Establish safe areas outside the cage where your bird is allowed to be out, interacting with you and your family in a supervised setting. Know something about the species of bird you are interested so you can meet his/her specific needs. Hanging toys and toys that can be held in the feet should be included. Remember to disinfect / powerwash the wire - to … While these coatings do protect wire from oxidation, they can be easily removed by busy birds. Talk to someone familiar with the particular species of bird you own. Heavy metal toxicity most often occurs in birds when they have managed to ingest or chew on metals containing lead or zinc (most commonly seen) or copper, usually the result of chewing on wiring or pennies minted before 1982. This mesh is very durable and prevents the possible poisoning of the bird. Place the cage in an area that is free of drafts, away from kitchen heat and cooking fumes, and out of heavy “traffic” areas in your home. Then make top and bottom. Your email address will not be published. In aviaries and cages, galvanized wire can be a source of poisoning. However, precious metals, like gold and silver don’t harm the bird. Wire mesh is often used in aviaries or as a screen to keep pet birds safe and to protect against pests and predators. Metal poisoning can be diagnosed by blood tests that measure the lead or zinc levels in the blood and by X-Ray which may show particles of metal in the bird’s stomach. Usually, 90% of birds suffering from metal poisoning recover uneventfully if diagnosed correctly and given the appropriate treatment. When you can’t be at home and your bird must stay in his cage, you can still be providing fun activities for him. The bar spacing should be appropriate to the size of your bird. We did our best to compile solid information, but always keep your eyes open for other tidbits you can pick up to keep your bird safe. Aviary wire is galvanized with zinc oxide to protect it from the elements. Secondly, pet parrots should never be allowed to have free, unsupervised access to the house. If ingested, these pieces can contribute to disease. Some aviary wire mesh is constructed of cheap metal dipped in vinyl or coated with a special paint, called powder-coat. Try to be aware of the sources of metal within your environment and make your home ‘bird safe’. New galvanized wire is often coated with a petroleum based protective oil. Some birds enjoy snuggling against soft plush toys, or hiding in plush “huts” or plastic slinkies suspended from the cage. The “furniture” inside the cage is also extremely important. In cases of acute lead poisoning where the bird is convulsing, sedatives must be administered. Before purchasing a bird, be prepared! Powder coated cages are also safest to buy. It is best to use wire that is powder coated or pointed with a non-toxic, water based paint. Even with trimmed wings, most birds still have some flight capability and should not be outside without some restraint. Another inexpensive method of preventing oxidation involves coating steel or galvanized wire with plastic or vinyl. Make sure the cage materials are safe for birds. Symptoms of metal toxicity vary in accordance to the type of metal ingested, the surface area of the particles and the length of time the metals have been present in the gastro-intestinal tract or bloodstream. Making the wrong choices could result in heavy metal toxicity, which is dangerous for your bird and can be fatal if not treated. Larger birds can actually bite off and swallow pieces of the wire. If your bird has a leg band, memorize the number or keep it in your records. Firstly, check the wire of cage or aviaries. Birds can ingest zinc from cages and clips made of galvanized wire. Galvanized wire should be scrubbed with vinegar and a wire brush. Supplying your bird with toys he is allowed to destroy will help prevent damage to your home and belongings that should stay out of beaks’ reach. Wire should be of a heavy enough gauge, ‘chicken wire’. If they are too narrow, feet or legs may get stuck between the bars. Alternatively, you can wrap the wire all the way around the frame and affix with staple gun. Make sure the cage materials are safe for birds. Your email address will not be published. Galvanized Wire - Galvanized metal which has been electroplated is safe (because it a a very thin coating and attaches differently to the host steel material), but galvanized wire (hot dipped) is not. One of the most common reasons for owners presenting their pet parrots to my surgery is heavy metal poisoning. Like small children, everything new goes straight into their mouths. Sources of metal within households are many and varied. Excess material at welds creates easily removable pieces of elemental zinc. The patient must also be stomach tubed several times daily with paraffin oil mixtures to coat the metal particles in the stomach to help them pass from the body.