Sick bird fairs

raeleigh26

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So.... I've made plans to go to the fair this weekend with my sister and her girls, and then I saw a post about someone who got a parrotlet last weekend at a fair (I went to that one too) and it died after being at the vet on day 2.
Said they always quarantine 30 days, and that fairs are dangerous for birds.

Well.... 2 things come to mind, first.... what's the risk of bringing something home to Ralphie, either on me or on a product? (Bought him a tree at the last one, cleaned with some vinegar and left outside in the sun for a day. )

Second.... has anyone bought a bird at a fair?
It seems they'd be a less popular place to buy birds if they were usually high risk.
I actually was interested in looking at some birds that are posted to be there.
we have thought of adding to our flock and Ralphie is pretty well established (as king lol) and stable. (Though in no way am I going to rush into another lifelong relationship unless it's just right. My other option is the store where I bought Ralph, who specializes in rehoming birds.)

I guess, 3 questions, actually....
How do you quarantine a new bird if you cannot keep them in a separate house/ building? (No matter when/ if we add to our flock) I'm keenly aware of cross contamination, and how simply airborne illness can be carried from room to room.

(I'd prefer to do as we did with Ralphie, and all our pets, to adopt rather than buy from a breeder. I've got no quarrels with breeders, just have a connection with the underdog.)

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noodles123

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there are many extremely contagious and asymptomatic viruses in parrots that can quickly kill other parrots--the US alone has a significant (40% or higher) rate among certain diseases, such as pbfd, pdd, and abv. I would not buy one from a fair for this reason-- 1. they can spread without even seeming sick and the tests that they have are sketchy if symptoms are not obvious and 2. you do not know their background etc...but disease is MAJOR (although it isn't a death sentence, the diseases I mentioned are super contagious, to the point that even buying a toy at a bird fair is a no-go---too transmissible in feather dander etc).


Quarantine= 45 days separate air space/changing clothes between handling etc..


Plus panels by an avian certified vet in the meantime.
 

noodles123

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I should note, that Noodles (as an adult with 3 prior homes) came from a very sketchy situation when I adopted her (not a bird fair-- but something like that in terms of risk)--Turns out, she was mostly healthy (no known viruses). Anyway, I knew she was likely going to be my only parrot (because she's a U2 and I just couldn't bite off 2), so I took the risk and then got her tested over the years. It all depends on your plans and current status as a bird owner...If you don't have any others and don't intend to get any others in the next 10 years, then you can take a chance on a sick bird. The risk is for current and future birds in the same home, as at least 1 of those viruses remains stable in carpet, AC units etc for years.
 
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Noahs_Birds

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First of all I need to understand what you mean by 'Fair', because is it a bird sale kind of a situation, or like markets down the street or is it actually like a fair with rides and competitions etc. (like you hear many stories how goldfish are won at Fairs/ Carnivals and taken home).

The reason I ask this is that, for example, specialized Bird sales that only sell birds and bird products must comply with the Code of Practice of Avicultural Associations and ANY birds that are brought home and suddenly appear sick more than likely were not properly inspected beforehand by the sales steward (which MUST be done by the club)
 

noodles123

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Pretty sure he is talking about USA bird fairs..which are like a convention on crack.
 

SailBoat

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The terms used in North America:

Bird Show: A Judged event in which individuals (commonly Breeders) bring their Parrot Nominates to be Judged against the defining points of its Species. Some buying /trading among Breeders, tend to be limited regarding selling to the Public

Bird Fair: More like a 'Flea Market' in which there are a wide selection of Bird related supplies, toys, cages, etc... available. In addition, Birds are also available for sale. The well run events have an Avian Medical Professional 'view' the Parrots prior to the start of the event.

Bird Fair /Show: Includes both of the above.

Our home has a strict requirements when attending such events: Upon returning home, the clothing would be removed and washed and the Humans would then fully shower prior to any interact with our Amazon.

Regarding Bring a Parrot Home. We set an appointment with our Avian Medical Professional, pick-up the Parrot, go directly to the Avian Vet prior to coming to our home.

We have long been a 'single' Parrot household and as a result Quarantine has never been an issue. Having said that, if your home has other Parrots, a Quarantine of 45 days would be my recommendations.

The lack of Avian Medical care is a serious problem around the World.
 
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raeleigh26

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First of all I need to understand what you mean by 'Fair', because is it a bird sale kind of a situation, or like markets down the street or is it actually like a fair with rides and competitions etc. (like you hear many stories how goldfish are won at Fairs/ Carnivals and taken home).

The reason I ask this is that, for example, specialized Bird sales that only sell birds and bird products must comply with the Code of Practice of Avicultural Associations and ANY birds that are brought home and suddenly appear sick more than likely were not properly inspected beforehand by the sales steward (which MUST be done by the club)
Bird fairs are a gathering of vendors and breeders selling in one event, everything from birds to tree stands and toys, feed, cages, anything related to exotic birds.

