Are finches, softbills, chickens and doves affected by PBFD?

by Jo-Lize
(Western Cape, South Africa)

Hi A year ago I had an aviary kakariki die of PBFD. I have had this disease in my collection for ten years, but this was the first death in 9 years.

I would like to know of there are any bird species that are not susceptible to the disease that I can add to my aviary. I am especially interested in poultry, such as chickens. I would also like finches, doves, pigeons and canaries in the aviary. Do you think these birds will be safe in a wooden aviary that once hosted birds with PBFD?

I must add that I have one surviving Indian ringneck and he is truly doing great. I have had him for six years and he has never shown any signs of PBFD (although I understand he could be a carrier).

Your help is greatly appreciated!

Kind regards

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Mar 16, 2012
Good news!
by: Jo-Lize

I will definitely not be getting any psittacines ever again - the disease scared me too much. It is very good news to hear that non-psittacine birds cannot be infected with PBFD. So you guys are 100% sure that non-psittacines will not contract this disease? I ask because will be placing non-psittacines in the aviary which hosted the PDFB birds. Thanks so much for your answer! I would hate to cause another bird's death if I can prevent it!

Mar 16, 2012
No birds are resistant to PBFD
by: The Avian Vet

There are no psittacines that are resistant to PBFD. Psittacine Circovirus is not contagious to other species, but there are other species-specific viruses that infect other species such as doves and pigeons. You can re-use the aviary for non-psittacine birds.

Have your Indian rig-necked tested and keep him isolated from all other birds.

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Dr B

Mar 15, 2012
Are finches, softbills, chickens and doves affected by PBFD?
by: Linda

As I understand the disease, all birds can be effected by it. Also, if you have any idea that your bird may be a carrier, he needs to be tested for PBFD BEFORE any other birds are brought into your aviary. Wood is bad for holding all kinds of things, and the PBFD can live in an environment for a long time infecting all who are housed there. It is NOT easy to get rid of and lives for years, so your Avian Vet will need to help you with all of this.

Contact your Avian Vet who can discuss this with you including how you can know if your aviary is still infected or not. There are testing materials for every square inch of your aviary, and this disease can live in or on any of them, so ask Avian Vet for materials to do the testing.

I think, at this point, you have a lot of work to do before even considering exposing any more birds to this dread disease. There is NO cure, and death is always going to take birds unless they are carriers which means they are spreading the disease all the time.

Have the bird you have now tested and then get the materials to test the aviary. This disease even lives on walls, so your work is just beginning. You can also carry it around on your clothes and shoes, so have clothes and shoes for the aviary and change into clean clothing and shoes before going back into the house. You may also need to test inside your home which is another huge job.

My other suggestion is to tear down and burn the aviary you have now and start over. It would take less time, though it would cost more money. Either way, do not get any birds of any kind right now until you know more about what's going on in your aviary. If your home is also infected, then that would have to be cleaned up before even building a new aviary or YOU can become the carrier.

Sorry I could not have good news for you, and you did want the facts which your Avian Vet can further clarify for you.

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