- Newly arrived birds should be maintained separate from the main
collection. This allows screening for disease, as well as special monitoring of general
demeanour, behaviour and feeding, and allows the birds to settle.
- Length of quarantine appropriate for incoming birds will vary depending
on the species and suspected diseases. A quarantine period of sixty days (B13.2.w21), six weeks (B11.33.w1), or three weeks has been recommended (B96.w2).
- A full physical examination should be carried out at the beginning of the
quarantine period (see: Physical Examination - General), including taking blood for haematological and biochemical examination, and
appropriate serological tests.
- A full physical examination should also be carried out at the end of the
- Faecal samples should be screened repeatedly during quarantine for
salmonellae (see: Salmonellosis)
as well as for parasites.
- It is particularly important to ensure a full post mortem
examination is carried out on any bird which dies during quarantine, and to keep full
records for reference in the case of disputes.
- Sick or injured birds are usually isolated from their cage mates, both to
reduce the risk of transfer of disease and to avoid harassment of the affected individual.
- Consideration should be given to the social stress put on gregarious
birds placed in isolation, and the potential beneficial effects of conspecifics in visual
and/or auditory range.
- Quarantine and isolation areas should be kept quiet and disturbance-free
as much as possible.
- After a sick or injured bird has been isolated, reintroduction to the
group may need to be carried out gradually.
- New birds being released into an outdoor enclosure/aviary should be released in
the morning, allowing all day for settling and exploration. In a mixed-species exhibit
they should be released at morning feeding time, when other birds are busy feeding, and
onto the water. they should be monitored carefully for several days to ensure they are
coming to feed and are nor being bullied. Birds which are constantly being harassed are
stressed and therefore more susceptible to disease, and may also be injured.
- N.B. quarantining new arrivals cannot guarantee that the
birds are not carrying diseases asymptomatically.
- Good hygiene is an important part of maintaining healthy animals (this
does not mean maintaining a sterile barren environment).
- Consideration should be given to ease of cleaning when designing
- Thorough cleaning, before the use of any disinfectant, will in itself
remove most of the infectious disease agents present, e.g. on feeding bowls, in
incubators, inside buildings.
- Correct handling and disposal of carcasses is essential (see:
Environmental and Population
Management - Carcass Pick-up & Disposal).
- Disinfection should be seen as an adjunct to removal of animal wastes etc., not
as a replacement for general cleaning.
- The efficacy of most disinfectants is greatly reduced by the presence of organic
- Disinfectants require time in which to act.
- Disinfectants generally work better at higher temperatures.
- Disinfectants should be used at the manufacturers recommended dilution:
stronger does not necessarily mean better, and efficacy may be greatly decreased at too
- Disinfectants may be toxic, irritant, corrosive and in some cases potentially
- Appropriate precautions (e.g. wearing gloves, other protective clothing, face
protection) should be used when handling disinfectants.
- Disinfectants should be used and disposed of with regard to potential deleterious
- Not all disinfectants are equally effective against all agents.
- Susceptible to most chemical disinfectants: mycoplasmas, enveloped viruses,
gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, rickettsiae
- Moderately resistant to chemical disinfectants: non-enveloped viruses, acid-fast
- Highly resistant to chemical disinfectants: bacterial
endospores, coccidial oocysts.
- Extremely resistant to chemical disinfectants: prions.
- If a particular disease organism is known to be present, care should be taken to
choose a disinfectant known to be effective against that organism.
(Disinfectant) (household bleach) are effective or highly effective against a
wide range of infectious agents and may be used as a general disinfectant in many
circumstances. They are not effective against coccidial oocysts. Care must be taken in the
use of concentrated bleach solutions
N.B. where a particular infectious
agent is known to be present, a disinfectant which is recognised as being effective
against that agent should be used.
- Incoming waterfowl should be quarantined for at least six weeks. (B11.33.w1)
- A companion bird may be provided for hospitalized waterfowl to reduce
stress and stimulate feeding. A domestic duck may be kept for this purpose, but care is
required to avoid such a companion acting as a vector and transmitting disease between
successive patients. The risks may be minimized by allowing its use as a companion only
with birds which are not suffering from an infectious disease, and be regularly checking
it for subclinical infection.
- Some species such as diving ducks do very badly in typical quarantine
accommodation and may need to be let out onto larger water areas immediately (B7); however the disease risks must be considered and a separate pen used initially
if at all possible.
- Releasing new birds into a separate pen initially also makes it easier to
monitor the birds, checking that they are feeding and not just hiding in cover. Water
should always be available for bathing.
- Initial pens should also be provided with cover so that birds can hide
until they feel secure. Lack of cover may be very stressful, increasing the susceptibility
(B7, B11.33.w1, B40,