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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I’ve rented a bungalow for my birds (4 pigeons + 1 magpie – all flight-impaired and consequently non-releasable formerly feral birds) and cats to stay while I find a house to buy for all of us. I was planning for the cats to stay upstairs and the birds to stay in the basement. I have, however, discovered some scary things in the basement – in the closet under the stairs I found (1) little bight, pastel coloured pellets that I think are mouse or rat poison and (2) mould. There is also some water damage at the bottom of another wall in the basement and I thought there might be mould in it.

I am cleaning up the mouse/rat poison, putting bleach on the mould, washing the floor with bleach, and planning NOT to let the birds into the closet where I found the mouse/rat poison. But I was wondering – will these measures be enough to make the basement safe for the birds? My understanding is that the mouse/rat poison is such that it tastes very good, and the birds are so small (pigeons are 300 – 400 grams; magpie only about 170 grams) that I would think even tiny amounts could kill them. So I’m scared to death of their finding a pellet or part of one that I might miss in my clean up and ingesting it. Also I don’t know how dangerous remaining mold spores could be to the birds – again they’re so small that I worry about them being able to handle even lesser amounts of spores, which might be safe to humans, but dangerous to them.

Any advice on whether you think my cleanup measures will be sufficient to make the basement safe for the birds would be much appreciated (including whether anyone knows whether a bird could survive a trace amount of mouse/rat poison if any such were left, and whether anyone knows anything about birds and safe levels of mold spores).

Thank you so very much,
Howard
 

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I would not trust any of that even if clean up..Can't you house them in a room upstairs or something in some kind of safe cage or container or a play pen with a top if they get along real good together...That sounds terrible..mold and pellet poison--terrible...No I would not trust any of it...You could even drag some of that poison into other places with your shoes and make sure they are cleaned off and change shoes to go into other areas in the house---terrible..
 

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I think the main danger with the mice/rat poison is that they might eat some. So if you are sure you got all the pellets up, which are made to look like food (for mice/rats), the danger is probably minimal, if you also clean the floors well. On the mold thing, that is trickier - but if you got it all with bleach, they should be OK. I mean, the perfect situation would be having them upstairs in their own space there - but it sounds like that may not be practical right now.

I think, for the basement option, the big thing after you've cleaned it all up is to de-humidify the basement so the mold doesn't come back. I'd recommend getting a de-humidifier and a HEPA air-cleaner and leave both on, more or less, all the time. That will ensure there are fewer airborne hazards for the birds and you. Basement birds will also need some full-spectrum lighting. This situation is not perfect but it may be a short-term solution while you look for a permanent house.

For your new house (that you buy), hopefully you can find a place with an upstairs room with lots of natural light. And I'd still recommend a HEPA air-cleaner for the bird room, for both the bird's and your own health.
 

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Pigeons thrive on fresh air and sunshine and some humidity, they have very sensitive lungs.

Any kind of mold, cleaners such as bleach, etc are devastating to them. I would not put them there for at all for any length of time.

Why don't you keep the cats in the basement and the pigeons upstairs? Cats are natural born rodent killers and are night creatures that love the dark.

 

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I would not trust any of that even if clean up..Can't you house them in a room upstairs or something in some kind of safe cage or container or a play pen with a top if they get along real good together...That sounds terrible..mold and pellet poison--terrible...No I would not trust any of it...You could even drag some of that poison into other places with your shoes and make sure they are cleaned off and change shoes to go into other areas in the house---terrible..
I totally agree... ^^^^^^^^^^^^^
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi all,

Thank you so much for your input so far. The birds already have two Hepa air purifiers in their current place (a converted master bedroom in a 3 bedroom apartment). My cat situation is complicated, because (i) some of my cats do not get along and need separate bedrooms and to rotate in terms of who inhabits the main areas during the day / night, (ii) I have 7 cats, and they are larger than the birds, and thus need more total living space, and (iii) three of my cats have cerebellar hypoplasia, which makes them wobbly, and such that they can't have stairs in their environment.

I also cannot keep my birds in anything like an outdoor aviary because: (a) I live in a very cold climate (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), (b) I have a close relationship with my birds (they expect me to be in their room working on my computer during the day, at which point they perch on my legs, and my girl pigeon NuNu needs twice daily meds, administered while sitting down at a desk), and (c) they are all flight-impaired and thus need a flat layout of space with climbers for it to be a decently large territory for them.

I have been thinking about moving for some time, largely because my magpie, Maggie, needs more space, and I'm not technically allowed to have birds (or so many cats) in the place I've been renting for the last 6 years. But everything got rushed last Monday when my landlord found out that I have birds and insisted that they leave. I thus have only two options for where my birds can stay now: board them at the vet, or have them stay in the new place I've rented (where the landlord is OK with my having birds and seems not to be concerned about how many cats I have). In the very short run I can keep the birds at the new place and the cats at the old place and run back and forth, but it's very hard because in addition to NuNu needing meds and all the birds needing basic daily care, 6 of my 7 cats need daily medications and all of course need basic daily care.

The problems with the new place I've rented of course make me highly motivated to buy my own place ASAP. But, especially given the very helpful input I've gotten here, it seems very difficult to find a suitable place soon, where I can both get enough rooms and space for the cats without putting the birds in the basement. My original plan was going to be to buy a big bungalow and open up the top to make a second floor for the birds (existing two story houses don't have separate enclosable rooms for the cats), but this will take time. I suppose that my best option at this point is to try to quickly buy a sufficiently large bungalow with a basement that doesn't have the problems the current place I rented does, and temporarily keep the either birds or the cats in the basement of that place. Then perhaps one day I can open up the top of the place so I can have 2 above ground floors, one for the cats and one for the birds - although I don't know how long the construction will take or where everyone will be able to stay while that work gets done.

Thanks again,
Howard
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Getting out of Lease! (Advice on Buying a Place?)

Hi all,

I just wanted to thank you all so much for warning me about how dangerous this place would be. Today I found a recently deceased mouse in the basement, who it seems has just been killed by poison somewhere down there. I felt awful for him, and there is no way I am going to let my birds be next. The landlord was actually very understanding of how I felt (he knew that my companion animals were the whole reason I was looking for a new place on short notice in the first place), and it looks like he's letting me out of the lease.

I am now rushing like crazy to buy a place for my cats and birds that we can all move into ASAP. Apart from the things you've mentioned about basic light and safety I was wondering if any one had any tips about things to look for in houses for birds? I will most definitely get my inspector to check to make sure that the new place is 100% pet safe in terms of no poisons and no mould. Is there anything else I should get the inspector to make sure on?

Thanks again so very much,
Howard
 

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Thank you for the update. I am relieved to hear the news for your birds sake.

As far as the birds go, any kind of fumes from furnace, too much dry air, if birds are close to any artificial type of heat or air conditioning is bad. Drafts of air are very bad for pigeons. Anything that changes air quality except for air purifiers/cleaners.

Here are a couple of good link on what to avoid for indoor birds: http://www.internationaldovesociety.com/birdproofing.htm

Here is one of our threads, with links within: http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f105/plants-foods-that-are-toxic-poison-to-pigeons-5047.html
 
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