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Zinc: Bird Term of the Day

Definitions of words used by pet bird enthusiasts with the pet bird slant.

By Angie Hendrickson

Zinc can cause heavy-metal poisoning can be fatal to pet birds.

Zinc is a chemical element with the symbol Zn and an atomic number of 30 (if you’re looking for it on your periodic table). It’s a metal often combined with other metals to make them stronger and more resistant to rust and corrosion. It’s also a very important part of our diet because it’s involved in growth and development of cells, organs and organ systems throughout our body. In birds, however, zinc can be toxic if ingested. It can cause heavy-metal poisoning, which can make a bird very sick and can even be fatal if not treated.

Zinc is highly resistant to rust and corrosion and, because of this, many metals are mixed with zinc or coated with zinc to make them stronger. Galvanized steel, for example, is steel that is coated in zinc. Steel rusts very easily but, when coated with zinc, it lasts a lot longer. Brass is a mixture of copper and zinc, and zinc can also be found in bronze, nickel silver and aluminum solder. It’s also the main metal in pennies.
Fun Fact: One of the only cases of fatal zinc poisoning in people was someone who had ingested 425 pennies.

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n, n, TN
Posted: 8/13/2011 3:03:49 PM
cathy, queens, NY
Posted: 8/5/2011 8:30:18 AM
susan, westchester, NY
Posted: 8/5/2011 8:27:22 AM
james, brooklyn, NY
Posted: 8/4/2011 8:44:34 PM
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