How Do I Get My African Grey to Bathe?

How Do I Get My African Grey to Bathe?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Gail M. writes


My birds are all rescues.


I have a CAG of about 18.


He lives I believe, in a Featherline cage.


Very large four feet wide and two deep and dome top.


The dishes for food and water have a bar across to keep them from falling into the cage and a transparent cover outside.


He tries to bathe in the water dish.


I’ve tried planter suffers, bowls, low baking dishes in the bottom of his cage or on top of the cage he likes to sit on.


He will not use anything.


I’ve tried when I vacuum he loves to bathe then.


I tried ordering one from a company that makes bird things.


It had to be assembled and was clear and hung on the cage but I couldn’t assemble it and returned it.


Would you have ANY suggestions on what I could use so he could bathe?


He isn’t thrilled with misting.


Dear Gail

I think birds bathe in their water dishes because it is familiar to them. Safe. It is always there, is always cleaned and they can depend on it.


But what do they know of dirty water or bacteria? Nothing. In the wild, they will bathe in puddles in roads, ditches, pastures. They don’t care.


We have several special bathing devices for our birds, made just for bathing.


Even cute little bathtubs or play sinks with water running made for little children. Nope, they won’t go near any of them.


And yes, when we vacuum, half the birds go running for their water dishes and splash to their heart’s content. We feel it instinctually sounds like running water so they bathe.


I have had some luck with getting a bird or two to bathe in the sink by using an elaborate setup of a colander topped with a pie pan with water trickling in it and out into the sink.



That is kind of enticing and as long as I am there to be the “lookout” (another instinctual thing) they may splash around awhile.


We have a (rescue) quaker right now that will enjoy a big Tupperware container that fits well across the sink.


As long as I am there, the water is not too hot or too cold and is actively dribbling in the water and I am also splashing it with my fingers.


That may last 3-5 minutes. Again, I have to be right there.



Misting doesn’t work well due to the trajectory. It has to go straight up and then down like a faint rain rather than a direct spray, but even that doesn’t work well around here. 


You can try a Shower Perch and see how that goes.


To start, bring one home (suction cup type), and stick it to a window or a door.


Use it as a perch, or even hold it and use it to carry the bird around to get the bird unafraid of the perch.


Then once it is not scary, put it on the wall in the shower and try to get the bird on it, and get in with him.


Not under the water, but let the water bounce off your body onto the bird. It may be enjoyed.



Baby steps, if it all fails, get him a larger Hook on or Bolt on water/food dish and let him have his fun.




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