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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having considered the layout of my house I have decided that my living room is the best place to let my birds fly around. It is the only place where they can potentially be both central and safe. The thing is that I am not a tidy person by nature so there is a LOT of work to do to make it birdsafe. I would really appreciate people's help here. Maybe even a few horror stories about things your bird has got tangled up in or things they have destroyed? What stuff do I need to shut away/cover? Should I plug up the gap under the sofa with some rolled-up fabric? How do you deal with cables? My two cockatiels are about 5 months old and have clipped wings which will take a good while to grow out so I have SOME time at least. I guess it is a case of working out storage solutions.

Here is a description of my (currently very hazardous) living room! Sofa is very big so I have it at an angle with a big triangular space behind it. In this space there is a bookcase full of books and on the floor I have all my handbags. The TV is mounted on the wall in the centre of the opposite wall above a gas fireplace which I never use. The cables run across the mantle-piece (which is stewn with little things like buttons and earrings) into the right-hand corner where my stereo sits ontop on a wooden unit with a dvd-player on a lower shelf. Behind this unit is a mess of cables and extension leads. coming out of this corner are a couple of sets of shelves rammed full of DVDs. There is a long radiator mounted on the wall here behind the shelves.

The other side of the room there is a desk with paperwork and craft materials/stationary on/under it. The desk has a gap behind it, again with cables. There is a old angle-lamp and the home phone on top of the desk which gets their power from the opposite side of the room behind the stereo unit. cables go across the mantle-piece, up the wall, along the picture rail thing and down again.

In front of the desk but slightly to the centre of the room is a wooden chest (with a hinged lid) full of toys and a toddler-sized toy kitchen (plastic) The kitchen is in front of the fireplace. In the middle of the room I have a light-weight low coffee table. I also keep two laptops in this room and we charge our phones in there too so at the moment there is a mess of extension/phone/laptop cables next to the DVD shelves.

The final area of the room I haven't described is the bay window area where the birdcage is. This area will be bird central as I want to put a playgym next to their cage and ideally I would like to train them to stay in that area sometimes. Cage is just less than 60cmx60cm and is 3ft high. I open the top every day twice a day when I can and a couple of days a week the birds hang out with me on the sofa for a 3-6hour stretch. Hazards in the window area are the windows themselves, curtains thier claws can snag on and peeling paint on the windowsill.

I want to ADD a children's reading/drawing area to the room (probably a beanbag and a little book case/box, but the smartest books will stay upstairs in the nursery.

I know I have a LOT of work to do here. I haven't mentioned everything but I think I have covered everything which HAS to stay in the room somehow. I have missed out a couple of things which I don't think are hazardous. I have an idea of what I THINK I have to do but how would YOU do it? I want to be able to leave the room and know the birds are safe. At the moment I supervise them all the time when they are out. OK, I sometimes rush to the next room to put the kettle on or something but not for very long and I am within easy earshot to hear flapping/squarking.

Even with the new safety arrangements, I would not leave the house while they were out. I don't mind books and furniture getting a little trashed. Priority here is bird safety whilst maintaining all the room's different uses. When the room is "safe" I plan to mount some perches and play-areas in the high corners of the room (with shelf below to catch poop!)

If you got to the end of this post then thank you! I have probably set some record for the longest post ever!! Help me?! Thanks in advance!
:yellow pied::lutino:
 

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Most of my cables run under a rug.

I read a horror story of a bird falling behind a mounted tv and getting stuck, so I'd cover that.

Can't help with how dangerous curtains are because I don't have any, they should learn the windows are a solid wall after they crash into them a few times, and paint is one of my worries also, but mine goes after the paint on the door frame.. Can you cover the windowsill with something? If not you're just going to have to watch them like a hawk.
 

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You can put decals on the windows to help the birds know the windows are solid. I'd be concerned about the peeling paint. Can you scrape it off? Cables/cords are my tiel's biggest temptation. He loves them. So I have to block access to them when he's out. He loves to go under the end table to try to get the light and computer cords. So I have to block his access to them. He recently also started trying to chew on the corners to the entranceways between the rooms. I've started propping up magazine to protect the corners and now he chews on those.
 

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I'd be concerned about the space behind your sofa - can you get to a bird that's flown into that triangular area and if they do land there can they get tangled up or hurt in the handbags back there. I would try to consolidate the amount of wires you have and get them so a bird can't get tangled up in them. Tuck them up, under, or maybe even run them in some sort of cable pipe? We have two laptops in our living room as well, but the cords are basically hidden alongside my couch/chair. I'd also get the small items off the mantle - if a bird lands up there and there are items strewn about, they can lose their footing, plus you may lose your item. And those small items would probably not be safe for them to play/chew on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Most of my cables run under a rug.

I read a horror story of a bird falling behind a mounted tv and getting stuck, so I'd cover that.

