As was said earlier, new birds should be placed in a quarantine area.
The vast majority of avian diseases are transmissible through the air and can move through the atmosphere in the form of dust (dried feces), dander (natural in many birds), and/or feathers while a bird is molting. (It is also not a good idea to share dishes unless you disinfect them fully after each use by doing anything other than washing them in hot water with soap. Soaking in white vinegar is an extremely risk-free method of cleaning!)
If you want to make sure that your bird and any other birds you might have are not infected in this way, it is essential that you change the cage liner that your bird is kept in at least once per day. If food droppings are allowed to rot at the bottom of the cage, they might potentially pose a threat to the animal. If a smell is making us uncomfortable, it’s possible that our birds are already in danger.
Remember the stories about canaries that were employed in coal mines to detect the presence of poisons in the air?
It was a terrible thing to do to the canaries, but the humans who used the canaries knew that the birds would alert them if there were toxins in the air. Your bird is at risk of dying from any one of the following situations:
- Any harsh cleansers, solvents, or insecticides (including fly strips and bug and/or mouse traps containing poison; there are insecticides that are safe for birds, but PLEASE NEVER BUY A MITE PROTECTOR FOR YOUR CAGE!)
- fumes from Teflon pans and self-cleaning ovens and other appliances containing Teflon;
- fumes from gas grills outside going through open windows;
- smoke from stoves, grills, and cigarettes;
- fumes from electrical shorts in televisions and computers;
- cleaners of the Resolve and Fabreeze types that are sprayed in close proximity to your bird, carpet cleaners, or any type that contains solvents, deodorizers, perfume, hair sprays, paints, varnishes, nail polish removers,
- fumes from scented candles,
- Lysol and any disinfectant spray that is sprayed nearby are all potential hazards.
There are a lot of avian cleaning solutions on the market, and most of them claim to be non-toxic and safe to use even if your bird is in its cage. Investigate this carefully… even if the liquid itself is non-toxic, this does not mean that the fumes it produces are harmless.
And even if these bird-safe cleansers indicate that rinsing isn’t necessary, have you given it any thought? How long does it take for a residue to build up… It’s crucial to rinse!
Did you know that the major component of formaldehyde can be found in newly purchased curtains and bedspreads, furniture, carpeting, and even throw pillows? Before exposing your birds to any of these products, you should give them some time to “air out,” much like you would with a self-cleaning oven or brand-new carpeting.
During the time that you are renovating your home, you need to make sure that your birds are protected from the dust and other particles that are in the air.
Is it possible to lead a normal life if you keep a bird in the house? Yes, yes, yes!!
Simply put, we need to move forward with prudence. If you’re not sure, get rid of the bird! Place your bird in a room that can be sealed off from any newly added items or areas that are being remodeled, painted, or cleaned. Keep an air purifier operating continuously in the space that your bird calls home.
My recommendation is to use solely HEPPA filters rather than ionizers or ozonaters because there are several low-cost and efficient air cleaners on the market that will help to reduce the regular day-to-day toxicity hazards that may be present.
If you have access to the internet, you should check out Bird Safe, which is a fantastic website that provides a lot of useful information and a lot of different suggestions. (http://www.birdsafe.com); also visit landofvos.com (another wonderful site).
THE QUALITY OF THE AIR IS IMPORTANT, NOT ONLY FOR YOU BUT ALSO FOR YOUR FEATHERED COMPANIONS!
Make an investment in a system that filters the air.
Today, there is a wide selection available in a variety of pricing points to meet everyone’s needs. The new air filtering systems are available in sizes that are appropriate for your house or apartment, and they provide an operation that is clean, quiet and requires little maintenance. Furthermore, the majority of these systems are portable, allowing you to move them from room to room without having to install a full “in-house” system.
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