Boarding Your Bird

Baby Black Headed Caique at Golden Cockatoo

Some people like to vacation and others may be called away from home on a family emergency.  What do you do with your parrot(s) when this happens?   Golden Cockatoo offers full-service parrot boarding for your feathered family member.  There are several benefits to parrot boarding vs. parrot sitting.  Yes, you are taking your baby out of its home and into a new environment, BUT he or she will be surrounded by other birds offering entertainment and stimulation and we have a full staff all of whom are trained to spot any problems should they occur.  Sitters are good too; however, in many cases they stop by for only a few minutes each day to feed, water and clean the cage.

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As we know – birds are very active and inquisitive creatures.  What would happen if your bird found itself in precarious situation or became hurt or sick during the time that your sitter was NOT there?  Our staff is trained to watch for any signs of sickness, stress or injuries and will deal with it immediately -whereas the sitter would not notice until their next trip to your home.

Your bird is also used to your daily activities happening around him or her.  How does will your bird handle it when all of a sudden that activity is gone and he or she is alone?  Will he start screaming or plucking out of frustration and boredom?  Boarding your parrot provides the activity of the other birds around him to prevent the boredom and the unwanted behaviors.  Our staff and provide other mental stimulation such as toys, etc. should that become necessary as well.

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There are a few things you can do to help make your bird’s boarding experience more enjoyable.  We do recommend bringing his or her favorite toy(s) as well as any food he/she would normally be fed at home.  If your bird is not used to being put in its carrier…put him or her in the carrier for a few minutes each day prior to bringing them in for boarding.  That will make the trip to Golden Cockatoo less stressful and help to get him/her used to being confined in a different cage.

Please remember, we do require a psittacosis test to be done prior to boarding your bird.  The reason we chose this particular test is that not only is it an airborne disease but it is also activated (when the bird is said to be “shedding”) when a bird is under stress.  Even though the parrots are very well cared for, the bird itself is in a new environment for the first few times.  This is a stressful situation that can activate shedding and expose all other boarding birds to this disease.  Our mantra for boarding is “bring in a healthy bird, bring home a healthy bird.”  For this reason we require, this particular test on an annual basis.  We were the first boarding facility to institute this requirement over 15 years ago, and today many boarding facilities follow this procedure as well.  We advise against boarding in any facility that does not have some sort of enforced testing procedure PRIOR TO boarding (not when boarded).  The test itself is between $39.99-$44.99 and is taken by trimming one nail short enough so we can draw a drop of blood, and taking a vent swab.  Both are submitted to a testing facility, and we have results within 8 business days.  So please plan ahead and get your bird tested the next time you come in for a grooming (you get a $5 discount on the testing when it is done during a grooming) and the results are good for a year.  Test results are required when dropping off your bird, and our staff will ask you about this test when you call for a reservation (reservations are required).  Psittacosis (also known as parrot fever) is highly contagious and can be fatal to both parrots as well as humans.  The test is required to protect your bird, your family, and the other birds in our care.

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We also ask you about the type of food your parrot companion likes to eat; most food types are included with the boarding fee, but others like Harrisons Bird Diet and Goldenfeast Organic Goldn’obles.  As well, we suggest that you bring in your bird’s favorite toys (1-3) and their perches if you like.  We do require at least one toy so that your parrot can have something to do while they wait for you to return.

For those of you that take extended vacations, once you board for one week we give you 1 free day per week (so you are charged for a 6 day week rather than a seven day week).  Also please note that boarding is charged on a calendar day basis.  So, for example, if you drop your bird off today at 5:30 PM and return tomorrow morning, you will be charged for two boarding days.  We do this as birds cages are prepped before arrival and then cleaned before we open the next day.  Fees are as follows:

Small Birds $7.00 per calendar day (finches, canaries, budgies, lovebirds, cockatiels, senegals)

Medium Birds $9.00 per calendar day (conures, greys, amazons, caiques, hawk heads, cockatoos, mini macaws)

Large Birds $12.50 per calendar day (macaws, moluccans, tritons, and all Lories)

Hyacinths $17.50 per day

Please try us for boarding your parrot companion on your next excursion and see how easy it is!  If you prefer a bird sitter then we also can offer that service, but it is quite a bit more.  Now you can entertain company and/or go on vacation with no worries about your baby birds!  Oh-feel free to call us when you are gone to check up on your babies.