Can't help with how dangerous curtains are because I don't have any, they should learn the windows are a solid wall after they crash into them a few times, and paint is one of my worries also, but mine goes after the paint on the door frame.. Can you cover the windowsill with something? If not you're just going to have to watch them like a hawk.
Thanks for the tip about the TV. My partner now has a plan for how to make that safe. The birds now understand that the window is solid because their cage is right next to it. I was more thinking about being able to open one of the little to bits of the window but having a mesh or something so they can't fly out? They have show no interest in the flaky paint on the windowsill so far but I think I will cover it like you suggest and in the future I will re-paint it (moving the birdcage to a separate place for a while).
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You can put decals on the windows to help the birds know the windows are solid. I'd be concerned about the peeling paint. Can you scrape it off? Cables/cords are my tiel's biggest temptation. He loves them. So I have to block access to them when he's out. He loves to go under the end table to try to get the light and computer cords. So I have to block his access to them. He recently also started trying to chew on the corners to the entranceways between the rooms. I've started propping up magazine to protect the corners and now he chews on those.
Thank you. I figured that cables would be one of the biggest things to deal with here. Limerick goes for the laptop cables. We are going to put all the cables through tubing and I found a great idea on Pinterest for phone-chargers and laptop cables where you put the extension cord in a shoebox and have each one come out of a hole in the side. I am going to cover the paint until I have time to work on it. Will eventually repaint the windoweill with child-safe breathe-easy paint. The birds can have a little holiday in the kitchen while we are painting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd be concerned about the space behind your sofa - can you get to a bird that's flown into that triangular area and if they do land there can they get tangled up or hurt in the handbags back there. I would try to consolidate the amount of wires you have and get them so a bird can't get tangled up in them. Tuck them up, under, or maybe even run them in some sort of cable pipe? We have two laptops in our living room as well, but the cords are basically hidden alongside my couch/chair. I'd also get the small items off the mantle - if a bird lands up there and there are items strewn about, they can lose their footing, plus you may lose your item. And those small items would probably not be safe for them to play/chew on.
The space behind my sofa is plenty big enough to climb in and get a birdy out with no danger of treading on them or anything. I could even put ladders back there so they can get out by themselves. I knew I would have to put the handbags away because of straps and things. I have bought a huge plastic tub with a lid which they will all fit in. I was going to still have that behind the sofa but my boyfriend has pretty much convinced me that be should push the sofa right back against the wall because what I lose in storage space becomes more space in the middle of the room. it means that I completely lose the little area next to the end of the sofa where I sit on a stool and put on my makeup in front of a mirror. I would have to do that in another room.

On the plus side I have a big house so it is completely possible to move some things to other rooms. As well as some storage tubs I bought an LED lamp yesterday to replace my angle-lamp. Because it has LEDs in it is will stay completely cool when it is on so that the birdies can't hurt themselves on it. I am going to mount the bookcase that is behind the sofa up on the wall in the same place and have the lamp in the lowest shelf of it. Now that I think about it putting the sofa against the wall would also mean that I could run cables along the back there. The ridiculous thing about my living room is that there is only one pair of plug-sockets in the whole room and they are in the most inconvenient place ever, hence cables everywhere!!

I am trying to work out how to make my mantlepiece look nice without having anything there that the birds can steal, hurt themselves on or knock over. I am thinking of having a couple of glass paper-weights up there and an old pentax camera. Earrings and bits I will either keep in the bedroom or put in some sort of lidded pot/tin. The vision is gradually coming together! Thanks for your help.
 

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Sounds like you are off to an excellent start! Post pics when you have it all worked out! Glad you have a big house, it won't be too much of a pain to put those things somewhere else. Old houses have their charms and their quirks - I remember outlets or lack of them, being the most inconvenient thing, but I miss our old cast iron radiators! I have a very small mantle in my living room, too and it has some candles, a clock and picture frames of my sons and misc chotchkees...all too big for a bird to swallow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Does your bird chew your candles at all? I have just had an idea. I have a couple of pretty glass candle-stick I could put on each end of the mantlepiece. If I bought natural beeswax candles to put in them just for prettiness would they be safe for the birds? I have a lot of yankee candle big jar candles that I use to scent rooms after a tidy up and/before guests come over. They are brightly coloured and have their own lids so I guess a couple of those with their lids on might add a bit of colour. I have photos and pictures blue-tacked to the wall at the moment so I will have to find frames for the ones that I want to stay! The little things aren't too hard, I guess, but if I try to think about the whole thing it can be a little daunting! I will add to this thread and post photos. I'll post my "before" photos in a few days time when the room is a little less of a bombsite! :pied: :lutino:
 

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Does your bird chew your candles at all? I have just had an idea. I have a couple of pretty glass candle-stick I could put on each end of the mantlepiece. If I bought natural beeswax candles to put in them just for prettiness would they be safe for the birds? I have a lot of yankee candle big jar candles that I use to scent rooms after a tidy up and/before guests come over. They are brightly coloured and have their own lids so I guess a couple of those with their lids on might add a bit of colour. I have photos and pictures blue-tacked to the wall at the moment so I will have to find frames for the ones that I want to stay! The little things aren't too hard, I guess, but if I try to think about the whole thing it can be a little daunting! I will add to this thread and post photos. I'll post my "before" photos in a few days time when the room is a little less of a bombsite! :pied: :lutino:
Stewie has not had the opportunity to chew on my candles. I know that's probably not a good thing for them to do. He's not interested in my mantle, but I don't leave him unattended. I know I read somewhere that scented candles aren't good for birds, so maybe someone else can chime in here with some good advice? Basically, if it's not bird food, a bird toy or bird approved I don't think they should be chewing on it.
 

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I actually am wondering about that too. Recently I was told that it's OK to use plastic beads for their toys. I had always thought it was only acceptable to use non-colored/treated wood pieces but now I'm wondering if plastic is okay too. What size is also considered "OK" and non-choke hazard?
 
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