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Old 07-23-2011, 07:08 PM
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powder down birds

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I was just talking with a contractor (to put an addition onto the aviary), and was talking about wall placement in the new building section, and it occured to me to share this peice of advice....

Don't keep toos with macaws.

Macaws have a sensitive respitory track and they (espically blue and golds because their feathers don't shield their nares at all) can actually get sick from powder down birds (toos, tiels, and greys). Now if you have really good ventalation this won't ever be a problem.... and more often than not, people keep them together in their homes with no trouble.

Here's a breakdown of how we divide our birds and why....

Macaws are in the same section with the Eclectus, and that's it. (Both noisy and not bothered by noise, and both are non powder down birds.

Amazons are kept alone because they prefer a temp of about 65 degrees with a higher relative humidity than the others.

Each pair of toos is kept in their own room (they hate eachother, they are too loud to go with greys, and to dusty to go with anything else).

All the greys are kept together in the same section and we keep the pionus in that same section (the pionus do okay with a little dust, and our pionus and greys are shy and really like a low key quiter environment).

We scattered the two pairs of tiels with the toos (dusty and they don't seem to be affected by too screaming)

The conures and quakers are kept together in their own room as well (non dusty and they all chatter all day and no one is bothered by their neighbor).

All rooms have an exhaust fan located accross from the heat and ac vent (to encourage air movement out.). Each room has a hepa air filter. Our airconditioning goes through a uv sterilizer to keep from blowing in bacteria.

When we put the birds in their outside aviaries in the spring we still respect who shouldn't be able to see who... and we still keep toos away from macaws. The only exception to this is with unweened babies and they are all in the nursery room in the house, but I am still careful not to put toos with macaws. Just thought I'd share.... just my humble opinion, and what I feel is best for my birds.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:10 PM
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Re: powder down birds

& I thought Merlin made my life complicated. lol
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:48 PM
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Thumbs up Re: powder down birds

From what I understand Amazons are also powder down parrots. They're among a rather small group of birds with no oil/preening gland and apparently the powder is partly how the species compensates for that. I have a fairly large Salvin's Red-Lored and when she's not moulting (which is a blizzard) she produces notably more "bird dust" than the conure I had before her (i.e., feather dust and powder dust vs. just feather dust).

It seems the powder down is produced by specialized feathers and the lack of a uropygial gland is not the only reason a parrot has them. Environment is also key in this, which explains Cockatoos and the other two birds you list (very dry environment with little rain). What I found most interesting about all this is that Amazons do not come from a dry environment; they just lucked out in not having the gland. Nature is amazing.

Quote: Originally Posted by ShreddedOakAviary View Post
I was just talking with a contractor (to put an addition onto the aviary), and was talking about wall placement in the new building section, and it occured to me to share this peice of advice....

Don't keep toos with macaws.

Macaws have a sensitive respitory track and they (espically blue and golds because their feathers don't shield their nares at all) can actually get sick from powder down birds (toos, tiels, and greys). Now if you have really good ventalation this won't ever be a problem.... and more often than not, people keep them together in their homes with no trouble.

Here's a breakdown of how we divide our birds and why....

Macaws are in the same section with the Eclectus, and that's it. (Both noisy and not bothered by noise, and both are non powder down birds.

Amazons are kept alone because they prefer a temp of about 65 degrees with a higher relative humidity than the others.

Each pair of toos is kept in their own room (they hate eachother, they are too loud to go with greys, and to dusty to go with anything else).

All the greys are kept together in the same section and we keep the pionus in that same section (the pionus do okay with a little dust, and our pionus and greys are shy and really like a low key quiter environment).

We scattered the two pairs of tiels with the toos (dusty and they don't seem to be affected by too screaming)

The conures and quakers are kept together in their own room as well (non dusty and they all chatter all day and no one is bothered by their neighbor).

All rooms have an exhaust fan located accross from the heat and ac vent (to encourage air movement out.). Each room has a hepa air filter. Our airconditioning goes through a uv sterilizer to keep from blowing in bacteria.

When we put the birds in their outside aviaries in the spring we still respect who shouldn't be able to see who... and we still keep toos away from macaws. The only exception to this is with unweened babies and they are all in the nursery room in the house, but I am still careful not to put toos with macaws. Just thought I'd share.... just my humble opinion, and what I feel is best for my birds.
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:57 PM
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Re: powder down birds

Tadwick,

Amazons have powder dust not powder down. It's quite different! Only Cockatoos, Cockatiels, and African Greys have powder downs.
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