Post by hoopedydoo on Aug 27, 2011 18:30:19 GMT -5
I AM VERY,VERY SAD TO SAY THAT I HAVE FINALLY COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT I AM ALLERGIG TO MY BELOVED COCKATIELS. I'VE HAD THEM ALL AROUND 5 YEARS AND IT WAS ABOUT 3-4 YEARS AGO WHEN MY GANG GREW TO DOUBLE DIGITS IN MY APARTMENT THAT I BEGAN TO DEVELOP BREATHING PROBLEMS. CANT SAY FOR SURE UNTIL I CAN GET A DOCTOR TO CONFIRM IT, BUT IF IT IS TRUE, I WILL BE RELUCTANTLY LOOKING FOR A HOME FOR MOST OF MY BABIES - IF NOT ALL. RIGHT NOW I HAVE 14 BIRDS BUT I AM VERY CONCERNED THAT THEY GO TO A HAPPY ENVIRONMENT AS I LOVE THEM ALL DEEPLY. DOES ANYONE HAVE THIS PROBLEM AND/OR CAN ANYONE ADVISE WHERE I SHOULD TURN?
Post by marieandchirpy on Aug 27, 2011 20:40:52 GMT -5
cockatiels produce special feathers that break down into a very fine powder. It's called "powder down" and the birds use it in grooming. It also turns into dust and can aggravate allergies and other respiratory problems. I do have allergies and only get some minor irritation from my Cockatiel. There are remedies to reduce the amount of powder down such as bathing the birds everyday, misting and changing the cage liner everyday. There is also purchasing a very expensive air purifier with a hepa filter. If it is the Cockatiels that are causing allergy problems, with 14 tiels in an apartment your best bet is to get an expensive air purifier. If you cannot afford to get an air purifier then my advise is to find new homes for most of the birds, because with that many birds bathing, misting, and changing the cage liner everyday will not be enough to decrease your allergy problem.
If you decide to find new homes for the birds, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will see what I can do to help find the birds good homes.
I love Cockatiels
Come join the National Cockatiel Society facebook group:
Post by White Wolf on Sept 13, 2011 19:32:07 GMT -5
Contrary to incorrect information found on the web, here is the real rundown on cockatiels, and feather dander, so that you can make an educated decision weather or not to re-home your beloved pets. I currently have been breeding tiels for over 25 years and suffer from chronic bronchitis and asthma, and still have no issues dealing with my flock of 44. I had the breathing conditions long before my birds came into my life, and have taken precautions to prevent further lung injury, but I would NEVER get rid of my feathered family members. Anyone who has spent time around birds is very aware of the feathers, feather particles and feather dust which will be found around the area. But there are some species of parrots which produce an additional feather dander called powder. People who are very concerned with neatness in their homes are poor candidates for owning any pet bird. They would be fighting a losing battle, trying to eliminate all signs of feather dander in their home. However, even for those not-so-neat-freaks, feather dust can also be a health hazard. People with asthma, allergies or respiratory problems can experience breathing problems from feather dander. Even those who can tolerate some feather dust, may not be able to handle the additional dust produced by a cockatiel. There is a disease called allergic alveolitis (also known as budgerigar dander pneumonicosis, bird breeder's disease, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and pigeon breeder's lung) which affects the lungs and occurs in people who are hypersensitive to feathers, feather dust, and fecal material expecially from pigeons and budgies. Feather Dust can be easily spread throughout a home. Birds have a wide variety of feathers, from large flight feathers to tiny down feathers. The tiny down feathers, small pieces of feathers and other feather particles are very light and can easily be carried throughout the area by traffic, air currents and even via air conditioning and heating ducts. My birds were housed in a bird room off from my office and I am constantly wiping a layer of dust off my computer, just outside the closed door of my bird room. Feather dander is caused by a variety of factors. When birds preen their feathers and during periods of playing and excercising, small pieces of feathers are frequently broken off. These pieces drop to the ground, but air currents, fluttering wings of the birds, etc. help spread these pieces throughout the environment. Bathing is another source of losing full or portions of feathers. And when molting occurs or during periods of high activity, entire feathers are also lost. New feathers grow in with a keratin coating on the sheath