Due to the adventurous nature of birds it is essential to ensure that their environment is safe.
The first safety precautions to consider are to do with the bird’s immediate environment – its cage. The spacing between the bars of a bird cage must be narrow so that your bird will not get its head stuck. Bars that are of a small diameter are easily bent and can make the gaps larger and less safe. There are a variety of feeding and watering bowls available and these must be selected carefully with the bird’s safety in mind. It is important to use the bowls designed for the holders as gaps will provide opportunity for toes to get stuck. Be sure to secure “guillotine”; type cage doors as some birds may try to lift these and get their heads caught. Look out for cages made of materials that may contain poisonous zinc or brass. Spring loaded latches can also be dangerous for toes and beaks.
Safety in feeding is another aspect to look at. Foods that are bought in bulk and then repackaged are not a good idea as they may be contaminated. Rather purchase food in the packaging of the manufacturer, even if it is slightly more expensive.
Many people recommend that a bird’s wings be clipped so as to prevent it from flying into trouble around the house. If your bird is permitted to leave its cage, it is vital to bird-proof your home for your bird’s safety, and to always know where it is. Many things around the house may prove toxic to birds, to name a few: crayons, various household cleaners, insecticides, lead-based paint, nicotine and table salt. It is also advisable not to let the bird out the cage when cooking or cleaning, as it may consume the wrong things or get burnt on ovens and stoves. Resist the desire to have your bird sleep with you, as sadly, many people have awoken to find their birds have been crushed.
Certain toys can also compromise your bird’s safety. Toys made from fabric may have threads in which the bird may tangle his/her feet or neck. Key rings are often used to attach hanging toys to the cage, however alternatives would be better as beaks, tongues and toes can get caught in these. Rope toys with loose threads may also entangle your bird.
The best thing to do is to carefully watch your bird’s activities around its cage and the external environment and try to predict any possible dangers to your bird’s safety. Rather safe than sorry!