How to Keep Your Pet Bird Safe

There are many things that are dangerous and deadly to your pet bird. You could be putting your feathered friend in harm's way without even realizing it.

There are many things that are dangerous and deadly to your pet bird.

You could be putting your feathered friend in harm's way without even realizing it.

Read on and find out how you can easily keep your bird safe.

Cage Size

Your bird needs adequate room in its cage to move around freely, stretch its wings, and to be able to turn around fully without its tail touching a side of the cage. If your bird is unable to stretch its wings or it is unable to turn without its tail getting stuck on a part of the cage, your bird needs a bigger cage. If a bird cage is too small a bird could easily break a wing or get its beak or legs caught in between a bar and break that as well.

FOODS THAT YOU SHOULD NEVER FEED YOUR BIRD

1) Ground Meat (may be contaminated with e-coli, salmonella, and other harmful bacteria)

2) Processed meats (They are filled with unhealthy, fats, preservatives, and salt)

3) Mozzarella or String Cheeses (String cheeses have a rubbery texture that may cause crop impactions.)

4) Chocolate (contains theo-bromine, which will KILL a bird regardless of the amount ingested.)

5) Avocado and Guacamole (Avocado is toxic to birds and will KILL a bird regardless of the amount ingested.)

6) Alcoholic drinks, caffeine, or carbonated beverages

7) Sources of sugar such as: Candy, jams amp; jelly, syrup, marshmallows, etc.)

8) Salty foods (such as foreign foods like Chinese, frozen, prepared meals, store bought, pies, potato chips, pretzels, etc.)

House Plants and other Hazards

The following is a list of plants that are considered harmful to birds. (For your bird's safety, please remove any and all of these plants out of any area that your bird may visit.):

Amaryllis, Azalea, Balsam Pear, Baneberry, Bird of Paradise, Black Locust, Blue-Green Algaes, Boxwood, Buckthorn, Buttercup, Calla Lily, Caladium, Castor Bean, Chalice Vine, Cherry Tree, Christmas Candle, Clematis, Choral Plant, Daffodil, Daphne, Datura, Deadly Amanita, Deadly Camas, Delphinium, Dieffenbachia, Eggplant, English Ivy, False Henbane, Foxglove, Golden Chain, Hemlock Poison, Hemlock (Water), Henbane, Holly, Horse Chestnut, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Indian Turnip (Jack-in-the-pulpit), Iris, Java Bean, Jerusalem Cherry, Jimson Weed, Juniper, Lantana, Larkspur, Laurel, Lily-of-the-valley, Lobelia, Locoweed, Lords and Ladies (cuckoo pint), Marijuana, May Apple, Mescal Bean, Mistletoe, Moch orange, Monkshood, Morning Glory, Narcissus, Nightshades, Oak, Oleander, Philodendron, Poison Ivy, Poinsettia, Pokeweed Potato, Privet, Rhododendron, Rhubarb, Rosary Peas, Skunk Cabbage, Snowdrop, Snow-on-the-mountain, Sweet Pea, Taro (Elephant's Ear), Tobacco, Virginia Creeper, Wisteria, Yam bean, Yew (all types).

Common Hazards Include:

  • Animals (cat and dog saliva is also poisonous)
  • Aquariums (Aviary birds cannot swim)
  • Carpets (nails can get stuck, toes can get twisted.)
  • Ceiling Fans, Children (unless properly trained to handle)
  • Chimneys and Fireplaces
  • Curtains and Drapes (toes can get caught)
  • Pots on the stove
  • PTFE or Poly Polytetrafluoroethylene, Given off by nonstick pans (Teflon amp; Silverstone) overheated to 536 or higher degrees Fahrenheit (280 or higher Celsius). Very toxic to birds, death occurs within a few minutes.
  • Mirrors
  • Electrical Cords
  • Stovetops
  • Toilets, Jacuzzis, and Indoor Pools
  • Open Windows, Doors, and Skylights
  • Lamps and Halogen Bulbs (could easily burn a bird)
  • Cold Drafts from Air conditioners or Ceiling Fans, (keep birds away from drafts. They can become sick if a draft is allowed to blow on them)
  • Heat (If a bird is left in the sun with no place to escape the heat, it could easily dehydrate and die.)

Common Household Poisons Include:

Aerosols, Antifreeze, Aspirin, Bleach, Caffeine, Cigarette Smoke, Deodorants, Dishwasher Detergent, Drain Cleaner, Flypaper, Gasoline, Insecticides, Kerosene, Lead-Based Paints, Medicine, Mothballs, Perfumes, Pine Oil, Paint Removers and Thinners, Rat and Mouse Poison, Shoe Polish, Sun Tan Lotions, and Waxes.

To keep your bird safe from many of the common hazards in your home, it is suggested that follow a simple procedure:

Clipping a Bird's Wings

Clipping a bird's wings is for its own safety more than anything. A bird without clipped wings can easily fly out of an open door or window never to be seen again, or worse, it could easily fly into a closed window pane, potentially killing it on impact. Clipping a bird's wings is not barbaric; it is a preventative measure to keep your bird safe. If your bird's wings are clipped correctly they will still be able to float down to the ground without being harmed.

If you do not want to clip your bird's wings, use drapes, blinds, and/or shutters to cover your windows when your bird is out of its cage. Exercising this precaution will keep the bird from flying into it should it feel the need to test out its flying ability.

Sleep Depravation

A common problem with many pet birds is that they are not allowed the proper amount of rest at night. Many new bird owners do not realize that a bird needs AT LEAST 10 hours of sleep EVERY night. Lack of sleep leads to stress. Stress leads to behavioral problems like feather picking, biting, and screaming.

Many health problems can also be traced back to sleep deprivation, which can deteriorate a bird's immune system. To ensure that your bird is allowed the proper amount of sleep each night, provide a covered sleeping cage in a quiet room away from the activity present in other areas of a house or apartment.

Light Depravation

Some birds are prone to low calcium levels (hypocalcaemia) if they have insufficient vitamin D. This is a result of not having sufficient time underneath full spectrum lighting. Inadequate light can also lead to behavior problems such as feather picking, biting, and screaming.

To ensure that your bird is getting enough light each day, provide several hours of full spectrum light with a UV light. If you are able to, set a timer to provide the appropriate amount of light. Place the full spectrum light above the cage so that it shines down onto your bird. (But also provide shade so that your bird can get out of the light if it wishes.)

Monitor your bird's Health

Birds hide signs of illness. Predators look for illness or weakness when on the hunt. A prey animal has to look healthy or it becomes dinner. By the time a bird shows any signs of illness, the bird has become too weak to be able to disguise it. This is why you must monitor your bird daily for any unusually signs. A good indicator that your bird may be sick is if it loses a large amount of weight in a short amount of time.

PHEW!

While it seems like taking care of your bird requires a lot of work, it doesn't have to. I recommend setting up a weekly routine of checking each room in your house or apartment where your bird visits for potential hazards. Reminder: Even the best bird-hazard proofed houses can still be dangerous to birds if they are left unsupervised. If you do all of this you will be rewarded with a happy, safe, healthier, and longer living feathered companion.