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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Do Silkie Doves carry bird dander? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Dynamike
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I understand regular doves carry bird dander. Do Silkie Doves carry it?
Bill Hegbli
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Yes.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Dynamike
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Thanks for letting me know, Bill.
TrickyRicky
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Hi Mike. I think we had a discussion on the doves dander before.
Yes, dove dander is not good for the lungs. I've heard that it can cause serious health issues later on in life..
Google dove dander not good for the lungs. There are lots of information there.
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Dave Scribner
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Mike, I thought you used Silkies in your act? If so you would know about the dander.
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Dynamike
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Yes, Tricky Ricky. I learned about it from The Magic Café. Thank you.

Dave, isn't dove dander a small light particle like dust? If it is I cannot see by naked eye if a Silkie Dove carries it. Am I picturing something wrong or can dove dander be seen by naked eye?
Dave Scribner
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Mike, yes dander is a dust like substance. It is in the air around the dove especially as you handle the bird but you will see it on items around the doves like furniture, walls and floors. You won't see it on your hands. If you remember some of my older post, I had my doves in my basement for quite a while and although I haven't had doves for several years, I'm still cleaning up the dust.

Amos did die of lung cancer but I don't think it was linked to dove dander.
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Dynamike
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I did not know that. I thought it was dust from the furnace vents.
UneasierQuill
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There's always a risk of hypersensitivity pneumonitis if you keep birds - especially indoors. Probably more of a risk from the dust of their waste, but dander can be a culprit as well. If you keep your birds indoors, I'd wear a dust mask at the very least when doing cage maintenance; I breed birds ("miniature" ring neck doves) and at times have several (up to 40, give or take), keep them in an outdoor aviary and still use a mask when doing cleaning.

Just recently, in the past few years, 2 local breeders (pigeons, not doves) have had to give up their birds because of lung issues. It's more serious, and under diagnosed, than most people would think.
Bill Hegbli
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When your lungs fill up with dander, your body will tell you, you can't breath. I know I experienced it. I never read anything about Dander, while searching for the care and feeding of doves. Actually, all birds have dander, even parakeets, I would think it is part of the molting process.

Anyway, I had my birds in the living room, and I sat just below the cage. One evening, the birds were active and a huge cloud of feathers and dander came down on me. I brushed myself off, and cleaned up the feather.

The next evening, I once again noticed particles falling from the cage, reflected by the light. After several days, I was watching television, and all of a sudden, I could not breath, gasping for air. My wife at the time rushed me to the ER, and all they did was give me some oxygen. Nothing else was performed. It is interesting how there is so many things there are no treatment for still after all these medical advancements.

The above story was over maybe 2 or 3 week period. This was around 1982, so not Internet. I have not had any adverse lung problems ever since from this attack. Wow, that was almost 40 years ago.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

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UneasierQuill
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Bill,

Have you kept birds since the attack or rid yourself of them after that? Most people I have known who kept birds inside and suffered from it soon became ex-bird keepers. I kept parakeets and a parrot inside as a kid (our family rather, too young to manage at the time) but haven't had anything indoors since. Tempting at times for the novelty,or companionship (both for the bird and for us), but hesitant to do so because of "Bird fancier's lung." I live rural and keep a lot - ducks, chickens, quail, the occasional turkey, pheasant, or partridge as well as doves (which I'm considering abandoning). It's rare that I use a dove in an act - more commonly a chicken and/or duck with my magic character. I'm down to a single breeding pair as of today - difficult to pull the trigger entirely on getting rid of them, but who know.

Anyway, this become a ramble rather than a post - just curious on your bird keeping experience after your health episode.
Bill Hegbli
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No, I keep them, they lived 22 years. One got sick, and the other was lonely, so I had to put him end his life.

It ws actually more my fault for the attach, because if I would have showered them more often, then it would not have been an issue. Clean the cage at least twick a week. Not just dump the poop, but actually wash down the cage with disinfectant. You just don'e realize how fast that those molting feathers and dander builds up, until the flap their wings.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Dave Scribner
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I've mentioned this in other topics but it bears repeating. When I was actively performing a dove act, I built an aviary in my basement and had 31 doves at one point. I did have a lot of ventilation and kept the place as clean as I could. Fortunately, I've had no ill effects but it did bother my wife who has asthma. I eventually moved them outside to my garage. That was about 5 years ago. I'm still cleaning up bird dander in the basement.
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