19 9 / 2014

my-boi-micool said: Hi! I have a red-collared lorikeet who keeps on breaking his tail feathers. He gets very excited some times and bounces around. I think that's when he breaks a feather or two. They fall out eventually and grow back, but is there a way to stop it?

I’m confused as to how the feathers are breaking so easily? 

Feathers are fairly strong and do not typically break upon an easy bashing.  Make sure your Lorikeet is on a healthy Lorikeet diet with fresh foods and nectars (no seeds as they are nectarivores) and perhaps get them a vet checkup to ensure he’s in good health.

Otherwise I don’t see a reason for the feathers to be breaking, make sure he isn’t pulling or chewing at them in any way, if you’re out of the house he may be getting bored and breaking them while you’re not looking.

I don’t see why you should stop this happy, bouncy behaviour, once the diet is proper, the bird is examined and given a good bill of health and feather destruction has been eliminated as a cause they should not be breaking this easily. Make sure there isn’t anything sharp or broken which could be catching the feathers, look also for stress bars on the tail feathers and really make sure he is in good health.

That’s really all i can think of, anyone else have suggestions?

- Courtney (thepacificparrotlet)

19 9 / 2014

Anonymous said: This might seem an odd question, but have you got any links or tips for teaching tricks to budgies or smaller birds specifically? I would like to try teaching my budgie a few things, if he is interested in it at all (we've got target training down!) but a lot of guides I've found on youtube and online are really only for bigger birds like conures and African Greys, very few relate to smaller, flightier birds like budgies and 'tiels. Unless, as it is, teaching methods don't differ very much?

Anything you can teach to a big bird can be taught to a smaller bird!  My parrotlets know all sorts of things, recall, fetch, wave, nod, ‘shake no’, turn around, to lay on their backs, and a few I made up myself including indoor freeflight!

All of my tricks were taught using videos for larger birds and training manuals for large birds, anything taught to larger birds the same method can be used for small birds.  The only thing that differs is how much of your hand you use, since their smaller you can’t shove your whole hand on them!  Smaller treat quantities will need to be used of course, too much fat in common treats to be given the same serving as the big birds!  

The only thing I would say, personally, that is different would be the pace.  I find that the smaller birds are constantly trying to move forwards, jumping ahead of me and trying to do the trick before I’ve cued it while the larger birds are usually slower (movement speed not intellectual ability).  Saying that means that you need to be careful during the teaching process, don’t reward them for doing it when you don’t cue it otherwise they’ll start doing tricks whenever they feel like it and expect a treat. But other than that most tricks are taught using the exact same methods for both large and small birds.

I’ve done some tutorials myself using my parrotlets if you would like to look at those (they’re at the bottom but I suggest reading it all!)

Otherwise basically any reputable youtube video using positive reinforcement works just fine!  If there’s a particular trick you would like to know or you find steps confusing in any way you can always just message me at my bird blog and I would be more than willing to walk you through it!

- Courtney (thepacificparrotlet)

18 9 / 2014

Anonymous said: Hello, a friend gave me her male 'tiel bc he was alone since his mate died and he was sad and lonely. He gets along with my other 'tiels and even got a new mate but he never leaves his cage (which is always open, except if we're out or cleaning the house). Is there something I could do? I don't want to take him out by force.

check out the hand taming posts in our FAQ  some of them should work to help encourage your ‘tiel in to wanting to come out.  As usual I recommend the target training (if he is able to take treats from your hand it will work even better!), since target training can be easily taught from inside a cage I think it would work well for you.  Your ‘tiel should become very interested in target training once he realizes it earns him food!  Gradually you can start to target him towards the door and out the cage on his own terms, this will help to build his confidence and make him more comfortable with exiting the cage. 

Also, if there is more than one ‘tiel in the cage you may want to consider separating them as it would make it easier for your ‘tiel to grasp the concept a lot faster than if there is another bird drawing his attention away but that is up to you!

- Courtney (thepacificparrotlet)

18 9 / 2014

Anonymous said: Hello Birb peeps, I have a 10 weeks old cockatiel (I've had him for a week now) and although I am trying to get all cuddly and sweet with him he keeps yelling and looking outside. Any ideas how to stop the yelling or to explain why he is so obsessed?

