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.

I have a very high quality air purifier that I use in my bedroom. It helps to keep bird dust from building up all over my furniture and keeps it from building up in my lungs :slight_smile:

There have been a couple of members of this forum who had to rehome their birds because of the development of bird lung. One must keep the environment immaculately clean and bath your dusty bird(s) often. Two or three GOOD air purifiers are a must.

It’s not only humans that can be damaged by the dust of these birds. Amazons, conures and especially Macaws are susceptible to Pulmonary Hypersensitivity Disease.

It’s not something to be paranoid about, but a concern is well worth while.

This sounds crazy but about two years ago I purchased the Health Pro Plus air purifier from iQAir and it is a great purifier! Yes, it is expensive but I think it is worth it.