Managing Your Bird's Dust--5 Useful Tips About Managing Bird Dust
Bird dust is often a relentless and unwelcome by-product of living with a bird. And ignoring this dust can lead to an unhealthy environment for both you and your bird. The answers to these 5 frequently asked questions will shed some light on the what's and why's of this dust and will help you manage it more effectively.
What is bird dust? It is a powder (generally white) that certain birds produce to keep their feather soft and their skin properly moisturized. Producing this dust is something your bird will do for as long as it is alive. In fact, even if you were able to stop it--which may seem like a great idea if you're knee deep in it-- the bird would suffer in numerous ways. So all you can do is to find ways to reduce the amount in the air and on surfaces in the bird room and around your home.
How is dander different? Dander is microscopic in size and cannot be seen with the human eye. Dander is a natural way of replenishing old skin with new skin that is better able to protect the bird and ward off disease and infection. Dander production is also a lifetime process. So a powder down bird produces this dust in addition to dander.
Do all birds produce bird dust? While all birds produce dander, the short answer is no, only some produce dust. There are 3 types of parrots that are the most well known for the powder they produce, and they are the African Grey, Cockatoo, and Cockatiel.
Which birds produce it? The birds that produce it are generally known as powder down birds and include the African Grey (both the Congo and Timneh), Cockatoos, and Cockatiels-all members of the parrot family.
How can you reduce the amount of dust the bird spreads? Gently misting your bird with water using a spray bottle that you would use to soften wrinkles before ironing clothes is a very effective way to reduce the amount of dust that will go airborne. Always mist early enough in the day so that your bird is able to go through the night with dry feathers. They are less likely to become chilled as the temperature drops during the night.
What is the best way to reduce dust in the air? Since your bird's normal activities of flying from one place to another both inside and out of the cage, preening it feathers, and playing with its toys are sure to put dust in the air constantly, the best way to reduce the number of airborne particulates is to filter the air.
Even though most household heating and air conditioning systems have filters, they are often no match for the incredible amount of powder these birds can generate. Using a portable air filter with a HEPA (or high efficiency particle arresting) filter is the best plan of action.
In addition to the HEPA filter, an air cleaner that contains multiple pre-filters and a filter of military carbon cloth will give you and your bird daily relief from particle-filled air. Keeping the air clean makes you and your bird less susceptible to respiratory diseases.
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Contact the AuthorDebbie Davis
Purer Indoor Air Quality
Debbie Davis's web site
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