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How do you control feather dander?

One of our Twitter followers recently asked if we manage dander by bathing the birds a lot. The root of the question refers to the copious volume of dander that parrots (especially cockatoos) produce.

As you may recall from our blog post, Do you love dust and dander?, Garuda Aviary’s flock creates more dander in a week then the average household creates in a year. In one year, our flock produces more than 6 pounds of dander! That much dander can completely occlude air filters and destroy a building’s HVAC compressor. Not to mention the damage it can cause in the lungs of mammals and rainforest parrots. So our questioner is wondering how we manage all that dander. Good question!

Frequent misting showers are one important way of managing dander. At home, you wouldn’t want to shower a parrot too often. Some breeds will develop chronic dry skin from excessive showering. 2 – 3 times a week is the common guideline for showering most types of parrot.

At Garuda Aviary, problems like the high production of feather dander had to be addressed during building construction. The facility is divided in half. Both sides have their own isolated ventilation system so that the rainforest parrots don’t breathe the cockatoo and African Grey dander. Also, both HVAC systems have high capacity air compressors to circulate a large volume of air in a short period of time. And every two days, the Aviary’s ventilation return filters are blown clean with a portable air compressor.

So to our curious Twitter follower, the answer is this: Our flock does get showers for good hygiene and dander control. But with so many cockatoos, we had to implement more substantial measures from the beginning to manage so much dander.

Thanks for asking!

Do you have a question for the Parrot Whisperer? We’d love to hear it! Send it to us at GarudaAviary@earthlink.net

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