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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought it might be beneficial to start a thread for those of us who have had or have heard of birds that died or escaped or those that were injured in some way - to post that experience and hopefully pick out possible warning signs or dangers we hadn't thought about – and possibly to prevent it happening to the current birds in our care.


I will write about my last bird, Olive.

My 5-year old African Senegal Parrot Olive, who I had since she was weaned. Died by strangulation on a plastic toy basket.

It was a little colorful basket modeled after a household laundry basket - it had different size circles or holes along its sides like a real laundry basket would.

I kept Olive's extra toys in it and when I left the house I would take a few toys from it to place into her cage.

This particular Saturday I placed the entire basket of toys into her cage - She would generally play with this basket of toys while out of her cage but had never chewed on it so I didn't think anything of placing it into her cage - although this was the first time I had done so.

While we were gone she had chewed one of the smaller holes along the edge of the basket and got her head stuck - [PHEW - I thought I was past this but I have never written it down before] anyhow, thats how we found her when we arrived home that afternoon.
 

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Oh my I'm so sorry, thank you for sharing that. I know that had to be hard. I'm no expert far from it but the only thing I can tell newbies to p'lets is envision the worst case scenario and even then you probably will not think of everything. Pado thank you .
 

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I'm just wondering... I have a baby toy in the cage with my quaker... they are a chain like toy, and I read that a lot of people will use baby toys for their birds.... I wonder if it is safe enough though... I'm not worried about him chewing it, but trying to stick his head through it.... it's far enough from a perch to where he has to reach with it and he will shake it to make it hit with his other toy...... i'm nervous now.....

I think I will start to remove it during the day and replace it when I am home and can watch him.... it just makes me sad because love it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
catfish - I applaud you - I think you answered your own question wisely - if there is any question, remove it when you are not able to supervise. Its just not worth the risk - believe me.

I still have my Senegal's cage - it's a beautiful well made California Cage but the bar spacing is 3/4" - I wouldn't put my P'let in it for fear he could catch his head in between the bars - it just wasn't worth it to me - I was told I was crazy not to use it but I didn't think so.

and Memmey - thank you for your kind words.
 

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Let me say this and I just read this from some birds friends elsewhere, sometimes p;lets feel more comfortable in a smaller cage...not a tiny cage but sometimes I just read that if they are not suited for a large cage that they will pluck themselves and be insecure. NOT ALL WILL, it;s just that some do better in closer quarters..not real small though, 18 by 18 being the smallest. Candi will probably post about this soon if she reads this.
 

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I wonder why they would like a small cage. Maybe if there are not cozy places in a big cage. We saw a change in Chipper with our large cage. So much happier. Most of them are so active and need many toys.
 

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I guess some birds depending on their past situation are more insecure than others. You have a baby with plenty of attention and toys and she is confident. Sometimes it may be territorial issues with two birds or a bird that maybe was neglected, I don't know ...You can't just leave them in a cage , but some are really attached to their surroundings and it would cause them distress I guess. Maybe this is the exception not the rule. It would depend on the bird, just like people . It would be a matter of knowing your bird and being mindful of it's little personality. I believe some folks have them and never put themselves in their shoes. I guess the only thing I could take from what I read is that they should feel safe in what ever their living situation. Little chipper is a lucky bird and has a wonderful life, I wish that for alot that probably don't.
 

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Memmey,

Interesting input. How did the writer, that provided you the information, know the plucking was as a result of having too small of a cage?

Our vet told us exactly the opposite - he said that parrotlets need a lot of room, if they are in too small of a cage it can cause problems. He strongly suggested a 36 X 36 cage (though I must admit I don't remember if this number is for our pair or per bird).

Our birds were a LOT happier with the bigger cage - the space within the cage is their secure territory. Actually, ours are spoiled - even with the big cage; if they don't get their time to do laps around our house they get cranky. They still have their 'cozy corner' that gives them extra comfort.


Regards,

Art S.
 

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Thanks for starting this thread Pado, it is a great idea!

Just wanted to say that I've heard of birds being lost by flying into toilets, dish water, etc. So just be careful aroudn that kind of stuff. Was cooking with my green cheek one day (long time ago) and he almost went into the pot of water I had heating up on the stove. He was never out when I was cooking again, at least not on my shoulder (his wings were clipped).

