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Old 01-07-2020, 06:40 PM
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Literally everything is deadly?

Hi there, new birdie mom and new to the forum. We recently adopted a seventh month old green-cheeked conure and I was reading through posts about the toxicity of virtually every single common household item, and now I’m in a bit of a panic. According to everything I’ve read, nothing is safe. I really have to buy all brand new, bird-safe pots and pans? Where would I even find those? I can only clean my bathroom and kitchen with vinegar? I can’t ever burn a candle again? Can’t ever use perfume? Can’t shampoo my carpets? I’m aware that birds have much more fragile respiratory systems than humans, but considering the amount of constant pollution, smog, and exhaust that happens outside to “wild” birds, is there honestly no threshold for household pets?

When my husband was young, he had three parakeets for roughly 12-15 years, and his parents absolutely never “bird proofed” their home. According to them, they never did anything different and the birds were fine.

A high school friend still has her cockatiel, now about 11 years old. Their household burns incense, candles, uses cleaning products, etc.

I know I shouldn’t judge based off anecdotal evidence, and I’m very sure the common answer will be “well, if they didn’t use that stuff, then their birds would live longer.” Which is acceptable. I guess my question is, realistically what is the actual likelihood of our bird dropping dead because I mopped the floor with Lysol? Would opening the windows during cleaning help?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:05 PM
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Re: Literally everything is deadly?

Hello and welcome!

Let’s start by not hyperbolizing the situation. Not everything in the house is deadly to the birds. Let’s set that out of your mind so you can understand more clearly.

we must understand that personal standards of animal care and husbandry have increased from when your husband had parakeets. Back mid 20th century many people were keeping dogs outside a lot of the time, with just dog houses for protection. We learned and grew. They weren’t quite the baby replacements we project them to be Nowadays. We also didn’t take the for annul exams like we do today.

Smoking isn’t addictive, right? Second hand smoke doesnt cause cancer, right?

When you know better, you do better. Learn and grow.

That said, yes, a lot of stuff truly is dangerous. Whether it’s imminent threat or longer term danger of repeated, oconstant exposure is another question.

However, compromises can be made, just be cautious and judicious about what compromises you make and how you make them. I have no compunction using harsher cleaning chemicals so long as the bird is in another part of the house. And don’t let him around where I cleaned until the smell has dissipated.

That said, I won’t use harsh chemicals on bird related items like toys or cage.

Candles? I’m sure once a month is fine. We occasionally burn incense, once or twice a month with no ill effects. Daily? Absolutely not.

Where you absolutely need to be careful with are with Teflon fumes from nonstick cookware and other sources. I wouldn’t compromise there, that can kill your bird in 3 minutes from 40 feet away. Dangerous and deadly.
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Last edited by chris-md; 01-07-2020 at 07:14 PM.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2020, 07:20 PM
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Re: Literally everything is deadly?

No, literally NOT "everything" is deadly. Healthy, natural things without chemicals of artificial scents or treatments are fine for the most part..UNLESS we are talking about scented oils so strong that they impact a human nervous system..

You are referencing AN experience.
1. This is flawed logic...
2. Many birds have died from less...
3. Just please understand that it is serious...Don't get a bird if you can't- a mammal is easier in terms of lifestyle and behavior and a bird is FAR LESS convenient. Love candles so much that you can't give them up? There is no way you are ready for the commitment required by a bird.

Have you ever met a 90 year old who smokes a pack a day an drinks heavily? I have...They are lucky.

I can't.....Please understand that I hate the word "triggered" but this question takes me there .... I know you don't know me or any of that and this was probably innocent--
honestly, it isn't you--it is this same mindset that seems to predominate uneducated bird-ownership (my parents were guilty too)...This mindset is why so many of these sad birds suffer---I literally just posted about this mindset this morning (and then people use childhood experiences to continue to neglect). <--- I am not saying any of it was intentional, but it was NOT OKAY.

Ask any CAV and they will tell you that he lucked out..and, also---a lot of that stuff is really bad for you too. Watch "STINK!" on Netflix and then conduct your own research if doubt remains.
I am not a hippie and I LOVE chemicals, but I don't use them with my bird in the same house (wish I could)-- that is like knowing you have a kid with asthma, smoking in their face and being like, "hmmm girl, you gonna make it today?!"
YES- scented products are deadly and my teachers' aide just lost a bird from air freshener and a 2nd from carpet shampoo (no joke)..

When it comes to Teflon/PTFE/PFOA/PFCs-- that stuff is THE BIGGEST THREAT to birds in a home (on any floor, doors shut or not, pan used before or not----there are FAR too any variables--but there are documented cases in academic settings of deaths that occurred BELOW temperatures of 375 F)

Last edited by noodles123; 01-08-2020 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:25 PM
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Re: Literally everything is deadly?

