If you have a parrot and you bring a new parrot home, should you quarantine your new bird?

Every expert will say, “Yes!”

What Does It Mean To Quarantine?

Unless you have a way of knowing that the new parrot your are bringing home to your flock is absolutely free of any bacterial infections, viruses or any other ‘thing,’ then you should quarantine your new bird.

To quarantine a bird means to give them a fixed amount of time in which they are not able to contaminate your flock. They are kept in a separate space which ensures that nothing physical or airborne can affect or get to your current flock.

Depending on who you ask, different quantities of time are given to quarantine a parrot, generally between 30 to 90 days.

What Diseases Are You Trying To Avoid?

PDD – Proventricual Dilation Disease

 This is a diseases that, in layman terms, shrinks a parrot’s ‘stomach’ due to a viral presence. Parrots become weak and eventually die. There is no cure.

PBFD – Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease 

Layman (or Kalyn) terms, this is like AIDS for birds. It used to be called “Macaw Wasting Disease” because a parrot would ‘waste’ away. There is no cure

Psittacosis Or Chlamydia

Chlamydia causes Psittacosis. While there is a treatment, this is one of the few diseases that can be passed from your parrot to you.

Did I Quarantine Bonnie Rose, My Golden Conure (or Queen of Bavaria)?

I didn’t for several reasons:

She was tested for 4 diseases, including the three above.

I know where she’s been for the last 6 1/2 months.

I know how they take care of their parrots, reducing risks.

I find it uncommon to have so much information on a new parrot. Generally speaking, I don’t believe most breeders or bird stores test their parrots (I don’t know whether rescues test or not). 

Given all the information I have on Bonnie Rose, I felt comfortable letting her be in my house. Bonnie Rose is so shy and timid that I’ve been keeping her away from the flock most of the time. In her unique circumstances, she needs to become more confident that she now has a flock. It was clear to us that she was longing for a home, a place to belong. We want her to learn that were here for her, no one is going anywhere.  Her wings are, unfortunately, clipped and she’s not steady on a shoulder/moving perch. Until she feels more sturdy in herself, I want to see her adjust to our home, her new cage (eat well, which she does) before she’s truly integrated to the flock.

Have I Quarantined Before?

I have. I hate doing it because the new parrot is by him or herself most of the time. This is the opposite of what a parrot should be since they are so flock-oriented. However, you have to do what you have to do for everyone’s safety (every bird, that is). 

My avian veterinarian said that some of these diseases had all but disappeared in parrots here in the US, but they seem to be making a come-back. 

It is important to me to keep my flock as safe and healthy as possible. I tend to be very careful, therefore, about bringing new birds in or exposing my parrots to other parrots.


Have a questions about parrots?
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