Quarantine of New Birds
1. What does quarantine of a new bird mean?
Quarantine is the separation and isolation of all new birds from all other birds.
All new birds are quarantined to prevent the introduction of new infections to the other birds already in the owners home or aviary.
2. What type of separation is needed?
The new birds should be kept in a separate room to all the other birds. I f the birds are outside they should be placed in a cage as far as possible away from all the other birds. The birds should be preferably protected from access by wild birds.
3. What other precautions should be taken?
The new birds should be fed and their cages cleaned after all the other birds have been fed and cleaned.
All seed and other waste should be removed and disposed of.
4. What period of quarantine is needed?
The length of quarantine is a minimum of six weeks. If the bird is sick during this time than the quarantine period is extended by a further six weeks.
For exotic (overseas) birds the quarantine period may be longer. In some cases the new highly valued bird may need to be protected from infections of the owners other birds.
Some pet owners are reluctant to keep the birds separate for the six week period. The owner should keep the birds separated for at least a week. The owner be advised that this is not an appropriately safe period of quarantine to prevent infections. This period only allows for examination by an avian veterinarian and for the obvious display of a birdís already present clinical signs.
5. What signs are looked for during quarantine?
The birds behavioural patterns especially its eating habits are observed and any change to this or any clinical signs of disease are noted and treated.
6. What type of examination and treatment are necessary?
Before entering the quarantine period the bird should be weighed and its general health checked. The birds should be examined and treated for mites and lice at the beginning and end of quarantine. The birds should be wormed at the beginning and end of the quarantine period.
7. What simple veterinary checks can be performed by an avian veterinarian?
The general health of the bird can be examined. The bird can be checked for mites and lice. Microscopic examination for worms, megabacteria and motile protozoa.The bird can be tested and/or prophylactically treated for chlamydia with doxycycline for six weeks. More advanced tests may be needed for highly valued birds.Any birds that die in quarantine should have a post mortem.
8. Will all the diseases be detected or treated during the quarantine period?
The majority of treatable problems will be detected during the 6 week period. Many non-treatable viral diseases may also be detected simply becuase of the birds abnormal behaviour during quarantine.
However several diseases, especially some viral diseases with long incubation periods, will neither be detected nor prophylactically treated.
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