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Household Bird Hazards

Birds are especially susceptible to household hazards. Common household items you would never consider dangerous to humans can quickly become life-threatening to birds. Their complicated breathing apparatus makes them especially sensitive to inhalants, some of which can be deadly within minutes and some build up over time. The need to chew and taste everything makes them susceptible to metal toxicity and poisoning. Flying has it's own inherent risks as well. The detailed list below should be reviewed thoroughly to ensure your pet bird is always safe:

  • Unscreened windows and doors, mirrors
  • Exposed electrical cords
  • Toxic houseplants
  • Tobacco, tobacco butts & ashes, matches
  • Tobacco smoke, incense, scented candles
  • Lighter fluids, kerosene, gasoline
  • Venetian blind cords and ceiling fans (always turn fans OFF when your bird is out of it's cage)
  • Sliding glass doors, the top of an open door 
  • Open washing machines, dryers, freezers, ovens, refrigerators or dishwashers
  • Open toilet bowls, sinks filled with water, fish tanks without covers, open cooking pots - drowning hazard
  • Open trash cans or trash cans with lids that open easily
  • Cooking fumes, self-cleaning oven fumes, oven cleaner, hot stove burners
  • Leaded stained-glass items or inlaid jewelry
  • Crayons and permanent markers
  • Pesticides, rodent killers, snail bait or herbicides
  • Hunting animals (dogs, cats, ferrets)
  • Overheated non-stick surfaces (pots & pans, cookie sheets, drip pans, irons, ironing board covers, waffle irons and other appliances)
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Endust and other aerosolized household cleaners
  • Febreeze , Pet Fresh and other carpet deodorizers
  • Ammonia, Pine Sol and other household cleaners with strong fumes, window cleaners
  • Bathroom bowl cleaner, drain cleaners
  • Fabric softeners, spot removers, spray starch
  • Metal cleaners, furniture polish
  • Paint fumes, paint thinner, paint remover
  • New carpet & particle board (offgassing for the first week or so is not good for you either)
  • Acetone, nail polish, nail polish remover
  • Hair dyes and sprays, permanent solutions
  • Corn and wart removers
  • Boric acid
  • Suntan lotion
  • Deodorants, perfume
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Mothballs
  • Antifreeze
  • Epoxy, model cement and super glue fumes
  • Linoleum (contains lead salts)
  • Wax (furniture or floor)
  • Wood preservatives
Sources of zinc (metal toxicity): galvanized cages, powder coatings with zinc, galvanized metal (cheap bird toys, toy hangars, washers, nuts), snap fasteners, pennies minted after 1982, paint, varnish, adhesives  (including duct tape), twist ties, cage “chrome”. 

Sources of lead (metal toxicity): air rifle pellets, antiques, bases   of light bulbs, batteries, plastic parakeet toys with weights, curtain weights, bullets and buck shot, costume jewelry, dolomite, fishing weights, hardware cloth, foil from wine and champagne bottle seals, mirror backing, lead- framed doors and windows, old paint, sheet rock, old plaster, putty, solder, stained glass ornaments and lamp shades, unglazed ceramics, some types of zippers, long-lasting candle wicks (have silver threads visible).
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