Have you made your house, bird-safe. Find out here.
Updated: Jan 20, 2019
If you are lucky enough to own a pet bird, there are many considerations to think about when bringing a bird into your home.
While your home may be safe for you and your family, there are many potential hazards to think about and make safe to keep your feathered friend flying free and happy around the available space.
Birds are happier flying free as nature intended, to keep a bird in a cage 100% of the time is cruel in our opinion, birds are designed to fly, and by wanting to own or you do currently hold a bird then you have a moral obligation to allow that bird to exhibit its normal behaviour.
Allowing a bird the freedom to fly free around your home is beneficial to the birds overall mental state but also throws up many potential hazards, like windows, hot surfaces or entanglement, and it's important these issues are swiftly addressed.
Entanglement poses a significant risk to the flying free pet bird. Incidents range from getting a limb trapped by furnishings to closing doors catching the bird. The following guide is intended to get you to think like a bird and address any potential hazards that may be a threat to your bird.
Firstly - When a bird is flying free, he/she needs to monitored closely.Good routine bird nail care is essential to avoid entanglement in the home.
A wild bird's nails would wear naturally with a full range of surface types the wild bird would encounter. Long nails in a pet bird are not only uncomfortable, and a possible welfare issue for the bird, but long, poorly cared for nails are a potential entanglement hazard waiting to happen.
They can get caught in the carpet's fibres and cause leg or feet injuries if the bird's nails get trapped and the bird struggles to free itself.
Think about the type of window coverings that you have, while net type furnishings are decorative and offer protection from a free-flying bird striking a window. The net type weave of the fabric is a potential entanglement hazard, as are the string components in other types of blinds.
Most Birds love to climb and can easily get entangled in any string, or rope types of furnishings, so careful consideration needs to be thought about when choosing the variety of window coverings for a bird-friendly home.
Think like your bird, parrot types of birds are curious and interested naturally and will explore holes and cavities you may have forgotten about or not got round to sorting out in your home.
Look around your bird's space and look for any holes or places that seem larger than your birds head and get them sorted out quickly, its an almost certainty that your bird will explore them once they are comfortable in your home.
Also have you got any broken vent grills, get it fixed it will be not only traumatic for your trapped bird but expensive to get a builder out to free your bird from a vent pipe and the vet bills associated with being trapped.
Do you have an open fireplace get the opening covered a trip up a chimney flue could be hazardous on the respiratory system of your bird, and the contaminants could pose a health risk to your bird as could any naturally occurring soot fall from the flue that may arise, you don't want your bird breathing in the contaminants.
Think about loose doors on furniture like sideboards and dressers, the door may be free and easily opened, your bird could land on the open door or open the door itself, and then the door could close trapping your bird's feet.
Routinely take a look at your bird's equipment, start with the cage ensure the bars of the cage are in good order, and the spaces between the bars of the enclosure are not wide enough that your bird can get it's head through, and potentially get their head trapped.
Check toys regularly, the hanging components of toys can pose a potential risk if in lousy repair or broken. Check the links on chains to ensure no links are bent, broken and the linkage isn't open slightly.
Check the rope components of any toys your bird has access to, parrots love to chew and will likely chew any rope component of a toy causing it to fray. Then this could cause your parrot's claws to get stuck in the frayed material, creating a possible entanglement hazard, replace any broken components of toys to keep your bird safe in its cage.
Finally birds are very good at hiding sickness and pain until it is dangerous for their health, this innate behaviour derives from their wild roots, a sick or injured bird in the wild will stand out and likely to be targeted by a predator.
Always closely monitor your bird's normal behaviour, then if your bird becomes sick or injured, you can spot any unusual behaviour early on and get your bird to a vet for treatment.
It will likely cheaper and more comfortable for the animal to treat the initial incident early on rather than addressing a more complex and progressive condition caused by an older injury or illness.
Signs of sickness and discomfort are a lousy temperament.
You may have noticed a limp or an area on your bird it recently doesn't want you to touch when stroked. A single dropped wing or both may be hanging low, drinking excessively, panting/heavy breathing or a reluctance to move and shaking.
A mucky bottom, keep an eye out for strange looking or unusually coloured droppings, and yes, you do need to monitor your bird's droppings regularly because these are an excellent indicator of your bird's health.
Emergency symptoms include, collapsed on the floor and unable to stand, a fluffed up bird sat still looking miserable or sleepy, any discharge coming from the bird. If you observe any of the above symptoms then you need to get your bird to a good avian veterinarian very quickly, birds have unique bodily systems, and early diagnosis is far better for a birds chance of survival and to aid a successful recovery.
Please also read - Are you thinking of owing a parrot