My guess is you had no idea that heavy metals from household items and that house plants can be toxic. Am I right? Check out the info that supports household item and house plant toxics issues:
Poisonous heavy metals include zinc, lead, and arsenic, which are surprisingly common in a household and may actually be incorporated in items made for birds.
- Zinc is present in galvanized metal, such as nails and staples; solder (including that used in some bird cages); padlocks; zippers, snaps, and costume jewelry; the clasps and chains on some bird toys; pennies made since 1982; paint (especially anti-rust paint); zinc oxide skin preparations, such as Desitin and sunblock containing zinc oxide; calamine lotion; suppositories; shampoos; zinc undecylenate (Desenex); and fertilizers.
- Lead is present in lead-containing paint, linoleum, tile, batteries, plumbing materials, putty, lead foil, solder, golf balls, some roof coverings, lubricants, the backing on mirrors, wine bottle cork foils, rug pads, acid (soft) drinking water from lead pipes or improperly glazed ceramic water bowls, lead weights, fishing sinkers, drapery weights, newsprint, dyes, insulation, lead-containing burnt lubricant oil, stained glass objects, and lead shot.
- Arsenic is a highly poisonous metal used in insecticides, pesticides, rodenticides, weed killers, wood preservatives, some insulation, and some alloys.
To protect your bird:
- Keep items containing these metals out of the reach of birds.
- Regularly check your birdcage and toys for any loose solder or pieces of metal that are loose.
- Choose non-heavy metal alternatives to the above items, if possible.
Other toxins or hazards
In addition to those mentioned, there are many other potential toxins that are found in and around many homes. Since birds can absorb chemicals through their feet, always wash your hands well after having contact with any possible poison. Protect your bird from Jewelry, button batteries, coins, fishing tackle, pins, and other small metallic items, which are very attractive to birds, but can cause mouth injuries, damage or obstruction of the digestive tract, or toxicity.
- Guns and associated supplies such as cleaner, powder, and ammunition.
- Toxic houseplants.
- Polishes including those for brass, silver, copper, floors, and shoes.
- Other poisons, such as herbicides (weed killers), snail and slug bait, insecticides (flea and tick control products), pesticides (ant poison), and rodenticides (rat poison). Be careful with mouse traps, too.
- Holiday hazards, such as Christmas decorations including tinsel, angel hair, tree flocking, and glass ornaments; Easter basket grass; and ribbons and balloons.
It may seem like a daunting task to bird proof your home, but it can be done. Remain on the lookout for potential hazards, regularly check each room of the house, and daily monitor your bird for any signs of illness. Being on the safe side will help your bird live a longer and healthier life with you.
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