Chapter 9

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As mentioned before, the Quakers inquisitive nature can get them into unbelievable pickles. A normal household can contain more dangerous items and opportunities than you can possibly imagine. Most bird owners consider themselves conscientious until an accident occurs that reveals a hazard that was inadvertently overlooked. I have covered some concerns regarding toys and cages in a previous chapter, but because there are so many others I felt it necessary to mention some of them here.

Kitchen and Bathrooms
I have already mentioned the hazards of keeping a Quaker in the kitchen due to the fumes and the use of non stick cookware. Additional hazards are present as well, and no matter how careful you are, these rooms can be lethal. There are stories abound regarding birds that have been allowed to ride on their owners shoulders while preparing food, only to have them fly into pots of boiling water or skillets of hot grease. The sound of running water is attractive to Quakers, and they don’t realize that the water you are running may be extremely hot. Small birds will even fly into open refrigerator or freezer doors. And I cannot reiterate enough the need to dispose of non stick cookware, which will emit toxic fumes when heated.

Sinks of standing water are dangerous, as are open containers of water for doges and cats: a Quaker can drown in as little as 5-6 inches of water. Water soaked feathers weigh them down and prevent them from flying out of harms way even if they are fully feathered. Toilet lids should be kept down and bathroom doors closed to help prevent drowning accidents. Filled aquariums and simple fish bowls should be kept covered. Medicines should be kept in closed cabinets: Quakers are voracious chewers and can often chew through even the most child proof containers.

Windows and Doors
Admittedly, I myself am one of those Quaker owners who are fully aware of the dangers of allowing my bird to retain all of his flight feathers, yet I failed to keep them clipped regularly. Luckily, my birds did not suffer any unpleasant consequences, but I do not advise anyone to allow their Quaker full flight capabilities.

It can be dangerous, and can be avoided by simply keeping their wings trimmed back. If you are unfamiliar with wing clipping, this procedure can be done easily by an avian vet or possibly a local breeder at very little cost. Glass windows, doors, and mirrors can cause major problems for flighted birds. Because they are not familiar with glass, they do not perceive it as a barrier. They are easily attracted to the sights of the outside, and will attempt to fly through a window or door to reach it. Mirrors are especially attractive as they see their own reflection, and attempt to fly over to visit! A Quaker who has built up enough speed before encountering a glass surface can be seriously injured or even killed on contact.

Doors need to be open only approximately 3 inches to provide ample opportunity for a flighted Quaker to make a flying leap out the door and out of your life. And believe me, these little guys are quicker than you would ever imagine when an opportunity presents itself! Lace and loosely woven curtains can easily cause a Quaker to become entangled and hang himself or cause injury to feet and toes. Cords hanging from blinds can be pulled into cages if they are placed in close proximity, creating yet another hazard.


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