Many members bring their birds to the club meetings. Since many avian diseases are airborne, you shouldn’t bring any new birds to the meeting that have not been quarantined for a minimum of six weeks. Quarantine means in a separate area from all other birds, preferably another room with a closed door to prevent airborne diseases from spreading.A new bird should be tested by your veterinarian for Chlamydia, Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD), Polyomavirus, Pacheco’s disease, and any others recommended by your veterinarian, prior to exposing other birds to it.
Several years ago there was a story about a woman who played with her pet Conure before traveling across the country to visit a relative. When she got there, she proceeded to pet an Amazon. The Amazon died soon after from Pacheco’s disease which she had unknowingly carried from her own pet Conure, who she didn’t know was a carrier of the disease, even though the Conure was not sick. So, the next time you ask if you can hold or pet someone’s bird and they won’t let you, there’s a very good reason!
Bacteria can land on your clothing from feather dust and dust from feces, whenever you are near birds, whether at home, at the club meetings, in a pet store, or at someone’s aviary. When you go home, change your clothes and shoes, and shower with an antibacterial soap such as is used in hospitals, so you don’t carry disease to your own birds.
Another place that is easy to contact disease is the bird fairs and marts we all love to go to! I personally know of disease that was spread at a couple of bird marts, and many birds died from it!
When you purchase bird toys and/or equipment, be sure to sterilize them well prior to giving them to your birds, as they might be covered with dangerous bacteria.
Now that I’ve scared you, let me tell you it isn’t all that bad. Use good, common sense and be careful. Keep cages, food dishes, toys, and play areas clean so there are no bacteria on them. Enjoy these birds that we are blessed to have as companions. They are wonderful!