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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Gargiso, 24 February 2021

My female budgie around 7 1/2 years old for the past month has poops attached to her bottom that are very hard. I gently removed them and noticed that her vent was swollen and a dark pink

Tania, 30 May 2020

Hi, my budgie got morning fresh bubbles in its eye. What is the best treatment. Thanks Tania

Ian, 22 March 2020

Hi. My budgie has been doing large, quite firm poos, and now has poo stuck to the feathers around his vent. He seems to have trouble defecating, especially in the morning. I think he is about 7 years old. Still active and eating well.

Lynn, 24 February 2020

Hi. My budgie is 10 and getting a large gathering of poo building up. It was hard snd dry which I managed to crumble. But now wet and hard to fully clean. Is this an age thing. Also what can I expect at the end. A quick death or one which ends at the vets. Thank you.

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

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