The yelling is a typical baby bird behaviour and isn’t much to be concerned about.  It’s mainly due to the natural desire to yell in a flock kind of like a child constantly screaming and pointing at ‘cool’ things (that’s my understanding of it anyways).

To stop the yelling the best thing to do is distract him and not react to it.  Prevent the yelling from happening in the first place by giving him loads of toys, maybe some fun games to play so he is more focused on doing things with you than he is with yelling.  Try to find something your little one loves (not food, food can make the bird think “hey when I start to scream I will get food!”).  Try to key in on the body language and see what your bird does before they start screaming and try to prevent it from happening in the first place by capturing their attention and distracting him until the need to scream subsides.

When the yelling does happen just don’t encourage it.  Simply turn away and be quiet until the yelling stops, once it stops wait ten seconds then continue with your regular day.  Eventually he will realize that yelling is pointless as it gets him nowhere and the bulk of this behaviour should stop.

Keep in mind that the screaming never stops completely, birds naturally scream in the wild and need an outlet to do so and there’s a few ways to create this outlet.  For me, I would turn up music and act crazy which would create an energetic response in my birds and make them scream, I do this consistently for an hour a day to let them exert their energy and screaming needs.  Other people train them to scream on cue, or have a particular game they play which allows the bird to scream.  

Eventually this curious phase will pass in the meantime you just need to make sure you don’t encourage him towards continuing the behaviour.

- Courtney (thepacificparrotlet)

18 9 / 2014

Anonymous said: I was wondering about the importance of sunlight exposure for small parrots. I have an indian ringneck whose cage sits in a naturally well-lit, spacious room. However I've noticed that his cage (which has a covered roof) rarely receives direct sunlight from the window, due to the sun's angle. That got me worrying about the risks of Vitamin D deficiency or other health problems exclusive to birds. Do you know how often a bird of this size should have direct sunlight? Or methods of achieving this?

Any bird, regardless of size needs the essential vitamins from avian full spectrum lighting or actual sunlight.  A window will filter out up to 90% of the rays needed for vitamin D consumption if it was made after 1939 which means that your bird is actually not getting much from sitting in front of a window and could develop deficiencies.  A minimum of one hour (preferably 2) each day should be given to every bird regardless of size.

please see this post about the importance of avian lighting

Purchasing a full spectrum avian light from your local pet store or online store will be necessary to get the proper dosage of light.  Or you will need to get the bird in a cage (or harnessed) outside for at least an hour a day.

- Courtney (thepacificparrotlet)

18 9 / 2014

Anonymous said: I've been thinking about getting another bird and can't decide which I should get, Green Cheek Conure or Quaker? Pros and cons?

I don’t think any of us here have Quakers, but some have green cheeks, so I’ll answer with a couple of earrings about Quakers (and assume that others will respond with some green cheek info, and/or pros to Quakers!)

At the store we worked at, we didn’t sell Quakers or sun, jenday or nanday conures because they are so frequently given up. I’ve said this before (in regards to suns in particular), but this is nothing against the birds themselves, but they are difficult birds, for various reasons, but they are very common and popular and people buy them on impulse and then get rid of them alllll the time (especially suns). And we were trying to sell birds that would stay in homes.

Quakers:
-will, in general, be louder than a green cheek. Obviously every bird is different, and green cheeks can definitely still be noisy. But as a general rule, Quakers are louder.
-poop sideways. Frequently onto your wall.
-are considered a pest because they can establish colonies and survive anywhere, because of the way they nest (huge, communal, heat storing nests that they often build on telephone poles/transformers etc in cities (this is also why they poop sideways—they have to EXPEL it out of the nest and not drop it on their neighbor below them)). there are flocks of them in New York and Chicago, as well as more obvious places like California and Florida. As such, THEY ARE ILLEGAL in many states (I’m just assuming you’re in the US). Check your laws, and even if they’re legal where you are, consider carefully whether you may ever move to one of those states in the next 30 years or so.

