Isolation and Quarantine  

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Buying Guide Article













  New birds: Isolation and quarantine guide


  Newly purchase birds, birds that is borrowed for breeding purpose or just returned from a show or even that is just come back from travel (I didn’t know about you, but I do bring some of my tame pet cockatiel to travel with me from Kuala Lumpur to Kedah and Kelantan) has potential source of micro-organisms to all birds which it come into contacts. Therefore, quarantine is vital for these birds. In Malaysia, quarantine laws is apply to birds and any other animals in the port of entry in special quarantine premises.

    ‘quarantine’ is believed to comes from the old French official method, quarantre which representing 40 days isolation. However, nowadays it seem that this term is used in broader term.

    Quarantine is a vital process which I believe no bird breeder or pet bird keeper should take it easy. It is a valuable tools in preventing entry of epidemic decease or preventing re entry of those which have been eradicted. In international level, quarantine is one of the way to suppress livestock deceases such as tuberculosis, brucellisis glanders, rinderpest and rabbies.

    In smaller scale, such as bird breeders or pet birds owner, quarantine will prevent the animals deceases to pass from another aviary to enter to another aviary or from a shop to another shop.

    In Malaysia, there were some quarantine center in the entry point of the country, for example is in Johor Bharu, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Rantau Panjang in Kelantan. However, as I know only KLIA quarantine center that have complete facilities for every animals. In KLIA, MAS Cargo has one interesting service which is Animal Hotel, which I believed is the best service for transporting animal especially life animals  in Malaysia.

    Regarding the cost of this quarantine service, it is only few ringgit per day (which the price is actually different from different type of animals and of course their size – I believed)

    If you are a pet bird owner in Malaysia and you just have your pet birds travel with you, I would like to recommend you to have a quick quarantine. You can manage this quarantine  process by yourself. This is of course, I assumes that you observed your pet birds, and you think there is nothing wrong with your pet birds. If you found anything (I mean any sign of sickness) you should bring the bird to the vet immediately and not try to continue to quarantine by your own.



  Guide to do a quick quarantine by your own

    I would like to stress that this is only applicable to pet birds owner who have more than a birds. If you only have one birds, then the quarantine is not necessary since the main purpose of this process is to prevent spread of decease from a bird to another bird.

    The first step in this is by having extra cage and accessories which you will reserve only for  quarantine your birds only. This cage can’t be use in any case to keep your common stock. The cage must be comfortable for your new birds and you also must ensure that the birds didn’t feel too stress in this cage. A stress birds will have less immunity towards any bacteria or decease.

    Keep the quarantine cage in different place from the rest of your cockatiel or birds stock. This cage must be place in the area that have fresh air, enough light (but not too hot) and not many activities going on (to make the birds less nervous). This place also must be easy to access and each time you access, you should not make the birds afraid or shock. Any other pet or wild birds/ animals must not have any access to this area.

    Any perch or other cage accessories should not be share with other aviary or cage. Even you yourself have to clean your hand before and after feeding or visit this area. One tips from me is that you can feed your healthy bird cockatiel before go to your quarantine cage or sick birds. (even this, you still should wash your hand and yourself before and after each cage). This is because sometimes even we as a human can be the agent to spread the decease. This is one of the reasons why some of the birds breeder didn’t allowed outside person to visit their breeding aviary.

    The quarantine area must be keep clean and the birds should be provided with good and healthy food as your other birds. You also should check and observe this birds everyday. If you feel anything is wrong with your bird, immediately bring her to see the Vet.

    After says 14-15 days pass and if your quarantine birds is healthy, you can put them back to your main cage or aviary. Then, all the quarantine cage and its accessories should be disinfectant and keep nicely in your store until next birds is coming.


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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November 2003