Now that the fall is upon us, many people are beginning to be concerned about power outages.  A question some bird owners may be asking is, “what can I do to make a power outage as safe and as non-scary as possible for my bird”? The two issues that you may face are:

  1. The drop in temperature
  2. The darkness

The lack of light is a slightly easier problem to tackle. Keeping your house stocked with battery operated lights and lamps for both your own benefit, and that of your animal friends, along with spare batteries, is a great way to prepare for anything ranging from a simple power outage to the aftermath of an earthquake. Always keep multiple ones in your home so that you can use them in more than one room, and tackle varying degrees of darkness. .

Gas run heating devices may seem like the most attractive and obvious option, but, in actuality, any heating device or generator that can produce fumes from fuels such as gasoline or kerosene can be dangerous to your birds’ sensitive respiratory system.  In the event of a power outage, you can begin with the following steps:

  1. Bring your bird into a room with no windows, or with ones covered by heavy curtains
  2. Ensure there is sufficient air flow, but try and keep the room from losing any heat to the rest of the house by shutting doors in rooms not in use
  3. If your bird will not be scared by it, over the sides and back of the cage, to insulate the cage. Leave the front uncovered during the waking hours so they still can see what’s happening and don’t feel trapped
  4. If you have generators that run on fuel, use them as far from your bird as possible. Remember, just because you can’t smell the fumes doesn’t mean its not If it gets very cold, you can use a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel and put it in the bottom of the cage
  5. Warmer water and food can also be provided to help warm them up. Don’t worry if it’s a bit unhealthy, a bit of extra fat helps your feathered friend warm up.

If there is a long lasting outage, such as a several day outage, you may need to bring your bird somewhere less stressful, such as a friends’ house. Even if you can maintain a safe temperature, the darkness and disruption may be overwhelming if it continues on too long.

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