Baby Parrots Don't Fit in Car Seats
So what’s a new bird parent to do to keep his baby bird safe? Over twenty years ago, I brought home my beloved baby cockatoo, Lely. If she had been a human child, there would have been pamphlets, books, and hundreds of other resources instructing me about “child-proofing” my home. But there was nothing to help me prepare my home for one of the most challenging and rewarding projects of my life—raising a baby parrot! Parrots are smart and have been known to remove locks, get through child-safe barriers, and ultimately get what they think they want.

Plants – We all think of wild birds sitting in trees. So we transfer that to our pet birds and assume that they can sit in our house plants, especially the larger ones that look more like trees. But did you know that many plants are toxic to our birds? Many of the common houseplants are toxic to birds—these include philodendrons and diffenbachias. For a more complete list, see our list of dangerous plants. So, you’re probably thinking that you can just move the toxic plants to another room or another floor in your home. But that’s not good enough. Baby birds, like their human counter-parts, are curious. They aren’t going to stay where you put them. And they explore everything with their beaks. They might understand “no,” but they don’t understand the logic behind the command and before you know it, they will have discovered that off-limits room or floor and will have gone straight to the only plant that could kill them. Don’t tempt fate, give the plant to your mother-in-law.

Cooking – Love your non-stick cookware? Not with a bird in the house! Over the years, I have heard dozens of stories about how a beloved bird took a few last gasps of breath and left the earth due to the fumes given off by non-stick cookware. I’ve even heard of people losing their birds to self-cleaning ovens. The cookware needs to go (your mother-in-law is starting to like the bird already). I have been using stainless steel cookware for years. A little spray oil in the bottom and your food won’t tend to stick. But wait! All aerosols need to be sprayed outside with the doors closed—yes, that’s another safety hazard—but you can make your own cooking oil spray with a plastic spray bottle and olive oil. Then there’s a huge list of foods that are toxic to birds—everything from chocolate to avocados. For a more complete list, see our list of dangerous foods.

Other Pets – No doubt you’ve seen the cute videos where the parrot feeds the dog or the budgie rides on the back of the cat. But this is another bad idea. Nature will, eventually, take over, and the cat will eventually “get” the bird. The dog’s saliva has components that are toxic to birds. Birds and other pets should only be together when completely supervised. Those seconds you take to answer the door or use the restroom could be the difference between the life of your bird and disaster. So…how does your mother-in-law feel about cats?

Now that you've taken care of the safety hazards in your home, you'll want to keep him playing safely. Be sure to check out our selection of toys that are sure to please your new bird!

The potential hazards are many, but the rewards of parrot ownership are greater. Enjoy your bird!


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