Protecting your feathered friend
As guardians of our feathered friends, it is important to educate yourself on what measures need to be taken to ensure you are providing a safe environment. Sometimes the curious nature of parrots can put themselves in harm’s way; please take the time to familiarize yourself with the following safety precautions.
The ABCs of VOCs – Understanding the Risks of VOCs Around Your Home – VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are chemical by-products found in many building supplies and products.
Dangers of Leaving Birds Unattended – Hominy, Indian Ring Neck
A sweet little Indian Ringneck was surrendered to Greyhaven (December 2012) after a very unfortunate and tragic accident. Her upper beak was completely removed from her face and she has multiple bite wounds to her back and legs, inflicted by a larger parrot. Her owner, unwilling to pay more than $50 to help her, surrendered her to Greyhaven. She was cared for by Night Owl Bird Hospital while in intensive care.
She has 2 toes on one foot taped and doesn’t perch on that foot much. The bite marks on her head and back look like they are healing. Dr M is quite pleased with her progress so far and is quite confident she’ll learn to eat.
Dr M would like to use the picture as long as it’s in an educational manner and it’s used to let people know what can happen when birds are left unattended. She did say this type of injury is sadly not uncommon, sometimes inflicted by another bird, sometimes due to a hazard in the home such as doors. She would like this to be reminder to never leave your birds unattended and to not allow different species to have contact with each other.
Always Expect the Unexpected With a Parrot – Lisa Kelley
You think you know your parrot? Think again.
You think you can count on your parrot to always do the same thing he always does. Think again.
You think your parrot is always safe when you are around? Think again.
Our pet parrots are like smart little “winged” children. They have incredibly intelligent minds of their own, and you have to be ever vigilant because, as I recently was reminded, you never know what they are going to do. As an example of this, I want to tell you about a perfect storm of events that converged into a very dangerous situation for our Moustached Parakeet, JoJo.
In our house, JoJo’s cage is in the guest bedroom, and I allow him out whenever I am home so he can play on top of his cage. I will periodically check in on him to make sure he is safe, which he always is. I have come to expect this behavior, since JoJo is always there when I pop in to say “hi.”
We also have two cats that have become desensitized to JoJo and usually ignore him. Last weekend, one of our two cats, Sadie, had been stalking a baby mouse that had somehow gotten into the house. Sadie was in a frenzy for two days to catch this mouse, and her hunting instincts were kick-started into full gear. Fortunately, with Sadie’s help, my husband and I caught the mouse and released it outside.
With the mouse out of the house, our home settled down again . . . or so I thought. That afternoon, I let JoJo out of his cage and went across the hall to our sunroom. I guess I stayed in the sunroom too long, because all of a sudden the two cats (who were still in heightened mouse-hunting mode) leapt to their feet, ran to the door, and quickly crouched into pounce positions. I couldn’t see what they were looking at, but somehow my instincts told me to GET UP! What I saw was JoJo waddling toward the sunroom and essentially into the feline jaws of death. I let out a blood-curdling scream, which didn’t make Sadie run away — instead it made her run toward JoJo and circle behind him to within about 10 inches. By this time, I had reached the scene of impending death and scooped JoJo up just in the nick of time!
I’m sharing this story with you, because I want to stress how your parrot’s unexpected behavior can accidentally get them into out-of-the-ordinary situations that could possibly end in tragedy. My mistakes that day were:
- Expecting JoJo to stay on his cage
- Expecting JoJo would be safe with me just in the other room
- Expecting JoJo would sense that his life was in danger (i.e., heading toward the cats without a care in the world.)
JoJo had wanted to see me, so he took matters into his own wings. I never would have expected JoJo to do this.
Our pet parrots are our joy, our beauty, and our love, and it is our responsibility to protect them. And what I’ve learned from this experience is to be ever alert, guard them tirelessly, and always expect the unexpected from our feathered babies.
By Lisa Kelley, IPPY Award Winning Author of The Lonely Parrot
*The Lonely Parrot book available in the PRC store.