cockatoo's head feathers look grey or dirty

by Chris Haydel
(New Orleans)

Why do my cockatoo's head feathers on its crown look grey or dirty? And then too, some feathers on her wings. When I give her a bath it doesn't rub off. It seems to be part of the feather color.

Comments for cockatoo's head feathers look grey or dirty

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 09, 2012
Greying cockatoo
by: Chris Haydel

Thanks for those comments. Yes, I do have paper at the bottom of the cage but she cannot get to it. However, I have taken to putting paper over the ledgeds on the sides and near the bottom of the cage that is supposed to catch pop and seeds. Perhaps her standing on this and then preening herself is the culprit. I'll have to remove this paper and then observe, and be willing to scrub the pop off afterwards.

I have been very unsuccessful in spraying her. She does not like it. She does not like when I give her a water bath. Also, it dries her feathers. I assume that chemicals in my water remove the oils on her feathers. (I don't bath her often.)I have tried a powder in her foods (It stinks and the other birds won't eat it.), and a powder mixed in a daily spray. (This did not last long.)

Bathing has been one of the problems I have had with her. She is extremely loving and intelligent. I guess I can't have everything. However, her health is my prime objective.

Jan 09, 2012
Dirty looking feathers
by: AZ

Something to consider, Does your bird have access to newspaper, such as the paper at the bottom of the cage? Does your bird like to preen it? (tear it up)

Birds love tearing up paper, even if they've soiled it. The inking from the newspaper will rub off onto your birds feathers causing a grey dingy look to the feathers. Even a bath wont remove the ink the first time.

I suggest you get a cage that has bars blocking your bird from having access to the papers on the bottom of its cage, or if you give it newspaper to preen, then you should stop, and get him toys he can preen.

Take note of whats in your birds cage that could be causing the dingy grey feathers. (most commonly it's newspaper)

I had a rescue bird who came to me with very few feathers, and what she had left, were dingy grey b/c she had access to newspapers at the bottom of her cage. She was mean when I got her from neglect. I made sure to get her a proper cage, and encouraged her to bath herself. It took several baths, but she cleaned up nicely. Then encouraged playtime with some proper toys to preen.

shampoos you can use to bathe your bird with as well. These also work nicely, and are safe for your bird. Dont use your shampoo or soaps to bathe him. As they can be toxic, and over dry your bird's delicate skin.

Keep an eye on your birds behavior. If he starts acting out of sorts, then a vet should be consulted right away.

Click here to add your own comments