If your bird seems sick, take him or her to an avian vet immediately! Check your local phone book or Vet Lookup, AAV, Avian Vet.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Cockatiel Safety

It is extremely important to keep your bird safe and healthy. We are very sensitive to many plants, foods, and chemicals. Remember, what might be dangerous to us could also be dangerous to you, so it's in your own interest to keep us safe. Make sure to read all the links below and to check your feathered friend's environment for hazards.

I have a lot to say about the Tall One, and not all of it is good, but she will go to extremes to keep us safe. As soon as she got me, she researched cockatiels on the internet, and when she found out that non-stick pans can kill birds, she threw all of hers out and bought a new set that had no Teflon or any other non-stick stuff on it. She'd rather scrub the sticky mess than put me in danger.

When the apartment people come to spray for bugs, she either puts Miss Prissy and me in the other room and completely seals off the door, or takes us over to the house of her friend with the long dark hair, who also has a tiel, so that we can stay in a safe place. She did the same thing when they painted the apartment, even though everybody told her the paint was non-toxic. She left us at the dark-haired one's house for several days until all the fumes were gone. She said she was not going to take any chances. She won't even use bug spray, spray starch, or insect repellant in the same room with us.

Even though she's completely addited to chocolate, she won't let us near it. She won't even let us out of the cage when she's eating the stuff, and she washes her hand before handling us.

One time, there was a fire alarm in the building, and there was smoke in the hall. She covered us up with a thick blanket and took us outside, where the firemen admired us after finding out that it was just a washing machine that had broken and overheated. There was no way the Tall One would have left us in the building, exposed to smoke. She took us into the fresh air right away (luckily, it was warm outside) and made sure the building had been aired out before she took us back inside.

Part of a human's job is to keep the tiels safe, and so it's important to keep yourself informed. Of course, I can't guarantee the accuracy of the information on these sites, but they seem like a good place to start. If you know of any other good sites on the topic, please post them below under "Comments". Of course, I will keep you updated on other informative articles I may find in the future.

Read these pages carefully! Your tiel's safty depends on it!

* Hazards and Care of Your Bird. By Bobbi Brinker, Winged Wisdom Pet E-zine, 1998. This article describes potential hazards, such as teflon pans, self-cleaning ovens, links to articles about toxic foods, plants, chemicals, and toy safety, roaming, guests, other companion animals, windows and mirrors, vet visits, bird fairs, bathing, toys, and more.

* Household Hazards. Another page on the very informative Cockatiel Cottage site. It describes all types of visible and invisible household dangers, some of which I was not even aware of. A must-read!

* Hazardous Plants. A list of potentially dangerous plants to birds.

* Safe Plants and Trees. Before exposing your bird to a plant or perch, make sure that it is on the list of safe items!

* Safe and Toxic Plants. Two useful lists by my friend Eleanor at the Cockatiel Cottage: a list of safe plants, and a list of toxic ones.

* Poisonous Foods, Metals, and Compounds. A list of dangerous stuff.

* Safe Cleaning and Pest Control. By Carolyn Swicegood, Winged Wisdom Pet E-zine, 1999. We cockatiels are very sensitive to chemicals. Some cleaning and pest control products can hurt or kill us. This article describes safe alternatives to these chemicals. Think about it: if it's bad for our lungs, it's probably not good for you, either, so using safe products makes your environment safer not only for your feathered friends, but also for yourself.

* Gillian's Help Desk. This page contains links to bird safety lists and short articles, including first aid, holiday hazards, scented candles, pens and markers, safe wood for perches, potentially toxic plants, dangers in new homes, and many more topics. Concise and easy to understand.

* Cages, Cages, Cages! By Sharron Salas, Winged Wisdom Pet Bird E-zine, 2000. I posted this link previously under "Setting the Stage for the Cage", but I think it's important to include it in this post as well so you can inspect your bird's cage for safety.


Carol said...

This was a great post and very informative and helpful too!!I have a pair of love birds. this post have really enlightened me to very aspects of bird care!!Cheers!!Carol

J. L. LeMone said...

Hi Carol!

Thank you for stopping by! I'm glad the information was helpful, and I'm sure your love birds appreciate all the effort you are putting in keeping them safe!

J. L. LeMone

T-man said...

JL - This was a very helpful post. I'm glad your Tall One is taking such good care of the both of you.