You may notice that your beloved parakeet spends a lot of time grooming herself. That doesn't, however, mean that you don't have to groom her, too. Keep on top of your grooming routine to keep your feathered friend healthy and happy.
Parakeets are naturally clean and tidy, and they will spend a small portion of time each day preening their feathers to sort them out and ensure they're laying correctly. Provide your avian pal with a shallow dish of water and she is likely to give herself a bath. If you notice your bird has stopped grooming herself, or she looks untidy and dishevelled, this could be a sign of ill health. In such a case, you should take her to see her veterinarian as soon as possible.
Bathing your parakeet will help keep her skin and feathers clean and healthy. You can choose to soak her carefully in the sink or shower, or you can use a spray bottle to mist her with water. Never use any kind of soap or shampoo to clean her, as it could irritate her skin. Twice-weekly bathing is ideal in warm weather, but avoid giving her frequent baths in the winter unless you have a warm place for her to dry off.
Parakeets' nails grow constantly, so they'll occasionally need to be clipped. Rough perches, such as those made from concrete or with a sandpaper coating, will minimize the frequency of this task. Cut your bird's nails too short and you might cut through the vein inside and cause them to bleed, so it's a job best left to the experts. An avian vet will easily be able to trim your pet's nails back to the ideal length.
Some owners choose to clip the flight feathers of their parakeets' wings, to stop them from being able to fly away or to avoid potential hazards around the house. This is an optional addition to the grooming routine; you can also choose to leave your parakeet's wings as they are, as long as you're careful always to leave your doors and windows shut and ensure there's nothing dangerous for her to fly into. Like nail clipping, feather clipping should only be attempted by a professional, such as an avian vet.
- Alex_Schmidt/iStock/Getty Images