So there’s some food for thought! Quakers can be great pets and a lot of people love them, but those are some important tidbits of info that a lot of people don’t realize going in.

—Katie (flockdynamics)

16 9 / 2014

Anonymous said: Hi! I was wondering what i can do to make my cockatiel's life more entertaining. I have 2 toys in her cage that she chews on that I switch out, but seems to sit on top of her cage quite often. I don't want her to be bored. Any suggestions?

Hi,

So it’s recommended you have at least 6 toys in your bird’s cage at any given time. ‘Tiels love bells, mirrors, and that paper resembling those “finger trap” things. Toys they can destroy are a great idea as long as they don’t contain toxic dyes, etc (most products marketed for birds are made w/ veggie dye, but when in doubt, ask). 

It’s always good to have more toys you’re not currently using so you can switch them out. If your bird’s not playing with her toys, you can try moving them around—sometimes presenting them differently makes a difference. Foraging toys can also stimulate their playing instincts. 

—Lucy (bootywraith)

16 9 / 2014

Anonymous said: Would it be better to get two budgies or just one?

thepacificparrotlet:

rebellionofdragons:

thepacificparrotlet:

rebellionofdragons:

askbirdbloggers:

Really that depends on what you want out of the relationship with your birds and what you can afford.

Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that two budgies will get along.  Many times people buy a bird for their bird and end up having to buy a whole other cage, playset and twice as many toys because the birds do not get along.  Budgies tend to be a bit kinder with this as many of them do get along but that can change in an instant.  If you’ve been following pepperandpals her budgies were fine and then bam, breeding season and two budgies bonded and kicked the other out!  Make sure you are prepared to separate them and that you do not get two females as that increases the chances of them beating up on each-other. Having two budgies also changes the likelihood of them bonding to you, if they’ve got another flock member bird why would they want to spend time with a human?  It is totally possible to have multiple hand-tamed budgies but it will take work and tons of daily handling in order to keep them tamed.

Budgies can do perfectly fine alone, they just need plenty of toys, foraging, and human interaction.  A nice cage for them to roam in and places to spend their energy with a good proper diet makes for a happy budgie!  With getting only one there is a higher chance that it will want to spend time with you and be eager to do so.  

- Courtney (thepacificparrotlet)

It’s important to note that many, many, many people have multiple birds who are all okay with each other — and they still have human friendly birds. Human interaction is a whole other animal from bird interaction: we offer a unique experience.

I’m really uncomfortable with the “don’t get another animal of __ species because then they won’t bond with you!” line of reasoning. If you have to socially isolate an animal to get them to like you … that animal shouldn’t be in captivity. 

I would like to note that I did say “it is totally possible”… i never said it was impossible and I never said you had to isolate or force a bird in to liking you. Nirds prefer to be social amongst their own kind, when untrained they will flock with theor own kind over a human.
Some species, like budgies, are more prone to ignoring people than other species. While they can be kept in pairs (assuming you find a pair that don’t fight) they will start to lose their tamness. Unless you are experienced and have the time to spend with each bird, keeping them interested in associating with you, they will begin to ignore human contact.
Yes, budgies are more social birds as they fly in massive flocks in the wild but that does not mean they can not be happy without a mate. If you can afford to house two budgies and care for them both equally then great, but no one should ever buy a bird for their bird. You get a feathered companion because you want to provide it a good life, not so it can entertain your bird.
Again, i did say training with two birds is possible, i said it will be more difficult for an unexperienced hand as stated above.

I would argue that if you are going to keep a highly social species, then you should be prepared to care for at least two of that species. Animals need to have their needs met; no animal should be expected to sacrifice to make up for a human’s lack of ability. 

That’s the rule for all social species. Many people will often argue that rats (who should always be kept in pairs) do “just fine” on their own. Many people will advise against two rabbits because “it will be harder for them to bond with you”. Many people find it acceptable to isolate horses for training or cleanliness purposes.

But research has shown that social species kept in pairs are much happier and emotionally fulfilled than those kept alone. Experience across many species has shown that bonded pairs can also bond with humans. 

