For Your Bird’s Health: Gas Heat, Bugs And Muscular Atrophy In Bird Legs

Close-up of parrot zygodactyl foot and calf on blurred background
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Well what I didn’t realize is that this home is heated by gas, including a fireplace and the stove-all gas!


We haven’t moved the feathered ones yet thankfully or I would have probably bothered my vet a thousand times on a weekend!


But when I turned on the stove to cook yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice an odor!


Now I am very upset and concerned that our birds are going to be harmed here!!!


Any advice??


The room is on the opposite side of the house but on the same floor.


The door does completely shut, but what happens in winter when the heat is on?


Will the gas harm them?


My husband thinks Im smelling the gas cause it was just turned on and that it shouldn’t do that once its in constant use.


Im hoping that he is correct but either way I am very worried about the birds. Thank you!


Hi Stacy


You don’t mention whether its natural gas or propane but either way both are benign for your birds.


We knew natural gas was safe but wasn’t sure about propane so we tested it for ourselves.


Our story about propane and our birds is found here: 


Keep in mind when you put your birds in a specialty “bird room” you are at isolating them from the rest of the flock which unless they are only there to sleep.


We recommend keeping birds in eyesight of their humans for great social relationships.


Best of luck,



add->  carpet stains comment mitchr


From: Sandra B


Mitch, love your articles.


Just want to clarify something.


My elderly DYH Amazon recently passed (difficult loss) and just ONE issue was “thigh muscle atrophy” per the vet.


I just read this from your article, “Most people are surprised to learn that birds have no muscles in their legs nor their feet just a pair of tendons called Flexor tendons that run basically from the hips to the toes.”

Now I am confused and wonder if there are thigh muscles?

Hi Sandra


We are sorry for your loss – we feel pets to be as much a part of our hearts as humans.


You bring up an interesting point – I walk the fine line between not dumbing things down much at not being too technical.


I will change the wording in the post based upon your excellent recommendation to read , “Most people are surprised to learn that birds have no muscles in their “visible” legs.


We present you with his excellent graphic to further explain the birds muscular anatomy.


Avian Muscles For Your Bird’s Health: Gas Heat, Bugs And Muscular Atrophy In Bird Legs


you can see where the muscles end above the elbow


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He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.