Quarantining a New Bird

If you have done your homework on birds you understand the way that many of the diseases associated with them lays dormant until stress or circumstance allows the disease to become active. Unlike dogs, there are few inoculations available to keep birds protected.

It's complicated and can be pretty scary to perspective buyers who gets that queasy feeling in the pit of their stomach even considering the possibility of paying hundreds of dollars for a bird that they might find laying dead in the bottom of their equally expensive cage, five days after bringing them home.

If yours is a single bird household, then there is no need for a quarantine period.

Any time you bring a new bird into an environment where there are other birds present you need to keep that bird separate from your other birds for a reasonable amount of time. Of course that time allowance will be challenged by different professionals. An experienced bird breeder might say 60 days, a vet might say 90 days. I generally keep new birds in quarantine for 6 weeks unless physical signs make me nervous enough to stretch that period out a bit.

There is another reason to put a new bird in quarantine besides the threat of a disease breaking. You also must be sympathetic to the newcomer.

As with a child attending a new school in mid-semester, your bird needs to adjust to a new situation. The bird is entering an established group with an already established "pecking order." It is hard enough to adjust to new surroundings and a new home without experiencing dominance issues.

It is easier on the new-comer to be out of sight but still within hearing range of the established companion bird or group of birds. It's better that each can call back and forth and communicate without the feeling of hostility that sometimes erupts when a new member is added to the flock.

In an established flock, the newcomer is cleaned and fed last.