How To Select A Humidifier To Use Around Parrots

How To Select A Humidifier To Use Around Parrots

 January 4th, 2010
Posted By:

Congo African Grey Parrot

Have you ever noticed how dry your hands get in the winter?  Or how the  texture of your hair changes?  Sometimes your throat and nasal passages can become dry and sore. This is due to the low humidity in the air, often during the winter months when our heaters are in use.

Underneath all of those beautiful feathers, a parrot has skin that needs care just as ours does.  When skin becomes dry, it gets itchy – when we’re itchy, we scratch.  Skin conditions are sometimes the underlying cause of plucking in a bird.   If you are noticing changes to your own skin, you might want to consider buying a humidifier.

There are many types of humidifiers on the market, all offering different advantages and drawbacks.  The purpose of any humidifier is to put moisture into the air, but this can be accomplished in different ways. An evaporative humidifier, which I find to be the best choice for those of us with parrots,  is energy efficient and has filters that prevent the introduction of microorganisms and minerals into the air.  However, they have to be kept clean to avoid bacteria collection and eliminate stagnant water, and although most newer models include filtration to help with this, it will be a weekly chore.  Use vinegar and water or GSE (grapefruit seed extract) for cleaning. Make sure that the model you select is convenient to clean and check for any antibacterial options available.

A cool-mist evaporative humidifier eliminates the possibility of a scalding accident, however, vets recommend that we use a warm-mist humidifier with parrots because the heating of the water eliminates some mold spores and other fungals that might be dispersed into the air.  Also, a cool-mist humidifier takes several hours to bring the room to the desired humidity level (usually 50% or less) and tends to blow cool air- not a desired effect in the winter.

Be sure to note the tank size and buy one that is appropriate to the size of the room/s that you are humidifying.  This will save you the trouble of frequently having to refill the tank.  Also, make sure it has adjustable fan settings.

Remember that this will be operating around a parrot with a sensitive respiratory system.  Never add any chemicals, medicines or fragrances to the water and be aware that a dirty humidifier will throw unhealthful molds and bacterias into your breathing space.  Always be sure to place your humidifier in an area that distributes the mist evenly and is in a safe location away from prying beaks.

Facebook comments:

Add New Comment

4 Comments on “How To Select A Humidifier To Use Around Parrots”

sharon robinson indian ringneck poppett  01/05/2010 4:46 am

thank you for answering my question about fragrant oils in a mist humidifier. I would never want to hurt my parrott , there are so many things out there that I as a parrot owner just don’t know. your wisdom is very helpful. does licorice and ice cream harm them as poppet just loves these two things, as soon as dad brings out pudding he is there as fast as he can. He gets little bites of ice cream off the spoon . is this bad for him

Patty  01/05/2010 10:55 pm

Hi Sharon,
I am glad you are striving to be a great birdie mom! Licorice is not a good choice for a bird treat, especially black licorice. It can raise blood pressure and lower serum potassium. Red licorice is mostly corn syrup and red dye #40 – not great either, but better than the black. Ice cream is not good for them because they can’t digest dairy, but a couple of little bites infrequently won’t cause harm. Try to coax your bird over to bird treats instead of human ones. There will be a post sometime this week about sneaking veggies into your birds diet if he/she is a picky eater. So stay tuned and keep up the good work!

Virginia  02/12/2010 9:04 am

I have a warm humidifier on order but some of the info here is very useful – thank you so much. My CAG is very itchy right now and although I do add EFA foods into her diet it is just not enough.

donna bourne  04/02/2015 2:21 pm

I am so worried, I have a parrot I have owned since she was a baby, she is a 34 yr old amazon. I bought a new cool mist humidifier for her room and I just went to clean it and put it away and black mold was all inside on bottom of filter, this must have been blowing into the air, how long, I do not know I did not realize you were supposed to clean the unit monthly, so had it going since nov. do you think it has hurt my baby, I love her so, what can I do? sadies mommy.