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Dangers to Conures (and other birds)

lisazartsi

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Hi friends!

I'm prepping to bring a new, beautiful baby pineapple GCC home in about four weeks (adopted from a safe/trusted source) and I want to make sure I've cleansed my home of anything super toxic or dangerous before he arrives.

We'll be living in a two-bedroom apartment for the next little bit. My plan is to keep the bird cage in one of the two bedrooms so that when my feathery friend is sleeping we can give him a safe and quiet space to do that. Also to provide a safe space where he can leave his cage freely and begin to interact with the environment around him. Eventually I'd like to open up his world to the living room area (once he's a bit more trained), but to start I'm thinking to sticking to just one room that I'll be in with him for hours each day (we'll put a tv and whatnot in this room).

I can't help but be a bit terrified after researching all the things that are toxic to birdies, so here's a plethora of questions for you!

I know that some types of wood are deemed unsafe, and one of my first questions is: if I place a hardwood desk I have in the room with my GCC and only allow him to come into contact with it during supervised play time, could this still be considered dangerous? I'm not sure what type of wood the desk is made from as it is quite old. I would make sure he doesn't eat fragments of the wood or anything like that. Basically, Are unsafe woods only toxic to birds when they chew at parts of it, or also when they land on them?

When it comes to cleaning products, I know it's recommended to use diluted vinegar and other natural products, but I'm wondering if it would be necessary for me to discard of all the current cleaning products I have and avoid using them forever in the same apartment as the bird, or if using them in areas I don't allow the bird to go would be alright? I'm specifically referring to things like bathtub cleaners that help to remove grime, kitchen sprays that just help to clean off pesky stains on stoves, etc. If I rinse the things I've cleaned with these products with soap and water after use, will they be safe once dried for the bird to come into contact with?

My next question is regarding laundry and dish detergents. I don't put my clothes in the dryer, so Bounce sheets would already be avoided, but I'm wondering if there are certain types of detergents that we would have to avoid (for both laundry and dishes)?

TEFLON. I know it's an evil, bird-killing substance when overheated, but I'm wondering if we use it to cook our eggs on low in the mornings in another room would be okay (it's just so easy to clean afterwards!)? We would use a ceramic non-stick for cooking on anything over medium heat, but if you guys think there's too much of a risk with the pan even on low, we'll ditch 'em!

What about lotions, perfumes, shampoos and/or sunscreens? Whether it be face lotion, body lotion, etc. I know it's supposed to be non-scented, but what if you put these things on hours before you're back in contact with your bird? Say I take a shower after I've put birdy to bed and I decide to moisturize afterwards. I won't be in contact with my bird until the next morning... Would this be alright? What if I put perfume on before going to work and it's worn off by the time I come home (or I shower before handling)? I don't completely understand just how sensitive little ones are to these things.

Lastly (for now, hehe), is fresh fruits and veggies. I've read a lot of mixed things on this... Some people say you need to remove the skins on things like apples, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. because it can be harmful and others don't bother. Which do you guys do? Additionally, what is the best way to clean fresh fruits and veggies, and how long is too long before they're no longer considered 'fresh'? Lastly, do you have to only provide organic fruits and veggies to your bird?

I know it's an overwhelming amount of questions... I'm feeling quite a bit anxious about getting a birdie because I would never forgive myself if it got sick or died because of something I neglected to check into. I know so many of you are experts, and I bow to your wisdom! Please shower me with knowledge!
 

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Mizzely

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Wood dangers are from chewing most of the time, unless its like pine sap, etc.

I do use some cleaners in the bathroom, with the door closed, window open and exhaust fan going. My bird is housed at the other end of the home though. Most cleaners rinse without leaving much, if any, residue.

Dawn dishsoap is all I use for the dishes, because I wash the bowls in it and I trust it. As for laundry detergent, I wouldn't use anything like the Scent beads that go in the washer or dryer, but soaps are meant to attach to dirt and rinse away, so you can use whatever you like for the most part.


It only takes ONE time for you to get distracted and leave a Teflon pan going to kill your bird. Not a risk I am willing to take. My favorite for eggs is a stainless steel pan, low heat, with butter or oil. Makes them perfect and they don't stick :)

As long as your skin products are absorbed, it's likely fine.

I do not feed only organic, as it is hard to find in my area and sometimes there is little difference between organic and not in terms of safety. I do give organic for some things - mostly berries. You can focus on the "worst" plants if you want to feed organic that makes the most sense. Dirty Dozen™ Fruits and Vegetables with the Most Pesticides
For most fruits and vegetables, the skin is a major house for the best nutrients.
 

lisazartsi

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Wood dangers are from chewing most of the time, unless its like pine sap, etc.

I do use some cleaners in the bathroom, with the door closed, window open and exhaust fan going. My bird is housed at the other end of the home though. Most cleaners rinse without leaving much, if any, residue.

Dawn dishsoap is all I use for the dishes, because I wash the bowls in it and I trust it. As for laundry detergent, I wouldn't use anything like the Scent beads that go in the washer or dryer, but soaps are meant to attach to dirt and rinse away, so you can use whatever you like for the most part.


It only takes ONE time for you to get distracted and leave a Teflon pan going to kill your bird. Not a risk I am willing to take. My favorite for eggs is a stainless steel pan, low heat, with butter or oil. Makes them perfect and they don't stick :)

As long as your skin products are absorbed, it's likely fine.

I do not feed only organic, as it is hard to find in my area and sometimes there is little difference between organic and not in terms of safety. I do give organic for some things - mostly berries. You can focus on the "worst" plants if you want to feed organic that makes the most sense. Dirty Dozen™ Fruits and Vegetables with the Most Pesticides
For most fruits and vegetables, the skin is a major house for the best nutrients.
Amazing, thank you for the advice! Definitely going to get rid of the non-stick pans we have. Not worth the risk. I love the site you sent of the Dirty Dozen... I had no idea how dirty some of my favourite foods are. Do you have a special method of cleaning safer veggies like broccoli, kiwi, sweet peas, etc. that are non-organic?
 

Mizzely

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Amazing, thank you for the advice! Definitely going to get rid of the non-stick pans we have. Not worth the risk. I love the site you sent of the Dirty Dozen... I had no idea how dirty some of my favourite foods are. Do you have a special method of cleaning safer veggies like broccoli, kiwi, sweet peas, etc. that are non-organic?
I just wash :) 7 Tips for Cleaning Fruits, Vegetables
 

Peachfaced

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If you want to protect your hardwood desk, just toss an old towel across it. :) Bird won't be able to get to the wood easily (if the bird becomes interested in remodeling it), and you can put it in the wash once it gets yucky.

When I first read the title, I had to laugh, because aside from the typical things (Teflon, etc), the biggest danger to a Conure is themselves. They are really good at finding trouble.

PS, if you'd like a cleaner you can use, look in to F10 for general cleaning purposes. It can be hard to find sometimes, but it's a concentrated bottle, and you mix up the strength you need.
 

Zara

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Welcome to the Avenue :starshower1:

Just thought I should mention that seeds in fruits like apples are toxic and should be removed. Melon and strawberry seeds are fine.
 
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