Preening and Why It is Important to Your Parrot

Severe Macaw Preening his feathers

If you have a parrot, you know that preening is an activity that a parrot does on a daily basis. It is much more than looking good and appealing to to their feathered friends but it is an essential part of keeping their feathers maintained and in good shape.

Some parrots use preening to get rid of old feathers that are no longer needed and chew off the keratin that covers newly formed feathers. Parrots use the oils from a gland right above the tail (Uropygial or preening gland) to waterproof and condition their feathers keeping them flexible and well conditioned.

What is “Allopreening”? Allopreening is when a parrot preens another parrot or preens you. By helping to preen your parrot you can get into places that would be impossible for your parrot to reach. Preening a parrot on top his/her head is a great way to bond with your parrot. Jerry our African Grey loves to lower his head…..we know this is Jerry’s message to us….please preen my feathers. LOL

If your parrot loves to take a bath or get misted this is a great way for you to help them preen because moistening the feathers will soften the keratin at the base of the feather and help your feathered friend to remove it. Shower perches are a great way to have your parrot get all their feathers wet and feeling good.

Stress can lead to over preening or feather picking in your feathered friend. Always keep your birds home filled with bird toys that it can chew, shred or preen. Our birds love to chew and shred…..here are few of their favorites:

Our African Grey Jerry loves the Bagels and Blocks Bird toy and the Whirly Bird Bird Toy….both of these are great for over preening parrots. Jerry is a plucker but bird toys keep him occupied and not worried about over preening.

Our Cockatoo Marshmellow just loves to bite on straws…..the Last Straw Cockatoo Bird Toy is one of her favorites as is the Smorgasbord Bird Toy

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