Authoritative Answers, Fun, & Aloha -- no cost, no passwords, no popups
(as an eBay Partner & Amazon Affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases)

Home /
Site 🔍
pub     mobile?
Metal finishing Q&As since 1989


Can parrot eat the chrome plating off his cage?

We spent $1000 on a stainless steel cage for our cocatoo, because she bites and ingests most everything. We found out the locks on the doors are chrome-plated steel. The manufacturer claims the electroplating process makes it impossible for our bird to bite off tiny bits of chromium. Is this true? They say it's inert, so even if our bird somehow ingested it, it wouldn't be broken down in the digestive process. My daughter is worried sick about this. Does anyone know?

Thank you!

Pamela Hammill
Real Estate Broker - San Jose, California, USA

The chrome would be harmless to humans, but I can't say about parrots. But it can't be knocked off that way anyway. If it's genuine chrome plating I can't imagine how it could be a problem.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

If the chrome plating is done properly, it will not easily come off. However, if the parrot is diligent and continues to gnaw at the fixture, it may well ultimately wear its way through the chrome layer and then the steel substrate may start to rust and bits of chrome may flake off because of the rusting. Even if this does occur, metallic chromium is not harmful to people if ingested, although parrots have a different biochemistry and my knowledge of their systems is decidely spartan! Personally, I would not be worried about it.

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

We bought a stainless steel cage for our cockatoo. We discovered the locks are chrome-plated steel. Our bird bites and ingests everything. We were told her bites cannot flake off the plating, but she dents it with her beak. We tested it with needle-nosed pliers. Without even denting it, tiny flakes of plating came off.

Should we be concerned since she ingests everything? Is there lead or zinc in chromium? I understand, chromium, lead and zinc are toxic to birds.

I'm surprised flakes came off - we were assured nothing will come off without acid and electricity.

Pamela Hammill
- San Jose, California, USA

Was it the teeth on the pliers scratching the surface that made it flake off? If you do have flaking chrome I would be more worried about the sharp edges of the flakes scratching the animals digestive tract than metal poisoning.Unfortunately I've seen this happen before.

Jason Aube
- Flint, Michigan

(No "dead threads" here! If this page isn't currently on the Hotline your Q, A, or Comment will restore it)

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
& Software

About/Contact  -  Privacy Policy  -  ©1995-2024, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA  -  about "affil links"