Veterinary Viewpoints


Question #1: Is feather and beak disease still a problem? I haven't heard about it for several years. Is it still a concern? I raise mostly large parrots and my friends and myself have not heard of infected birds for years. What's the scoop?

 Cohen, California

Answer #1: In my opinion, Dr. Ritchie and his colleagues may deserve a lot of the credit for the reduction in PBFD. We had ongoing (but occasional) problems here at our breeding center in Canada, where a large breeding cockatoo population is maintained. When the DNA probe test was introduced, we had our entire cockatoo collection blood tested, and identified two latent or "carrier" birds. These birds were clinically normal and reproducing. They were re-tested and euthanized after the second positive, and we never again saw another chick or young bird die of PBFD. Although our colony is now more or less "closed," a new cockatoo would have to be PBFD negative before being released from quarantine.....