Thanksgiving Safety

 Thanksgiving will be here in a few days. I am sure you are all running around like crazy trying to prepare. I just want to take a minute to remind you to practice caution with your parrots on this holiday.

Thanksgiving is an exciting day for both the family and the flock. There is a lot of activity and excitement and with that we may not necessarily be on our game where the parrots are concerned. This holiday is centered around the kitchen where there will be hot burners and cooking foods, perhaps open flame.

As much as you might like to let your parrot be involved in the family festivities, the kitchen on Thanksgiving is not the best place for a parrot. There are too many distractions for you to be fully aware of your parrot’s safety and, therefore, too many opportunities for disaster.

I can’t remember a Thanksgiving that did not result in an accident with somebody’s parrot – usually involving an escape as people come or go from the house. Please use “better safe than sorry” thinking this year.

 I also want to remind you that not all foods that we serve on Thanksgiving are great choices for birds, or more precisely, the preparation of these foods makes them less than ideal. If it is your intention to share your meal with the birds, please try to keep it as healthy for them as possible.

Most traditional Thanksgiving menus contain foods that are very healthy – until we add the butter and the sour cream and the cream cheese and the sugars…  However, as we are cooking we can set aside some potato, yams and vegetables for the birds before we add all our human accoutrements that make them so deliciously unhealthy.

We can make special birdy stuffing from cubed whole grain breads and add thyme or sage, nuts, raisins and dried cranberries all softened with boiling water. Your parrot might want to indulge in a bit of turkey breast, which would be fine in moderation.

Since I don’t know any of my birds’ hatch dates, I celebrate their “birthdays” collectively on Thanksgiving for the obvious reason: I am very grateful for their presence in my life. I have been known to over-indulge them on this day. There certainly isn’t any shortage of food with which to do so.

Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.


james Scott

hi my name is james and how come americans say rose breasted cockatoos when it is actually galah please some one anwser cause when they say it it is really anoying

james Scott
Barbara DelGiudice

Thank you for posting this article. This is very important. Please keep your bird out of the kitchen away from hot stove, oven, boiling water. It is much better for your bird to be safe. I have read about terrible accidents in the kitchen with thoughtless owners. I know this is awful to read, but wouldn’t you rather avoid such an accident? A small bird or any bird could fall into the frying pan, boiling water and get severely burned. Please keep your bird safe in his cage in another room away from fumes. birds can also die within minutes from Teflon ware that is over heated or anything plastic coated! Change your cook ware to stainless steel. Please Please keep your bird in another room safe in his or her cage! Thank you!

Barbara DelGiudice

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