What Is a Reliable Bird-safe Emergency Heat Source?

What Is a Reliable Bird-safe Emergency Heat Source?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Jean R. is concerned,


I have a middle-aged white-capped Pionus parrot. 


I live in North Carolina in an apartment that uses electric heat. 


I chose this apartment for my parrot because I ran into issues with gas leaks at other places and was concerned about my bird. 


But in making the switch I lost the option to use gas logs in a winter loss of power in cold weather (which we had last winter).


 I do not even get hot water.  


What do you recommend as a heating source (non-electric) that is safe enough for my bird when faced with temps that are just too cold for him? 


 He has a large cage. 


I know there is a risk/benefit ratio for all methods


I tried moving him to a friend’s last year who has a  fireplace and better-insulated home but it was stressful and risky and sometimes can’t be done because of the roads.  


Can you help? Winter has become stressful for me because of this 🙂




Hi Suzann,


For non-electric heat, we write about using a propane 30,000 BTU Mr, Heater here


For supplemental cage heat while you have electricity flowing internal cage heaters are a possibility 


and Lastly, the oiled filled electric heaters are used by us throughout the house




A Coral Billed Pionus That Thinks He’s A Turkey And A Look At All 8 Pionus Parrots






Mitch: Hello :0 )

Wanted to add that I have a rather large studio apartment so could only put my parrot in my smaller bedroom with a Mr heater but I have no clue what size, if that would be safe as it is carpeted,  what size I would need, or if that would be safe.


I’m sorry to bother you but the vet here knows very little about parrots….or anyone else as parrots here are rare,  


Thanks Again <3



Thanks for the answer (above) but want to clarify that this is for in my apartment when I have no electricity, heat, or hot water. because of a blackout from a storm.


Editors note: That never happens, right? Incoming Category 2 Hurricane & You’re Chasing a Bird Under Furniture


List of recent national power outages













The only one here that would be usable in a blackout is the Mr Heater but can it be used safely indoors for my parrot?


I am talking about an indoor parrot. Thanks soooooooooooooooo much for answering me. 


I will get the Mr Heater if it is ok indoors but it doesn’t look that way to me and seems rather mechanically challenging with tools and many tanks required etc.


Need your expert opinion on the Mr Heater inside for an older woman without a man to help. Thanks !



Hey Suzann

We write about the safety of propane with pet birds here

Connecting Mr Heater to a 20# propane tank is easy peasy


You’ll need a wrench for the Mr. Heater hose connection


– the tank connection is installed by hand.


We got about 60 hours out of a 20-pound propane tank and always kept one as a backup.


Be safe



Mitch …Thank you so much for all your help!

I can’t per the lease store a twenty pound canister inside the apartment and there is nowhere outside this apartment to do so that’s allowed either. I would have to go for the little one and try to store the canisters safely and hope for a short outage.


Might want to consider if an apartment resident asks you in the future that we all don’t have homes with an outside property that we own where we can store 20 lb gas canisters. <3. or even a garage.  


Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it. I guess getting him away from the gas heat wasn’t the best idea in retrospect 🙂


Have a great weekend. Thanks again.




Great point – I didn’t want to muddy the waters -The one pounders last about 6 hours which should be fine in an emergency





Hey 🙂 Your help has been invaluable…thanks for taking the time !!

Regards, Suzann <3

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