With the holidays quickly approaching, we thought we would take the opportunity to remind everyone about some of the potential dangers your birds may face this holiday season. The incidence of accidents increases dramatically during the holidays, but with a little preparation and knowledge you and your bird can enjoy a safe and happy holiday.
Birds are creatures of habit and any change in your household can cause stress to your bird. The holidays tend to bring many changes to the home which include visual, scent and sound changes and let’s face it…with the family activities…schedules are a little harder to follow. The changes may even be perceived as a threat to your bird. It’s a very real possibility that it will confuse and stress out your bird. Some signs of stress include: panting, screaming, feather plucking, biting, not eating and a change in the bird’s droppings.
There are a few things you can do to keep you bird’s stress to a minimum such as: keeping to a routine as much as possible, don’t let a lot of strangers approach your bird’s cage, keep plenty of toys on hand and you may even find that a cage cover will help calm your bird during the most stressful times and provide your bird a “safe haven.”
Now let’s talk about a few potential hazards to your bird during the holiday season.
Many holiday plants are toxic to your bird. The toxic plants include Holly, Mistletoe, Poinsettia, Chrysanthemum and Yew. Discourage friends and family from sending you plants as holiday gifts. If you happen to love the holiday plants, you may want to consider having them delivered to your work place so you can enjoy them while you work and keep your bird safe at the same time.
Trees tend to be magnets to bird but almost everything on the tree…including the tree itself… can pose a real danger to your bird. The lights can shock and even burn your bird. Many ornaments are made of very thin glass or paint that can be toxic to your bird. The tinsel can become wrapped around your bird’s leg cutting off the circulation and the tree itself more than likely has been treated with either a retardant and/or an insecticide. Twinkling lights may also stress out your bird. We get quite a few calls from clients who want to know why their bird has started plucking and screaming – only to find out that the bird’s cage was too close to the blinking or chasing lights on the tree.
The holidays are devoted to cooking, cooking and more cooking. Please remember that overheated non-stick pans will kill your bird and will do so very quickly. You may want to consider ceramic coated pans….or even the disposable aluminum pans found in most grocery stores.
A reminder that chocolate is toxic to your bird and overly sweet, salty or fatty treats aren’t good for them either.
Many birds are frightened by the loud bangs and flashing lights of fireworks. A cage cover may come in handy during the festivities. Some bird owners prepare a few weeks in advance and play firework sounds in their bird’s room in order to get them used to it. However, you may find that a constant background noise will work too…like a radio or television playing in the background. A bird should never be outside for the activities. Your bird may get spooked and even clipped birds may find it in them to fly off. The gunpowder from the fireworks is also very harmful for your bird.
These are just a few of the more common dangers that pose a threat to your bird during the holidays. But, as you can see…with knowledge and preparation it’s pretty easy to make it less stressful for the bird and more enjoyable for your family.
Are you having a hard time figuring out what you are going to get your bird for the holidays? We have a great selection of toys from Birdie Britches to Caitec Paradise Bird Toys or if your bird prefers a food gift, ZuPreem offers some great choices or as a treat..maybe Lafebers Nutriberries?
From all of us at Golden Cockatoo – we wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.