With the holidays fast approaching we need to keep in mind how things affect our birds. Christmas trees while beautiful can be a source of injury for our birds if they are left unsupervised near the tree. Electrical cords from tree lights, products used to make ornaments and ornament hooks can all cause serious injury or illness. Holly is toxic for birds as well as poinsettias so if you are using these products to decorate make sure they are out of your birds reach.
We all enjoy having family with us for the holidays but keep in mind that your bird may not feel the same way. Unknown people, sounds and activities can cause stress for your bird. Make sure he has a place that he feels safe and can rest undisturbed. If he is normally in an area of high activity you may want to consider relocating his cage temporarily. Your friends are not automatically your bird’s friends. Remember that the fast movement of children can be very frightening for a bird that has never been around children so try to keep young children at a safe distance to prevent stress to your bird and bites to small hands.
If your bird is fully flighted make sure he is in his cage while preparing food. Boiling liquids, hot stoves or candy being made at high temperatures can cause serious, life threatening injuries to your bird.
Christmas scents from candles, air fresheners, etc. are toxic to your birds. Keep in mind the nutritional value of any table food that you are offering your bird and make sure that guests know there are certain foods your bird may not have due to toxicity. Ask them to ask you before trying to give your bird a treat. You may want to keep a healthy treat nearby for guests to give to your bird. If your bird is one that thrives being the center of attention and is well socialized by all means include him in the festive activities. Keep an eye that he doesn’t overtire himself with all the company.
During Halloween make sure your bird is caged to prevent escape out doors that are opened to hand out candy. Also remember your bird may very well be scared by the costumes and rowdy children who are having a good time. Keep all the same considerations mentioned previously in mind for decorations and parties.
During Thanksgiving a little piece of turkey or chicken is OK. Sweet potatoes prepared without salt or sugar also make a nice treat for your bird. Just remember, everything in moderation.
Being aware of the dangers will help you, your family and birds to have a great holiday!