Golden Cockatoo is located in Deerfield Beach, FL and conveniently located between Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Delray, Boynton and West Palm Beach, Florida. We look forward to seeing you!

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February’s Bird of the Month – The Congo African Grey

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Congo African Greys (CAG) are medium size birds that are predominantly gray, have a black bill and the tail and under tail coverts are red.  They can live up to 50 years so they are a lifetime commitment.

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Many call African Greys the “Einsteins” of the bird world.  They have excellent talking and mimicking abilities and some believe they have a true understanding of the words they speak.  African Greys are considered the best talkers of the bird world.  They are highly intelligent birds and should be supplied with toys that will keep them occupied and test their intelligence.  Foraging toys are great for the African Grey and will keep them entertained for hours.  The African Grey is not a “cuddly” bird but does enjoy the company of its companion.  Also, you will read that the CAG is a one person pet.  While they will prefer one person, they have the ability to be social with many people as long as you make a concerted and prolonged effort to socialize and play with your African parrot.  The African Grey tends to be a bit more sensitive to its environment than other parrots and is better suited for a home with little or no stress (i.e. quiet household, not a lot of activity).  Like many parrots, the African Grey will react to its companion’s moods.  Because they have a sensitive nature, the African Grey is prone to feather mutilation.  Providing toys that both stimulate and challenge your African Grey can help to redirect some of their nervousness.

Feeding the African Grey Parrot

As with most parrots, it’s important to start with a good quality seed or pellet mix.  An organic or all natural food is preferred.  We have found most CAG parrots really like Zupreem Natural Medium to Large Pellets combined with our Goldenfeast Madagascar Blend.   Some African Greys are prone to low blood calcium, so it’s important to offer dark leafy greens such as broccoli, broccoli rabe, collard greens, turnip or mustard greens. Golden Cockatoo also carries a calcium supplement which can be added to your parrot’s moist food.  Avoid spinach, chard or beet greens because they can block the absorption of calcium.  Other sources of calcium could include kale, parsley, cabbage, garbanzo beans (chick peas), pinto beans and kidney beans or even cooked, powdered egg shell.  It’s important to remember that you should never feed your African Grey uncooked beans.  Uncooked beans are toxic and can quickly kill your bird.  (Chick peas in the can have already been cooked and are safe to feed – it is recommended that you rinse the beans prior to feeding them to your CAG).

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A good well rounded diet should also include fresh or dried fruit.  Many find dried fruit the best alternative.  Dried fruit will stay fresh for a longer period of time.   Our own Golden Cockatoo dried fruit blends or fruit are a great way to add fruit to your parrot’s diet.   There are many good dried fruit and nuts mixes available for parrots today.

African Grey Parrots make great pets if you are willing to go the extra mile to keep them entertained and challenged.  For example, the CAG loves figuring out puzzles, which is why foraging toys are a great choice for them, in fact, multiple foraging toys is a great addition to any bird cage or play gym.  Golden Cockatoo offers some excellent foraging toys.  African Greys are more independent than other birds and can make a great addition to your home and family.

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Golden Cockatoo is located in Deerfield Beach, FL and conveniently located between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Delray, Boynton and West Palm Beach, Florida. We look forward to seeing you!

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January’s Bird of the Month

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This is Sam. Sam is our resident Blue and Gold Macaw. She is approximately 30 years old and quite a character.

This blog will give you an overview of the Blue and Gold Macaw and it will also give you an idea of what they are capable…with time, patience and repetition.

