Cockatiel protection includes our everyday lifestyle habits that we must be aware of. You need to be able to control your habits and protect the health and safety of your cockatiels, these include simple things as closing the toilet lid, covering any water containers…
Do a Detailed Room to Room Check
Each room poses different dangers to your cockatiels. Cockatiels are very inquisitve and will want to explore any space or place that they can get to. They are learners by watching and repeating. If you are new to keeping cockatiels, then just watch how long it takes them to realise that you drink water from a glass, soon they will be on your shoulder wanting to drink from the same glass (if they are flying free of course).
This is what makes these little creatures very intelegent, however it also makes them prone to accidents.
Let’s look at a few obvious dangers and some not so obvious that you can then check to ensure complete safety for your cockatiels.
- Mirrors, Windows and glass walls; Cockatiels can fly into them which can result in a broken neck, damaged wings or feet, a fractured skull and even concussion. Prevent this by installing blinds on windows, even curtains and keep them covered when your birds are free, hang clothes over the mirror.
- Electrical wires and cables; Cockatiels are constatntly wanting to nibble on anything and that includes electrical equipment. Computer power cables are a prime target. If your bird actually chews through the plastic / rubber coating then it can get a serious electric shock and die instantly. Keep all cables well out of reach, wrap them in a towel or try concealing them in a bigger tube or under a rug for example.
- Chairs, couches, settees; Basicaly anything you sit or relax in can be a danger. Look before you sit is the new rule. Accidents can happen in a split second. An 80-120 gram cockatiel is no match for us heavier clumsier two legged creatures.
- Doors and windows (any exits); Keep all doors and windows closed. This will prevent escapeies. With internal doors be aware of where your birds are, they could be flying to you as you close the door on them. Trapping your cockatiel and severly hurting it. Even on cage doors, make sure that before you close them that your cockatiels are well inside the cage.
- Water containers (fish tanks, sinks, toilets); Basically any container that holds water is a potential death trap. Even a small flower vase. Ensure that any container that holds water is tightly covered. Cockatiels can not swim and will drown in even a small amount of water if they can’t get out.
- Direct sunlight; The heat from the sun can dehydrate your birds very quick. If your birds are housed near the window be very careful and ensure that it is not in a direct sun path. The sun through the glass window can give any cockatiel heatstroke. If you notice your birds panting and holding it’s wings out from the body you can be sure that they are very hot. You will need to cool them down quickly.
- Drafts; These can be caused by the routine airing of your home, or the constant opening of windows to cool the place down. If your birds are in any draft they will catch a cold. You might notice them sneezing, even having a runny nose (nostrils). They will need veterinary attention quickly.
- Sharp objects (knives, nails, ends of wire etc); You will find these in draws (keep all cupboards and draws closed) sewing tables, even bird cages. Make sure all areas of the cage are safe.
- Hot items; Stove tops, cooking pots, toasters, ironing boards and iron, coffee machine and kettle. Basically anything that heats up is a danger. Be careful and keep your birds out of the kitchen especially when cooking.
- Smoke; nicotine is lethal, car exhaust fumes, paint fumes, insect sprays and bait use to kill bugs etc, all these things are highly toxic and will kill your cockatiels.
- Various poisons; Cleaning chemicals like drain cleaner, oven cleaner. Heavy metals (lead, zinc) rusted items (check the bird cage regularly) mercury. Petrol and glues. Dangerous foods see the post on feeding for more details.
- Office items; Pencils, pens, staples, crayons, scissors etc. Keep all of these out of reach.
- Personal items; deodorants, hair spray / dye, perfumes, sun cream, sleeping pills (any pills and medicines). Be prepared to remove all potential and lethal products from your home.
We have covered some of the possible dangers in your home. This is by all means not the only dangers that are in our everyday lives that can affect your cockatiels, there are no doubt others that I have not mentioned. Please use common sense around your birds and think about what you do and if it could in any way be avoided to allow your cockatiels to live in a safe and healthy environment.
I can’t express how important it is to keep a safe home for your pet cockatiels and any other pet for that matter. Prevention is better than trying for a cure. Keeping a close eye out for signs of a sick cockatiel is also going to help you enjoy each other.
On that note, we wish you a long and safe life together in perfect harmony…