Parrot SHAMPOO??

Parrot SHAMPOO??

 February 14th, 2013
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Umbrella cockatoo

I log into Facebook every morning to see what is going on with my bird loving friends. Most days I scroll through the pages quickly only pausing when something catches my eye, but I was stopped dead in my tracks at the sight of what appeared to be a cockatoo wading in soapy dishwater.

Because I know this particular party to be very responsible with birds, I was expecting a humorous story with an explanation for how this bird had gotten himself into this predicament. To my surprise, I learned instead that the bird was being bathed using a product called Cockatoo Renew Shampoo.

This product is made by Kings Cages, a company that makes sturdy, well designed parrot cages which I have recommended to people for years. I own one and love it. However, at some point, they started branching out into other areas including parrot related “health products “– most notably Pluck No More, the ingredients of which I have taken issue with in past blog posts.

Both of these products, among others, are listed in their “healthcare” section. Cockatoo Renew Shampoo claims to be designed for white feathers because, presumably, everyone wants whiter whites. The sales page assures us that the product does not use bleach, peroxide or alcohol, but “cleans, deodorizes and shines feathers” all the same. I would be very excited about this product if we were discussing dirty laundry.

While the packaging loudly boasts the inclusion of Aloe Vera, the complete ingredient list is nowhere to be found. That is always grounds for concern to me. If I were proud of the ingredients of my product, I would be bragging about them and placing them up front and center.

The sudsy water in the Facebook photo mentioned above tells me that soap is a component in this product. But soap dries out skin and feathers… and might result in the need for their Pluck No More product… what were they thinking?? Lucky for us that they cleverly added Aloe Vera to counteract the drying effects of the soap – even if it is kind of like using a product that, say, washes away color, but includes a packet of dye in the box. The logic is lost on me.

Umbrella cockatoo

Wet It And Forget It

Bath time with birds should be very basic. Nature has given birds everything they need to keep themselves clean. Wild birds will seek out a puddle or watering hole for bathing during times when rain is scarce. Wet feathers encourage preening, at which time a bird will use its beak to remove any dander or debris from them. It will spread the oils from the preen gland throughout the feathers to maintain their condition and appearance.

Have you ever seen a photo of a wild cockatoo wearing dingy whites? No, you haven’t – and I have never known a captive cockatoo to be so dirty that it needed the addition of soap at bath time. Thank you Cockatoo Renew Shampoo for your offer of assistance, but nature already has the job covered – in fact, the position was filled millions of years ago.

Don’t fall for the gimmickry used to sell a product that is not only unnecessary, but, in the long term, harmful. You should never, ever, ever, ever use shampoo or soap of any kind to bathe your bird. All birds need to keep themselves looking pristine… is water, ONLY water!


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7 Comments on “Parrot SHAMPOO??”

Stacey  02/22/2013 11:22 am

I LOVE the smell of wet bird! Isnt that the best smell on earth! My Jazz Berry (a plum headed parrot) is the yummiest damp from bath time. I always say lift that wing and let me sniff you (which he does) then nibbles my nose. lol…. Why on earth would anyone want to get rid of a bird’s natural oils and birdiness? Im at a loss for words!

Susanne  02/22/2013 12:01 pm

I have used this shampoo also for years on my cockatoo….never had any problems…to each their own….

Candace Rocha  02/22/2013 12:45 pm

on rare occasions would a bird need a shampoo, I came across one of them. I rescued a poor cockatoo one time. the cage and the bird were disgusting to the touch. sticky and grimy. never bathed in over 8 years. The poor bird was closer to being grey then white. One easy gently applied shampoo to the outer feathers only helped some, but it took 8 weeks of water baths to finish getting her clean.

Kris  02/23/2013 4:37 pm

My Lutino Cockatiel is 27 yrs. old and water is all he needed to bathe!

Johann  02/25/2013 6:48 am

My bird’s name is Sammy and she is a plucking molluccan cockatoo. Any advice?

Barbara DelGiudice  03/09/2015 5:01 pm

I strongly agree with you Patty.

kris  07/28/2015 5:54 pm

I rescued a lesser sulfer Cockatoo plucked and all and he sat in a ladies “smoking room” because she felt that she spent more time there and it would be beneficial for the bird to have that time with companionship. Needless to say when I got him there was at least 3″ of filth in his cage, one Glass toy, and he reeked of cigarette smoke. I used “Dawn” dish soap all natural organic and had to bathe him every few days for a month to remove the stains and smell. He still has a few stained feathers like walls covered in tobacco, but he now only uses water to bathe and keeps himself really clean and less plucked. I’m so thankful for healthy chemicals but I would have never used them had he not been in that condition.