Yes that is true. Social animals *can* be happuer in pairs. As stated before, birds are unpredictable and can fight to the death when they don’t get along. When planning for a social species you need to be able to care for it properly, can you afford twice the supplies you need if they don’t get along?
Im pretty muh just repeating myself now, if you know what you are doing and do your research you can keep two budgies, tamed, happy, and healthy. However in the current society we live in people do not prepare for the worst and in many cases they randomly get a bird for their bird, they don’t get along, the person doesn’t like that bird anymore because it didn’t do it’s job and then the life of that bird becomes poor.

One cannot expect the same species to get along simply because they are sociable species. I’ve seen this far too many times where people think that it’s okay to just toss two birds together and leave them because they are a social species and they’ll work it out.

This can lead to mutilation and death of the birds.

I’ve seen it happen far too many times.

The point of the whole thing is that if you get two individuals who do not get along, you will have to house them separately and double all of your costs, time and energy because you have to work with each bird individually anyway.

I have seen people attempt to buy more companion birds for theirs despite this bird being highly territorial and having killed his former cage mates simply because they believed that the bird shouldn’t be alone. Others have given up on their birds because they have not been able to handle hand-taming while they are bonding together, this ends up in neglect and rehoming.

People need to be aware of the possibilities of what will happen if they try to buy a bird just for their bird. Including mutilation and killing. Just because you stick two animals of a social species together does NOT mean they will get along anyway. Too many people assume that you can just shove two birds together and leave them without thinking of the dynamic at all.

So cautioning people from getting birds just for their bird is something we do often and will not stop doing. Because these are very real dangers associated with it that a lot of people are not ready for, cannot handle emotionally and which could seriously injure or kill the birds involved.

I’ve seen too many mutilations, deaths and stressful re-homes after someone got a bird for their bird to recommend it to everyone regardless. Birds are individuals and can be very territorial. Being in a home is not like a flock in the wild at all. If two birds don’t get along, they have the option of hanging out with others or getting far away to a different part of the flock. This isn’t possible in the home environment and not all birds will get along. Home and wild environments are completely different places which will affect the behaviour of the animal.

There are risks and dangers and separation is necessary and a lot of people are not prepared for that. A lot of people are not prepared for their bird suddenly becoming less sociable with them or more territorial over their cage when there is a second bird.

A lot of people feel their bird “doesn’t love them” anymore and will neglect, abandon or re-home the bird OFTEN after they develop multiple behavioural issues. Which would have been prevented if they hadn’t gotten a second bird.

I would love to say “If you can’t handle X, don’t get Y” but in my experience on various pet forums, clubs and rescues across many species…. that people don’t listen to strict bans like that. They simply stop listening to you and go elsewhere, sometimes to basement breeders who know nothing of what they are doing, which has contributed to the health of all avians declining over the years. Health of the species through improper breeding, health of the general avian community as things like Chlamydia get spread all over instead of being contained.

Instead, we often work with the individual and their situation to try to find the best solution for their particular bird and problem. 

No. Not every bird will have the IDEAL life. That is true of birds in the wild, of our dogs and cats and other animals and us. However just because life is less ideal doesn’t mean it is miserable or not worthwhile. There can still be safe, stable, happy birds who are not kept in flock situations. It really depends on the individual bird and the situation and circumstances around their home.

Many of us here have had a lot of hands-on experience dealing with birds, some of us are going through training and education to do this professionally. We are here to learn as much as we are here to educate, but we do have a basis for our knowledge with avian behaviour.

-Jacie (words on birds)

16 9 / 2014

Anonymous said: Would it be better to get two budgies or just one?

Really that depends on what you want out of the relationship with your birds and what you can afford.

Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that two budgies will get along.  Many times people buy a bird for their bird and end up having to buy a whole other cage, playset and twice as many toys because the birds do not get along.  Budgies tend to be a bit kinder with this as many of them do get along but that can change in an instant.  If you’ve been following pepperandpals her budgies were fine and then bam, breeding season and two budgies bonded and kicked the other out!  Make sure you are prepared to separate them and that you do not get two females as that increases the chances of them beating up on each-other. Having two budgies also changes the likelihood of them bonding to you, if they’ve got another flock member bird why would they want to spend time with a human?  It is totally possible to have multiple hand-tamed budgies but it will take work and tons of daily handling in order to keep them tamed.

