Are Indian Ringneck Parakeets Dusty?

With the weather warming up and the summer approaching, I’ve enjoyed waking up to streams of sunlight pouring through my windows.

However, one thing this has brought to light is how much dust build-up is on my surfaces!

I thought I lived relatively cleanly, so why is my house so dusty and where is it coming from?

As a pet owner I know that my cuddly friends require a lot of cleaning up after.

But I didn’t realize that parakeets could produce noticeable dust.

So just how dusty is my Indian Ringneck parakeet?

Indian Ringneck Parakeets are considered a low-dander bird, so they do indeed produce dust. While Indian Ringnecks are dusty birds, they produce a low to moderate amount of dust, especially compared to other bird species like the African Grey Parrot.

With this in mind there are a few things you should take care of when owning a dusty bird.

This article will explain what bird dust is, how much dust Indian Ringneck parakeets produce compared to African Grey parrots, what problems result from bird dust and what you can do to combat them.


What makes a bird “dusty”?

Why is my bird dusty?

Well, all birds create dander that is referred to as “bird dust.”

Bird dust is a fine white powder that comes from the feathers of various bird species, including pigeons, parrots, cockatoos and amazons.

When birds molt  — shed old feathers and grow new ones  — dust and dander form.

As new feathers grow, birds form protective keratin around the base. But once a feather has grown completely, the keratin dries up and cracks.

As the keratin sheath disintegrates, it creates a white, dust-like powder.

This powder plays a vital role in keeping your bird’s feathers soft and smooth.

Birds that produce the most dust like African Greys and Amazons are referred to as powder-down birds, while those who produce less dust like parakeets are low-dander birds.

Powder-down birds create significant amounts of this fine white powder that not only helps keep the feathers silky and healthy, but also helps make them waterproof.


Who is more dusty, Indian Ringneck parakeets or African Grey parrots?

Parakeets and parrots are both classified as dusty birds, but produce different levels of dust and dander.

African Grey parrots are actually one of the most dusty breeds of all.

As a power-down bird, they produce a lot of dust.

Parakeets, on the other hand, are not power-down birds like African Greys, but still produce dust.

Even though they produce far less dust than parrots, parakeets often spread their dander throughout the room whenever they bathe, flap their wings, or fly around.

Dust from African Greys is fine and large in volume, which can be quite messy.

And because they are quite large birds, African Grey parrots simply produce more dust than smaller birds like parakeets or cockatiels.

Indian Ringnecks, in comparison, are smaller and produce a lot less dust in general.

Their dust is not as intense as the powder produced by parrots and it is not as visible.

So if you have mild allergies, dander from your Indian Ringneck won’t pose a serious issue if you take the appropriate measures to maintain their hygiene.

Indian Ringneck parakeets are a great choice if you have severe allergies and can’t handle the dust produced by powder-down birds.

Their low-dander profile is manageable and won’t be as difficult in the long-run.


What problems do bird dust and dander produce?

Taking care of a dusty bird requires regular cleaning and maintenance.

Even with the relatively low level of dust created by Indian Ringneck parakeets, you should regularly clean up after them to avoid a build-up of airborne dander.

Not only does the dust linger in the air, it can sink into furniture and continue to circulate in the air when you move your furniture around.

Airborne bird dust can affect both you and your bird.

When air becomes thick with dander and dust, a bird’s airways can become quickly clogged.

Bird dust, in combination with regular household dust, can result in disease and infection if not dealt with properly.

Keeping bird dust at bay is also vital if you suffer from asthma.

More circulating bird dust can trigger more asthma attacks, so it’s important to clean up after your bird regularly if asthma is an issue for you.

In addition to your parakeet becoming sick, you could also be at risk of contracting illnesses and diseases from bird dust.

Bird Fancier’s Lung (BFL) is a disease that humans can contract when inhaling avian proteins found in dry bird dust.

However, this is a rare condition and can be treated.


How can you reduce dust?

So, how can you ensure that both you and your precious pet stay safe and healthy?

There are many precautions you can take to ensure your Indian Ringneck parakeet’s dust never becomes an issue and that both you and your pet live a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Having an air purifier to remove dust particles is necessary.

The best type of filtration system you can get is HEPA as it typically has 99.97% efficiency.

Plus, a HEPA filter will not only take care of removing pollutants caused by bird dust, but also takes care of dust mites, mold, dirt and dander from your other pets.

No matter how clean you think your house is you should create and follow a regular cleaning schedule to reduce irritants.

You can also choose your parakeet’s surroundings carefully to make cleaning easier. For example, keep your pet in a room with hardwood floors rather than carpet.

In addition to keeping the space around your Indian Ringneck clean, you should make sure to bathe your parakeet regularly.

Prevent their dust from spreading everywhere by washing off built-up dander frequently.

You should also clean your bird’s cage as often as possible.

Just like you change your bed sheets often to stay clean from dandruff and dust, you should clean your bird’s cage thoroughly on a weekly basis and wipe down once a day

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