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BIRDS EXOTIC AVIARY

DANGERS

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DANGERS TO BIRDS:

* * * If you think your bird is in trouble, call and get it to a Veterinary hospital as soon as possible, as time is critical in most cases.* * *


FOODS

Avocado, guacamole, chocolate, cocoa, alcohol, caffeine, the pits of apricots, peaches, plums, prunes, and seeds of the cherimoya fruit, as well as foods containing large amounts of salt, sugar, grease, preservatives, artificial coloring, and other additives. Obvious dangers such as
moldy foods and under-cooked or raw meat should be avoided. Parrot food should be safe enough for human infants.


NUTS

In the shell, such as English walnuts, should be offered with caution. To minimize risk, do not offer whole hard-shell nuts when birds are extremely hungry, nor without supervision. Concealed nuts in the shell such as the "sock toy" can cause impaction.


LITTER

Made of walnut shells or corn cobs can cause life-threatening impaction if ingested by birds. It also harbours fungal spores when soiled or wet. Newspaper is a safer litter material.


WOOD SHAVINGS

Specifically cedar and redwood, are toxic to birds
and should not be used in cages, aviaries, or nestboxes. Pine or aspen shavings are safer nestbox substrate.


KITCHENS

Especially when cooking is in progress, are unsafe for
birds. The obvious hazards of open flames, hot ranges, open pots of hot food or boiling water are as deadly as smoke or other toxic fumes (even from dishwashers if a plastic item falls into a heating element during the drying cycle).


PTFE

Treated products such as Teflon and other name brands of non-stick cookware kill birds by releasing deadly, odourless gases when overheated. PTFE is used in some space heaters, ranges, ovens, stove-top burner bibs or liners, heat lamps, irons, griddles, bread makers, woks, waffle makers, electric skillets, crock pots, corn poppers, coffee makers, roasters, curling irons, hair dryers, and
more. Check labels before purchase.


SELF-CLEANING OVENS

Use extremely high heat to burn off oven debris.
During that process, toxic fumes are emitted that can kill parrots within minutes.


COOKING BAGS

Especially those treated with PTFE, emit harmful fumes
when heated. Any substance that releases smoke and/or fumes when heated should be avoided in homes with birds. It can be fatal.


CAGES

Should be made of safe metal with non-toxic paint, no sharp points that can cause injuries, proper spacing between cage bars to prevent strangulation, and no empty cup holders. Birds have been injured or killed by getting stuck in empty cup holders in cages. Use empty dishes or fill them with toys or treats, but never leave empty
cup holders in a cage. Stainless steel is the safest metal.


LEG BANDS

Can cause the loss of toes, feet, legs and sometimes bird
lives. Microchips are a safer form of identification of lost birds. Leg bands should be removed only by a veterinarian.


GRIT

Is unnecessary for parrots and can cause impaction of the avian digestive system.

HALOGEN LIGHT FIXTURES

Such as torchier-style floor lamps create
extreme heat and can kill birds that land on them. Choose only bird-safe light fixtures for bird homes.


METALS

Such as lead, zinc, copper, and iron can cause metal
toxicosis if ingested by birds. Some sources are galvanized cage and aviary wire, house keys, (especially gold colored keys), lead-based paints, metallic paints, paints containing zinc, linoleum, vinyl mini-blinds, foil from champagne and wine bottles, lead weights, bells with lead clappers, stained glass, some improperly-glazed ceramics, costume jewellry, mirror backing, copper pennies, zinc oxide, artist paints containing cadmium, cardboard or paper with high gloss inks, and magnetic business cards.


PESTICIDE SPRAYS, NO-PEST STRIPS, and FOGGERS

Poison the air and can kill birds. Safer solutions are roach traps, ant bait, and other solid insect poisons that can be safely secured in the back of cabinets and other areas that are inaccessible to birds.


FLEA COLLARS and SPRAYS

Emit toxins and should not be used in bird
homes. The metal discs sold in pet stores to attach to cages for killing lice also poison the environment -- do NOT use them! Shampoos for lice contain dangerous toxins that never should be used on birds.


STICKY PEST STRIPS

For flying insects should always be enclosed in
old cages or other containers accessible to insects but out of the reach of birds and other pets. Citrus oil or peanut butter can be used to safely remove sticky substances from feathers.


