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dad_of_bingo 05-16-2018 12:53 PM

My Amazon Won't Bathe?
I've been having issues with my 5-6-year-old Amazon taking his first bath. He's only been home a week, so I tried to give him time to warm up to his surroundings, but bathing has proven to be impossible.

I did a ton of research on bathing parrots to see what would work. I tried misting him with a spray bottle, setting out a shallow bowl for him to bathe himself, and even had him on a perch in the shower trying to gently sprinkle water on him with my hands.

When I tried the misting with the spray bottle, he was utterly afraid and did his best to escape the water.

The shallow dish proved to be a waste since he was too afraid to come near it. I even dipped my fingers in the water and showed it to him to show it was the same water he had no problems drinking in his cage. He wasn't having it and scooted away from my hand and wouldn't step up until I dried off.

Lastly, I sat him on his wooden ladder and turned on the shower. I held the ladder as far from the water as I could, hoping the mist would help him warm up. It wasn't more than a few seconds before he quickly moved up my arm to hide behind my neck.

I would like to bathe him so his feathers won't become tattered and to keep his skin from getting too dry. He's already started itching more than usual and I want to make sure he's taken care of. Any advice would help a lot!


- Jesse and Bingo!

clark_conure 05-16-2018 01:01 PM

Re: My Amazon Won't Bathe?
in my experience clark (a conure) kind of likes colder water or at at most room temp.

His favorite bath is of course the one most inconvenient for me, when i'm refilling ice trays from/for the downstairs mini fridge.

The sound of the water sets him off, then I regulate it to room temp.

Showers are big, try a sink with running water, like a trickle.... and room temp or even cool water, I know it doesn't make sense to us but.....then have a warm space as they cuddle ther wet feathers against you or shake water on you like a dog.

EllenD 05-16-2018 01:24 PM

Re: My Amazon Won't Bathe?
Parrots and bathing are definitely an individual thing, some absolutely love it and try to bath in every source of water they can find, and some hate it with such a passion that they literally run away when you say the word "bath".

My 8 Budgies are easy, they love it when you put a shallow bowl of water inside their flight cage. No problems there.

My Green Cheek Conure is a bathing fool, he baths in his water bowl, he runs to be under the sink water, he goes crazy when I give him a shallow bowl to bath in, and he loves the shower with me. My Quaker and my Senegal Parrots both hate baths, but they love showers, but ONLY WHEN I'M IN THE SHOWER WITH THEM. Otherwise forget about it, they just fly away. But every time I take a shower I have a bird waiting of the shower rod for me, and once I'm in the shower myself they then jump onto the bird perch attached to the shower wall with a suction cup. It's like they wait for me to actually get in the shower before taking the plunge, as to not be fooled into getting in by themselves, lol.

My Cockatiel would sooner die than take a bath or a shower, and of course she is the dusty, powdery bird who molts the most and seems to shed the most dry, dead skin too. I don't force it, as she gets upset easily when it comes to water.

So they all have their own personalities and their own ideas about bathing. Usually they seem to prefer showers to baths, especially if their person is in the shower with them...Have you tried putting your Amazon in the shower with you at the same time? That might be the key.

Take it slowly, don't force the issue, especially since you haven't had the bird that long, and you may or may not know what his routine was at his prior home. Things like misting him with a bottle may scare him because his prior owner used a spray bottle as a punishment for him, as it is unfortunately often used.

If you already have a shower perch, attach it as far back away from the water/shower head as you can, so that your Amazon can sit in the shower without getting wet, and then just try putting him on the shower perch without turning the water on. Let him see that it's a safe perch, a safe place to be. If he is willing to sit on the perch with you there and the water off, then keep doing this daily, letting him see that the perch inside the shower is safe. Another good training idea is to put another perch/bird stand inside the bathroom with you whenever you take your shower, so that he can be in the bathroom with you and so he can see you taking a shower every day, and know that again it's safe, both in the bathroom and inside the shower. Then after he becomes accustomed to being in the bathroom with you when the shower is running, and he feels comfortable on his shower perch, that's when you can try taking your shower and putting him on his shower perch with the shower on, but with him not getting wet at all the first few times (unless he decides himself to just take the plunge and get in the shower stream). Let him just hang-out on his perch inside the shower a few times while you take your shower, let him watch you getting wet and being in the shower stream a few times, and then very gradually start to direct a little of the shower spray towards him, just so he can feel the water on him. And then you just keep moving forward, more and more towards him actually getting into the shower with you himself. Training is a marathon, not a sprint, and he may never have gotten a bath or a shower in his prior home, or he may have had a bad experience with it. Either way, it may take some time acclimating him to the whole idea, but if you're in there with him and he sees you taking a shower, he'll eventually start to warm-up to the idea, maybe even look forward to it.

