Parrots and Disease

If your birds are kept clean and on a healthy diet, you are very unlikely to catch disease from them. To be on the safe side, always wash your hands with soap and water after any contact with parrots, whether handling them, cleaning the cage or merely changing the food bowls.

You could also protect your hands with rubber gloves, and wear a mask to avoid breathing in dust from the cage. Never hold food in your mouth for the parrots to take, and avoid kissing them. If you follow these common sense rules, and ensure that everyone else in the household does likewise, you have little to fear.


Cockatiel eating corn
You are unlikely to catch diseases from parrots, as long as you wash your hands

Sick as a Parrot

Most health issues involved with parrot keeping are going to be with the birds, rather than their owners. There are many diseases that can make a parrot’s life a misery - as hinted at in the phrase ‘sick as a parrot’. This originated in the mid-1920s, during a widespread outbreak of Parrot Disease. With 800 people infected, scientists investigated the ailment for the first time, making the connection between infection and inhalation of infected bird ‘dander’ (dust from feathers and dried droppings).

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