The Blue and Gold is a large South American parrot. It inhabits the forests and woodlands of South America. This macaw’s range extends slightly into Central America (Panama).
Believe it or not, there is also a small breeding population of Blue and Golds in the Miami-Dade area. The first sighting in Miami was in the mid 1980s.

Blue and Gold Macaws are prized for their beauty. Young, handfed babies are very adaptable and are easily handled. Blue and Golds are like most macaws – intelligent and sociable. Blue and Golds are very active birds who like to climb, swing and bounce. They tend to be pretty even- tempered and thrive on attention. Blue and Golds are eager to learn and need adequate mental stimulation to avoid feather mutilation. Multiple toys in their cage is a must for these birds.

Like most macaws, they are avid chewers so it’s important to keep the Blue and Gold supplied with wooden toys or dowels. This will help to keep their beaks naturally trimmed and provide them with the mental stimulation they crave and enjoy.

Like most macaws, the Blue and Golds have certain times during when they are more “vocal” than other times. Blue and Gold Macaws can be quite loud at dawn and dusk, so this macaw may not be the best choice for those who live in apartments or other small/close communities.

The Blue and Gold Macaws require a varied diet. A seed-only diet will lead to health problems and vitamin deficiencies. They should be offered a pelleted or a good seed diet with fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts on a daily basis.

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The average life span of a Blue and Gold Macaw is 50-60+ years.

Appearance: The Blue and Gold is a brilliant ultramarine blue above and striking gold beneath with a black throat. The naked facial skin is white with rows of black feathers forming lines. When the Blue and Golds are excited – believe it or not – they blush. The tail is long and tapered – blue above and gold underneath.

To give you an idea of what they are capable of…we are including a few photos and videos of Sam doing her thing. She’s quite a ham!

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We have two Blue and Gold Macaw babies available now and more to come in the future. If you are in the area, please feel free to drop in and let Sam show you a few of her tricks in person.

Check out a few videos of Sam.  Video 1   Video 2

Stop in and visit our Sam and our our available macaw babies. Golden Cockatoo is located in Deerfield Beach, FL and conveniently located between Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Delray, Boynton and West Palm Beach, Florida. We look forward to seeing you!

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Keeping your bird safe during the holidays

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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.

Plants

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.

Decorated Trees

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.

Fumes

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.

Foods

A reminder that chocolate is toxic to your bird and overly sweet, salty or fatty treats aren’t good for them either.

Fireworks

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.

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GOLDEN COCKATOO WILL GIVE YOU A $10.00 STORE CREDIT Plus, You can use your card for up to 3 separate transactions of $10 or more to get a total refund of $30 on your American Express bill!

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American Express Card Members Can Get Up to $30.00 Back” 

  1. Register your American Express card at shopsmall.com between November 16th 2AM EST – November 29th 11:59PM, unless the registration limit is reached sooner.
  2. Use your registered card(s) to spend $10 or more on Nov. 29th in a single, in-store transaction at a qualifying small business and you will get a $10 statement credit for each qualifying transaction within 90 days after November 29th! You can use your card for up to 3 separate transactions of $10 or more to get a total refund of $30 on your American Express bill!

You can register two cards and get double the savings!  Two cards – 6 separate transactions – a $60.00 savings!

AND YOU CAN DO IT AT THE SAME STORE WITH THREE SEPARATE TRANSACTIONS!

 AND GET THIS – GOLDEN COCKATOO WILL GIVE YOU A $10.00 STORE CREDIT FOR YOUR FIRST TRANSACTION! (When you spend 49.00 or more)

 That’s a Total Savings of:
($30 x 2 Cards, if you have them) + $10 from Golden Cockatoo = $70 of Savings on Bird Toys, Food, etc

IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT!  SO BE SURE TO VISIT US ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29TH FOR YOUR BIG DAY OF SAVINGS!

VISIT SHOP SMALL FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO REGISTER YOUR CARD!  GOLDEN COCKATOO IS A PROUD QUALIFYING SHOP SMALL BUSINESS!

