Common Household Hazards

Unclipped birds are at most risk when it comes to certain household hazards, such as open doors, open toilets, pots and pans on the stove (burned/boiled/drowned/covered in oil), deep water in kitchen sinks or pails, ceiling fans, electrical wires, and anything the bird could chew and ingest that could cause damage to them either through poisoning or damage (glass objects). Anything that could kill a small child can kill a bird. A bird can get into the exact same kinds of trouble a 2-year-old human child can get into. Cats are hazardous to birds. I don’t just mean that they are natural predators.

Overheated Oil. It has been reported that overheated oil on the stovetop can be as lethal to birds as overheated teflon. Be sure that birds are removed from the kitchen immediately if you burn oil and vent the room thoroughly. Vents over ovens should be used on high at all times when cooking in a bird household.

Glass Beads. A woman reports that after making glass-bead necklaces, some of the glass beads had been lost in the rug. Her lovebirds found them and played with them. The glass beads broke in their strong beaks and the birds must have ingested bits of the glass. They died the next day and necroscopy revealed that the glass had torn the inside of the birds’ digestive tracts.

Pens. A woman reports that a lovebird that got ahold of a pen was made very ill by the ink. Although treated by a vet, the bird lost its voice and never regained it. The bird’s personality also seemed to change as it was more active before the incident. Remember, that parrots love pens and pencils. They see their owners writing with them and they look like great toys. Keep pens out of your birds’ reach.

Halogen Lamps. An owner of a lovebird reported that his bird landed on the top where the exposed bulb had been burning for many hours. The bird flew off immediately, but favored the foot for a few days. It is recommended that a grating be placed above the bulb on this type of lamp. They pose both a fire hazard and a hazard to birds without this protective grate. New lamps generally have this protective feature, but older halogen lamps do not.