Do Dander Birds Like Cockatiels Require a Regular Drenching?

Do Dander Birds Like Cockatiels Require a Regular Drenching?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Scott writes,


Hey folks: Our 4-year-old (almost) male gray Cockatiel Buddy has a dander problem?


We can get him to bathe outdoors when he’s out in the lanai and it happens to be raining which is a fairly common occurrence here in west-central Florida but the problem (?) is that we can’t get him wet to the skin. Buddy will shake off after a bath and a cloud of dander will “poof” off him.


I’ve read that birds, in general, need to get wet to the skin to remain healthy. Any thoughts?



Dear Scott

Cockatiels and cockatoos and some other birds are also known as dust or powder down birds. They have special feathers that are made to break up and create a powder that helps keep their feathers soft.


This dust can accumulate on things in your home of course and seem messy but the dust is perfect for the birds.


It is not required that your bird get soaked to the skin to be clean.



In fact, if your bird does manage to get wet enough to be soaked to the skin it would be best to help blot the excess moisture and keep the bird warm and out of drafts (and air conditioning) until it can dry itself and arrange its feathers.


On its own, in its cage, or in the wild your cockatiel would not want to get that wet and only end up being so wet if you forced the bird to get really wet by putting it in the shower.


Chili enjoys a bath in the kitchen sink ~ Video


If your bird is not dirty from cigarette smoke or another substance that got on the bird requiring a real bath that might include a sudsy product then it may never choose to do so on its own.


That your bird enjoys the light showers it gets is wonderful.


You can leave it alone.


We hope this helps.




Somewhere down the line we were lead to believe that to preserve “dander bird’s” skin health they needed a drenching (saturated to the skin) bath on a regular basis.  


Buddy was “Best in Class” standard division here in Florida in 2019 with his current habits, suppose that should tell us something!


Thanks again!





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