Table of Dangers

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Caring Cockatiel Articles














Table of Dangers

(Ref: The New Cockatiel Handbook: by Matthew M. Vriends, PhD)

1. Bathroom

Open windows: bird escapes; cleansers and chemicals: poisoning; open toilet bowl: drowning. (Keep bathroom door closed)


2. Cage and aviary mesh with wrong sized openings

Cockatiel sticks head through mesh or between bars, gets caught, suffers injury, or strangles to death. (Check mesh size with pet deater.)


3. Water containers (sinks, tubs, aquariums, vases)

Cockatiel fall in and drowns. Bird can mistake foam on the surface as a firm landing place. (Keep containers empty and/or covered.)


4. Direct sunlight

Heatstroke: Heavy panting, extended wings, weakness, collapse. (Get bird into shade immediately to prevent heart failure. Give patient some water and see an avian veterinarian immediately.)


5. Doors

Cockatiel gets caught in them and is crushed or escapes. (Close door before releasing bird.)


6. Drafts (open doors and windows, airing the room, etc.)

Colds; nasal ischarges, runny eyes, sneezing, pneumonia. (Avoid drafts: remove bird when room is being aired.)


7. Drawers, cupboards, toilet bowl

Cockatiel are curious and like to explore open drawers and cabinets. If  a bird is accidentally shut inside, it can starve to death or suffocate. (Keep drawers and cupboards closed.)


8. Easy chairs, couches, etc.

Cockatiel can be crushed when accidentally sat on. (Get in the habit of checking chairs before sitting down.)


9. Electrical wires and sockets

Shock from biting through wires; death. (Conceal wires under moldings, carpets, etc.)


10. Hard floors

Cockatiel with clipped wings lack full powers of flight. Such birds can break a leg or bruise themselves in a hard landing. (See discussion of clipped wings.)


11.Human feet

Free Cockatiel can get stepped on. (Look before you walk.)


12. Kitchen

Never keep your Cockatiel in an are that is polluted by gas and cooking fumes. Fumes given off by overheated or burning Teflon pans are toxic to birds. Also dangerous are steam and heat from cooking; open pots containing hot liquids; hot stoves; and household cleansers, all of which are potentially poisonous. (Keep birds out of kitchen.)


13. Knitted or crocheted items, yarn, string, chains.

The Cockatielís toes can get entangled; trapped bird can strangle itself. (Remove sweaters, yarn, etc.)


14. Large decorative vases.

Cockatiel can slip in and not be able to climb out again; suffocation, starvation, heart failure. (Fill these containers with sand or paper.)


15. Nicotine, sprays, etc.

Smoke-laden air is harmful; nicotine is lethal. Other dangerous air pollutants for birds are; paint fumes, carbon monoxide, insecticide sprays, deodorizer sprays, and insecticidal pest strips. (Do not smoke, use sprays, etc, near you birds.)


16. Perches too small in diameter

Excessive growth of toenails. (Use hardwood perches of correct diameter.)


17. Pesticides

All pesticiders are lethal for birds. (Never spray plants in the room where your bird is kept or bring sprayed plants into that room.)


18. Poisons

Deadly; lead , rust, pans coated with plastics, mercury, all household cleansers. Harmful; pencil leads, inserts for ballpoint pens, magic markers, alcohol, coffee, hot spices. Other poisons; acetone, amphetamines, aspirin, antifreeze, arsenic, bleach, carbon tetrachloride, chlordane, cosmetics, crayons,DDT, deodorants, drain cleaners, fabric softeners, firecrackers, fluoroacetates, garbage toxins, hair dye, linoleum, lye, matches, (the so-called safety matches are nontoxic), medicines, mothballs, various wild mushrooms, lead based paint, perfume, petroleum products, pine oil, rat and mouse poison, red squill, roach poison, shellac, sleeping pills, snail bait, strychnine, suntan lotions, thallium, warfarin and weed killers, wood preservatives. (Remove all harmful and lethal substances.)


19. Sharp objects, nails, splinters, ends of wire

Cuts, puncture wounds. (Remove all sharp objects.)


20. Temperature changes

Cockatiel will do well in 50 to 75F (10-24 C). Abrupt changes in temperature can be disastrous for you birds. (The heating should be even and reliable.) However, in Malaysia the temperature is about 27 to 31 C, and I found that it is find with my Cockatiel. I think for this point, the most important is avoid very high temperature changes.


21. Windows, picture windows, glass walls

Cockatiel flies into them; concussion, fractured skull, broken neck, wings or feet. (Lower shades, cover with draperies)



Cockatiel Books and Video Tapes from Avian Publications

The Complete Pet Bird Owner's Handbook (Revised Edition) by Dr. Gary A. Gallerstein

Avian Medicine: Principles and Application (Abridged Edition) by Dr. Branson Ritchie, Dr. Greg Harrison, Linda Harrison & Dr. Donald W. Zantop


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