View Full Version : Birds and Self Cleaning Ovens

03-22-2009, 03:04 PM
I've been reading some horror stories relating to Teflon pans and self cleaning ovens. I doubt I'll be using the teflon pans anymore, but I'm not giving up the self cleaning oven, especially since the stove is less than a year old! If I put the birds in a downstairs room with the door closed, will that be OK. Heat exchanger running may bring toxic air into the room??? If I turn the heat exchanger off, I assume the fumes will be in the house longer. I usually clean the oven every two months, so I'm going to have to figure this out!:ssuprised:

Is my George Foreman Grill a no-no???

03-22-2009, 03:25 PM
I haven't quite figured out how much hype about is a true danger and how much is fear-mongering.

Birds are more sensitive to fumes and airbourne toxins...that's true. But I imagine many birds live in households where people don't care what they're exposed to, and survive.

I'd rather play it safe than sorry - but within reason.

I don't have a self-cleaning oven - but I've been paranoid to use any oven cleaners since we've gotten the larger parrots...I try and keep the oven from getting out of control by wiping it out with soapy water periodically.

Our kitchen and family room are adjacent - so the birds are 'in' the kitchen for all practical purposes (and this is a no-no!).

We still use teflon frying pans (that's it though). From what I've read, toxic fumes have only been released when the pan reached high temps., essentially that can only happen if you leave the pan dry and unattended and it 'burns'. So I use them - but cautiously.

I tried switching back to a stainless steel frying pan...but it sticks so badly. I'm willing to deal with it, but hubby and kids are not...I also tried to use the cast-iron frying pan again - but it was vetoed as well...

If anything at all 'burns' in the kitchen (like the toast hubby burnt the other day), I open up the windows immediately and get cross-ventilation.

I was never one to use scented products to start with, so it was easy to stop using any altogether. So no scented candles, no room/carpet deodorizers, no fabric softeners, etc. I also get after the boys if they overdo it with after-shave or deodorant - I've made them go outside to 'air out'.:hmm3grin2orange:

I would think that if you move the cage to another room, clean your oven, and then ventilate the room well for 30-60 minutes when you're done, you shouldn't have a problem.

03-22-2009, 03:32 PM
Not sure about the George Foreman grill. If it's new it might be a problem, but if it's been well used (and anything really toxic has 'burnt off') it's probably okay.

Blowdriers apparently also contain teflon.

03-22-2009, 05:07 PM
To prevent food from sticking to non-coated cookware heat the pan up to cooking temp before "greasing" to allow the metal to expand first.

03-22-2009, 07:30 PM
Thanks!!! I'll be careful, and avoid the Teflon. I'll move them when I clean the oven. No scented products here...I'm mildly allergic. I haven't used perfume in years. Our house is open concept, so I'll have to be really careful not to burn anything, as the kitchen, living room and dining room are "open" to each other....Gosh, life is getting complicated....:ssuprised:

03-23-2009, 01:51 AM
It's true that birds are very sensitive to scents and fumes. Candles, air fresheners, anything aerosol shouldn't be used in the same area as a bird. NOW, that's not to say that you can't use hairspray or a squirt of air freshener in the bathroom...as long as your bird isn't in the bathroom with you.

I also have a self cleaning oven, and a cockatiel and finches. I'm going to use the self clean once the weather is just a bit warmer...I'm going to put the birds in my den (furthest room from the kitchen) with the door closed, have the kitchen window open with a fan blowing the fumes OUT, and the den window open to keep fresh air in the room with my bird. I figure that should keep them safe and minimally exposed to the fumes.

03-23-2009, 10:23 AM
Thanks Sarah...:ssmile:

03-23-2009, 11:49 AM
i live in a tiny apartment. the kitchen and living area (where my parakeets are) is one big room separated by a half wall. i have always used teflon pans and my george forman grill. my birds have all lived to a ripe old age. the first two i had lived to 10 and 11 years, and the three i now have are three years old, and are quite healthy. i use candles but keep them away from the birds. we had our bathtubs resurfaced last year and i took my birds (and children) to spend a couple of days with grandma. i think those kind of fumes would have been too much for them. i think if you keep them well away form the source of the fumes and in a well ventilated area they should be fine. watch the temperature where ever you put them. they like warm weather and no drafts.