Budgies can do perfectly fine alone, they just need plenty of toys, foraging, and human interaction.  A nice cage for them to roam in and places to spend their energy with a good proper diet makes for a happy budgie!  With getting only one there is a higher chance that it will want to spend time with you and be eager to do so.  

- Courtney (thepacificparrotlet)

16 9 / 2014

Anonymous said: Hi, so I have a 14 year old daughter who really wants a bird. (A cockatiel specifically) She tends to be a bit forgetful and I have heard that cockatiels tend to be a bit hard to take care of and expensive. This will be her first bird she has ever owned, do you have any other suggestions for breeds if we do possibly get her a bird? Or is a cockatiel an easy choice? Thanks

May want to see if any of our cockatiel people have anything to add on to this but here’s my general answer for you!

Typically cockatiels and budgies are a good choice for people, they are easier going than lovebirds, parrotlets, or conures but there are a few things that go along with ‘tiels you will need to be prepared for.  

All birds, regardless of size are expensive, my 2 parrotlets costs me probably around at least $1000 a year just for basic care (not including vet check ups or emergency funds).  Cockatiels specifically are very prone to something called egg binding, the females hit sexual maturity, hormones increase and many of them begin laying eggs like crazy.  If the bird is not supplemented correctly and doesn’t have routine vet checks the female can end up having an egg with a soft shell which then gets stuck inside the female, in many cases this can lead to death. They’re also prone to night frights, the birds get frightened at night, thrash about and in many cases this injures them. Make sure you are prepared to spend the money needed to that vet care, hormone shots, and other basic medical needs.

They need a fairly large, strong cage with plenty of toys to keep them busy, entertained and stimulated throughout the day and parrot toys certainly aren’t cheap!  ’tiels tend to be a bit hardier when it comes to that, they are not as prone to plucking or unhealthy behavioural ticks as other species are which is what makes them better for people who are not used to birds.

'tiels are super cuddly birds (in most cases) and would be wonderful for a family home where they can spend time with lots of people, get lots of love and really become a part of the family.  Their diet is not as specific as other bird species which also makes their general care a bit easier, they still need lots of fresh vegetables and pellets, typically a cockatiel diet needs more grain than it does fresh foods.  Just a bowl full of pellets (you can leave it in all day), some foraging opportunities and another dish for vegetables (change it out every hour or so to prevent spoilage, new veggies 2-3 times a day).

Cockatiels, the one’s I’ve worked with anyways, tend not to bite as frequently as other species.  The ‘tiels tend to just lunge or nip before it comes down to biting at which point you should know the bird is mad and to back off completely eliminating the chance of the bird biting you anyways.  

Make sure there is an avian specific vet near you, regular veterinarians can not properly treat parrots, they are very specific in their treatments and medications and need a proper avian vet.  Many times regular vets overlook major signs of illness because they are not commonly working with birds.

Parrots in general are hard to care for, they hide signs of illness really well, many household things can kill them (non-stick pans, some heaters, aerosols), if you don’t react correctly to biting or screaming they can develop bad habits and it can be a lot to take in if you’ve never worked with parrots before!  Just make sure you do all your research, check out our FAQ and make sure you fully understand what you’re getting in to!  There’s a lot more to birds than just snuggles, tricks, and mimicry!  They can be a lot of work for first time bird owners and it can be very overwhelming, head out to a few shelters and spend time with birds first hand and see if they really work well with your family.  

I would start over at cockatiel cottage there’s a lot of reliable information on there which should give you a good idea about the work that goes in to living with a bird!

if you end up deciding against a cockatiel, species like lineolated parakeets, and budgerigars tend to be fairly good family birds as well for the inexperienced future bird owner! More about what species to get here and here.

as always - research, research, research.  Make sure you understand every detail of living with a bird before committing to one!

- Courtney (thepacificparrotlet)

15 9 / 2014

Anonymous said: Hi! I have a Sun Conure who is very territorial of me. He doesn't like anyone to be in the room with me. But recently I saw a lineolated (sp?) parakeet who was absolutely gorgeous and I already had a cage that I could put him in but I didn't know that my birb would appreciate it. Could we "break" his territorial ways against me and introduce a new bird?

