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How to know if my newly bought wooden, rattan or cardboard…

Second opinion] How to know...
Second opinion] How to know if my newly bought wooden, rattan or cardboard bird toys are free of mould? Some toys smells a bit mouldy or some other unfresh old weird d smell, but don't look very mouldy with lots of black stuff. I tried to spray it with vinegar but I still can't make sure it's completely freefrom mould. I don't feel very safe about letting my birds play these toys, as mouldy spores could be too tiny to be seen by naked eyes. What should I do with the toys?
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
For bird veterinary Dr Michael Salkin or Madam Anna
Answered in 6 hours by:
3/8/2018
Anna
Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 11,925
Experience: Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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Hello again. You are right to be concerned. Rattan, especially, can be moldy. Mold is not always black and it isn't always visible. I would throw out the rattan toys. Old cardboard can also be a problem. If your birds like to tear up cardboard, it would be better to give them things like the cardboard rolls from toilet paper. After they tear it up, get rid of it.Wood is less of a problem. Unless it has been soaked at some point, it isn't as likely to harbor mold. However, if it were for my birds, I would just get rid of any old toys and start over with new ones. That way you can be sure they are mold free. I replace toys regularly to make sure they are safe.Anna
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hi thank you. The problem is toys smell old the moment I open its package, whih means I he to discard them right away? can spraying or wipeing with vinegar remove spores?
Will you be concerned about impaction risk from toilet rolls and cardboard tubes?
also will you be worried about hardened glue on bird ladders? Does it pose ingestion risk or risk if toxity if lucked?
You're welcome. Some of you smell when you open a new toy is residue from the many factors ng process. Let them air out for a few days, then sniff them again. Newly manufactured toys should not have mold on them. Wooden toys can be wiped down with vinegar as a disinfectant, but it won't work on cardboard or rattan. I have never had a problem with either my birds or rabbits actually eating cardboard rolls. They shred them and throw the pieces around. But you know your own birds best. If there's a chance they might consume cardboard, I wouldn't give them any cardboard at all.The glue used on bird ladders is required to be nontoxic, so that shouldn't pose a problem.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thanks Anna. Can I check with you how to deal with fluctuations in. Appetite and a sudden weight loss overnight but with no other worrisome symptoms? I fed my birds some lafeber avicake and they were crazy about it. It might have made them eat less their usual harrison's pellets. I guess the big seed proportion in lafeber avicakes and less intake of their usual diet harrison's pellets contribute to their weight loss. They look active still and vocal . Does my guess make sense to you? And for weaning parrots, I think sometimes in the morning, they seem to want to play out of cage more than eat. And these seem to contribute to some weight loss as well. Does my observations make sense to you?
You're welcome. Your observations do make sense. This find out, put them back on their usual diet without the treats, and check their weight in a few days. As for the ***** *****s, the out might let them play first, then put them back in the cage to eat.Another thing to consider is that, just like in humans, weight can fluctuate from day to day. Sometimes, such as when a bird is sick, you'll want to weigh every day or two. But under normal conditions, weighing once a week is better.
Anna
Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
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Satisfied Customers: 11,925
Experience: Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
If the weird old smell doesn't go away after days of hanging shall I discard the toys? I think I should be more skeptical about the manufacturing, transport and storage processes of. The toys, shouldn't I?
You're probably right. Many of the toys may be manufactured in China, where often there are not safety protocols. It's getting late here, and I need to get to bed, but tomorrow I'll see about giving you some alternatives.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
how can I protect my lungs when my cockatiels are preening themselves on my shoulder or arms spreading lots of dust in the air.
About the only way to do that would be to wear a dust mask or respirator. These are sold in hardware or home improvement stores because people usually wear them during dusty construction work. You can read more here:https://www.todayshomeowner.com/how-to-choose-a-respirator-or-dust-mask/
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It would be impossible to protect your birds from every possible risk and still allow them to be birds, and for you to enjoy them. One of the ways I like to entertain birds is by letting them 'forage.'

Most birds have an instinct to forage, but it can take some encouragement to get them started. I would begin by placing bits of favorite fruits and vegetables around the cage - some on the floor, between wires, etc. This introduces the idea that food is not found only in the food bowl. You can also place a small safe branch in the cage with food stuck on the twigs. Some of the more common safe trees are maple, alder, aspen, and birch. The following site has lists of trees that are safe for birds, and those that are not. You'll need to scroll down on the page. However, you'll probably want to read the other information there because it is all about safe toys.

http://www.mdvaden.com/bird_page.shtml

Driftwood from the pet store also works. It is designed for aquariums.