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raeleigh26

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Pretty sure he is talking about USA bird fairs..which are like a convention on crack.
(She) but yes. That. Bird convention. Idk that there are regulations on the health of birds brought in for sale.

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raeleigh26

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So..... it looks to me, and my vet has said the same, that most of the severe disease and viruses affecting parrots are pretty rare in the US.
I do understand how delicate birds are. That they can get disease from wild birds.
I may even be able to quarantine at another house no matter where I buy another bird.
Which should be done even if I buy from a breeder.

But am I understanding correctly that birds can be asymptomatic carriers of disease? Long term? That testing is inadequate?

That would mean Ralph is just a much a risk to a new bird as visa versa.

How does anyone have a healthy bird? How do rescues not lose them all? How are any birds survivors of bird fairs, bird shows, free flight, escaping and spending hours in native trees, walking on floors where people have walked after being on pigeon and raven occupied city streets to bring in groceries, having open windows in the spring with wild birds right outside on the bird feeder on the porch, or being in aviaries outside with wild birds attempting to steal their food, or rodents?

How do the birdtricks folks keep their birds alive being exposed to every state and cruises and plane rides?


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noodles123

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Yes, both birds are a risk to each other. Think about social circles and covid....The more exposures to other birds, the greater the risk. You need to quarantine any new bird for 45 days ***bare minimum*** to protect them both. You would also need testing on both for the more deadly illnesses. Although it isn't perfect, if an asymptomatic bird will test positive for abv, pdd of pbdfd, it will likely occur during times of stress/transition (like in a new home).


There are quite a few studies estimating that up to 40% of captive parrots in the US are carriers of abv and/or pdd (which originated in captive parrots in the us). Is your vet a certified avian vet? The whole reason for a 45 day quarantine of a new parrot (BARE MINIMUM) is due to the risk of them spreading disease, but also to reduce the likelihood of asymptomatic, stress-induced viral shedding. If you look around on the forums, you can also see numerous instances of a new bird infecting an old or vice-versa (without symptoms in the infected bird). You are also looking at a disease that can spread in the air via feather dust etc and abv and pdd are EXTREMELY stable long-term on surfaces and have also spread through hvac systems etc.People can touch bird after bird, and it is birds from all sorts of unknown breeders-- and it only takes 1 to potentially infect others (even if their breeders were trustworthy)



Lots of people's birds die of disease or other in-home hazards. The bereavement forums are full of their stories. Sure, there are people who have parrots for pets, but thousands of parrots die each year, you just don't hear as much about them.


There are also many avian professionals and vets who explicitly advise against bird shows due to this very issue. Testing of asymptomatic parrots can be tricky but PCR is the best bet (although false negatives do occur at times, while false positives are not an issue).


Sadly, most parrots die far younger than they should. A TAG can live to 70 or 80, but often, I read stories of people whose bird died at 10-30. My uncles TAG died at 40 from PDD and I live in the US...I have known so many people whose birds ended up sick with diseases. You see a snap-shot in time when you look at someone with a pet parrot, but you can't use that to assume that they will be as healthy etc for their potential life expectancy... I mean, you see a seemingly healthy bird and think all is well, but you aren't checking back with those owners 6 months to 70 years later...


Exotics vets are often unaware of these nuances- but here is a quote from an exotics website saying that bird fairs etc are a risk:

"DISEASE EXPOSURE should be avoided by quarantining all new birds from your existing flock or companion birds for one to three months. Taking birds to pet stores, bird fairs, and other bird gatherings with birds can expose them to deadly diseases. If you go on vacation or need to be away for an extended period of time it is far safer to have a friend or relative come into your home and care for your birds."
http://www.exoticpetvet.com/parrot-precautions.html <--that is the source
 
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Noahs_Birds

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The terms used in North America:

Bird Show: A Judged event in which individuals (commonly Breeders) bring their Parrot Nominates to be Judged against the defining points of its Species. Some buying /trading among Breeders, tend to be limited regarding selling to the Public

Bird Fair: More like a 'Flea Market' in which there are a wide selection of Bird related supplies, toys, cages, etc... available. In addition, Birds are also available for sale. The well run events have an Avian Medical Professional 'view' the Parrots prior to the start of the event.

Bird Fair /Show: Includes both of the above.

Thankyou for clarifying that, there's always a fair bit of confusion between Aussie and American terms (Bird Fairs in Australia are instead just called Bird/Club Sales).

I'd be interested to know if the 'Bird Fair' was run by a registered club, I must say it is very poor form for any club to have birds get sick and die suddenly which means there must have been some issue and the birds were not assessed properly.

I'm on the committee for the Downs Bird Breeders Association here in Australia and ALL birds are assessed very strictly before being sold and everything is cleaned and spaced apart so that there aren't any cases of cross contamination. We have never received any complaints of sick birds after a successful sale. To me it sounds like the 'Bird Fair' was very poorly run.
 

texsize

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My second Green cheek Amazon was purchased at a bird fair in August 2018.