You will have to break the territorial behaviours before bringing a new bird in to your house.

If he is specifically territorial of you then you need to get the bird to spend more time with other people.  Get other people to play with the conure, feed it treats and get him to see that when he spends time with other people it’s always rewarding.  Gradually he will become less territorial of you and be more open towards spending time with everyone.  If he is extremely territorial meaning that he will attack or bite anyone else in the house then do try out target training, get the bird to learn how to target train with you then get other people to play the target training game with him.  This way other people can be at a safer distance without fear of being bitten and the bird will gradually begin to enjoy spending time with other people.  Over time the territorial behaviours should subside.

Once the bird is no longer territorial of you you may bring another bird in to the house but you will need to be careful about it.  Make sure you wake up the conure first, feed him first, he goes to bed last, he needs to maintain his status as ‘your bird’ above all else, if he feels another bird is coming in and taking you away he will become aggressive again.

When introducing them keep it simple and slow, let the conure be able to see the other bird in it’s cage outside of his territory.  Let him just be able to view the cage from wherever he is in the room. Gradually he will get used to another bird in the house, once he seems okay with the other bird you can take them in to a room which belongs to neither of them, grounds of equal territory.  Typically this room will be a bathroom or basement, just somewhere that neither bird spends a lot of time in.  Let the birds see each-other in this room and get used to each-other, (due to the size difference I personally wouldn’t let them interact) eventually both birds will see that the other is not a threat.

So once you have gotten rid of the territorial issues just make sure that your conure does come first for everything in order to avoid aggression in the future.  I wouldn’t bring another bird in to the house quite yet, even if he never sees the linnie he will know there is another bird and this will cause him to become even more territorial of you.

- Courtney (thepacificparrotlet)

15 9 / 2014

crab-hand said: So our budgie is looking like she's definitely female in that her cere has turned completely tan, where it was purpley-blue as a barhead. My concern is she's 7 months old now and the cere is starting to go brown and crusty where it joins the beak. Could her breeding hormones be kicking in this early or could this be because she has mites? Thanks.

Hi,

So budgies do mature fairly early on in some cases. Keep in mind that in their natural habitat, they have to be able to breed and raise a new generation in a short window of time, when the rainy season comes. In some cases budgies can birth several generations in one season! 

The phenomenon of the female’s cere changing color is known as brown hypertrophy; this means the cells of the cere turn brown and become bigger/crustier. It’s entirely normal and nothing to worry over; if she is not itching at the cere (some itching may occur, but I’m talking constant) and the cere is not getting larger (that is, sticking out a lot more), it’s not likely to be mites. Mites will also spread to the beak, feet, etc. The following is an image of a budgie w/ cnemidocoptes (skin mites):

http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/multimedia/v4734167.html?Ref=t&ItemId=v4734167&RefId=exotic_and_laboratory_animals/pet_birds/parasitic_diseases_of_pet_birds&Speed=256&Plugin=WMP&Error=

—Lucy (bootywraith)

15 9 / 2014

teaforonedoll said: My cockatiel (Charlie) has been puffed up for about three days. He has also been sleepy during the day. He has also been a lot more vocal outside the cage. He talks non stop outside the cage. He usually talks a little outside his cage. Plus I just noticed he has a lot of poop stuck to his butt. Is he sick? He isn't sneezing and his nose looks dry. He is also molting. I'm thinking he is sick but I'm not sure yet. He keeps trying to clean his butt. Should I let him?

Hi,

It sounds as though your ‘tiel is indeed feeling under the weather. I would make an appointment with an avian veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Puffing up, lethargy (sleepiness), changes in behavior, droppings clinging to the vent, etc, are all potential signs of illness. 

—Lucy (bootywraith)

14 9 / 2014

Anonymous said: Hello! I was wondering if small animal toys could be used as toys for parrots? Some stores have interesting wooden toys that I'm sure my sun conure would love but I don't know if it's safe

askbirdbloggers:

You would have to research the actual product in this case.  There’s a lot of woods that are fine with other animals but are absolutely toxic to birds.  Many times the woods for other animals are also coated with flavourings or are dyed with chemicals which are not safe for birds, especially if digested.  