03-23-2009, 12:21 PM
That's good to know! It seems as if I have been reading a lot of "extreme" views. It's great that I can clean my oven, without boarding the birds....:ssmile:

03-23-2009, 12:33 PM
How about the fish? Does any of this bother them? :ssuprised:

03-23-2009, 12:43 PM
I don't use aerosols around the tanks...and if I were using an oven cleaner, I'd cover the tanks. I don't cover tanks to use the self cleaning oven, though. I've never heard of Teflon being a problem for fish, but who knows! After reading about Teflon, I'm doubting that it's safe for us, much less birds and fish!!!:ssuprised:

03-29-2009, 01:15 AM
Problems really occur when you are housing your bird in the kitchen, or dining room, somewhere close to where you are cooking.

Teflon and non-stick pans only become problems when they are EXTREMELY overheated. If this was so, you would end up opening windows, turning on fans etc. to air out your home.

I have never had any problem with non-stick cookware or using the self-clean feature of the oven with my birds in my house. My birds are upstairs in my bedroom, but even so, I have never had any problems.

I would not stress about it too much if I were you!

03-29-2009, 01:31 AM
Thanks Heather....:ssmile:

04-17-2009, 02:44 AM

Ok, I'm new to fish but birds I KNOW!

I have 21 cockatiels ranging in age from 17 years to 5 years. I've raised a few of them myself from hatching, a couple were "charity cases," and the rest I've had since they were 8 to 12 weeks old. This is my expertise. I also had an EXCELLENT veterinarian who gave me a bit of a crash course in avian medicine so I hope I can be of some help?

Birds are very sensitive to fumes and their respiratory system is really interesting. They don't have lungs, they have air sacs and they way it all works it's like they breathe everything twice.

There are a lot of safety precautions you should take if you're going to have a healthy bird, but you don't have to drive yourself nuts. If your birds are in a well ventilated area, you're good to go.

Teflon pans - NEVER leave a dry pan on the hot stove - that's not just a bird killer, it's bad for cats, dogs, babies, anything. But using teflon pans are ok as long as you keep the birdies away from the kitchen while cooking. (that's common sense anyway) You just have to be very careful. I lost a bird due to fumes from the heating element on a coffee maker. : (

On the other hand, I recently painted a room in the house that was right across the hall from my birds' room (where else am I gonna put 21 of them!) and by just closing both doors and opening windows - no problems.

Aerasol - yeah, this isn't good either, but don't be afraid to put on your hair spray. Ventilation - that's the key. Don't have birdy on your shoulder while you're doing you hair. Keep him away in a well ventilated area.

Self cleaning ovens - If you can, open the kitchen window and turn on a fan pointed toward the window. That will pull out any fumes generated by the oven and, of course, keep birdy away from the kitchen.

Air fresheners - not a great idea. Glade Plug-Ins are bird killers, so is Febreze. But again - ventilation. If your bird is upstairs and you want to spray some air freshener downstairs - it's not going to hurt anything.

Scented candles - I burn them all the time. BUT - that's right, ventilation. I don't burn candles in any room where the birds are, though. Not just the fumes - birds don't much like fire. LOL!

Household cleaners - very dangerous, but for you as well as the birds. There are tons of non-toxic ways to clean your home. OxyFresh makes great stuff and they are "pet oriented." But vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice are great cleaners and very econimical.

And the best advice - ask your vet. They can tell you better than anyone else. And don't trust product labels. Most of the time, they don't condiser furry, feathered, or scaly people when they print their safety warnings.

04-18-2009, 10:41 PM
I know this thread is semi old. But I think that teflon should be given up all together. I don't want someone to play with cyanide in another room even if I'm locked up in the next room :) And with teflon, as was mentioned it is bad for everyone. Even humans. There are no studies on the long term effects of slowly breathing and ingesting teflon. I feel you Sharon on the foreman grill. It was one I was sad to see go. But we are humans and we make errors. I am normally an excellent cook but just the other night I smoked out the house by burning something. It was on cast iron but what would have happened if it was the teflon that I thought I could be safe using. Teflon fumes release when something is overheated and sometimes not. If you look up studies some of them show fumes even after being heated just a few minutes. Also cheap pans coated in teflon are more likely to fume. As well as scratched teflon. It was a sad loss for me but my birds are worth it and certainly not as sad as if I lost a bird due to my error (which is bound to happen at some point). As far as the self cleaning oven. I have one but I dont use it. I have never done any big research on that as I have the teflon. But I have read it is certain self cleaning ovens and not all of them so you may want to look further into that. I dont not use it because of the birds I just never have used it :)