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Have your bird’s picture taken with Santa!!!

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Bring your Bird in for a picture with Santa! 

For a $5.00 minimum donation – a portion of which will go to the Bird Lovers Club – you will receive 2 digital images.

Holiday card designs and printing options available.

Appointments are every 10 minutes.
RSVP: below with your 1st and 2nd choice Time
We will respond with your confirmed appointment time.
Any questions, please contact julia@goldencockatoo.com

If you mention this ad, you will receive $2.00 off your grooming from now until 11/28/14. Birds must be groomed before taking them out of their cages and signing in at the photo station.

We look forward to seeing you…and well…so does Santa! Doesn’t he look excited?

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What Kind of Bird is Right For Me?

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What kind of bird is right for me? I know I want a bird…I just don’t know what kind of bird I want. We hear these things quite often at Golden Cockatoo. The answer is not always an easy one. However, it is a personal one and will depend upon several different factors in your life. One thing is certain…birds take time and unless you have a few hours a day to devote to the bird, a bird may not be the right pet for you and your family. Handfed, tame birds need free time and attention on a daily basis.

A few considerations:  

If anyone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma you should avoid the powder dander emitted by cockatiels, cockatoos and greys. If you are a neat freak, these birds may not be right for you either because your furniture will get coated with a white fine powder. Although it’s nothing that a good dusting won’t take care of – it may bother some people. All birds have a gland at the back of their body that they will stimulate in order to aid in grooming their feathers. Cockatoos, Greys and Cockatiels have a powder based gland. The powder is actually more water resistent than the oil glands in other birds.

If you want a bird that talks, African Greys and Amazons are considered the best talkers; however, there is no guarantee that your bird will talk. It really depends on the bird. In order for any bird to learn to talk, you have to talk it and train it to say the words that you want it to pick up. There are some birds who learn to talk very easily and will pick up things you DON’T want it to learn too. So, if you are someone who cusses frequently and you have a good talker, there’s a pretty good chance the bird will learn those words too.

If you don’t want a louder bird, you may want to avoid conures, macaws, cockatoos and amazons. All birds will have a time of day when they are more vocal than other times and some birds tend to be louder and vocalize more frequently than others.

If you are looking for a bird that doesn’t require much time and attention finches or canaries may be the right choice for you. They lend a decorative touch to a home without requiring the attention other birds need.

In some cases, the right bird for you may depend upon the space you have available in your home. Larger birds, require a larger cage. It’s a good idea to figure out where you will be placing the cage in your home and how much space you have for the cage. The kitchen is never a good place for a cage. Birds will succumb to the toxic fumes of Teflon and you also run the risk of burns or other accidental injuries.

A few things to remember: 

Never leave a child unattended with your bird. Birds can be easily hurt and even the tamest bird WILL BITE if hurt. Children generally don’t mean to hurt the bird…but depending upon the age of the child, they may not be as gentle with the bird either.
Never leave your bird unattended near a pool or other bodies of water as they could drown – and do drown rather easily.

Never leave your bird unattended with other pets. Contrary to popular belief, many cats and dogs are fine with birds. However, please use common sense when your bird is out of its cage – even the sweetest dog, if nipped by a bird, may resort to its wild nature as a reaction to the bite.

If you have other tips for new bird owners, please feel free to leave them below or post them on our facebook page. Your comments are always welcome and appreciated.

If you have any questions or would like more information about a bird, give us a call or stop in and we will be happy to help you. Golden Cockatoo is located in Deerfield Beach, FL and conveniently located between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Delray, Boynton and West Palm Beach, Florida. We look forward to seeing you!

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Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday sits Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting small businesses and their communities. We are proud to support Small Business Saturdayand encourage everyone to shop at their favorite small business on Saturday, November 29th. To learn more, visit www.ShopSmall.com 

Together, we can make this the biggest day of the year for small business.  Just make plans to come to Golden Cockatoo as your preferred small business, and we will give you even MORE discounts!  Watch future emails for details on these specials and how to register your American Express card(s).

