We cannot stress enough about the dangers to your birds of some of the everyday items around the home.
While you may not have your bird in direct contact with the items, fumes and spray from many of these can adversely affect them.
Cleaning products can irritate or burn the skin, eyes and respiratory tract of birds when used around them. Consider using safer, natural Cleaners like baking soda, vinegar, or Grapefruit Seed Extract.
Carefully read all labels for the list of ingredients before using them. If in doubt, don’t use it!
- Detergent & Dishwasher Detergent
- Oven Cleaner
- Bleach or other Chlorine based products
- Toilet Cleaners
- Mould & Mildew Cleaners
- Metal Cleaners
- Dry Cleaning Fluid (Newly dry-cleaned clothes should be aired outside until there is no remaining odour)
- Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners
- Spot removers
- Spray starch
- Laundry Powder & Liquid
- Fabric Softeners
- Acidic cleaners, e.g. Muriatic acid, Sulphuric Acid
- Window Cleaners
- Pine oil
- Furniture Polish
- Drain Cleaner
- Pool cleaners and chlorine
- Aerosol Sprays
Pesticides are poison and can very quickly kill a bird if ingested.
- Fly & other Insect Sprays
- Ant syrups or baits (Ok if kept in an area inaccessible to your Bird)
- Cockroach baits (Ok if kept in an area inaccessible to your Bird)
- Boric Acid
- Mosquito repellent
- Moth balls
- Snail Bait (Ok if kept in an area inaccessible to your Bird)
- Weed Killers
- Flea collars, sprays & powder
- Fly Paper (Ok if kept in an area inaccessible to your Bird)
Beauty & Bathroom products
- Nail Polish & Remover
- Hair Dye
- Perming Solution
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Shaving Lotion
- Suntan Lotion
- Lice Shampoo & Treatment products
- Tea Tree Oil
- Hand & Body Creams
- Hand Sanitizer
Motor Vehicle Products
- Cleaning products
Open containers of water (sinks, tubs, toilets etc.), where your pet can drown if unattended, the same as a young child.
Some metals such as lead, zinc, copper, and iron can cause poisoning or impaction if
ingested by birds.
Things to be careful of include :
- Galvanised wire
- Lead based paint
- Metal Blinds
- Aluminium Foil & Wine Bottle Foil
- Lead (including Stained Glass work, Fishing Sinkers)
- Some Jewellery
- Metal Zips
- Artistic Paints containing Cadmium
- Mirror Backing
- Loose Screws, Nails, Nuts & Bolts
- Some Brass or Bronze coatings
- Untreated Zinc (treat new Cages with Vinegar & Water before using)
- Copper Pipes, Wire, Coins
- Rusty Iron
- Paint, incl. removers & thinners
- Lighter Fluid
- Some Vinyl floor coverings
- Electrical Wires
- Cardboard or Paper with high gloss inks
- New Carpet, Curtains & some new Furniture can give off fumes toxic to your birds.
Scented Candles, Diffusers, Pot Pourri, Oil Burners, Incense & other Air Fresheners – only use unscented candles, preferably Beeswax, and be careful of the Flames!
Non Stick pans (PTFE coated), such as Teflon and Silverstone cookware can release odourless, deadly vapour when overheated. Check all non-stick appliances, pans, hair irons, some Oven Bags, as well as Ironing Board Covers before using in the same room as your Bird.
Pyrolytic or Self Cleaning Ovens use a very high heat to burn off debris, and in the process can create toxic fumes that can harm or kill birds.
Ceiling Fans are also extremely dangerous to flighted Birds.
Light Bulbs that produce a lot of heat and are exposed can be dangerous or even deadly if a bird lands on them. Make sure you have bird-safe Light Fittings if your Bird is allowed to fly free.
Saliva contains pathogens that are deadly to birds. Never allow a bird to place its beak in your mouth or nose, or to “clean your teeth”.
Tobacco, Cigarettes, Pipes, Tobacco & Marijuana.
Never smoke around your birds. Smoke inhalation can damage your bird’s respiratory system, eyes and skin. Nicotine can accumulate on perches and other cage surfaces and cause irritation to their feet. Tobacco residue on your hands or body can transfer to your bird, which will then be ingested when they are preening.
It might seem fun to share your drink with your Bird, but remember birds are able to ingest more volume compared to their body weight than humans which means liver failure can occur very quickly.
Cats, Dogs & Other Pets
Besides the obvious danger of a Bird becoming ‘prey’, even the smallest scratch can become infected. Never allow birds to interact with other pets without close supervision.
Chemical or Pressure Treated Wood
Chemicals used in the treatment of wood are toxic. Pressure Treated Wood, such as Particleboard, Chipboard or Plywood can contain toxic Glues.
Some wood shavings can also be toxic to Birds if they include toxic substances or are made from poisonous woods. In addition, very fine shavings can be inhaled or ingested, causing respiratory or crop problems.
Plants & Fertilisers
Some Plants and fertilizers can be poisonous to birds so they should be kept out of their reach. We will be producing a list of common toxic and non-toxic plants to help you to choose non-poisonous plants for your home.
Glass Doors, Windows & Mirrors
The obvious hazard to flying Birds, care should be taken when allowing your Bird to fly free inside. Although it hurts when we walk into a glass door, a bird can suffer serious brain damage or death if it impacts these surfaces.
Walking around a new room holding your Bird, and taking them up to each surface can help, or alternately stickers can be used as a permanent reminder.
Toys should be regularly cleaned and checked for loose pieces that could be ingested.
Loose or frayed rope must be removed before it can be caught around toes, legs etc.
Where possible, use only Stainless Steel fasteners, and be aware of the dangers of leg rings becoming caught in quicklinks and other fasteners.
Keeping everything clean is the best way to prevent against fungal & bacterial infections.
Mould and bacteria can grow very quickly both in and around your bird’s cage.
Always wash your hands before handling your birds and preparing their food.
Remove any uneaten food every day and always provide fresh clean water.
While not a comprehensive List, it is fairly detailed and is not meant to scare you, just to help you understand the potential, everyday dangers in our homes.
Treat your Bird as if he were a new born baby, but remember, in many ways they are more susceptible to toxins than humans.
Don’t forget about the dangers to outside Birds as well, from airborne Sprays, Cleaning Products, Metals, Toys etc.
Use your common sense and you and your Birds should enjoy many wonderful years together!