What Do I Do With a Cockatoo That Hates Water?
A Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea) drinking at Herdsman Lake in Perth, Western Australia.

What Do I Do With a Cockatoo That Hates Water?

Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing

Lou K. has a cockatoo that hates water. What can I use on her try skin areas that she scratches too much?


Dear Lou


It is not uncommon for birds who have not been exposed to showers or baths early in their lives to be afraid of or unwilling to bathe when they are offered, especially with cockatoo care.


It does not mean they can’t be changed, or at least be given bathes/showers anyway.


If you have not had success with misting the bird (spraying upwards above the bird so the water comes down lightly, not AT the bird) then you can try a couple of other options.



If you cannot get the bird to stay on a stand in the shower, or even just set on the floor of the shower without the bird flying out of it, then put the bird into a smaller cage or better yet a carrier with an open bottom. 

Carriers often have a tray that once removed, leaves the bottom open but with a built-in grille that works well as a bathing cage.


Then set the cage in the shower and gently mist your bird there. 


She may not like it, but she will survive and get through, it. She will have to preen herself and groom even if reluctantly.


You also can spray the bird with a birdbath spray like Natra Bird Bath which has a soothing preening oil in it that may help lubricate her itchy skin.


Best of Luck,


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