of the feather. As the feather matures, the keratin dries and breaks off in small pieces, producing feather dander. The Powder Down Birds have an additional type of feather. Powder down feathers are small specialized feathers that shed a very fine, white, waxy powder composed of keratin. Powder down forms a waterproof barrier for contour feathers and is spread through the feathers when the bird grooms. Cockatiels, Cockatoos and African Greys, produce the greatest amount of powder on their feathers. If one strokes a cockatiel, it will feel very silky and soft. And when done, there will often be a coating of fine white powder on the hand. As mentioned above, powder down can cause irritation to people with respiratory problems and allergies. Most parrots - except amazons and a few of the macaws - have a preen gland (uropygial gland) which is found on the back at the base of the tail. When a bird grooms its feathers, it spreads the secretions from the gland throughout its feathers. This is important for waterproofing the feathers, manufacturing vitamin D precursors, keeping the skin, feathers, and bill supple, and performing an antibacterial function. But it also causes feather dust to be slightly sticky and difficult to remove. There are a number of things that can be done to reduce the amount of feather dust. Frequent bathing of birds, daily sweeping, mopping and vacuuming, wiping down the cage and changing the cage liners often can help. For those who are sensitive, use a face mask when changing or cleaning the cage. Don't use a carpet in the room which contains the bird cage. Limit the number of birds owned or get a smaller species which doesn't put out as much dust. Pet or play with birds immediately after bathing, when they are less dusty. Changing furnace filters more frequently also helps. Some people put Hepa filtering devices in their bird rooms or other areas where they spend time. Some add these filters to their furnaces. Getting a vacuum with a Hepa filter also helps clean the air. Others use air cleaners (ionizers), but this is a controversial solution. Replace drapes with vertical blinds, if possible. They catch less dust. There are even pillowcovers which act as filters. Dust living areas often with products like Swiffers which attract dust. Some people will have problems, no matter what is done and should think twice about owning a bird. Others may be able to tolerate birds, but not the powder down birds. Birds are wonderful pets, but are not for everyone. Blessings Ruth White Wolf
"It's not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences"
Post by marieandchirpy on Oct 10, 2011 15:25:35 GMT -5
I have a Hamilton Beach TrueAir Allergen reducer. It's a relatively inexpensive air cleaner and does a good job of cleaning the air. Also have a lightweight Eureka 12 motor vacuum with a Hepa filter. I use it everyweek to vacuum the bird room and it does an amazing job of cleaning the air.
Have you tried any of White Wolf's suggestions in the post above?
How severe are your allergies?
I love Cockatiels
Come join the National Cockatiel Society facebook group:
;D HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW VERY BAD NEWS CAN BE VERY GOOD NEWS TOO...TURNS OUT THAT AFTER SEEKING MEDICAL ADVICE, I DISCOVERED THAT I AM NOT ALLERGIC TO MY BEST BUDDIES - WHAT I THOUGHT WAS A BRONCHIAL/ALLERGIC ISSUE WAS IN FACT A DEADLY BLOOD CLOT THAT HAD TRAVELLED TO MY LUNGS. AFTER A WEEK IN THE HOSPITAL AND ONGOING CARE, I AM ALL BETTER AND SUPER RELIEVED THAT I WILL BE KEEPING ALL MY BIRDS - A SWEET SIDENOTE - YESTERDAY, ONE OF MY PAIRS HAS GIVEN BIRTH TO ANOTHER BABY!!!
Hi Marie and Chirpy: Thanks for the suggestions and I have also been reading White Wolf's... So this weekend, I will probably invest in the hamilton beach allergen reducer that you reommend. . I have also tried to get my birds used to a gentle spray (they are rehomed), and they are not used to this "bathing"---- but hope in time they will. I did request to join your rehome Parrot facebook page too.. What a nice idea! take care, Josie/Jax
DOES ANYONE HAVE THIS PROBLEM AND/OR CAN ANYONE ADVISE WHERE I SHOULD TURN?
hoopedydoo - been allergic to my little KatoBird from the beginning. Just do the best we can and try to keep his cage clean. Allowing lots of fresh air into the house really helps. My doc told me to get rid of him. Told the doc he'd go before Kato. Nuf said. I know everyone has to make a choice. My decision was well beyond any chance of saying good-bye to him. After 30 years it's improved a lot but I do have an inhaler just in case. Do what you think is best.