When I have my Senegal in the shower with me, he sits on the shower perch while I take my shower, he'll stick his head, feet, tail, etc. in the water stream from time to time, but he waits for me to finish my thing before he gets under the shower, first because he doesn't like the water as hot as I do obviously, and also because you don't want to get shampoo or soap on the bird. Plus, you certainly do not want your parrot climbing on you when you're not dressed, trust me, it hurts...So what I do is take my shower with him on his shower perch, which is placed just out of the shower stream, then when I'm completely done I make the water a little bit cooler, he likes it pretty warm but not hot, and then I'll put him on my arm and let him walk down it and get in the shower stream to the point that he wants to. Most days he gets all-in and soaks himself, others he just walks under the water a few times and is done. Once he tells me he's ready to get out, then we get out (usually he comes back up my arm and out of the water).

BirdGeeks 05-16-2018 02:06 PM

Re: My Amazon Won't Bathe?
I have read a lot on getting birds to bath and one of my budgies took his first bath yesterday. I tried a lot of diffrent stuff but misting a shallow water bowl wasn't my first idea, he decided to take a shower and a brief bath at the same time :) Not sure if this helps but I thought I'd add something. And it might take awhile, he has only been at your house a week!

texsize 05-16-2018 02:20 PM

Re: My Amazon Won't Bathe?
I have read reports of people running the vacuum cleaner to get the bird in the mood.

It took 6 months or more for me to get my CAG to enjoy a shower with me.

just take it slow and don't force the issue.

CKP 05-16-2018 04:16 PM

Re: My Amazon Won't Bathe?
Our BFA is not very compliant with bathing. He too is terrified of spray bottles (no past trauma, just hates them) and if you take him anywhere near a sink he will hide in my hair or dangle from the neck of my t shirt to try to escape.

He hates showers and complains the entire time by barking at us (please don't ask me why he chose that to be his upset noise) but he will let me quickly shower him with the shower head. I let him hang out on the shower curtain and whistle with him while I take care of myself, then I adjust the water and shower him. As soon as he's done I turn off the water and his eyes start pinning and he gets all fluffy and compliments himself on being such a "good biiiirrrrrrd". And of course once he is clean and a safe distance from the shower he is in such a good mood, sings, cuddles more than usual. It's very strange to me...

Point is, sometimes they never really take to the bath-time thing. When we first got Mav we would put a big dog bowl of water on top of his cage (he has the cage-top play-den kind) whenever we would vacuum. As stated above, for whatever reason this tends to spark that clean instinct in them. He'd dunk his head in it and get his spiky hairdo and make a huge mess while somehow not really wetting his body or wings, but it worked until we bonded enough to get him to take a 'real' shower...

Patience...patience...patience... a week is not very long so don't be discouraged.

Congrats on your new companion!!

Kiwibird 05-16-2018 06:30 PM

Re: My Amazon Won't Bathe?

Originally Posted by texsize (Post 727894)
I have read reports of people running the vacuum cleaner to get the bird in the mood.

Can confirm. Not that my bird ever goes a day without a bath (often 2 baths) in some form (be it a shower, spray down with a mister or dish bath), but I always have to be sure he is on his tabletop perch when vacuuming or else he will immediately start soaking down the living room with a furious dish bath:rolleyes:

SailBoat 05-16-2018 09:36 PM

Re: My Amazon Won't Bathe?
The vast majority of Humans haven't a clue how to mist a Parrot. Note that I did not say spray!

After the bottle has slowly found it way in your Parrots area. Start by misting up into the air above your Parrot. The goal is to allow the mist to rise in the air above your Parrot and then fall softy upon the top of your parrot.

Never, never mist directly at your Parrot and even more importantly, NEVER mist them in the face.

As your Parrot builds a comfort in being misted is fun and not a punishment, you will begin to see them get into it by lifting their Wings, spreading their Tail Feathers. Now is the time to mist those areas directly. Once a trust is built, showering is the next step.

NOTE: A thick, heavy glass pie dish is prefect for an Amazon. Like most things, it needs to find its way slowing into the Amazon's World. When comfortable with it around add water. Understand it can be weeks and months before your Amazon will ever show any interest in it. That said, when they do, expect everything around it to also get a bath.

Enjoy, Time Is On You Side! Stop Rushing!

Travel at the comfort speed of your Amazon!

wrench13 05-16-2018 09:54 PM

Re: My Amazon Won't Bathe?
If he is afraid of the spray bottle, try the Magic Fountain way- wrap the spray bottle up in a towel so he cant see it, and shoot it into the air, so the water floats down onto him. Salty likes that most times. I put a permanent perch inmy shower, with maybe 5 bucks of PVC piping and some epoxy, put it into the corner. Salty tolerates showers like that and even sometimes likes it. He is from an semi arid area of S. America, so I am not suprised at his reluctance.

Other ways, get some cabage leaves, and soak them well, and put them on his cage top ( towelunder them so he doesnt soakhis cage). The leaves should be sopping wet - he might roll around them.

Keep experimenting, and revisit failed methods - what didn't work today may work in 3 months. Or not.

SunnyJ 05-16-2018 09:57 PM

Re: My Amazon Won't Bathe?
Another trick is to take them outside when it's raining.....Baby begs to go out then but it's usually too cold so she gets her 'shower' in the bathroom.....a stool set so the water comes indirectly......they love to play in this simulated 'rain'. I'll post her shower scene sometime. :)

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