Ten Tips for Responsible Parrothood
Supervise time out of the cage. Letting a parrot out unsupervised is unwise. You simply cannot anticipate all of the dangers that may confront your inquisitive friend.
Check fight feathers regularly. Never allow them to grow out. Learn to trim them yourself, or make sure your bird is groomed frequently. We’ll teach you or help you.
Use a carrier to transport your parrot. Never allow your bird to ride on your shoulder in the car or outdoors. Too many so-called unfilghted (recently groomed) birds have escaped, never to be seen again.
Cook away from your bird. Birds don’t belong in the kitchen or near the kitchen while you are cooking. Teflon and Silverstone pans emit fumes during cooking that will kill your bird.
Self-cleaning ovens can also emit toxic fumes during the clean cycle . Birds can additionally suffer scalding accidents.
Avoid “air fresheners” and “carpet fresheners.” Studies show these are actually powerful neurotoxins that can cause asthmatic reactions, changes in nervous system function, and death.
Some fresheners are banned in California because they contain dichlorobenzene, an extremely toxic chemical that depresses the central nervous system and poisons the kidneys and liver.
(Imagine what’s in the ones that are still sold here!) You can make your own air and carpet fresheners from baking soda, zeolite, or vinegar.
Cover unused crock holders in cages. You’d be surprise how easy it is for your bird to hook awing or a foot in these spaces and suffer horrible injuries. An old crock no longer suitable for food makes a handy safety device—and an even handier toy container.
Refrain from using chemicals around your bird—that includes paints, tobacco smoke, fabric softeners, new carpet, aerosol sprays, perfumes and fragrance products, and anything newly dry-cleaned. Keep your bird out of the house for more than 24 hours if you’ve just had it recarpeted, fumigated, or treated for fleas. And remember that although something says “natural,” if it evaporates into the air it has the potential to be an indoor air pollutant.
Keep your feathered friend’s living quarters as clean as you keep your own. This includes scrubbing perches, cages, playgrounds, and all surfaces. Regularly use a good disinfectant (not Clorox, which can kill!). A daily wipe with a good cleaner will help you avoid a major project on the weekend. Ask us if you aren’t certain what’s appropriate to use for cleaning and disinfecting solutions.
Change water at least daily, more frequently if it’s soiled.