile, remain at a distance of about 9-12 inches.

General Impression

So, bathing your cockatiels, check water temperature. Do it only in daytime, when it’s pretty warm in the room. Provide enough heat after it. Use a bird lamp, if it’s cold. Watch if your pet birds are interested in bathing. If so, they spread their wings, put their heads down, enjoying moisture. Keep your cockatiels clean and in good shape. Let your feathered friends be healthy and happy!



Hi, my name is Charlie. I come from Patchogue Village, New York. Are you fond of cockatiels? As for me, I’ve got four pet birds. Their names are Yo-Yo and Sweetie, Nigel and Loki. Do you know how to care for them? I’m trying to hunt down the questions now. Join me, and let’s do it together.


  • help, I have terrorized my male cockatiel, just a year old ad I’ve had him since he was 6 weks old. within the last two weeks,I forced him to take 3 baths and now he wants to bite me each time my hands come near. I really did it all wrong on as a relative with a Cockatoo says her bird hates baths but she does it every day in the sink, spraying under the wings etc. and drying with a low hair dryer. My bird still comes to sit on my finger, crawls on my shirts, and I am not learning I should not have let him roost on my shoulders where he chews or bites on my ears. I have a lot of work to do to erase these mistakes. Any advice?

  • Hi Nancy,
    Yes, indeed, not all birds, unfortunately, like to swim: (This is all very individual. Do not wash the bird, at least until you buy it. Lure it, for example, with various treats.
    Be gentle and patient with her. And I think there will be mutual understanding between you. Good luck!