Category Archives: Bird Health

Bird Safe Cookware by Susan Chamberlain

233826a67be66a810b23a263230da62e_XLAs written by Susan Chamberlain for BirdChannel.com

It’s a jungle in here! Sharing your home with a pet bird is more than a hobby. It’s a lifestyle. Because our birds have such sensitive respiratory systems, we must be extremely careful when choosing cookware and other kitchen appliances.

Nonstick coatings contain polytetrafluoroethelyne (PTFE), a polymer that deteriorates when overheated. The resulting fumes (gas and minute particulate matter) may kill pet birds. Humans sometimes report flu-like symptoms after exposure to these fumes.

Teflon is a brand name. Nonstick surfaces containing PTFE are marketed under many different brand names. Just because a product does not say Teflon, it does not mean that it is free of PTFE.

Manufacturers disagree about the temperature levels that nonstick surfaces must reach to emit harmful fumes. Some place it at 560 degrees Fahrenheit while others somewhere above or below that figure. Past research showed that products actually begin releasing such fumes at the beginning of the heating process, and some people reported that pet birds died when nonstick products were heated to temperatures below 560 degrees Fahrenheit.  A few manufacturers, like Corning Revere, print warnings in product instructions against using nonstick cookware around pet birds, but you must read the fine print to find it.

Instead of nonstick cookware, try:

Stainless steel
Copper-clad stainless steel
Copper
Corningware, the classic, white oven-to-table ware
Glass
Aluminum
Cast iron

Ann Zych – FunTime Birdy.com

Jerry Our African Greys New Feathers

We are so happy to announce that our African Grey Jerry has 95% of all his feathers back.

We adopted Jerry back in 2001 and he has on and off been a feather plucker.  After changing his diet last year to only vegetables and Harrison’s Pellets and Roudybush pellets his feathers made a comeback….. Plus every other night on his dinner veggie meal we sprinkle some Hemp Seeds and Pumpkin Seeds (No salt ) on top of his veggies.

Check out Jerry’s photos below in chronological order.

Ann Zych – FunTime Birdy

Jerry1Jerry2Jerry1 Jerry2 Jerry3

When You Have to Leave Town—Making Sure Your Parrot is Cared for While You’re Away

Parrots1If you are getting ready for a family vacation or a business trip, you will need to consider what to do with your parrots while you are away. Many first-time bird owners worry about leaving their avian companions. However, with a little preparation and thought, leaving your bird does not have to be a traumatic experience. As long as you think ahead, making sure your parrot has plenty of bird toys and adequate bird supplies, things can go quite well.
The first thing to consider is what type of arrangements to make for your bird. Here are a few possibilities:

Utilize a Boarding Facility. If you select this option, be sure to find a facility that specializes in birds. Parrots have unique needs related to temperature, environment and entertainment. You will want to leave your parrot with someone who understands these issues. Sometimes, highly experienced bird lovers will offer a boarding service out of their home. This can be ideal, as it will provide your feathered friend with a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere.

Be sure to bring plenty of bird supplies and bird toys when you drop your parrot off.  In addition, you should bring your bird’s food. If food is provided by the facility, you may want to bring packages of fresh fruits and veggies as a supplement. These can be refrigerated and given to your bird while you are away.

Hire a Pet Sitter. If you are not comfortable using a boarding facility or if you cannot find one in your area that will take birds, consider hiring a pet sitter. Pet sitters are individuals who come to your home to care for your dogs, cats, or birds. Once again, it is highly recommended to find a pet sitter who has experience with parrots. This is especially true if your bird tends to be a handful or overly playful. Some people may be intimated by your bird’s antics and not know how to react. Once you have located a pet sitter, check their references and interview them beforehand. Be sure to leave a number where the pet sitter can get a hold of you or a family member in case of an emergency. You should also leave specific instructions on how to care for your bird. This can be as simple or as detailed as you like. You can include a list of his favorite bird toys,  favorite foods, feeding schedule, etc. Double check to make sure your refrigerator is well-stocked with fresh food for your parrot and that there is plenty of bird supplies on hand.
By selecting the right person or facility to care for your bird, leaving your parrot can be a smooth, stress-free process. Enjoy your travels!!

Ann Zych
FunTime Birdy

Grooming Your Parrot

201204007-1600-parrot-mcaw-preening-colorful-1335283449Just like dogs and cats, your feathered friends need regular grooming to stay healthy. Most birds groom themselves naturally by preening their feathers.

Remember—a healthy parrot likes to look his best! However, there are a few additional grooming techniques you may need to apply, depending on your bird.
•    Trimming the nails. If your parrot’s nails get too long, they can start to curl and then dig into the skin, causing intense pain. In order to make nail trimming a stress-free and easy process, start handling your parrot’s feet while he/she is still a baby. This will remove any fear your parrot may have. If you keep a few pedicure bird perches in your parrot’s cage, this may eliminate the need for nail trimming.