If you really want that toy in particular you would have to research the company, figure out what woods they use, what dyes they use, what processes they use for treating the woods to make sure that it is 100% safe for your bird. I would stay away from them just to be on the safe side. 

- Courtney (thepacificparrotlet)

Hi,

Wanted to add that some non-bird toys are safe, but always check for coatings and be wary of anything metal. I bought Nim a jingly cat ball once (the latticed kind with a bell in it) and since there’s no catnip, etc, it’s safe. When in doubt, stick with toys designed for birds.

—Lucy (bootywraith)

14 9 / 2014

Anonymous said: Hi! I had a question about allergies. I have a deep fear of becoming allergic to my cat and bird. Is there anything I can do to prevent this? Minus air filters because of the ionizers. Also, is this something I need to be worried about? Thank you! Xx

askbirdbloggers:

Depends what kind of allergy you would have towards them, if you’re allergic to the bird itself there’s not much you can do except take medications and kind of hope for the best.  If you’re allergic to the dust they produce then there’s a few things which come to mind.

Make sure the bird gets frequent baths, the cleaner they are the less dust they will have and it’s healthier for them anyways.  Make sure the bird is in a well-ventilated room, if it’s not well ventilated and you’ve got a dusty species like cockatiels it won’t take long before that room fills up with dust. Otherwise my go to response would be the filters since they remove many pathogens from the air which could be causing the allergic reaction.  Make sure you dust, vacuum and clean frequently to keep the dust down to help limit the reaction as well.

You can’t stop yourself from becoming allergic to something but you can remove things that you react to.  If you are allergic to pollen then close windows until the season passes, remove plants that you may have an acute reaction to.  Removing other things that cause allergic reactions will help to lessen the reaction you get from the bird.

I can’t advise you on behalf of the cat as that is not my area of expertise.

Many people live with birds while being allergic to them, you just need to find what works for you.  If you end up having a bad reaction day then take some medications and go for a walk until you clear up a bit.  I wouldn’t say this is something to be worried about unless allergies are something which runs in your family, allergies don’t typically show up out of the blue without some sort of genetic background.

- Courtney (thepacificparrotlet)

Hiya peeps!
RE that last question about allergies to cats and birds…can’t speak too much for the cat, since human allergies still mystify me! (Although I’ve had a lot of clients anecdotally tell me they’ve had it the other way ‘round - they became “desensitized” to their own cat.)
However, with the bird, there /is/ a particular condition known most commonly as “bird-fancier’s lung” which might be worth a mention. It’s what’s called an “acquired hypersensitivity” - an allergic condition that develops over time from repeated exposure to the particular allergen. The allergy is to a protein in bird faeces, and symptoms include a dry cough, breathlessness and chest pain about five hours after exposure to the birds. It’s most commonly seen in people with aviaries or pigeon lofts - large numbers of birds in a small place, often not kept as clean or well-ventilated as it should be.
With just one bird, Anon, you’re at pretty low risk - however, precautions never hurt anyone! Clean your bird’s cage and change the newspaper/sandsheets/liner outside, so the dust doesn’t settle in your house or carpets. Regular cleaning will, of course, limit the amount of bird faeces you’re dealing with each time and mean it’s less likely to be crumbled and dusty. When cleaning the cage, keep your hair tied back (if applicable), wear a rainmac (so the dust doesn’t get in your clothes), wash your hands well, and you can’t go wrong with a dust-mask - all hygiene protocols that’ll do you well not just for that one particular rare-but-possible condition.

fuckyeahvaleyard

Yeah I didn’t bother mentioning that because it is incredibly rare and typically only occurs with Cockatoos and other high dust birds which are kept in super small unventilated rooms!  There’s not really a lot to be concerned about, I’ve got 5 parrotlets and have been working with birds (cockatoos included) for many years without any trouble.  I will post it anyways just because it’s good to know for anyone who’s never heard of it before.

- Court