Cooking for your bird is enjoyable for both you and your feathered companion. However, you need to take precautions to keep your bird safe.

Teflon Cookware Fumes from OVERHEATED TEFLON or ANY nonstick cookware are LETHAL to birds, causing death within seconds of exposure. Frying pans, saucepans, bread machines, crock pots, cookie sheets and bakeware, irons, ironing board covers, stove drip pans, self-cleaning ovens, appliances, such as indoor grills and space heaters can be made with Teflon. Read the accompanying literature for all new appliance and cookware. Studies of birds that have died from exposure to these fumes show lesions and hemorrhaging of a bird's small lungs. Teflon fumes cause a very painful and agonizing death. Don't take any chances with Teflon, thinking it's fine to use as long as it doesn't overheat. Get rid of it.

Toxic Foods :Avocados, eggplant, rhubarb, leaves from potato, tomato and bean plants, apple seeds, alcohol, coffee, tea, chocolate and tobacco, are all toxic and will make your bird sick. Shellfish can also make your bird sick. Avoid using them. Do not serve your bird leftover cooked meats that have been refrigerated. Only serve freshly cooked meats.

Fruit Seeds : From apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, pears, and plums are toxic. Don't feed them to your bird.

Moldy Foods : Foods that are not fresh can become contaminated with fungi and molds. Mold spores produce toxic substances that are fatal to birds. Check and fruits, vegetables, grains, bread and other food products for signs of spoilage or mold  before serving or using in a recipe for birds.

Peanuts : Peanuts, fresh peanuts, bulk peanut butter, or peanut butter from health food store can contain the fatal toxin aspergillus, which is produced from fungus. Commercial brands are monitored for this toxin. Many bird owners do not feed their pet birds any type of fresh nuts because of this health risk. If you do use nuts and peanut butter, only use high quality commercial peanuts and peanut butter for your birds. Commercial brands are monitored for this toxin.

Hot Spots : Foods that are cooked, warmed or thawed in microwave ovens can have hot spots which can burn a bird's crop. Always stir foods well to eliminate hot spots and cool all foods before serving to your bird.

Canned Vegetables are high in sodium content, and the heat used during processing destroys most of the vitamin content. Avoid them and use frozen ones instead. If you must use them, rinse several times under running water.

Pesticides and Produce : Fruits and vegetables contain pesticides which are fatal for birds. Wash, scrub and peel them thoroughly before using in recipes or serving to your bird. Rinsing with GSE or a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar will help to remove pesticides.

Salmonella and E Coli : Birds can get sick like humans do from Salmonella and E Coli bacteria. Always cook chicken until juices run clear and no pink remains in flesh. Cook eggs until thoroughly hardened. Avoid using hamburger meat or shellfish in recipes for birds. Always take the same precautions as you would for humans when cooking for birds.

Greens : Too many greens will act as a laxative and will cause your cockatiel to have diarrhea. Don't overdo it.

Dairy Products : Too many dairy products can cause digestive problems. Cockatiels lack the enzyme lactase which is necessary to digest them. Serve dairy products in moderation.

Spoilage :  Remove uneaten fresh food after 1 hour and eggs after 15 minutes to prevent spoilage. Wash feeding dishes thoroughly with hot soapy water. Do not serve your bird meats that have been reheated.

Storage : Do not serve your birds foods that have been in the refrigerator more than 2 days. To keep for longer periods, freeze portions as soon as food has been cooked and has cooled off.

Mealtime : Offer fresh foods in the morning and afternoon, not evening. A bird's crop should be full with seeds or pellets before sleeping.

Labels : Always read the labels of cooking ingredients for protein, fat, salt and sugar content. Highly sweetened, salted and fried, greasy foods, can make your bird sick. Don't feed them to your bird.

Mouth Feeding : Human saliva contains bacteria that is potentially toxic to birds. If you are getting a cold or the flu, your bird can get sick from you. Avoid the habit of letting your bird eat from your mouth and offer it a separate portion of food or hand-feed instead.



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