Registration for American Express cards begin Nov. 16.
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Nutrition

General knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving due to continual research being done in order to meet the needs of the different species of birds. Birds need a proper, balanced diet as much as any other animal. Different species of birds require different things. For example, lories require a special nectar diet, an eclectus requires a diet low in fat and high in beta carotene, and should not be fed artificial colors.

A good diet is important to your birds overall health. While many bird owners feel that they are feeding a proper diet, it’s not until their bird gets sick that they find out the diet wasn’t meeting the bird’s basic nutritional needs.

In the wild, most parrots eat a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits and berries and vegetables or vegetation. Therefore, feeding a bird nothing but a seed diet fails to meet even the basic nutritional needs of any bird. I will be discussing what I feed my macaws in this blog. If you have questions about the proper diet for your bird, call your avian vet or visit our store and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Although there are many great pelleted diets available today, I believe that they should only be a part of your bird’s diet. They are not a natural food source for your bird and birds tend to be inquisitive creatures who get bored easily. Therefore, I like to feed my birds a mixture of several different foods. At first I questioned myself…was I over-thinking all of this…over-doing it…or maybe just losing it in general? But after discussing it with other bird owners, I was relieved to find out that many other bird owners did the same thing. Whew! I’m not alone!

OK – let’s just put it out there – my macaws’ “day” food (yes, I said day food) includes the following: Harrison’s High Potency Pellets, Zupreem Natural Large Diet, Abba Macaw Blend, Higgin’s Safflower Gold for Large Hookbills, Goldenfeast Tropical Pudding I and Lafeber’s Nutri-berries. I feed Harrison’s High Potency because I have a few macaws who are special needs babies…Harrison’s has other great blends available too. This mixture gives my birds several of the staples that they would be eating in the wild – minus the vegetables. My birds get their vegetables in their second or evening meal. You are probably thinking that a mixture like the one above is expensive – not really – everything lasts longer therefore, the cost evens out.

Believe it or not, my birds’ second or evening meal doesn’t include bird food at all. I feed them chop in the evening. There are many recipes out there for chop and I don’t think any two people make it the same. It’s important to find out what is safe and what’s not safe to put in the chop…but after that…go crazy…experiment…see what your birds like and don’t like and go from there. If made with the right ingredients, chop is super healthy for your bird. I would never feed it as a complete diet because I feel that birds should also be fed what is “natural” to them…which includes a seed mixture.

Chop is something you make ahead and freeze in individual servings. I microwave my chop until it’s just slightly warm…never feed it to your bird hot! My chop consists of the following (well most weeks): brown rice, quinoa, steel cut oats, ground pine nuts, organic grated coconut, kidney and navy beans (always soak and cook beans before offering them to your bird), kale, jalapeno peppers, sweet potatoes, chia seeds, flax seeds, and a good frozen vegetable mix (without salt). It’s called chop because the fresh vegetables are ground before adding them to the mixture. I tend to partially cook and cube the sweet potatoes though. I add a few fresh fruits on top of the chop too. My birds favor bananas…so that’s what they usually get.

There are many good seed mixtures and pellets available today. With a little time, patience and research you will find what works best for both you and your bird.

Please remember, it’s important to feed fresh food and water. If you give you bird a well-balanced diet, you will find that your bird will be healthier and happier because of it.
I’d love to hear what you feed your birds!  Post your comments below or on our Facebook page!

Golden Cockatoo is located in Deerfield Beach, FL and conveniently located between Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Delray, Boynton and West Palm Beach, Florida. We look forward to seeing you!

