Toxins: Household and Environmental

Blue and Gold Macaw at 6 months of age

Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands Smiling: Blue and Gold Macaw "Chayko" 

My parrots are just like kids, and I know that for most if not all bird owners, yours are too. Even if you already have kids, they're just like kids and if you don't, even moreso. Above is an image of my blue and gold macaw, Chayko. He was named while on a road trip between Nevada and California. I combined two cities and came up with Chayko. He is about 6 months old in this picture and clipped from the breeder. Most people are unaware of how to "bird proof" their home, just like with having to "baby proof" it when expecting a child. Parrots have very sensitive respitory systems which in turn means that a lot of chemicals people use nowadays, are very harmful to your bird and potentionally toxic.   Although it may seem like a great idea to use some branches from your trees outside and bring in some wild flowers and leaves for your bird to chew on - rather than spending loads of money at your petshop nearby - this can be very harmful for your bird as some foliage, twigs and braches are unsafe for your bird. Because of how much information can be out there, I want to go over both safe and unsafe toxins so not to lead to any mishaps. All lists are in alphabetical order to make it easier for you to look up something specific.    
Safe Twigs and Branches  
  • Ash
  • Citrus (Any)
  • Dogwood
  • Elm
  • Eucalyptus
  • Guava
  • Madrona
  • Magnolia
  • Manzanita
  • Nut (Except Chestnut and Oak)
  • Papaya
  • Pine
  • Prune
  • Ribbonwood
  • Sassafras
  • Thurlow
  • Vine Maple
  • Willows (Goat, Pussy and Weeping)
Safe Foliage
  • Acacia
  • Aloe
  • African Violet
  • Baby's Tears
  • Bamboo
  • Begonia
  • Boston Fern
  • Bougainvillea
  • Chickweed
  • Christmas Cactus
  • Cissus (Kangaroo Vine)
  • Coleus
  • Corn Plant
  • Crabapple
  • Dandelion
  • Dogwood
  • Donkey Tail
  • Dracaena Varieties
  • Ferns (Bird's Nest, Boston, Maidenhair)
  • Figs (Creeping, Rubber)
  • Fiddle Leaf, Laurel Leaf
  • Gardenia
  • Grape Ivy
  • Hen and Chickens
  • Impatiens
  • Jade Plant
  • Kalanchoe
  • Magnolia
  • Marigolds
  • Monkey Plant
  • Nasturtium
  • Natal Plum
  • Norfolk Island Pine
  • Orchids
  • Palms (Areca, Date, Fan, Lady, Parlour, Howeia, Kentia, Phownix, Sago)
  • Pepperomia
  • Petunia
  • Pittosporum
  • Prayer Plant
  • Purple Passion
  • Rose
  • Rubber Plant
  • Schefflera
  • Sensitive Plant
  • Snake Plant
  • Spider Plant
  • Swedish Ivy
  • Thistle
  • Velvet Nettle
  • White Clover
  • Yucca
  • Zebra Plant
  • Zinnia
Below is a list of household toxins your parrot should never ever injest. These items are toxic to your feathered friends and are what is involved with bird proofing your home.   
Toxic Hazard
  Household Toxins
  • Alcoholic Drinks, Alcohol in general
  • Ammonia
  • Antifreeze
  • Ant Syrup or Paste
  • Arsenic
  • Asbestos
  • Auto Products
  • Avacado
  • Bathroom Cleaners
  • Bleach (If you choose to use bleach as a cleaner, it must be very diluted)
  • Boric Acid
  • Camphophenique
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Carpet Cleaners
  • Carpet Fresheners
  • Charcoal Fluids
  • Chlordaine
  • Chlorine
  • Chocolate
  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Clinitest Tablets
  • Copper and Brass Cleaners
  • Corn and Wart Remover
  • Deodorants
  • Detergents
  • Diazinon
  • Disinfectants
  • Drain Cleaners
  • Epoxy Glue
  • Felt tip Markers
  • Flea Products
  • Floor Polish
  • Formaldehyde
  • Furniture Polish
  • Garden Sprays
  • Gasoline
  • Gun Cleaners
  • Hair Dyes and Sprays
  • Herbicides
  • Insecticides
  • Iodine
  • Kerosene
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Lye
  • Matches
  • Melalueca Oil
  • Model Cement
  • Mothballs
  • Muriatic Acid
  • Mushrooms
  • Nail Polish and Nail Polish Remover
  • Nitrogen Dioxide
  • Oven Cleaner
  • Overheaded Non Stick Cookware
  • Paint and Thinner
  • Perfume
  • Permanents
  • Pesticides
  • Photo Solutions
  • Pine Oil
  • RX Drugs
  • Rodenticides
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Scented Candles/Oils
  • Shaving Lotion
  • Shellac
  • Shoe Polish
  • Snail Bait
  • Spot Removers
  • Spray Starch
  • Strychnine
  • Sulfuric Acid
  • Super Glue
  • Suntan Lotions and Oils
  • Surgical Acrylics
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Turpentine
  • Wax
  • Weed Killers
  • Window Cleaners
  • Wood Preservatives

I may make a post in the future with a list of toxic plants and foliage but I didn't want this one becoming too insanely long and scare people away from actually reading it as I believe the information is invaluable.

Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.

1 comment

Natanael Mercado

Does this also includes parakeets.

Natanael Mercado

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