My best advice about buying a bird at a bird fair (other than the good info above) is:

Buyer Beware.

Some vender was trying to sell a Yellow Nape Amazon that had a very yellow neck as a 1 year old bird.

I also saw a Orange Wing Amazon in truly horrible condition. I asked the guy what was wrong with the OrangeWing and he said noting it's a breeder bird.

I saw some beautiful and friendly birds including.
baby CAG;s
baby Macaws of all colors.

but it must be a completely uncontrolled environment for germs and whatnot.
I scratched multiple birds from multiple vendors.
It was a wonderland for me but in the back of my mind I was concerned about transmitting disease .

I went to 2 bird fairs before covid 19 put an end to that.
 

Scott

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I must admit most of my bird acquisitions other than hatchlings in my home came from a variety of sources. Pet shops, breeders, private parties, bird club raffles. We were mostly ignorant of quarantines and viral diseases during the 1980s and early 1990s. We were lucky indeed, no sudden or unexplained losses other than infectious diseases or old age. (age often presumed with arthritic birds)
 

wrench13

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Our local club cancelled their fair in 2020. This year they might resume. They are pretty strict w/ bringing parrots to meetings and those being sold at fair. All birds must have a clean bill of health from a CAV within 1 week of attending or intending to sell. You must present it upon entry.
 

noodles123

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But, in my experience, the "clean bill of health" is mostly just a physical exam and sometimes a negative chlamydia test-- To fly on a plane or get a bird boarded at some places, you also need the same, but asymptomatic parrots with pdd, pbfd or abv will pass these tests every time when they do not requires blood test results.
 
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wrench13

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Good Point! I have no intention on in person visiting any meetings or fairs. Our club is going to always have corresponding Zoom meetings, when in person monthly meetings commence. THose Zoom meetings have allowed us to have some really great speakers from Costa Rica, Brazil and other places that we could not afford to fly up to NY for a in person meeting. We just had Dr. Sam Williams, founder of Echo Bonaire at last weeks meeting. Echo Bonaire is a Yellow Shoulder Amazon conservation effort, so dear to my heart.

http://www.echobonaire.org/
 
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SilverSage

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I have an honest question here, no offense intended whatsoever:

Why would a person who knows the risks of a bird fair bird choose that as the source of their next pet?

Typically the “draw” of a fair bird is the low price point, but on this forum we talk a LOT about disease testing and quarantining, etc so we are all well aware of the added cost of vet care for a bird from such a shady background.

They are fun to go to! Sort of a carnival of novelties with a creepy depressing overtone but I’ll admit the lure to attend, but with SO MANY options of where to get a bird in the USA, from rescue to rehome to breeder to pet store, why choose a fair bird and support the practice?

I ask as someone who has done everything in my power to help several people save their fair birds, some successfully, some not. I’ve seen the vet bills that result in bringing home a Polyoma positive bird, I’ve had a friend be forced to cull nearly her whole flock from a PBFD outbreak...

This forum has a global membership, if you are looking for a specific species I bet one of us can either help you find that bird, or help you find the people who can help you find the bird, without supporting the ugly underbelly of Aviculture that is bird fairs.


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Littleredbeak

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I’ve never been to bird fair but have been wanting to go to one for the products and to see the birds. Now I’m thinking maybe it’s a good idea I’ve never been able to go (date wise). Would buying products - perches , Toys and play stands from a fair be a bad idea because of contamination risk of going?
 

wrench13

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Hong Kong has a street bird fair every Sunday. Very well known. Actually more of a walk Way through a garden Park. Almost every find of parrot was represented. But conditions 4 the birds was pretty bad. I wood hesitate 2 bye any bird there but I understand those conditions AR very common in Asia.
 

Scott

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I have an honest question here, no offense intended whatsoever:

Why would a person who knows the risks of a bird fair bird choose that as the source of their next pet?

Typically the “draw” of a fair bird is the low price point, but on this forum we talk a LOT about disease testing and quarantining, etc so we are all well aware of the added cost of vet care for a bird from such a shady background.

They are fun to go to! Sort of a carnival of novelties with a creepy depressing overtone but I’ll admit the lure to attend, but with SO MANY options of where to get a bird in the USA, from rescue to rehome to breeder to pet store, why choose a fair bird and support the practice?

I ask as someone who has done everything in my power to help several people save their fair birds, some successfully, some not. I’ve seen the vet bills that result in bringing home a Polyoma positive bird, I’ve had a friend be forced to cull nearly her whole flock from a PBFD outbreak...

This forum has a global membership, if you are looking for a specific species I bet one of us can either help you find that bird, or help you find the people who can help you find the bird, without supporting the ugly underbelly of Aviculture that is bird fairs.


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Absolutely agree, Dani! Potential for disease, heartache, and remorse incredibly high. As you mention, we have a global audience and local oversight, values, and intent varies. Based on Noah's input, seems bird fairs in parts of Australia far safer than the U.S.
 

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