Posted in Bird, Bird Care, Birds, Feeding Your Bird, golden cockatoo, parrot, Parrots | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plants and Wood

TOXIC PLANTS

Plant Toxic part(s)
Avocado Pit, leaves, unripe fruit, stems
Black locust Bark, leaves, seeds
Blue-green algae All parts
Calla lily All parts
Castor bean All parts
Christmas cherry All parts including tubers and unripened fruit
Coffee beans, Tea, Chocolate Beans Leaves (tea), all chocolates especially dark
Diffenbachia All parts
Eggplant Stem, leaves, sprouts (ripe fruits are OK)
Elephant’s ear All parts
Ergot All parts
Foxglove Entire plant, including water from pot or vase
Jerusalem cherry All parts
Jimsonweed All parts, especially seeds and leaves
Lily of the valley All parts
Locoweed (Astragalus emoryanus) Leaves
Milkweed All parts and latex (milky juice)
Mistletoe All parts, especially holly berries
Nightshade All parts
Oak All parts
Oleander All parts
Philodendron All parts, including roots
Poinsettia Leaves, stem, white sap
Pokeweed Roots, leaves, berries
Potatoes Stem, leaves, sprouts, green skins
Rhododendron All parts
Tobacco All parts
Tomatoes Stem, leaves, sprouts (ripe fruits are OK)
Virginia creeper Berries, leaves
Yew Wood, bark, seeds, leaves

SAFE PLANTS

Indoor/House Plants Outdoor Plants
African violet American bittersweet
Aloe Autumn olive
Areca palm Bamboo
Australian laurel Barberry
Bamboo palm Bayberry
Begonias American or European Beech
Bird’s nest fern Bladdernut
Boston fern Blueberry
Bottle brush fern Comfrey
Canary Island palm Coralberry
Christmas cactus Cotoneaster firethorn
Coffee tree Crabapple
Corn plant Dogwood
Creeping fig Common, European or Red Elderberry
Danish ivy Balsam, Douglas, Subalpine or White Fir
Devil’s ivy Grape vine
Dragon tree Huckleberry
European fan palm Marigold
Fiddle leaf fig Nasturtium
Fig tree Ponderosa, Spruce, Virginia, or White Pine
Flame nettle Pyracantha
Hawaiian scheffler Raspberry
Indian laurel Rose
Jade plant Snowberry
Kangaroo vine Black, Norway, Red, or White Spruce
Lace fern Viburnum
Lady palm Wax plant
Maidenhair fern White poplar
Ming fern Willow
Mother fern  
Mother-in-law’s tongue  
Norfolk pine  
Paradise palm  
Parlor palm  
Pepperomia  
Prayer plant  
Purple passion  
Rubber tree  
Spider plant  
Umbrella tree  
Wandering Jew  

SAFE WOOD FOR PERCHES AND TOYS

Never use wood that has been sprayed with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides or fungicides, even if bark was removed. Pesticides can penetrate into wood through the bark. Pressure treated wood is toxic to birds too. Do not pick wood from trees along a highway or railroad since they are likely to have been treated with herbicides. Even non-toxic trees can be infected by fungi or bacteria that produce toxins.

•Before installing them in any cage, scrub all branches with a non-toxic disinfectant, such as hydrogen peroxide, GSE or apple cider vinegar. Then rinse and dry well.

•The best way to kill little unwanted critters in the wood is to bake the perches in the oven on 250F for an hour or so. This should kill any fungi, bugs, eggs, etc. that could be in or on the wood.

