Monday, March 31, 2008


I had an interesting experience a week ago. Because of a friend who rescued a severely plucked and distrusting blue and gold macaw, I ended up reviewing some bath products made especially for birds. My friend's new family member is the most severely plucked Macaw any of us have ever seen, which includes people with a lot of rescue experience. I'll be sharing his story and photos, but am leaving it to another time. Because this Macaw hasn't had enough time to develop new trust in people in order to be handled his new owner was hoping to find way to bathe him. So far that's the missing link in an incredible effort that is devoted to providing the attention, love and medical care he needs. So I decided to see if I could suggest something that she could use on the Macaw to help his skin feel better and heal.

I've always bathed my birds thoroughly with water either outside using a garden hose set on misting, or with the aid of a Shower Perch in the bathroom when the weather is cool, or even by mounting a Bird Bath to the outside of my smaller guy's bird cages. However, I've never taken the opportunity to learn about the various products that are made to condition skin and feathers, reduce feather dander, and perhaps even help feather pluckers, etc. Fortunately, my bird's feathers have always been in good condition and beautiful so I suppose that is the main reason I'd pretty much ignored the bath products for birds that are available today. I figured that bath products were more for birds whose feathers weren't in optimal shape. That assumption was wrong.

I ordered a couple of products I discovered so I could try them out before recommending them to my friend. So far, I've used one of them. That is the one what I want to tell you about. Cutting to the chase, let me explain that this product comes in 3 formulas for Parrots, Cockatoos and African Greys. These formulas are made by Mango Products. So far I've used the Bath Spray for Parrots on my two Blue and Gold Macaws (Sadie and Bailey), and Bath Spray for Cockatoos on my Moluccan (Fagan).

Fagan was first into the shower for a good soak-to-the-skin bath which is one of the ways I normally give him a bath. But I can't do that on a regular basis, so in between that kind of bath he gets much less intensive showers and misting. However, I've been really busy lately so he was quite overdue for a good bath. After giving him a bath I allowed him to dry almost completely ... he was just a little damp under his wings. At that point, I sprayed him all over with the Mango and let him dry completely in the warm outside air. Afterward I couldn't believe how soft and beautiful his feathers were ... even though they looked good before. Another good thing is how much the Bath Spray has helped manage the cockatoo powder. Anyone with a cockatoo knows the challenge of keeping it off your clothes, furniture or just out the the air ... owning a Cockatoo requires use of a good air filtration system! Since Fagan's bath and first spray with the Mango I've just misted him lightly with the Mango a couple of times a week. There has been a significant reduction in powder since I started this routine. I've even noticed that when he snuggles against my dark clothing I'm not covered with as much powder from holding him. Its pretty amazing. But even better his feathers have remained as beautiful and soft as they were after the bath I described.

Encouraged with Fagan's result, I gave the same type of thorough shower bath to Bailey and Sadie, allowing them to dry in the warm outside air, too. Then I sprayed them with the Mango for Parrots. That is the formula for birds with preening glands. The result was the same ... beautiful, soft, tightly zipped feathers that just shined ... they were gorgeous. Another benefit I noticed is how much Sadie enjoyed preening her own feathers after being sprayed with the Mango. Usually she leaves this task to Bailey ... who thoroughly enjoys performing that function for her. Sadie even started grooming Bailey, which I'd never seen her do before. I found this change in her behavior very interesting.

The formulas for these Mango products differ a little from each other. The Parrot Bath Spray is for those birds that have an oil gland they use to preen themselves and keep their feathers in good condition. I believe it is a little different formula than the ones for Cockatoos and African Greys ... the birds that produce powder that keep their feathers clean and in good condition.

Next on the list to get a shower/Mango Spray are my 2 Umbrellas Cockatoos (Solly and Wilton) and my African Grey (Alice Marie). Then it will be David, the Hyacinth's turn and so on through the whole group. I can hardly wait to see the result!

For more information on the Mango Bath Products:
Mango Parrot Bath Spray
Mango Cockatoo Bath Spray
Mango African Grey Bath Spray


Harrison's bird food said...

I love the mango products also, they really do make the feathers softer and brighter. I have only used on my African Grey though. Thanks for the great blog.

Ponky42 said...

sseenpoInteresting article. When I first started breeding Budgerigars as a child many years ago no-one ever suggested that they might like a bath and I found out by accident when I put a large water dish in the cage. I also noticed that they liked the rain when it wasn't too heavy and so I started spraying them lightly with the garden hose.

Vetafarm said...

Ive never actually heard of this mango stuff before, ive always just let them bathe in a mist of water and that's it. Where do you get it from? Is there a particular brand? I wouldn't mind trying it out on some Gang Gangs I have that always pluck.