Sticking point: non-stick cookware

by Kel

Hi,I am currently at the research stage, but would like to bring a conure into my home. However I live with housemates, one of whom is not super excited by the idea of a pet bird, so before "petitioning" them I need to have answers to any questions.
I have read everywhere that non-stick cookware is toxic for birds, but I don't feel it would be fair to ask my housemates to have to throw out most of their cookware and spend hundreds replacing it.
The bird would be kept 3 rooms away from the kitchen, and I can shut all the doors in between. Will this be enough to keep the bird safe? Would putting an air filtering machine in the bird's room as well as closing doors be better?
I hope someone has a solution, as I have been doing tons of research and believe I would be a great conure owner.

Comments for Sticking point: non-stick cookware

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Feb 12, 2013
by: Kel

Hey guys thanks for the advice. Have been talking to housemates about the dangers of non-stick to humans as well as birds and they get the point. So to compromise, as it will be about a year till I get the bird, I will be slowly replacing as much of the non-stick as I can before the bird joins the household. I will be taking precautions with closed doors and air purifier when any of the remaining non-stick is used and hopefully get around to eventually replacing it all.
As for your suggestion of a Senegal instead of a GCC I took it into consideration, I do like the Senegal, but after some investigation found they are prety rare here in Australia and therefore quite expensive (in the thousands of dollars range, as opposed to the 2-300 for a GCC) and since I like the GCC just as much and they are easier to source I'm sticking with a Conure.
Once again thanks for your help and advice.

Jan 11, 2013
Experienced CONURE OWNER...
by: Anonymous

Hi there,
So happy you are choosing to be in a CONURE world, it will be an experience for sure. First of all, you are doing wonderful by researching all. You need to because all types are different, all parrots are different! You should just handle how you are going to feed the bird. If you do cook or boil an egg, certainly by non toxic pans for the bird, as far as the kitchen goes, as long as the bird has her/his own corner for food preparation, containers and so forth you should be fine, YES, the bird should be kept away from Air Fresheners, Perfumes, Chemicals, Floor and Bathroom cleaners for sure. Bare in mind that your Parrot is going to demand ALOT of attention. Parrots especially CONURES will be LOUD when they are done with the CAGE time! lol.

Mine is a SUN CONURE, she is an adult now and QUIET! But she will scream when I walk in to celebrate, she will Scream when she is bored and wants OUT of the cage time, she screams when I am leaving. Train your parrot well. I leave a TV or Radio on when I leave so that my parrot doesn't get completely bored and go crazy with the quietness of the room. lol.

I also made sure my cage has a Play Gym or Play top so out of cage time is fun, with treats, toys and yes, handle your bird, cuddle, talk to your bird. / Mine even learned to TALK! So instead of screaming these days, she says Hello, Mama, Bye Bye, Kiss Kiss, Peekaboo, Boo Boo, Nice, and Knock Knock. You need to be CONSISTENT, try your best to set the same time for things, especially sleep and morning time. They train better with ROUTINE! Always wash your hands, not share germs, meaning allow your bird to kiss you in the mouth etc, birds can get sick with our germs! / Keep away from drafty areas as well. Join a Parrot Group of the same species, you will learn alot. Do not GIVE YOUR BIRD only SEED/PELLET diet! Your bird should have VEGGIES, FRUITS, VARIETY! they will be happier and live longer. Have a good AVIAN vet. Have a budget saved for your BIRD, you just never know when illness strikes!

LEarn about ALL and you will make a MAGNIFICENT OWNER! Slowly introduce your housemates, give them exciting details about what your bird can learn to do! Share funny you tube videos, it will grow on them just like it grew onto my husband that hated birds, he even bought me another Parrot recently! hahaha It works!

Jan 08, 2013
Non-stick cookware and birds
by: The Avian Vet

The bottom line is ANY exposure is toxic. Yes, precautions can be taken to reduce risk, but risk cannot be completely eliminated with Teflon used in the house. The central ventilation system quickly disperses the gas throughout the house. Heavy production will be more likely to cause disaster than smaller amounts of the gas. The further away and with blocks, filters, and ventilation, then there is less chance of exposure, but there is still that chance. It is a difficult situation, but with a vent hood, closed doors, air filter, and turn off the HVAC until cooking is complete, you may be able to have a bird there. Teflon should be taken very seriously; it is very deadly.

The cooks need to be aware of the problem. You may be able to convince them of the serious danger that teflon is to humans. It is highly carcinogenic in humans. Then, maybe, they will trade those pans in for some ceramic non-stick or other safe cookware.

I saw an ad in AFA watch bird about a new non-stick cookware that is safe for birds. You should consider joining since you will soon be a bird owner.

I am sure that in all of your research you have come across reports that conures are loud. I recommend that you believe them. This may not be an issue with you, but it is always an issue with roommates; usually because the bird is quiet while the owner is home, but the roommates may be at home when you are not. They really are terrific birds otherwise. The sun conure is one of the top 5 birds that are re-homed. The main reason owners report giving them away is their noise. If you still feel this is not going to be a problem, then you will really enjoy a conure. Another possible approach is to have the bird interact regularly with everyone so if you are not home, they can entertain him.

If I may suggest, consider a Poicephalus, like a Senegal, a Red-bellied parrot, a brown-headed parrot, or a Meyer's parrot. This family of birds also include the Cape and Jardine's parrots. These in my opinion are some of the very best companion birds. They are playful without hyperactivity, they are very sweet and cuddly, they are mischievous, and they are a good size. The best thing of all is that they do not squawk; their noises are clicks, whistles, and chirps, and they are better talkers than conures.

You might also consider a Timneh African grey parrot. All of the things about the Poicephalus are the same except the Timneh is an excellent talker, on par with the Congo. The Timneh is larger than the conures and poicephalus. Another good bird is the Pionus. The Maximillian's is nice, but I prefer the Blue-headed pionus.

Hope I answered you question. I do not want to confuse you by suggesting so many more options, and you may have even decided against all of these for your reasons. If so, I respect that and I wish you only the very best for your bird and you. Please let me know if I can help further.

Dr B

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