The Dangers of Sharing a Room With Parrots

After seeing various posts about people who keep their birds in their bedrooms, aside from the lack of proper sleep hours, I wanted to address an issue for those who have “powder / dust” birds, which are Cockatoos, Cockatiels, and African Greys. There is a risk of disease that you can get if you don’t keep your house clean. Unlike other birds who secrete preening oils, these birds make a very fine powdery to protect their wings, and make them more waterproof.

Supposedly pigeons, parakeets, budgies, chickens, etc also can create dust.

Unfortunately many people can develop allergies to this dust. While typically not fatal, it can disrupt your life. And I do have a personal friend currently on the list for a lung transplant for this disease, and the doctors don’t know how it got so bad, since he isn’t around birds now.

The disease is Bird Fancier’s Lung (or Bird Lover’s Disease). It is one form of Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis. It is caused by the dust of dried poop, and the powdery dander of these birds.

I have 17 birds, which include 4 cockatiels and an African Grey. I have HEPA filters running all day, every day, in all the rooms they are in. While the filters should last 3-6 months normally, mine are caked in white “chalk” within 2 months. Also, if I don’t clean every week, all my furniture becomes “frosty” looking with fine powder.

So, just something to consider. And those who have allergies, think more before getting a bird, just in case.