Parrot Disease Transmission Question

Hello, I have an African Grey parrot, and recently acquired 3 orphaned Rouen ducklings as indoor pets. I have kept the birds separate for fear of disease transmission from the ducks to the parrot, however separation is quickly becoming an impossibility as the ducks are growing fast.

I have asked many different avian authorities, including veterinarians and wildlife rehabilitators, if it would be safe to have the ducks and parrot in the same room/house, but have not been able to get a definite answer. Any advice on the matter would be greatly appreciated, as I definitely would not want to jeopardize the health of my parrot.

A little more information:

-My parrot is 3 years old.
-I have had the ducks since they hatched 7 weeks ago and they are imprinted on me.
-The ducks are primarily indoors but do go outside with me for a little while each day.
-The ducks and parrot would not be eating out of the same dishes or coming in contact with each other's droppings. They would not be lose at the same time, but they would be in the same room and may come in contact with the same surfaces.

Are there diseases that could be passed between the birds, or would it be safe to have them together?

Thank you very much for your help.

Comments for Parrot Disease Transmission Question

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Aug 27, 2009
Ducks and Parrots together
by: The Vet

Yes, there is risk of disease spreading to your parrot from the ducks. The risk is greater if there is direct physical contact between the ducks and parrot. However, there are airborne diseases that can be transmitted, and if your bird is out on the floor or comes into contact with something that the ducks have been in contact with, then there is, again, risk of transmission. The risks are lower if the ducks are healthy, but they still carry normal flora bacteria that can be pathogenic (cause disease) in parrots.

Side note: The biggest problem I see with indoor ducks is bumblefoot. Be sure to not allow these ducks to run around on hardwood floors and other similar surfaces. There feet were designed to walk on grass, and mostly swim in the water.

Dr B

Aug 26, 2009
One More Thing...
by: Linda

I almost forgot the most important thing here. Ducks do well outside all seasons. They have a layer of fat which makes the feathers waterproof, and keeps them warm. Before weather gets cold, get them something together for outside or on a screened in porch or something. My friend's ducks are outside year round and love it. Keeping them inside is going to result in sick ducks for the most part. They are not made to stay inside hot, dry houses in the winter, nor will they do well under air conditioning in the summer. They are OUTSIDE pets, so start making plans to give them a life they will enjoy and that will be healthy for them. Talk with the Avian vet as they may have some really good ideas about outside enclosures for them. You can also do some research on the internet about the subject. Good Luck and God Bless all of you.


Aug 26, 2009
Ducks and Parrot
by: Linda

Hi, and thanks for writing. Your ducks need to be checked out by an Avian vet for Salmonella or other infections/parasites, and it is possible for both people, birds, and other pets to become infected with this deadly disease/infection called Salmonella.

After you take your ducks and parrot to the vet, and they are cleared for infections/parasites, then you may be safe in keeping them with the parrot, though if ducks are walking on floors, keep the parrot off the floor altogether. Parrots should not play in the floor because they pickup stuff from other pets plus nasty things from us walking around in the house after our shoes have been outside, on parking lots and etc. We track a lot of germs and other bad things in on our feet. So, keep parrot completely away from ducks and off the floor.

My suggestion is to build you an outside "duck house". A friend of mine did this and it was like an outside aviary for birds and had an inside part and an outside part with a pool that continually pumped in clean water. Ducks do not do well in doors, and they also need to be able to play in the water and BE DUCKS. So, consider making them a place outside. If you have a screened-in porch or sunroom, you could make some modifications and turn this over to the ducks. Then your parrot's cage could be moved out there in nice weather, so bird could watch the ducks play. Again, a trip to the Avian vet with both the ducks and the parrot to check for any infections/parasites is a MUST at this point. Ducks are known to carry Salmonella and not become sick from it, so BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THIS AS PARROTS AND PEOPLE DIE FROM THIS INFECTION.


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