Keeping the birds away from candles, cleaners, and incense is the important thing. You can still use these products but you must use precaution by ventilating and keeping them away. They can all be dangerous but as long as you make sure your bird can't be exposed to it he should be fine. When you use cleaners, candles, etc. , just make sure that there aren't any traces of it if you bring your bird into that room. Lastly, as long as your pots and pans aren't coated with PFTE or Teflon they are bird safe. If you need to, you can look up "bird-safe cookware" and you can find articles on the best ones to use.

I hope this helped!
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:48 PM
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Re: Literally everything is deadly?

Interesting that already there are conflicting answers. Precisely why I asked in such a candid manner. I assumed beforehand that it largely depended on frequency and proximity, as with any pollutant effect on any creature. I certainly don’t plan on spraying Febreeze in the bird’s face or soaking their toys in bleach, I just wanted to get a better idea of what kind of limits to establish. For example, the candles. If I burn a candle for two hours in the living room while we have guests over and the bird is in his “hideaway” cage down in the basement... I have some people saying, “No, absolutely not” and some saying it’s fine. (Across different websites and forums, etc.)
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:56 PM
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Re: Literally everything is deadly?

You will find that a lot-- PLEASE call a board-certified avian vet (not just an exotics vet who sees birds) and ask them.

Yes, you will find varied opinions (all of which can be clarified by consulting a TRUE board certified avian vet-CAV)...BUT, the thing is, all of these unhealthy practices wear them down and cause them to be more open to illness/infection or even death. Certain killers are deadly within a short time. Others (incense, candles etc can---but don't always-- take years---like human drug/alcohol abuse).

Last edited by noodles123; 01-07-2020 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:01 PM
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Re: Literally everything is deadly?

Last thing-- just because someone survived something or others did it before doesn't make it okay when evidence/science stands in opposition:
For instance--
"The 'rule of thumb' has been said to derive from the belief that English law allowed a man to beat his wife with a stick so long as it is was no thicker than his thumb.

In 1782, Judge Sir Francis Buller is reported as having made this legal ruling and in the following year James Gillray published a satirical cartoon attacking Buller and caricaturing him as 'Judge Thumb'. The cartoon shows a man beating a fleeing woman and Buller carrying two bundles of sticks. The caption reads "thumbsticks - for family correction: warranted lawful!"

Children also should be "seen and not heard".

Last edited by noodles123; 01-07-2020 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:06 PM
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Re: Literally everything is deadly?

It’s not conflicting, per se. It’s simply how you approach risk.

It’s like I said: somethings are immediate risks, Teflon being one of them.

Others are moderate risk like burning essential oils.

Yet Others are of long term concern, like candles or anything burning (wood or incense).long term so long as it’s uncommon. If you’re burning open fires daily with your bird in the room, or are constantly burning many candles a day, then it becomes a bigger problem.

Where you’ll get disagreement is what constituted an immediate danger. Purists will always argue burning anything is an immediate threat because bird respiratory system is so sensitive.

Pragmatists such as myself will tell you repeat this experiment as many times as you want: burn a candle with a bird nearby. 100% of the time, repeated thousands of times with thousands of birds, it won’t kill or hurt the bird; once a month occasional burning a candle in a ventilated living room? You’ll never find anything to support that to be an imminent threat to life.

It’s merely a question of which camp you fell into: abundance of caution or pragmatism. Theres Nothing ever wrong with risk aversion where it comes to the life of an animal - the purist view. Many of us believe that A more pragmatic, judicious risk management tactic gets you the same results if you know what you’re doing.
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Last edited by chris-md; 01-07-2020 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:10 PM
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Re: Literally everything is deadly?

Thank you for your patience, everyone! As well as the speedy replies. This was an enlightening experience and we will definitely take it to heart. Our cheeky little boy thanks you greatly!
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:15 PM
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Re: Literally everything is deadly?

The thing with candles is that wax and toxic stuff can build up. They even warm humans if this, and your bird is made of air, air in hollow bones, airsacs through out the body, so more surface area for all those chemicals to come in contact with in a very small body. Purfume and lotion can leave traces on their feathers irritating them, getting preened off and ingested by them, putting strain on their liver which processes toxins.... Their can be an accumulated effect over time.... Trace pesticides on fruit and veggies can kill birds..
Their are so many birds that are just found dead in cage..... Are some of them from households toxins I think yes. Melted plastic on a burner all most killed my birds.....

I do use cleaning products in the bathroom, with ventilation and door closed.

You really do have to be so careful
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Last edited by Laurasea; 01-07-2020 at 08:58 PM.
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