Feedback for my bullet journal entry on safety?

Feb 17, 2024
Sunny (lutino budgie)
Sky (yellowface budgie)
Pixie (greywing budgie)
My birds are my daughters, but she is only 7. I want to dedicate a large chunk of my bullet journal to bird care, so I can decorate it and make it interesting for her, and she can use it as a reference as she grows and takes on more bird responsibility. This will be the first section. I haven't had birds in years. This will have a very cautious approach, if something is debated, I'm erring on the side of caution. Lists aren't meant to be complete, I'm more interested in if I forgot something significant. I'll be there to help her read it and answer questions, so not worried if it's above her head.

**** Cage and toys
Cage bar spacing should be between 0.47 and 0.60 inches (1.2 to 1.5 cm). Metals on bars and toys should be rust-proof, stainless steel is best. Avoid copper, chrome, brass, and wrought iron. Avoid cages with plastic seed guards that birds can lift, to get caught when they slide back down. Use paper to line the tray, not litters that the birds can peck at through the bottom of the tray and ingest.
Toys should be made of safe woods and metals, but also inspected for holes the bird might get a head or beak caught in, shaggy bits that nails can get caught in, and materials that might cause a blockage if ingested. Fluffy toys and happy huts have been known to cause issues. If using toilet paper rolls or tissue in toys, make sure they are unscented. Toys should either be disposable, or easy to clean. They might provide areas for mites or bacteria to hide in.
No polyvinyl chloride, it’s been linked to bird deaths. Avoid plastic and glass beads, they can be broken and ingested, causing internal damage. Use wood, knots, or dried fruit.
Be careful that your bird isn’t chewing their cage cover. If they are, place it so they can’t pull it through the bars, or do away with it all together.
The hard backing on cuttlebone has been known to cause internal damage if broken into pieces and ingested. Instead, scrape the cuttlebone on top of food, or use a mineral block that does not list grit as an ingredient (songbirds need grit, parrots should not have it).

Safe wood for perches and toys: This list is for wood only, it does not refer to leaves or fruit.
Wood perches and toys prevent bacteria build up better than plastic, and are safer for birds to nibble on to keep their beaks trim. They need to be kept very clean though, as all items within the bird’s cage do. Boiling water and ovens can help kill mites and bacteria.
Only forage from areas away from pollution and pesticides. Gather healthy branches, scrub them.
Bake in an oven at 200ºF for a while to kill off bugs before using for the first time.

Crape myrtle (no other Myrtle)
Sweet Gum

Also use grit perches so you never need to trim nails (loses trust). Dip them in boiling water occasionally to prevent bumblefoot, replace with new grit perches on a regular basis.

Outside the cage:
When out of the cage, remove all dangers from the room. Even if supervising, they might get to something faster than you can.
In the kitchen, make sure the oven surface is cool and there are no open pots of water they might drown in, or hot water that could scald them.
All fans off before releasing birds in the area.
Cover windows, make sure there are no large mirrors they might try to fly through and hurt themselves.
Keep the bathroom door closed, toilets and the large mirror are issues.
Dogs in the kennel, even if they seem friendly to the bird, they might get excited and too rough, seriously harming the bird.
Electrical chords need to be protected from chewing, hidden or wrapped with something the bird’s beak can’t get through.
Make sure all window shade chords (and anything else they can get tangled in) are hidden or covered.
Beware of knit fabrics and other textiles that can catch their claws.
Keep away from space heaters, and lights that get hot and will scald their feet. Turn off plant lights a few minutes before they are let into the area to play.
Besides the risk of preying on birds, cats carry a bacteria as part of their natural flora that is deadly to birds. If you pet a cat, wash your hands when you come home.
Beware of cleaning product residue, it can get on their feet which they then clean. Use Dawn dish soap, vinegar, or baking soda. Can use warm water, not boiling or steaming, that turns the vinegar into a fume. Some “bird friendly” cleaning products exist, research well before using as some parrot owners have still had their birds go into respiratory distress. Steam cleaning can be done on bird cages and linoleum, can add a touch of vinegar, not soaps.

ETA - Oh, the entire next section is dedicated to air, so that will be covered.
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