As you can see in the pictures above, different birds prefer different objects to bath in. Be it plastic container, "Barbie" pool, pie plate, cake pan, sink, or shower, there's a swimming pool for every Quaker. It just might take some time to find the receptacle your bird enjoys bathing in. Many find new painting trays a good first receptacle, as they are sturdy, giving the bird confidence, and are easy to enter and exit. If your Quaker is young and has not had a true bath yet, you can introduce it to bathing by wetting your hands in a bowl of warm water, and gently running your hands along the bird's body. For the Quaker who is being introduced to bathing in a receptacle for the first time, floating a favorite toy, or even an ice cube may entice the bird into the water. Not much water, an inch or less, is needed and too much water can be dangerous. A smooth towel or small mat can be placed on the receptacle bottom for sure footing.Water temperature can be a factor. Some birds prefer warm water, others, cool or cold. While your Quaker will not be concerned with the quality of water it bathes in, you might be. Nothing, unless vet recommended, needs to be added to the bath water. In the preening process following a bath, your Quaker will ingest any substance that is on the feathers.Because Quakers are so curious and acrobatic, they must be supervised whenever they bathe. Besides making sure that no accidents occur, watching your Quaker bathe is fun. Make sure you have an exrta towel handy; you may be getting an unexpected bath too! You should offer your bird a bath when it will have ample time to fully dry before evening and bed time.Gentle misting can be incorporated into your bird's grooming routine. Misting is a good way to add additional moisture to skin and feathers in climates where central heating is needed and tends to take humidity from the air. Bottles used for misting should be new, and kept exclusively for bird misting only. Residues, even from a well cleaned bottle, could be ingested by your bird while preening after bathing. Spraying or misting should never be used as punishment.When misting a bird, arc the mist up and over the bird so that it resembles rain falling. Do not spray your bird directly in its face.
THE PSYHCOLOGY OF A GOOD SOAK-
When your Quaker spends time in an activity like bathing, it is preforming a self rewarding behavior. Along with proper preening, a good, soaking bath provides less time for unproductive behaviors, like screaming or biting. The first bird is on his way to being soaked. The second bird is obviously, soaked. The soaked bird doesn't have time to think about anything but drying and preening. A wet bird should be kept away from drafts, in a warm area of your home, but you may still see him "shiver" for a little bit. Shivering expells enegry. Our domesticated Quakers need distracting, yet "natural" ways to alleviate stress and boredom. If you feel the need to dry your bird, towel dry, rather than blow dry. Most blow dryers contain non stick coating, which can pose health hazards for or birds.
Gabby, on your left, looks cozy and comfy in her towel after her bath. Note that Gabby's towel is smooth, without loops that little Quaker toes might get caught up in. Toweling after a bath is a nice way to cuddle with your Quaker. Helping your bird become accustomed and comfortable with toweling will make vet visits less stressful when toweling is required, and in cases of emergency at home, you can towel your bird when examination is essential.
For a young bird, or a newly adopted bird, cuddling with a towel after a bath can help you to establish a bond with your Quaker. The security and warmth of the towel lets you have contact with your bird without having to worry about being bitten. Over time, your Quaker should look forward to toweling sessions and the gentle and reassuring touch of your hands through the towel. Games of peek-a-boo are great fun with a towel to hide in. Select TOWELING from the QUICK PICK DROP DOWN MENU to learn more about toweling and how to towel.
What better way to bond and have fun with your Quaker, then to participate in its grooming?
All birds need to bathe regularly to keep their feathers healthy and at their prettiest. Though many of us keep our Quakers wings trimmed, attention must be paid to feathering for reasons other than flight. Bathing provides moisture to skin and feathers. Shiny, full feathers can symbolize the good health of your bird. Feathers that are dull, torn, contain stress bars, are over or under preened, or plucked, can indicate underlying health problems, stress, behavior issues, or may be warning you that a dietary change or adjustment is in order. Bathing and moisture are important to keep avian sinus and nasal passages healthy as well.
A bath cleans your Quaker's feathers, skin, beak and feet. Bathing softens itchy pin feathers and encourages your Quaker to preen properly. The activity of bathing gives you the opportunity to spend quality and enjoyable time with your feathered companion. In the wild, your Quaker would bathe daily, if not several times a day. Bathing can give your bird a tremedous sense of pleasure.
Many birds like showering with their owners. Perches made just for showering, in different styles and designs, are inexpensive. Shower perches should be placed so that your bird can move away from the direct stream of the water. The water temperature should be cooler than you might normally enjoy. Soaps and shampoos should not make contact with the bird. Some birds have to be introduced to showering slowly. Those that don't enjoy showering can be placed on a stand outside of the shower while the owner is showering, so the bird can benefit and enjoy the humidity a shower creates.