Ask Lafeber


January 31, 2023

How to grief

I had three conures and 5 parakeets . Two of the conures and 4 parakeets house together in one room two cages but goes in and out of cages freely. @0 minutes after being let out and fed new food. All except one parakeet died. The other conure who roamed with us everywhere in the house , very loving died the next day. I dont know how to tell my daughter who comes home from college this weekend. I cam so hurt I cant sleep or eat. I miss them . I am waiting Necropsy results.



I am SO sorry for your tragic loss! I do hope the Vet can give you some answers. Food is rarely a cause, but it can happen. When all birds in the same house die so close together, it is usually a toxin and generally something airborne. Birds have very sensitive respiratory systems, so something that isn’t toxic to us can be toxic to a bird. Anything with a scent or fume could be the cause – candles, room fresheners – the sprays and plug in types. Cleaners of any kind, smoke from cooking, some non-stick cookware, possibly some cooking oils. The list goes on, but this could give you an idea of what it might have been. Carbon monoxide will kill a bird at lower levels than what affects a person – were you using a heater, especially a new heater or gas heater? Did you get a new air purifier? The ionic or ozone style are toxic for birds.

As for your daughter, I feel you need to tell her before she comes inside if she is expecting to see the birds or hear them. The shock of the quiet, empty cages will be more of a shock if she isn’t expecting it. Hopefully the Vet will have answers for you before she gets home. She will need to grieve, too, so at least you will have each other and can comfort each other. I know you are sick about this, but if this turns out to be something in your house, please know that others have made the same mistake and remember that accidents happen. It’s a very hard and unfair lesson to learn, but you certainly aren’t alone in having this type of tragedy. Do let me know what the Vet finds out.

Take care,


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