•    Clipping the feathers. Not all parrot owners want to trim their bird’s feathers. However, it does have many practical purposes. In the first place, keeping your parrot’s wings trimmed will prevent him from escaping too easily. He/she will be unable to fly out the door and will be less likely to get caught in a ceiling fan in your home. Trimming wing feathers is an extremely easy and pain-free process. Ask an experienced bird owner or your avian veterinarian to show you how. You can easily distract your bird during the process by showing him a colorful bird toy or letting him sit on his/her favorite bird stand during the trimming.

•    Trimming the beak. Through playing with bird toys, many parrots are able to keep their beaks trim and slim. Foraging bird toys and bird toys that encourage chewing are especially useful. However, sometimes a parrot’s beak will grow too long and need to be trimmed. If this is the case, take your bird to an avian veterinarian to ensure the trimming is done properly. Some birds may only need their beaks filed—similar to filing your nails.

•    Bathing. Many birds love baths. Others hate them. If your bird enjoys bathing, you can give them a bath as often as once a week. You may even consider taking your parrot in the shower with you. For parrots that dislike bathing, try misting them with a spray bottle.

Safe Travels with your Feathered Friend

Safe Travels for your ParrotClick on the article below by Robyn Bright of Pet Business Magazine as she discusses traveling safety tips for your feathered friend.

Safe Travels with your Parrot

Ann Zych – www.funtimebirdy.com

Easter Safety Tips for Parrots

easter-parrot-2011Easter marks the arrival of spring & sunshine. For many people this is a joyous time of year and a real cause to celebrate. When planning your festivities, don’t forget to consider the safety and comfort of your parrots. If you plan on having a large family gathering, consider your bird’s needs during this time.
If you have a shy, timid parrot who dislikes noise, you may want to place his cage in a quiet bedroom. Provide him with plenty of parrot toys to keep him content. If your bird is more social, you may want to include him in the activities. However, keep an eye out for signs that your bird is becoming stressed and overstimulated. If this happens, give him a rest period away from all the activity.

When it comes to Easter festivities and decorations, here are a few dangers you should be aware of:

Look out for those spring flowers!! As beautiful and cheery as they are, many flowers pose a threat to your bird. Lilies and daffodils are especially toxic to parrots. Be sure to keep these plants out of your bird’s reach—or completely out of your house.

Beware of that colorful plastic stuff!  Bright, colorful Easter grass can be a real attention-grabber for parrots. However, if consumed, it can cause intestinal blockage.

Keep track of the sweets. Easter candy is loaded with chocolate, sugar, dyes and artificial sweeteners—all of which pose a risk to your parrot’s health. If you want to give your bird a treat for the holiday, purchase fresh fruit and make a delectable fruit bowl your parrot will savor.

Monitor that tasty dinner. While you may be able to share many components of your meal with your parrot, there are a few dangers to be aware of. Be sure your bird does not eat any chicken or turkey bones off a plate.  If you are serving alcohol—keep it out of your parrot’s reach. It can be fatal to their health. Feel free to share steamed vegetables with your parrot.

Ann
FunTime Birdy

Skin Care for Parrots

parrot feathersDuring the cold winter months, skin irritations can become a problem for your feathered friend(s).   There are several reasons for this including:
1.    Lack of Humidity. If the air is too dry, it can cause your parrot’s skin to become cracked, flaky or irritated. Feathers may also start to look dull and brittle. As you observe your parrot perched on his parrot playgym, or busily playing with bird toys in his cage, take a few moments to examine the condition of his skin and feathers. If dryness seems to be an issue, you may want to invest in a humidifier. Offering regular baths and occasionally misting your bird with water are also good options in helping restore moisture to the skin.

2.    Inadequate Nutrition. Some skin and feather problems stem from a nutritional deficiency. Birds that live solely off of seeds and or pellets are especially at risk. Fresh, wholesome food is essential in maintaining the health of your feathered friend. Although it may require extra effort on your part, it will be well worth it. Your feathered friend will have more energy to play with his bird toys; he will be more attentive to his surroundings and much happier overall. Vitamins A & E are especially important for healthy skin. Green leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli and squash are rich in Vitamin A.

3.    Stress. If your bird has recently lost a feathered companion or feels neglected, these factors may affect his health—including skin and feather quality. The best remedy for this situation is to identify the stress factor and do your best to eliminate it. If your bird is feeling lonely, spend a few extra minutes playing with him; if he is bored, invest in some new parrot toys to keep him/her occupied.

Additional Skincare Tips

Some birds may experience skin issues due to allergies or environmental toxins. Harsh cleaning chemicals or other household products could irritate your parrot if he comes in contact with them. If this is the case, consider switching to natural cleaning products or just use soap and water, especially when disinfecting your parrot’s cage. To make sure your feathered friend’s skin is well-hydrated, provide access to clean water at all times. It is important to keep in mind that certain parasites, such as mites, can cause major skin issues. If you suspect something is wrong, take your parrot to an avian veterinarian just to be sure.

Ann
FunTime Birdy