TRANSPARENT AND REFLECTIVE SURFACES

Like glass windows doors, and
mirrors should be shown to flighted birds. Many birds can be trained to avoid large expanses of glass by repeatedly holding the bird on your hand and imitating flight toward the glass and then lightly pressing their beak, feet, and body against the surfaces. Decals can be used as a visible reminder.


CEILING FANS

Should not be used in homes with flighted birds. Other
household dangers to flighted birds are open windows and doors, hot pots and stove burners, open containers of water (sinks, toilets, tubs, boiling water), poisonous or thorny houseplants, electrical wires, medication, insect bait traps, and many other toxic substances.


TOYS

Both new and used, should be cleaned and examined for loose parts that could lodge in a bird's throat. Loose strings and threads can trap and cut off circulation to necks, wings, legs, and toes. Use only stainless steel (not zinc) "quick links" as toy fasteners and never use strings, chains or ropes long enough to wrap around a birds' neck or other body parts.


PRESSURE TREATED LUMBER

Conventional plywood, and particle board
contain a variety of toxic substances. Untreated pine boards are a safer choice.


HOUSEPLANTS and FERTILIZER

Including "fertilizer spikes" can poison
birds so they should be kept out of their reach. Some of the most common poisonous houseplants are azalea, oleander, castor bean, sago palm, yew plants, dieffenbachia (dumb cane), asparagus fern, daffodils, flower bulbs, mistletoe, poinsettia, philodendron, and potato sprouts or "eyes". Live Christmas trees.  Choose only non-poisonous plants for bird homes.


CIGARETTES, CIGARS, PIPES, AND OTHER SMOKING SUBSTANCES

 

Should never be used in air space shared by birds. Passive inhalation of smoke, including smoke from burning incense, damages the sensitive avian respiratory system, eyes and skin. Nicotine can settle on perches and other cage surfaces and cause the self-mutilation of feet and legs in sensitive birds, especially Amazon parrots.


ESSENTIAL OILS and POTPOURRI OILS

Should never be used in the
breathing space of parrots. Perfume, hairspray, and other aerosolized grooming products also can damage the avian respiratory system.


AIR FRESHENERS

Which includes plug-ins and scented sprays are
considered unsafe. Bird deaths from using. To safely freshen the air, simmer spices like cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, and citrus rinds.


SCENTED CANDLES

-Release toxins when burned, so only unscented
candles should be used in bird homes. (Protect birds from the open flame). Beeswax candles are generally safe and unscented unless they are imported and contain lead wicks (which are illegal and rarely used.)


CARPET POWDERS AND SPRAYS

Such as Carpet Fresh, as well as similar
treatments for upholstery such as Febreze, often contain toxins which are dispersed into the air when they are vacuumed so they should not be used in bird homes. Carpets can be cleaned safely with solutions of water and baking soda, vinegar, or Grapefruit Seed Extract.


CLEANING AND DISINFECTING PRODUCTS

Like pine oil, ammonia, mold
and mildew cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, drain cleaners, furniture polish, oven cleaners, dishwasher detergents, furniture polish, car cleaning products, and laundry products, including bleach, can irritate or burn the skin, eyes and respiratory tract of birds when used in their air space. Spray starch is also toxic to birds.


HOME IMPROVEMENT PRODUCTS

That create fumes include fresh paint, new
carpet, drapes, furniture and flooring that uses toxic glues. The outgassing of toxic chemicals from new furnishings, paints, solvents, adhesives, various finishes, and other building materials are sometimes described as the "new smell" and can damage the sensitive avian respiratory system.


MOLD

On food or in the air is dangerous to parrots. Aspergillus mold can cause the deadly disease, aspergillosis. It can grow on improperly handled and stored foods, especially grains such as corn. Excessive moisture in bathrooms promotes the growth of various molds in homes.


DRY CLEANED CLOTHING

Should be aired outside or in an airspace not
shared by birds until there is no remaining odour. The chemical "perc" (perchloroethylene) causes cancer in lab animals.


CLEANLINESS

Is important to the prevention of bacterial infections.
Wash your hands frequently when working with birds and preparing their food and dishes.


DISEASE EXPOSURE

Should be avoided by quarantining all new birds
from your existing flock or companion birds for one to three months. Taking birds to pet stores, bird fairs, swap shops and other bird gatherings with birds can expose them to deadly diseases. It is safer to have a friend or relative come into your home or keep your birds in their home when you must be away from home for extended periods.

 

* * * If you think your bird is in trouble, call and get it to a Veterinary hospital as soon as possible, as time is critical in most cases.* * *

 
 
 
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