Cockatiel Grooming – What Is Necessary?
Is cockatiel grooming necessary? Your cockatiel does and will have cockatiel grooming needs.
Your cockatiel likes to be clean, so you must ensure that it is able to bathe regularly.
Your cockatiel will also need to have its nails and flight feathers trimmed periodically to ensure her safety.
Some say a cockatiel’s beak also needs trimming, but I have yet to do mine or need to do it.
If you give your cockatiel enough to chew on, the beak should remain suitably sharpened and trimmed. If however, your bird’s beak does become overgrown, leave it to your veterinarian to take charge, as the beak does have a surprising number of blood vessels that can be severed if you try yourself.
If your cockatiel does have an overgrown beak, it can also indicate that your cockatiel is suffering from liver damage, scaly mites or a virus, all of which will need veterinary care.
As far as bathing goes there are a number of ways to achieve this.
One way is to mist your cockatiel lightly with a clean spray bottle filled with warm water. I know mine love this.
Another way is to allow your cockatiel to bathe in your kitchen sink or bathroom basin under a slow stream of running water or try taking the cockatiel into the shower with you. No soap please, water is normally sufficient.
I find my birds enjoy a birdbath at the bottom of their cage on a warm day, and they also love to be sprayed with a mist of water. Bathing is important to enable your cockatiel to keep its feathers clean and healthy.
If you would like a birdbath just like the one below, you can click on the picture to find out more. If you decide to purchase it, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you.
If you bathe your bird, do so early in the day so that the feathers have a chance to dry out completely before dark. You can also try the hairdryer on a low setting and once your cockatiel gets used to this it will find it most enjoyable.
There is no need to purchase mite products that hang on the birdcage or feather conditioning products that are applied directly to the cockatiels feathers.
Well cared for cockatiels won’t have these problems, and the products can actually cause more harm than good. Conditioners will just cause your cockatiel to over preen himself in an effort to remove the oil, which can cause feather loss. Fumes from some of these products can also cause respiratory complications.
Your cockatiel will need his nails trimmed periodically to prevent them from getting too long and catching on toys or perches.
You must only remove tiny portions of the nail, as you don’t want to hit the blood supply. I prefer to file them down a little. If the nail does bleed, apply flour and direct pressure to stop the bleeding quickly.
Even if your cockatiel is tame, you will want to trim its wings as well, as you don’t want him to fly away accidentally. Don’t trim too much away as you still want your cockatiel to glide and not flop to the floor.
Wing clipping is an article on its own, but don’t attempt to do this without knowing what to do first, as just snipping away at the feathers can cause damage to the wingtips if you don’t know what you are doing.
Cockatiels generally keep themselves very well-groomed as you will notice from the video below.