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  • Writer's pictureSandra Witt

Making Scents...

We all want our homes to smell good but, being a bird owner limits our options ... a LOT. Let's take a brief look at your bird's respiratory system which is quite unique.

The very 'mechanism' of breathing is different for birds. Birds do not have a diaphragm, they use intercostal musculature to expand and depress the chest, creating a “bellows” action that moves air in and out of the lung/air sac respiratory system. Without going into depth on the respiratory system, know that this delicate respiratory system is very susceptible to damage from a long list of items used in the home. Some may be obvious but others, like air fresheners and cleaning products, are not so obvious.

How do I keep my home smelling fresh without risking the health of my flock?

Well, first, make sure you keep your home clean. Regular cleaning and removal of garbage will go a LONG way in keeping your home fresh smelling.

Things like 'leftover chop' in the trash bin result in a stinky, stinky kitchen. Compost that stuff (outside) and use it for your plants or garden. Remove your shoes at the door and vacuum regularly to remove dirt from carpets. Open windows when weather permits and allow the home to breathe a bit.

To add fragrance to your clean home, try a simmer pot.

What's a simmer pot? Oh, glad you asked. Take a pot (non teflon of course), some water, and a combination of citrus, spices, and fresh herbs and heat to boiling; reduce heat to low simmer and enjoy. Always monitor simmer pots and add water as needed to prevent it from going dry and burning. When you're done, turn it off and allow to cool. You can put the remains in a mason jar and refrigerate for the next time (you'll get a few uses out of the same concoction)... I know, frugal right?

Here are some recipe suggestions; make up your own favorite mixtures and have fun.

  • Williams-Sonoma: 4 sprigs fresh rosemary; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1 sliced lemon.

  • Gingerbread House: 5, 1/4 inch slices ginger; 1 tablespoon almond extract; 3 cinnamon sticks.

  • Creamsicle: 1 tablespoon vanilla; 1 sliced orange.

  • Italian Feast: 1 lemon; 1 teaspoon black peppercorns; handful of basil.

  • Blueberry Pie: Bergamot tea; 1 sliced orange; 1 teaspoon almond extract.

  • Tiki Party: 1 tablespoon coconut extract; 1 sliced lime.

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