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Cleaning Budgies

Budgies are very capable of cleaning themselves on a daily basis, and if you provide a bath for them, their personal hygiene will be impeccable. However, there are occasions when your bird might need assistance – during an illness, perhaps, or if he has managed to dip himself in something sticky or greasy.

Two budgies on a wooden perch
Coming clean - your pets should look as well-groomed as these two

Cleaning a Budgie’s Vent or Bottom

A fruit-heavy diet, or a bout of illness, may result in “pasting of the vent” – a dirty bottom, in layman’s terms! The feathers around this area of the budgie’s anatomy usually kept clean as part of the bird’s toilet routine, and the dry nature of the healthy droppings helps to keep it that way. An ill bird may have feathers stained by diarrhoea; and because all the liquid is being vented in this way, there may be other, hard droppings that cling to his vent and feathers. Poo will also cling in this way if the budgie is dehydrated.

If you have to intervene, you will need to grip the bird as described in Holding your budgie, above. Use wet cotton wool balls to wash the area, wiping down the feathers from root to tip. Soap can cause irritation, so don’t add anything to the water.

Cleaning Baby Budgies

Baby budgies are normally kept clean by their mothers. Sometimes, however, an outbreak of diarrhoea may require your intervention. Babies must be handled very carefully, as they are fragile. Use cotton wool balls soaked in warm water to wipe the budgie’s soiled parts, and dry immediately with a very soft cloth or more cotton wool. Don’t do this on a routine basis – only handle the babies in this way if absolutely necessary.

Cleaning Budgies' Feet

Adult birds will keep their own feet and toenails and good condition; but babies sometimes need extra help. If the nest is caked with droppings, the feet can become very dirty, and the poo sets like plaster. This will need to be moistened with warm water and then picked off very gently with tweezers or your fingernails. Wipe the feet with warm, wet cotton wool balls afterwards, and dry them afterwards.

Budgie Feathers Dirty

A budgie will clean itself, as long as you provide a bath or wet foliage. Sometimes, however, a free-flying budgie may encounter something that clogs up his feathers, and if the substance is fatty, sugary, or toxic in some other way, you don’t want him to ingest any of while bathing and preening.

Hold the bird as described in Holding your budgie, above. You will be able to access his underside this way, but will need to perform the hold ‘upside down’ to get at his back. Remove what you can using a soft wet cloth. If grease or oil is involved, you will need to use a bird-friendly soap. This will only be available through vet, usually, so it’s a good idea to have some ready in the cupboard. Rinse the bird-soap off thoroughly, ensuring that none of it goes near the budgie’s eyes, cere or mouth.

Normal detergents, as found in hand-soaps, shampoos, etc, can cause irritation to a budgie’s skin, and should never be used. Clean the bird as well as you can using warm water, provide a bath, and stock up on the bird-friendly soap as soon as possible.

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Deanna, 21 December 2019

Can you tell me why a parakeet tale at his end (closet to the floor) would start curling up n does not look very good

Lee, 7 October 2019

cleaning with a water spray sprayed just above the bird in a fine mist he will get better to a degree a trip to the vet is a must if it was anything other than a cut or spot hes a goner sadly im spraying clean my bird daily so the blood washes off he got better and recovered

Larry, 25 July 2019

Very good answers for questions. Always use it.

Brenda, 21 July 2019

My female budgie is 2 years old she has had many eggs before. I just noticed today that her bottom is not where it's supposed to be its hanging out what can I do for her please help. She is also disabled she can not fly because of her left wing and leg are at a weird angle

Beth, 6 July 2019

My budgie has a cut on his back from a incident a couple of weeks ago and keeps itching it as the scab is coming through. By him itching it, it is making it more sore. How can I make him stop itching it, so that it can get better? Thank you, Beth

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