By Rebecca O’Connor
Reprinted with permission
This is always my least favorite discussion when it comes to new parrots, mostly because I think we get carried away. People slip and hit their heads, killing themselves in bathtubs and on stairs, but we all still have bathtubs and most of us still use stairs. Accidents happen and being overly paranoid doesn’t always stop them from happening. Here are a few really common things to look out for, but mostly, my advice is to just use good judgment, common sense and supervision. Your parrot will be fine.
Zinc is poisoning to parrots and can be ingested through metals that have been galvanized. The level of toxicity can cause feather plucking, gasteric distress or even death, depending on how much zinc gets in the bird’s system. Read more about it here.
2. Frayed rope toys
Easy for a parrot to get a toy caught and many a bird has lost a toe this way. It’s even possible for a parrot to get her neck wrapped in strings. Keep an eye on all materials that have the potential of fraying and leaving dangerous strings.
Watch out for anything small enough to swallow or to break down into pieces that can be swallowed and obstruct the throat. Some parrot will destroy things regularly without swallowing the bits, but others are a danger to themselves. Keep an eye on your parrot with new toys.
4. Toxic fumes (from air fresheners, scented candles, Teflon, etc.)
Lots of things we put in the air are bad for us. And many of stories of dangers are overblown. However, as a rule of thumb, if it smells strongly to you, don’t put it or use it near your bird’s cage. (which the exception of over-heated teflon which doesn’t smell, but rapidly kills birds) And if it seems dangerous to your bird…well, there’s a reason why they used canaries in a coalmine. Maybe you shouldn’t have it in your house in the first place.
5. Poisoning (feeding poisonous or moldy foods)
Feed fresh food from dependable sources that don’t use pesticides. Be especially careful with fruits that bugs find really tasty, like strawberries, raspberries, etc. Buy organic.