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Dangerous Toxins for your Birds - Part 1

For years birds have been used as sentries to unseen human toxins. If the canary died down in the mine – everybody got out. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the avian species are sensitive to many household compounds – primarily heavy metals, gases and fumes, and pharmacological agents.

The following paragraphs describe various substances that you should be sure to protect your birds from coming into contact with.


Birds can be very curious – making leading poisoning the most common toxicity seen in cage and wild birds. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of all the possible sources of lead or assume their birds would never chew on lead objects. Overlooked lead sources incluide the following: antiques, stained glass lead frames, Tiffany lamps, weighted items, bird toys with lead weights inside, curtain weights, scuba and fishing weights, wolder and some welds on wrought iron cages or perches, some putty or plasters, bullets, air gun pellets, old paint, sheet rock, glavanized chicken wire, hardware cloth, foil from champagne or wine bottles, mirror backing, linoleum, ceramic glazes, costume jewelry, some zippers, light bulb bases, and chronic leaded gas fume exposure.


Signs of exposure to lead are non-specific.Lethargydepressionweaknessvomitingexcessive thristabnormally colored diarrhea (dark green, black or bloody)Neurological Signs head tilt, wing droop, blindness, seizures and paralysis.

Courtesy of Aspen Wing Animal Hospital, Dr. Jolynn Chappell D.V.M. Loveland, COI will be adding to this blog daily as there is a lot of information on this subject. If your interested in a brochure of this please contact, Catherine at

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