Re: the p'lets that plucked when in a larger cage. The one forum memmy and I frequent I started a thread saying that I think my bugz would be happier in a smaller cage, this is where Memmy is getting her info from. One member in particular had a p'let who started plucking after it was moved into a larger cage, and stopped when moved back into a smaller cage. This member would have done extensive vet tests to make sure it wasn't something else that made the p'let pluck, as well as she would have changed everything else around to see if it was something other than the cage. and seems that the cage was the whole reason for the plucking. Other too said they've heard of p'let starting to pluck when placed in a larger cage.

Now first of all, this is not every p'let. Seems like it on that particular thread because ppl are telling their experience about one thing. Other parrots are like this too. It just seems tho that with p'lets, they never really get used to the larger cage (the ones that pluck in a larger one), while with other parrots, they normally become accustomed to being in a large cage with some different arrangements, altho not all by any means. Personally know one lady who's birds prefer smaller cages (2 of her 5 birds), but they are also out for many hours a day.

I think it largely depends on the birds history. We rescued our guys from terrible conditions, and it seems they must have been in the situation for many years before comign here. They are skittish and uncomfortable in the cage I have them in (22in x 24 in x 40 in high) and it seems they feel like they have no control over their territory or something, and that is why the behaviours I'm seeing are coming out so strongly. I have half the cage covered with a sheet to help. But these guys spent years on an all seed diet, no toys, and a tiny cage with barely any perches. They were also in a cage with cockatiels....

Now, if you get well socialized babies, or even birds that accept change well, or maybe were in a largish cage before, then I can completely see where they would just LOVE a nice big, huge cage. P'lets are so active and fun. Most of the time, if not all of the time, parrots of any breed need a bigger cage, not a smaller one. Ppl should be getting as large a cage as possible. But there are very rare instances where that said bird doesn't like it. But I'm not going and telling every newbie now that their bird is going to hate a big cage, so they shoudln't think that. Every bird should have the chance at a big, spacious cage with lots of toys. I can honestly say that like, 99% of the time they will love it. I know VERY VERY few birds who think otherwise. And in fact, that is the first time I heard of p'let plucking because of a cage being too big.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
To Memmey's point I can see an insecure bird being more comfortable in a cage the dimensions she mentioned 18x18x18.
In a cage situation insecure birds in general do not like being in the open or having a lot of space around them – they feel vulnerable – if they could be up high – say on your curtain rod, they would be much happier :) Once the bird gains more confidence you could try introducing a larger cage but there is no guarantee the bird will adjust.


IMO an 18x18x18 cage is more than sufficient for a Parrotlet that receives a lot of interaction from their humans and out of the cage time - free flying or on their play gym. For a confident bird a larger cage is always better -if- its in the budget and space requirements of the caregiver- but it doesn't make one any less of a caregiver if they don't have the largest of cages - its the care and interaction given to the bird that counts.

But a bird that doesn’t receive regular out of cage time and doesn’t get daily interaction from their humans should have a much larger cage from the get go since it is their only outlet for exercise and entertainment – in this case if a larger cage isn’t in the budget then the bird shouldn’t be either. IMO

When I first got Mr. Peepers, he was a rescue that I got within 30 minutes of hearing about him - I had to go get a cage for him at the pet store while he was in the car in a box - I got an 18x18x18 and he used that while the cage he has now was on order. He now has a Kings Cage 32x22x34 - he looks tiny in it but it has enough room for his toys :) and he isn’t intimidated by the space.

[*Plug for Kings Cages - No, I’m not affiliated with them - but their cages are quite nice and they offer FREE shipping - the cages are packaged very well and delivered directly to your front door - only down-fall I have with the cage I received are the seed cups - they don't fit very well with the seed guards in place] http://www.kingscages.com/

We travel to my brothers home for the weekend quite often and my travel cage is really small - its 14x14x14 - I think I paid $14 at PetsMart for it - but its the perfect size to strap into the seat of the car and it works perfectly well for a weekend getaway - Mr. Peepers is completely comfortable making the trip and the transition from both cages. I still have the 18x18x18 cage but its too cumbersome in the car.

Cheers -
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Candi - Great points about the toilets - standing and boiling water -
I think its great to be reminded of these dangers so they are fresh in our minds.
 

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oh yes, it's good to be putting the dangers of different objects in here.

