Best Practices For How to Protect Your Bird This 4th of July

African grey parrot sreaming with fireworks in back gorund
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You certainly need no reminder we are in the midst a long holiday weekend and Wednesday is the day we celebrate by shooting dangerous explosive devices 200 feet into the air.

Much like the Weather Channel reminds you to put a blanket in your trunk every winter, we’re here to provide a refresher for Parrot Pyrotechnic Prophylactic Preparation (that one caused a brain cramp 🙂

Decades ago, I remember literally prying an absolutely fearless Malamute from under a king size bed frame one 4th of July.

It took two people to lift the bed while a third dragged the 105 pound dog out from under, in the midst of the fireworks.

 

If you check with your veterinarian you’ll find giving your dog an appropriate portion of Benadryl around sundown on the fourth will help calm down your dog just the way the stuff makes you and I drowsy.

My guess is dogs get over it pretty quickly.

With parrots my concern is that sudden very loud noises, some doling out a sense of compression in the birds chest will cause stress which could trigger feather mutilation or other health issues.

 

What precautions can I take with my bird?

There are actions that should and can be taken.

I’ve read that you can desensitize your birds with YouTube videos.

Play some fireworks videos in front of your bird so they recognize what’s going on the night of the fourth.

I’m not saying that’s a bad idea. I’m just saying that I’ve always found Murphy’s Law to be highly optimistic.

Your bird’s cage situation is of prime concern.

A parrot in a seemingly large cage, flapping its wings uncontrollably after a fireworks burst, can cause injury to bone and/or cause broken blood feathers due to banging against toys, accessories and the cage bars A bird first aid kit should always be at hand as well.

Instructions on how to pull a blood feather.

A smaller travel or sleep cage is probably your best bet because it will restrict the bird’s movement and it’s also easier to cover with a thicker blanket that will muffle sounds.

The bird should be in a room with no windows, or windows should be covered as the flashing light bursts can be just as scary as flickering headlights while driving with you bird at night. 

Music, news radio or television should be turned on in the background.

This will also help offset the noise from the fireworks.

Common sense would dictate that the room is cool enough with circulating air so all of this additional insulation over the cage is not overheating the bird.

 

Can I medicate my bird to help him or her through this?

Bird metabolisms are different from dogs which is why we recommend AviCalm which is an avian specific formulation using L-Theanine – an amino acid found in green tea leaves.

 

It’s normal use is for

  • Screamers
  • Nervous or aggressive birds
  • Behavior related feather pickers and chewers.
  • Traveling birds
  • New environments like a bird cage change or human relocation

We recommend AviCalm for pre-medicating parrots on the Fourth of July holiday, as it’s ideally suited for birds.


Also published on Medium.

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Author:

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.