How the disease spread

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


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Cockatiel health













            If our bird is sick, some time it is very difficult to find the source of the diseases. Since some disease is fatal and didn’t give a chance to us to help our beloved pet birds. I think we should learn how the disease spread and make sure we take necessary step to prevent this from happen.

            Learning this may help both our birds and us in long term. This is because sometimes we will not realized that the disease may come from us.


Possible source of infection 

1. Aviary visitors.

            If we keep our birds in an aviary, sometimes our birds may not just have our guest as their visitor. Sometimes (usually happen) that the aviary will have other uninvited visitor also which will include wild birds during day time and other night creature such as rat, bats and cockroach during night time.

            Wild bird normally will visit the aviary to look for some friends or some left food. Some of them just passed by and perch on top of the aviary. In the case that the aviary have no roof, the dropping of the wild bird will passed through into the aviary. If our bird have any contact with the dropping, the disease will spread to our pet bird and will harm our birds.

            Rodents and cockroach also is other main source of disease carrier. Normally they will come into the aviary during night time and we as the bird owner may not really aware of them. However, the rat or mouse may cause “night flight” which is one more problem for our birds. There were some method to prevent them or to discourage them to come to our aviary. First method is to removed and clean every scattered food at the end of the day. The rat mostly come to look for food left by the bird. If there is no food for them anymore, they will stop coming and will look for their food elsewhere. The second method is by rearranging our aviary decoration. Rat or mouse normal like messy place. If we minimize plant or decoration of our aviary, it will somehow discourage the rat to come. Well I guest they will think that “empty place” will have no food and protection for them. We also actually can prevent them by do a good during setting up or designing our aviary. Proper aviary design will able to prevent rat to enter the aviary. Addition to this, we also can use mouse trap to catch them and release them away from our area. However, please do not attempt to use poison because some mistake will able to kill our aviary resident !


2. Bacteria from decaying foodstuff.

            Left over food at the end of each day will become suitable breeding ground of bacteria and fungus. Actually bacteria and fungus is present in most part of the world and the bird body is able to defend some of the bacteria. However if the bacteria multiply (because of the good condition and food available), our bird antibody may not able to stand it and they may get sick. Some fungus especially aspegillosis will able to kill bird in very short time and without any warning sign!

            Since this problem may cause life of our bird, we should also stress on this point and control the amount of bacteria and fungus in our any or cage at minimal level. Here is some suggestion on how to do this;-

·        Provide only sufficient food to the bird and avoid giving them exercise food which will left over land become breeding ground of the bacteria. If you have no choice (or not always at home) you may choose to give your bird food stuff that can stand longer and not spoiled just after short period of time.

·        Always clean the food container before add new food. You may choose to have two set of food and water bowl, therefore you will have time to clean and let it dry while your bird can enjoy her food in the other set of bowl.

·        Always clean bird facet (dropping) and don’t let the bottom of the cage.

Cockatiel Books and Video Tapes from Avian Publications

The Complete Pet Bird Owner's Handbook (Revised Edition) by Dr. Gary A. Gallerstein

Avian Medicine: Principles and Application (Abridged Edition) by Dr. Branson Ritchie, Dr. Greg Harrison, Linda Harrison & Dr. Donald W. Zantop

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