BREEDERS / AVICULTURISTS:
Breeding is more than just a past-time. It entails an awesome responsibility which needs to be met by the responsible breeder. A multitude of dangers / diseases are lurking out there, but we can avoid a lot of problems by following sensible rules & procedures.
Avian Disease Prevention & Control Guidelines for Breeders:
- I would *always* recommend not buying birds from other breeders unless you feel confident that they have a good knowledge of avian care, health issues and disease preventative measures (i.e., sanitation, general knowledge of bird diseases and disease transmission, and quarantine procedure) -- and APPLY this knowledge on a daily basis. Asking simple questions / looking at their background / certifications (i.e. MAP certification), and buying only from recommended sources will do a lot towards protecting your birds from harm, and yourself from financial loss and emotional heartache.
- If you buy any birds, make sure you have a thorough health exam followed by a quarantine of at least 6 weeks, but preferably three or six months, before introducing the new bird into your flock. Quarantine is necessary even if the bird passed the health check with flying colors since some diseases cannot be tested for, or since some methods of testings are not 100% or can be inaccurate at times.
- Maintain a CLOSED AVIARY. Do not allow access to your existing flock by anyone who could possibly carry pathogens. If they wish to see the setup, you could let them see the flights/cages through a window/door. If you yourself go into any situation where there are other birds, do not get in contact with your birds before you changed clothes (including shoes) and showered.
- In order to minimize a disease problem, it is important to KNOW that there IS a problem, so that steps can be taken to protect other birds, and/or to prevent reoccurrence of this problem. Necropsies may give you a headstart in recognizing health problems before they cause a major crisis in your aviary.
- Please -- carefully screen and above all EDUCATE individuals who purchase birds from you, to make sure they (1) buy a bird that suits their lifestyle, (2) they don't have any false expectations, (3) they know how to appropriately care for the bird.
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