Questions about having parrots and getting chickens

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by karenw, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. karenw

    karenw New Egg

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    Hi. I have 2 parrots, an African Grey and a Greencheek conure (Bubba and Chi). I have always wanted to have a small flock of chickens (3 or 4) as pets and for eggs. I am probably being majorly paranoid here [​IMG] but the parrots are like my children so I want to make sure of this before I go to get chickens. Will I be endangering either the parrots or the chickens by keeping both? The parrots are inside and the chickens outside but I am wondering how easy it is to transfer disease between the two. I have also heard in the past (and I do not know how true this is) that if chickens get sick in the area with Newcastle or Avian Influenza, etc., and flocks of chickens are destroyed that any pet birds such as parrots would also be destroyed. In your opinion is it wise to have chickens if you also have parrots for these reasons? Am I just being overly paranoid? I feel like I need to consider the wellbeing of both my parrots and any future chickens. I want to make sure I am doing the right thing by all of them. Any input is appreciated. Thanks!

    Karen
     
  2. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have chickens and parrots and no worries.. wash hands/use hand sanitizer between handling the chickens and the parrots...otherwise most zoonotic illnesses dont spread that easily
     
  3. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I worked at UCD, anyone that worked with poultry there was not allowed to keep any type of bird, pet or farm.
     
  4. abluechipstock

    abluechipstock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have a parrot that is 16 yrs old, never had a problem with keeping chickens also, now i have pigeons too [​IMG]
     
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I think there are two different issues to consider. The risk of disease is one and the less serious one. You can use common sense and educate yourself to prevent that being much of an issue. The more serious risk is your legal situation and potential loss of your parrots if there's an outbreak of a disease in your area. Although having chickens on your property could increase the risk, just living near other places that have chickens, especially large operations, potentially puts your parrots in harms way. Some areas have never had a problem and some areas have. It makes a difference where you live.

    There were a lot of horror stories coming out of CA in the past, during a disease outbreak, where parrots were confiscated and killed in front of their owners. It was bad. Really bad. Healthy looking indoor parrots, that weren't even tested. They lived in the eradication zone. Because of the severity and scope of the problem, they had a lot of temporary employees going door to door and some of them didn't handle things very well.

    They had different rules back then. I think they are doing quarantines and testing of people's parrots now, but I never heard all the finalized details. I just know there was a lot of outrage over what happened and they tried to change the rules to make it better the next time.

    I have no idea what state you live in or what their rules are in an outbreak. You should contact the government officials responsible for these situations in your state and ask them for information.

    As far as managing actual disease risk, my parrot was bred in captivity and I had him tested for everything they could test for, when I got him. I've gotten my chickens as chicks from well known hatcheries and get them vaccinated for whatever the hatchery offers for vaccinations. I feed both species as healthy a diet as I can, so they will have healthy immune systems.

    I have yard shoes that I don't wear in the house. I wash my hands after being in the coop or petting the chickens. I always wash my hands before handling my parrot, no matter what I've been doing or not doing. I have dogs, cats and fish, so I'm always careful about washing my hands, since parrots don't always handle the bacteria from other species all that well. After cleaning the coop, I take a shower and put on clean clothes. I also do that if I've been to a store with birds or visiting other's birds. I don't usually go to auctions or swaps, but if I did, I'd shower and change afterwards.

    I've had small parrots since at least the early seventies and chickens on and off since shortly after that, without it being a problem. My CAG is in his early twenties these days.
     
    2 people like this.
  6. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    very good advice woodland. [​IMG]
     
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you!
     
  8. karenw

    karenw New Egg

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    Thanks WoodlandWoman. That was very good advice indeed. I will contact my Department of Agriculture here and see what they say. That is what I am most worried about - if they just decide to do what they did in CA. I live in South Carolina (my husband is originally from Wisconsin by the way:)) so I'll find out the policy. Both of my parrots will be 10 years old this year.

    Karen
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  9. sumatra

    sumatra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an African gray and 2 lovebirds. I also have 100+ chickens turkeys, ducks quail and geese. Last year I bought a few chickens at an auction. I quarantined them, but ended up with mycoplasmosis and fowl pox in my flock. The pox was easy to eliminate, but the myco hung on for more than a year. I just made it arule to never go near the inside birds after I'd been with the outside birds. One time the parrot was telling me that he needed water, and it was a hot day, but I still went and got a shower and changed before he got watered. So far, not even a sniffle in here. Believe me, if anyone could get covered with germs, I did--turkey snot and chicken poo and all that good stuff, but just making sure I am showered seems to be enough.
     
  10. msdoolittle

    msdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great advice, WLW.

    I also use different shoes...one pair for my parrot aviary and one for the chicken pen.

    You advice is right-on. If you live in an eradication zone...God forbid anyone in your area comes down with END or something of that nature, then yes, your parrots and all of your birds will be destroyed. It's terrible, but that is the way it is.

    I worked at a vet clinic for many years so I respect quarantining and isolation of new and sick birds. Some bird diseases can be just downright scary.

    I just went thru avian pox in our flock myself. Fortunately, the mortality was extremely low in the flock. When you have birds that are amongst wild birds, things are going to happen sooner or later.

    My parrots are all outside. While I take cautions to prevent any cross-contamination from other birds and mosquitoes, there is no 100% guarantee that someone isn't going to catch something. So far, so good, but the possibility is always there.
     

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