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static electricity

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static electricity

Postby kimbo » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:07 pm

does anyone else get static electricity shocks off the cage. no idea how to stop it any advice anyone? dont know if chico gets them. no evidence of it. :senegal:
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Re: static electricity

Postby tacotaco » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:30 pm

thats funny, i have gotten shocked a few times as of recently. never really thought much of it - not sure how to prevent it or anything. sry! :?
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Re: static electricity

Postby Michael » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:07 pm

That's what walking on carpet and dry winter weather does. Don't worry, if you get a static shock to the cage, your parrot will be fine. The cage acts as a faraday cage and grounds/disperses the static. Since the cage is more conductive than the parrot, the bird is just fine. Since you have to touch the metal to get the cage door open, the static will go to the metal before you touch the bird. However, if the cage door was left open and the first thing you touch is your parrot, there is a chance that it will get a static shock from you. For this reason I recommend always touching the cage to disperse static prior to touching the cage. The parrot on the other hand shouldn't develop any static because it is always in contact with the metal of the cage.
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Re: static electricity

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:28 pm

Normally, the cage would be grounded and the charge would run from the person to the cage, but I suppose if the cage was on carpet and somehow getting charged it could zap the person and/or bird... but I agree with Michael, try grounding yourself before you touch the cage. Touch something metal in the room and see if the problem goes away. Static isn't very dangerous anyway. If you get a continuous tingle rather than a zap it's time to worry, IMVHO.

Disclaimer: I am in NO WAY an expert on birds. But I do have a couple degrees in physics...
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Re: static electricity

Postby Michael » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:49 pm

I don't think the cage actually needs to be "grounded" per say. As the cage is more conductive than the living tissue, the metal would disperse the charge. I think a faraday cage is effective even is suspended or isolated. Think doorknob. A doorknob is hanging in a blob of wooden door and is electrically isolated from the ground but you get a static shock anyway. A car body is another example as the rubber tires prevent grounding. So from my (basic) understanding of static and electricity, discharging static onto a parrot's cage should be safe. And I have done it and my parrot didn't seem to care one bit.
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Re: static electricity

Postby kimbo » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:12 pm

chico sits on top of cage sometimes and looks like hes trying to bite the air around him and schreeches. thought static might be the reason. but maybe its just something he does. either that or we have a polterguist. he stares at the wall sometimes as well. ??????????
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Re: static electricity

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:50 pm

Michael, if the cage has a route to bleed off the charge eventually, that's correct. And unless it's a really unusual circumstance, it will bleed off into the air even if it is not grounded. If it's very dry and super-well insulated I could imagine it retaining enough charge to transfer to an electrically neutral parrot.

As for being a Faraday cage, that's also true, but that's more about insulating the interior of the cage from external electro-magnetic fields. It probably does a pretty good job of keeping the radiation from a cell phone or cordless phone from effecting the space inside the cage. It will also protect a parrot on a non-conductive perch from any discharge to the cage, but if the parrot touches the cage, the charge can then transfer. It creates an electromagnetically neutral space in the space inside the cage, but once a conducting connection is made to the cage structure itself from inside, it's no longer isolated.
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