Another thing to try is to cover the food bowl with a small piece of paper so the bird has to move it or tear it to reach the food. You may need to poke a small hole in it to begin with. A variation is to cut strips of paper and bury the food bowl in them. Newspaper is safe if it is printed with soy-based ink. Most are now, but check with your local paper to be sure. Don't use the pages that are printed in colored ink. Once birds will do this, you can use a paper cup. Poke a few holes in it that are big enough for your bird's beak. Place some tasty food in it. Then you can squash the top together and fold it over to close the cup or you can hang it in the cage with bird safe rope.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hi Anna do you think black marks on wood or bamboo toys are necessarily mould?
That is certainly one possibility. The spots can also be caused by water damage or scar tissue. Try using a cleaning brush to scrub the marks. Mold will usually come off, while water damage and scars will not.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Do you know any foraging toys made of acrylic not polycarbonate which is commonly used? I prefer acrylic as polycarbonate is more toxic.
Here is a company that has many acrylic toys. You'll need to email them to inquire about international shipping.https://www.busybeaks.com/acrylic_toys.htm
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank Anna for your recommendations.
I have another question about my 3.5 month old cockatiel. He is active and vocal but eat noticeably less than the first 2 weeks after his weaning, when he reached his peak weight of 100 gram. He now weighs 91. Is the reduced appetite normal for a growing baby bird? Below is Record of his weight and events.80 26 Dec 2017 (bought at 5 weeks old)
88 Jan 2018
93 16 Feb start to refuse formula morning and evening, fed less formula
94 17 feb (12 weeks)
94 18 Feb (formula completely cut off)
97 19 Feb
97 20 Feb
97 21 Feb
97 22 feb
97 23 Feb
95 24 Feb
96 26 Feb
94 28 Feb
98 1 Mar
99 3 Mar
100 5 mar
99 7 Mar
98 8 Mar
94 9 Mar
91 11 Mar
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
His muscles are even on both sides of his keelbone but not very supple.

It is normal for a newly weaned bird to lose a small amount of weight. However, losing 9 grams in 6 days is not normal. You may want to consult your vet about it.

If the keel bone sticks up sharply, he is underweight. If it doesn't he is fine.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hi Im wondering if stainless steel is safe for birds to chew as toys?
Stainless steel contains no toxins, and doesn't leach anything.
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Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Anna
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
hi Anna can I feed birds cooked lentils without soaking?
that should be fine. The lentils will just need to cook a bit longer than if they had been soaked.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ihave taken my normal grey to my local vet. He used hand to check his throat and body condition without doing microscope retest of saliva, he said his throat feels normal and chest is mascular. He ordered 2 tests of his stool sample which I m yet to submit. So I will most probably submit his stool today and wait for his test result probably tomorrow.
My observations is that my 3.5 month norm grey is really growing more interested in playing with me or surrounding than food. He eats less than when he was younger. But still playful and vocal
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Do unsoaked beans, like lentil, Mung and Adzuki, have harmful substance that can't removed even if they are cooked?
They don't really have harmful substances, but they can be gas- producing. To avoid that, I prefer to bring to a boil and then turn off the heat. Let them soak for an hour. Then drain and finish cooking in new water. I do this whether I'm feeding humans or animals. It isn't absolutely necessary, but cuts down on the gas producing substances, which can sometimes cause discomfort.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Do you agree with my vets instructions and check?
It sounds reasonable to me.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
How about my observations
I'm not a vet, and I think that topic would be better answered by a vet. Also, JustAnswer wants us to stick to one subject per question, so it would be best to open a new question and request a vet ( perhaps Dr. Salkin). Thank you.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ok
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hi Anna is natural rubber toxic fir birds?
Hi. Natural rubber is not toxic.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank s Anna, how about cooking for irdsprees.com in my stainless steel pot that has some rust spots?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Cooking for my birds
That should be fine. Stainless steel is no reactive. Rust is just oxidized steel.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hi Anna, is raw steel cut oats safe to feed cockatiels? Is there any risk of impaction or slow crop?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
couscous
Hi. Couscous is just pasta in a special shape. It must be cooked. If it's made from white flour, rather than whole wheat, it isn't very nutritious.As far as the oats, it's better to soak them. They do expand when they become wet. That being said, some cockatiel fanciers do feed them raw. No studies have been done on whether that poses any risk. I prefer not to take a chance, but that is a personal decision.
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I feed corn polenta and human grade hued millet in Uncooked form, is there any risk of impaction inside their bodies?
Impaction can occur for a variety of reasons, but those two foods don't pose any special risk.
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
hi Anna,
are RAW sweet beans, sugar snap peas or snow peas safe to be fed to birds without concerns about saponins or unsafe, indigestion issues ?
Sugar snap peas and snow peas should be fine as long as they are fresh and unspoiled. Sweet beans must be a term for something we in the States have a different name for because I am not familiar with them.
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