Keeping your bird safe is a number one priority. I will have a series of blogs on bird safety.
To keep a parrot perfectly safe indoors and enjoying many hours of “out of cage time” you need to take sensible precautions.
You may need to modify some of the rooms and windows and use different products for cooking and cleaning. The parrot needs to know a few simple commands: ‘Step up, ‘ Fly to me’ and ‘Off’.
Keeping your parrot safe in the kitchen
If one axiom applies to parrot husbandry it is prevention is better than cure.
Non-stick pans and birds
“Your bird is safely chirruping in her cage and you are frying some onions in a non-stick pan.
The phone goes. You rush to pick up and forget to turn off the heat.
The calls from an old friend so you walk into the hall to avoid the parrot who is yelling, ‘Hello ‘who’s there, who’s there?’
The onion burns to a frazzle, the non-stick coating gives off gas. When you run back coughing with the acrid fumes and throw the pan outside – the parrot may well have succumbed to asphyxiation.”
Avian lungs are far more sensitive than humans. Remember that canaries were used to detect noxious fumes in coal mines to protect the miners. The poor canaries keeled over long before the miners were aware of gas.
Without delving too deep into tragedies, this fatal accident occurred with a group of cockatiels and in another case with an Amazon when the self-clean oven malfunctioned.
There’s a 100% safe solution – never keep parrots around in a cooking space and/or never have cooking utensils with Teflon type coatings.
But I like my parrots helping me cook. So, I make compromises. No non-stick of any sort and teach safety commands.
Carbon monoxide and parrots
Carbon monoxide from a faulty appliance will kill you as well as the birds. A cautious householder should have a carbon monoxide detector installed.
Risk of burns and your parrot
One solution for free-ranging parrots to avoid hot surfaces is to teach the ‘Off’ command. If they ignore you and still land on the hot plate, they’ll soon associate the pain with the hotplate, and you say “off”, or “hot”.
However, prevention is better than cure, and keeping them out of the way when the cooker is on is the best solution.
Risk of drowning and your parrot
Water deeper than a parrots’ head should never be standing in the sink. Most parrots will learn to love the dripping tap to take a drink or start splashing once there’s enough water.
A fun thing to aid bathing is to have a spray of rain-wet leaves standing in the sink or washbowl and watch how the birds enjoy splashing. A natural way to bathe.
A parrot who drowns in a body of water indoors really only has its carer to blame.
Do you have any suggestions to share?
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