Importance of Quarantining Birds by Jean “The African Queen” Pattison

The Importance of Quarantining Birds by Jean Pattison. This is probably one of the most misunderstood necessities of owning birds. When one is quarantining a bird or birds it is to protect the old flock as well as the new.

Bird Health Care

This is probably one of the most misunderstood necessities of owning birds. When one is quarantining a bird or birds it is to protect the old flock as well as the new. Each group of birds live in their own unique environment, and have built up immunities to the germs (good and bad) that they are exposed to daily. Regardless of where a new bird is purchased from, or how impeccable the husbandry or the reputation of the seller, quarantine should be regarded as a very necessary practice.

The new bird is crated and taken from its eco-system and placed in a totally new environment with a multitude of germs (good and bad) that it has never been exposed to. During this move to the new location some stress will be experienced. This stress can be very minor or it can be a major upset, depending on the nature of the bird, the difference in environment and how the bird reacts to it. During this time of stress, the birds immune system may become suppressed, and the bird may not be in as good a physical shape as when it left its home. If the bird is not quarantined, it will be bombarded by millions of new germs and the immune system will need to kick in and respond to all these new germs (good and bad). With a compromised immune system the bird will not be able to surmount a good response and may indeed fall victim to a germ that normally would not be pathogenic (disease causing) in this bird in a different situation.

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    The new bird now becomes ill and starts shedding vast amounts of this now (new to him) pathogenic germ, and also starts shedding germs in vast amounts that the bird brought with him from his old environment. We now have millions of pathogens in the environment that the resident birds are being exposed to. Some are new germs, and some are old that they had immunities to, but the shear volume is more than they can handle. Now we have old and new birds getting sick, and of course one believes this disease came with the newest arrival.

    Obviously, if any of the birds involved had an existing pathogenic disease, the consequences would be much worse.

    Had this arrival been quarantined properly, his stress level would not have been so great and his immune response would have been able to build up to the smaller amounts of germs it was exposed to. After a gradual time of small exposures, the immune system can build immunities at a much more normal pace, and not become compromised. This gradual transition into a new environment proves beneficial, and necessary to all the birds involved. Germs don’t read one way signs.

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      Jean “The African Queen” Pattison, FL

      Bird Healthcare / Diseases

      Index of Bird Diseases / Health Problems and Research

      Avian Pain Assessment & Management

      The Different Bird Species and Their Respective Syndromes

      Symptoms and Possible Diseases

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        Bird Nutrition – the Key To Avian Health

        Glossary of Avian Medical Terms

        Identifying a Potentially Sick Bird / Testing for Diseases and Infections

        Photo of author

        Jeannine Miesle

        Jeannine Miesle, M.A., M.Ed, Allied Member, Association of Avian Veterinarians is an important contributor to Beauty of Birds. Jeannine has done considerable writing, proofreading and editing for journals and newsletters over the years. She had taught English and music in the schools and presently is an organist at Bethany Church in West Chester, Ohio. She also administrates a Facebook group, The Science of Avian Health.

        Jeannine takes in rescued cockatiels and presently has twelve birds. When they come to her they remain as part of her flock.