There are many drugs and household products that have not been tested for safety around birds.  Birds are about ten times more sensitive than we are to toxins in the air, so even things that may not be dangerous for us can be deadly for our little friends.  When clients ask me whether it is safe to use some product around their birds, I always like to say "If in doubt, take them out".  ***Indicates cases that I have seen personally


***Drapery weights, fishing weights, Cuckoo clock weights
***Old paint (underneath layers in older homes)
***Galvanized wire or hardware cloth used to build cages (has little
globs of solder at wire junctions) or any item that has been soldered,
such as water pipes
***Real or imitation stained glass
***Electrical and speaker wires
Many antiques, including bird cages
Foreign made cages or those that have been painted with unknown paint
Old bells not made as bird toys
Toy penguins made for parakeets (can contain lead weights that larger
birds can get at if they break it open)
***Ceramics and glazed pottery
Batteries, Tiffany lamps, Ammunition, Costume Jewelry or metal beads
Mirror backing, Metallic wrapping paper
Toothpaste tubes, Champagne and wine corks and foil
Linoleum, Caulk and drywall
Snaps, keys, some zippers
Artist or hobby paints, Rust resistant paints
Galvanized metal bowls, chains and quick links, use stainless steel
Clips and Staples, Carpenter's Nails and Nuts 
Hanging window or shade pulls.
Pennies since 1982 and Monopoly game pieces (98% zinc)


***PEOPLE GERMS ON FOOD: a leading cause of infection is letting your bird eat food with human germs or kissing.  Birds won't catch our viruses, but the bacteria normally in our mouths are dangerous.
***Alcohol, ***Chocolate, Caffeine, Avocados
***All medications for humans should be considered unsafe for birds
unless directed by a veterinarian
***Soft PVC pipes or toys (many children's toys are made of this)
Pressure treated lumber, always use untreated wood
Boric acid (safe to use for pest control if birds can't eat it or
breathe the dust)
Cosmetics including hair dye, hair spray, perfume, shaving cream, nail
polish and remover, denture cleaning solutions, etc.
***Fertilizers, herbicides, and other chemicals blowing in open windows
***Moldy seed, which may appear as dust. Bugs in seed are harmless,
and can be killed by freezing food for 48 hours before opening.
***Food that has spoiled by being left in the cage too long
Excessive salty foods, give unsalted peanuts instead
Fruits or vegetables that have not been washed to remove pesticides
Magic markers and highlighters, Antifreeze


***Cedar shavings put out irritating fumes, cat litter is very dusty
and irritating, ground corncob may grow Aspergillosis fungus when wet.
We recommend newspaper or paper towels for the cage bottom.
***Most cleaning products, especially Febreeze (only toxic when wet,
safe after it has dried), drain cleaners, lye, bleach fumes (safe to
use as disinfectant if rinsed thoroughly), and all aerosol products.
Scented candles, potpourri, plug-in air fresheners, incense, mothballs
New carpet (should be aired for several days), carpet deodorizer
powders (when vacuumed up, will create toxic particles in the air).
Paint, paint removers, varnish, shellac, Glue guns
***Insecticides (close windows when spraying outdoors, do not leave
bird in house when exterminating).
***Cigarette, cigar or marijuana smoke (please smoke in another room,
although small amounts will not be harmful, chronic exposure can cause
respiratory problems or cancer).
Overheated cooking oil
Yule logs and fire color additives
Overheated plastic cooking utensils or any burning plastic
Highly fragranced lotions, creams, perfumes, deodorants, hairspray
Spray starch, floor polish, shoe polish
Permanent wave solutions
Natural gas leaks, possible from newly installed appliances that
cannot be detected by normal means
Gasoline, kerosene, turpentine fumes


These items are probably safe with normal use, but can put out toxic
fumes when overheated that will kill birds almost instantly. You will
not smell the fumes or see smoke.
***Teflon or Silverstone coated pans, pots, teakettles (look inside!),
waffle irons, pancake grills, electric skillets, deep fryers, crock
pots, popcorn poppers, woks, pizza pans, coffee makers, bread
machines, tortilla presses, broiler pans and George Foreman grills
***Self-cleaning ovens (dangerous to run the cleaning setting with
birds nearby)
Cooking bags
Irons and ironing board covers
Space heaters or heat lamps with nonstick coating inside, *** newly
installed furnaces (run on high for several hours with birds out of
the house).
Stove drip pans with nonstick coating
GE Shatter-Resistant Light Bulbs


***Cat, dog and ferret attacks (always should be seen within 12 hours
for antibiotic injection, even if no bleeding was seen)
***Flying out doors or windows, into mirrors, sliding glass doors or
windows, hitting ceiling fans, landing on hot stoves or falling into
toilets, sinks or buckets (wing clipping prevents many of these accidents).
***Electrocution by chewing on electrical wires
***Water deprivation from clogged water bottles
***Halogen lamps, birds can land on and be burned
***Rope toys, sheets, blankets, "snugly huts", or any materials that
have frayed leaving strings that can wrap around a bird's toes or neck
***Getting stepped on, caught in reclining chairs, or rolled on while
***Hooks or wires in cage or staples on newspaper ads that can catch
in leg band or on beak
***Diseases from getting new birds without quarantining them, bringing
in a wild bird, taking the bird to a pet store or other place with
other birds around.
Burge Bird Services
Julie Burge, DVM
13833 S. 71 Hwy
Grandview, MO 64030
(816) 356-4700