Wanted to put another hazard in here too. Have you ever bought a pair of socks and the ends (where your toes would be) have a metal clip holding them together? One time we had one of these loose on our carpet (didn't know about it) and my green cheek got it stuck on his lower mandible. He wasn't very impressed and it was hard to get off. We almost couldn't get it off him and we're about to take him to the vet when we managed to get it off. It was fine but if we hadn't noticed it could have been a bad situation. So just make sure that these things always make their way to the garbage, or keep your bird off the floor :D
 

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If you hang any fabric based materials in their cage, be careful of loose threads. The birds can get their feet caught in them. We ran into this when we cut up some terry cloth towels and MeMe got her foot stuck (fortunately Ellen, my wife, was near by when it happened). My mother in law now finished the edges with a sewing machine on materials my wife is concerned about.

Regards,

Art S.

PS. The moral of this story is to get a good mother in law...;)
 

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I watched John Stossel on 20/20 last night about worrying. It was very interesting. I personally think that worrying about your p'let would not necessarily be a bad thing, if it meant that you gave it better care. Don't you think? I try to put myself in her little shoes somethimes and I can imagine what she's thinking about me....Hey come over here.... where you going now?...get me out...I'm tried of calling you...hey I need something to eat..where is everybody...When is she coming home?..get off the phone...I don't have anything to do.....here she comes here she comes..there she goes there she goes......People should think about that before buying a little bird and trapping it in a cage with a life sentence and no parole. It a big commitment and sometimes alot of work, and once you have them they are counting on you. This for all the lurkers thinking about buying a parrolet cause they are so cute. Yes they are, and they are very smart and have feelings. If you can't give it the attention and care it needs 24/7 then don't get one.
 

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Paulie has a toy he loves. It has 4 tiny bells on a square disk with a hole in the middle of the disk. I hung this one on the side of his cage thinking that his head was too big for the hole. I was wrong. If my daughter and I had not been sitting right next to his cage we would have lost him. My daughter held him while I slipped his head back though the hole. Scared me too death.....he was just about 3 months old. The toy is meant to be used with a perch through the center hole. and now we have it that way.
Paulie started plucking when he had to leave him for 2 nights. I had my daughter come over to feed and play with him. I figured it would be better off in our house with my daughter caring for him (she looks and sounds like me and has 3 birds of her own so she know how to care for them). But I guess he missed us too much...he had plucked 10 wing feathers on one wing by the time we got home. There are many reasons a bird will pluck.
 

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I know ....their little minds do not have too many tasks to occupy it like in the wild where they forage for food and maintain their nest or shelter. So they get attached to us or their cage or their bell or their ROUTINE and when it changes some of them have distress . Candi had a good thread about foraging toys and I mentioned not so clearly about them being attached to their cages be it large or small. When the new owners speak of their babies not wanting to come out that's the reason, they are safe in there and the world is scary to them. How could you be in a cage and not be aware of the boundaries of it. The babies have to learn to depend on us for food,water and safety it is a trust that has to be built in most cases. The older owners always post and post about patience and to be vigilant with their needs. That is how you will win the trust of your little p'let. They can sense your mood they are not dumb. here my evidence...The other night I gave my friend Mae a ride home and the road to her neighborhood is very dark with no street light (in the country). I hit a little black dog that was in the road and I didn't see him till it was too late, it was horrible I cried and cried.Some kids helped remove him and I felt so so bad and depressed. ( I have 4 rescued dogs of my own) I came on home still crying and when Jo saw me, her little eyes got big and she sunk her little head down in her shoulders and her eyes were blinking slowly and watching me the whole time. She knew something bad was going on. Don't underestimate their intelligence. They are tiny but smart. I still feel so bad about the little dog, I could really give it's owner a piece of my mind for leaving it out to get in the road. Pets with stupid owners..UGHHHH
 

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Another danger: fish tanks Even when they have covers on them, every tank cover has holes in it for filters, heaters, etc. Little birds (espeically p'lets) can get thru these holes and drown in the tank.

Make sure the filters are covered too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Birdiemom - my heart sank when I was reading your post - you were so fortunate to have been there to save Paulie. You just never know what they are going to get into. We have to leave toys in their cages for entertainment so hearing things like this can hopefully help keep us one step ahead. So glad Paulie is okay.

Memmey – your story about the little black dog was so sad. I'm sorry you had that happen. But you know on a dark country road there is nothing you could have done - It is sad he didn't have owners that kept a better watch on him. I'm sure there are circumstances were dogs get out accidentally but unfortunately more than not - its just bad owners - and as a result you were put in that horrible situation :mad:

My dog is 11 years old and has never gotten out alone but he isn't a runner - on the other hand my brothers dog [a pound rescue] will bolt out the door at any chance and just run - they figured thats how he ended up in the pound - but at least they are actively training him not to do this.

and Candi -and Art those are GREAT tips!
 
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