Dangers 101

Beside learning about diet and behavior and general care, you need to be aware of the things that present a REAL and present danger to your companion bird. 
 

Proper Supervision

 

Do not let your bird roam your house unsupervised; when you leave they should always be in a secure enclosure that is properly "bird-proofed." That can be their cage or their play room or an Aviary but they should not have access to anything that they could get entangled in (like cords on blinds) ... anything they could chew that they shouldn't chew (like power cords or furniture or painted molding) ... anything they could eat that they shouldn't (like the loaf of bread on the counter or pile of fruit in the bowl or that stick of butter you have thawing on your counter) ... or any other pet that happens to live in the home too (like the dog or the cat or their food that sitting out in their dishes). Leaving your bird free to roam your house is a recipe for disaster; it is irresponsible and it's dangerous. Would you leave a 3-yr old toddler at home unsupervised? YOU are your bird's guardian so take that responsibility seriously. Do your research and make SURE you have done everything to make their life and home safe and secure.

 

 

A word on Household Dangers for Birds ...

 

Check the Kitchen 

One of the first rooms to check is the kitchen. Below, we listed some examples of things that could be extremely dangerous for birds.

  • Food cooking or water boiling on a hot stove

  • Teflon Cookware - at high temperatures Teflon can outgas and kill your bird

  • Gas leak from appliances (even a small leak could prove deadly to a bird)

  • Toxic gases –  toxins from Teflon pans can cause serious problems but so can drip pans, bread makers, and a number of other appliances found in the kitchen. The reason – birds have an efficient respiratory tract and are susceptible to fumes and vapors that we don't think twice about.

 

Potentially Deadly Toxins

In addition to toxins found in the kitchen, birds should never be subjected to things like perfumes, air freshener, potpourri, hairspray, cigarette smoke, oven cleaner, oil-based paint, spray on deodorant, flea bombs, stain remover, scented candles, nail polish, bleach insecticides, carpet freshener, furniture polish, bathtub cleaner, and others. Even if you smoke outside, be sure you aren't smoking near an intake vent AND make sure you wash the nicotine off your hands before handling your bird. 

 

Other potentially dangerous things found in the home include:

  • Poorly vented fireplaces 

  • Open toilet seats 

  • Ceiling fans 

  • Large mirrors 

  • Open windows 

  • Drafty windows that can cause extreme temperature changes 

  • Cages placed too close to heat/cold sources to include air vents, furnaces, air conditioning units, open doors, and even closed windows 

  • Other pets that may not get along with birds

 

Risks Associated with Chewing 

Birds are notorious for chewing, which is why they should always be provided with plenty of chew toys. However, there are specific dangers in the home associated with chewing such as those listed below: 

  • Poisonous household plants 

  • Electrical cords 

  • Pressure-treated wood 

  • Paper with color ink 

  • Rubber bands and other soft rubber products 

  • Heavy metals to include mini-blinds, old paint, curtain weights, costume jewelry, and leaded stained glass 

 

A word on Quarantine ...

Quarantine of new birds is an incredibly important thing to do, and is often an overlooked step in the excitement of bringing home a new family member. 

 

Q. So, what does quarantine of a new bird mean? 

A. Quarantine is the separation and isolation of all new birds from all other birds. All new birds need to be quarantined to prevent the introduction of new infections to your existing flock 

 

Q. What type of separation is needed? 

A. New bird(s) should be kept in a separate room to all the other birds (preferably on a different air system if available). If the birds are outside they should be placed in a cage as far as possible away from all the other birds. new birds should be fed and their cages cleaned AFTER all the other birds have been fed and cleaned to prevent possible contamination from you carrying nasty’s from bird to bird. The length of quarantine is a minimum of four to six weeks. BE SURE YOU GET YOUR NEW BIRD CHECKED BY A VET FIRST THING ... (sorry for the caps but that bit is really really important). 

 

Q. What are you looking for during quarantine? 

A. Behavioral patterns especially its eating habits should be watched and any change to this or any signs of illness (fluffing, going off food, abnormal stools etc etc etc). It’s also good practice to start weighing your new friend at this point too. 

 

So please, always quarantine for the health of all your feathered family members

Here's a good page with lots of details on quarantine from Birds & Wings, Inc. Parrot Rescue, Adoption, and Education.

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