ACACIA, APPLE, AILANTHUS, ALMOND, ARALIA, ASH, ASPEN, BAMBOO, BARBERRY (BERBERIS), BIRCH, BEECH (FEGUS), BOIS D’ARC, BOTTLE BRUSH, BUTTERFLY BUSH, CAMELLIA, CITRUS (LIME, KUMQUAT, GRAPEFRUIT, ORANGE, LEMON), CORN PLANTS. COTTONWOOD (POPULUS), CRABAPPLE (MALUS), CRAPE MYRTLE  (NOT THE SAME AS MYRTLE), DATE, DOGWOOD (CORNUS), DOUGLAS FIR (PSEUDOTSUGA), DRACAENA, ELM (ULMUS), ESCALLONIA, EUCALYPTUS, FIG, FIR (ABIES), GINKGO, GRAPE VINES, GRAPE PALM, GUAVA, HACKBERRY, HAWTHORN (CRATAEGUS), HIBISCUS, HICKORY, JADE PLANT, KALANCHOE, LARCH, LARIX, LILAC (SYRINGA), MADRONA / MADRONE (ARBUTUS), MAGNOLIA, MAPLE (ACER), MANZANITA (ARCTOSTAPYLOS), MIMOSA, MOUNTAIN ASH (SORBUS), MULBERRY (MORUS), NANDINA (HEAVENLY BAMBOO), NORFOLK ISLAND PINE (ARAUCARIA), NUT TREES (NOT CHESTNUT), OREGON GRAPE (MAHONIA), PALM, PAPAYA, PEAR, PECAN, POPLAR (POPULUS), PUSSY WILLOW (SALIX), RAPHIOLEPSIS (INDIAN HAWTHORN), RIBBONWOOD, ROSE (ROSA), RUSSIAN OLIVE, SASSAFRAS, SILK TREE, SPIRAEA, SPRUCE (PICEA), STRAWBERRY TREE (ARBUTUS), SWEET GUM, SYCAMORE, THURLOW, TREE FERN, VIBURNUM, VINE MAPLE (ACER), WEEPING WILLOW (SALIX), WIEGELA, YUCCA

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Household Dangers

After seeing a several posts on Facebook from owners who have lost their birds simply because they did not know the dangers that lie within a normal household, I thought I would discuss a few here. I will list some every day dangers below, but please keep in mind that this is not a complete list and should not be taken as such. If you bird gets into something questionable, call your vet right away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Also, remember that some chemicals can be absorbed by your bird’s feet – so be sure to wash your hands before handling them if you have been working with something that may be of danger to your parrot.

Miners did not send canaries into mines without reason…birds are far more susceptible to fumes and toxins than humans.

Fumes

  • Window cleaners with ammonia (only use cleaning liquids without ammonia)
  • pest control sprays – should tell your pest control company you have birds and to use powders and/or bird safe products
  • Teflon, Silverstone, t-fall and other non-stick coatings – when overheated they emit fumes that will quickly kill your bird
  • Self cleaning ovens
  • Drip pans
  • Ironing board covers
  • Bread makers
  • Burning plastic
  • Reynold’s cooking bags
  • Scented candles
  • Air fresheners and plug ins
  • Incense and potpourri
  • Aerosol cleaners and sprays
  • Fabric protector
  • Second hand smoke
  • New carpeting
  • Paint

Chewables

  • Paint
  • Woodwork
  • Lead
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Household plants
  • Garlic
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Yeast dough
  • Salt
  • Tomato leaves and stems
  • Potato leaves and stems
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Cigarettes/tobacco
  • Moldy or spoiled food
  • Heavy metals – which can contain lead
  • Apple seeds
  • Uncooked beans – certain types should not be fed at all
  • Onions
  • Curry powder
  • Eggplant leaves

Physical Dangers

  • Ceiling fans
  • Cords
  • Toilets or any standing water
  • Pots on the stove
  • Open windows
  • Other animals
  • Sleeping in a bed
  • Recliners/Rocking chairs
  • Open flames
  • Heated surfaces
  • Curling irons
  • Windows, doors and skylights
  • Flea and tick medications

But when in doubt about something your bird may have come into contact with – call your avian vet immediately.

Again, please remember that this is just a partial list. Now you may be asking yourself, what can I clean my house with? Old fashioned water and vinegar or apple cider vinegar is a great solution.   There are also all natural cleaners on the market that are made from different citrus plants…those are fine as well.

Golden Cockatoo is located in Deerfield Beach, FL and conveniently located between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Delray, Boynton and West Palm Beach, Florida.  We look forward to seeing you!

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