My Cockatiel Has Too Much Dander

Dander and cockatiels go hand in hand.
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Some parrots just naturally give off more dander than others. Cockatiels, African greys and cockatoos all happen to be in this dander-rich category. If the amount of dander your cockatiel gives off is bothersome to you, it may be time for you to take action -- especially if you are asthmatic or have severe allergies.

Cockatiels and Dander

Cockatiels are friendly, intelligent and dander-packed birdies. The fine and dusty dander that cockatiels give off can be a source of great distress to some owners, however. Although the dustiness may trigger discomfort in you, it is beyond the cockatiel's control. It's just how the little guys are. The dander is beneficial for them, as it minimizes oil accumulation and encourages cleanliness. If you are intent on not rehoming your precious cockatiel, then it's up to you to figure out how to properly manage the uncomfortable problem, if at all possible.

Dust Everywhere

Cockatiels can be rather challenging creatures for tidy individuals. After all, these birds frequently leave a trail of dust everywhere they go. The slightest motion of their bodies could lead to visible masses of dust in the air -- and then all over your couch, carpet, work jacket and so forth.


One easy and economical way to minimize some of the irritating dander that gets into the air is by misting your bird. By getting a little bit of warm water onto your cockatiel's feathers, you may be able to accomplish this. Apart from misting your cockatiel, you can also offer him a shallow dish for wading purposes. Consider letting your avian pal take a quick shower, as long as the weather isn't cold at the time.

Air Filter

If your cockatiel's dander is causing discomfort to you due to allergies or asthma, you may want to consider investing in a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) air filter. These filters can help to trap pesky dander particles in the air -- and therefore reduce any sneezing, sniffling, coughing and other symptoms you may experience.

Bird Keeper's Lung

"Bird keeper's lung" is a rare condition that arises from extreme sensitivity due to dander, along with dried out bird droppings and and feathers, according to the website Bird-keeper's lung, also known as Extrinsic Allergy Alveolitis, is especially prevalent in individuals that own birds that are especially big on dust -- such as the cockatiel. In particularly severe cases of this ailment, affected person may incur serious respiratory tract destruction, along with breathing problems and lung lesions. If your reaction to cockatiels is especially strong, though it may be emotionally hard, you may want to consider giving your pet another home. A bird that gives off less dander may be more suitable to your health and well-being.

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