Spring: It Springs Babies & Bacteria!

A couple weeks ago I had to go to the avian veterinarian – I realized that it seems like I go more during the spring. I asked if they had more clients in the spring and they said that they do. In addition to parrot hormones being more active, some bacteria may become more active too. That’s our working theory anyway.

Then I Realized I’d Been Less Often This Spring

What changed? Because last spring I’d had to go almost once a month for several months; each time was a different parrot. This spring, on the other hand, I’d only gone twice and it wasn’t for ‘no reason’ – the birds hadn’t gotten sick for no reason.

So, What Changes Reduced My Visits?

Water Treatment

Parrots have delicate systems. As you probably know, they are very sensitive to smells/scents. You cannot use bleach, scented candles, perfume…¬† or smoke around them. It will damage their delicate respiratory system – and probably damage it severely. Unfortunately, it can kill them as well, which is why you must be cautious with them around your kitchen (the wrong burning pots can create toxic smoke and kill your parrot).

The same is true of their water. Sure, it’s obvious that old, dirty water or an un-washed water dishes can breed germs that will make your parrot sick. But, even clean dishes need to have the correct clean water in them! Tap water that you and I can drink, usually city water, has fluoride and bleach in it to help your teeth and to keep the water bacteria-free. However, some bacteria that don’t bother you and I can make it past the bleach, can get your parrot sick. As far as the bleach and fluoride go, I don’t know whether it has ill effects on parrots, but I don’t want my fids (feathered kids) drinking it…

So, we boil water every day for our parrots. You could buy bottled water too; I’m a larger fan of glass than I am of plastic and we use around 5 liters a day, so boiling is easier and more economical. In case you are wondering why we use so much water, it’s because we put multiple water dishes in the Parrotlet aviary, the Macaw’s bowls are big and we re-fill waters that get dirty during the day. We also use this water to fill the spray bottle and for a large dog dish in case a parrot is out back and wants water or a bath.

There are breeders who use reverse osmosis and heavy filters for their parrot’s water. Yes, that is how important some people have found clean water to be.

No-Mess Feeders

The second change was the no-mess feeders (you can click HERE to see it on Amazon). These are plexiglass squares with hanging hooks that help keep my parrot’s pellets from being scratch out of the dish too much and they also keep poop from landing in the feeder.

I used to fill my parrot’s dishes with pellets and sometimes they were pooped in five minutes later. If I was out of the house, this would mean that bacteria would be in the bowl and spreading so that when my parrot would eat from the clean side of the dish, they still could be eating contaminated food.


These feeders are also great because they hold my parrot’s food so that, even if my parrots dig in there, the food doesn’t come out and make a mess on my floor, leaving them with nothing to eat.

Parrot Health Has A Lot To Do With Cleanliness:

I hope your parrot has few to no issues and that he or she doesn’t have to go to the avian veterinarian much. Keeping your parrot on a 70% pelleted diet, 30% fresh vegetables and giving them clean pellets and clean water will make your parrot happy (because sick parrots are grumpy and unhappy, just like we are when we don’t feel good) and keep your wallet happy because it will save you money. Most importantly, it will keep you happy and feeling blissful with your parrot because you’ll enjoy not going to the avian vet and not having problems with your parrot’s beak, feathers, bones….

A healthy parrot will be more loving, have more beautiful feathers and be a better companion for you!

Have a questions about parrots?
As the author of “The Parrot Bliss Bond,” I love and welcome questions about having a parrot and creating one of the best experiences of your life!

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