We all love our pets and animals, especially those we have created a strong bond with.
But a funny question to ask yourself is, does your animal provide anything for you?
Of course, the endless love and companionship, support and comfort are unmeasurable.
But what about something more tangible?
Often people dream of a life with a nice backyard and fresh food, and certain animals can help provide a little extra while also being a beloved companion.
For these reasons many people want to get chickens.
Chickens supply fresh, healthy eggs, great fertilizer for gardens, and can be lively pets!
If you already have a parrot, you may be considering also getting chickens.
But there are a lot of questions to consider before you get chickens when you have a parrot.
Will it endanger either your parrot or your chickens by having them live together?
Can you have parrots and chickens in the same household?
Can they cohabitate in a way that is healthy and safe for both birds?
So, the answer to these questions is… there should be no problem. Parrots and chickens can do great together, and many people find that they can co-habitat comfortably and happily for years. There should be no issues having parrots and chickens live together as long as you ensure the health of both birds.
It must be noted, though it is likely that your parrots and chickens can live together in harmony, having chicken on your property, and even just living near places that have chickens can put your parrots in potential harm.
In many cases there is no issue, but in some cases, there are problems.
There are ways to reduce any risk to your parrots and we will discuss some today.
Even if the parrots live indoors and the chickens remain outside you should practice biosecurity if you have parrots and chickens living in the same vicinity.
The practice of biosecurity is easy to work into a cleaning routine and this article will delve more deeply in the importance of cleaning for the health of you, your parrot, and chickens, and the best ways to ensure clean practices.
There are some serious things that should be considered before you bring chickens into the same area as your parrot and the risk of disease is the main one.
Could Keeping Parrots And Chickens Together Cause Disease?
You should always wash your hands and use hand sanitizer between handling chickens and parrots.
This is the best way to protect your parrot and prevent the spread of germs.
The biggest concern you may have for the safety of your parrot is Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG).
Mycoplasma is a bacteria-like organism that causes respiratory disease primarily in chickens, but it can also infect other birds, such as gamebirds, pigeons, ducks, geese, peafowl and wild birds, including possibly infecting your parrot.
A Mycoplasma infection in chickens is also known as Chronic Respiratory Disease that could cause your parrot to become quite ill.
The symptoms to keep a look out for an infection are fever, cough, a sore throat (which can be hard to diagnose but many parrot owners are aware enough of their parrot’s usual behavior that they may have an inclination that something is wrong), and tiredness.
The most common result of Mycoplasma infection is pneumonia, but a specific type of pneumonia called “walking pneumonia” that is usually mild. It is important to note that this illness is not known to affect humans.
How do you treat Mycoplasma in Parrots and Chickens?
The best treatment for Mycoplasma infection is antibiotics.
If you suspect that your parrot or chickens may be ill, it is always recommended that you take them to the veterinarian in order to make sure they relieved the right treatment.
One of the main concerns of Mycoplasma is not that it is a particularly deadly illness, but that treatment may need to be repeated monthly to keep Mycoplasma at low levels since the positive birds will carry it for life.
How Can I Prevent Any Illness From Chickens Spreading To Parrots?
Healthy birds make for happy birds!
Chickens are known to carry a variety of diseases and parasites.
The best ways to prevent any of these diseases spreading to your parrot is through focussing on biosecurity and good sanitation.
The risk of disease is higher in chickens, and they are the risk to your parrot’s health.
Keeping the chickens healthy is the best way to prevent anything being contracted by your parrot.
The first step in keeping chickens healthy, and therefore overall keeping everyone safe, is a clean chicken coop and clean chicken equipment.
There are many aspects to keep in mind when cleaning your chicken coop and equipment, including regular cleaning.
Make sure you wash all bowls with anti-bacterial soap, wash your own hands after chicken or parrots, and only wear one pair of shoes out to visit chickens which you do not bring indoors.
Damp litter is the perfect place for bacteria, viruses and parasites to thrive so make sure you very regularly clean out the litter.
It is recommended to do daily checks to make sure nothing is too unsanitary, weekly bedding change and a very deep clean, where everything is removed and thoroughly washed at least twice a year.
Other things to keep in mind when ensuring clean chickens and therefore safety for your parrot, is that anytime you visit the chickens, or touch their supplies was your hands before and after.
It is also important to make sure that your chickens don’t come into contact with anyone who also owns poultry because diseases can easily spread this way.
Also try to reduce any contact the chickens have with wildlife, such as wild birds.
Other birds may be drawn by the chicken’s food so be sure to keep it in a safe area where they cannot get to it.
The chance of chickens catching anything from wild birds is reduced if you ensure that the contact between them is limited.
Make sure you quarantine (something we are all familiar with practicing now!) any new birds, or birds who have been around other birds, for about 30 days and at least 12 yards from the rest of the flock.
One great way to begin keeping chickens safely and keep your parrot healthy is to make sure that the chickens you buy are from reputable so that you don’t begin the experience with issues.
It is advised to buy your chickens as chicks from well-known hatcheries and have them tested and vaccinated. Another thing to help keep both chickens and parrots healthy and safe is to feed both a healthy diet for them to have good strong immune systems.
And lastly, and likely most importantly, make sure you know the warning signs of chicken disease in order to allow for early detection and stop the spread of any disease to your parrot!
Some of the symptoms to look for are decreased eating, huddling, closed eyes, coughing/sneezing, depression or less energy, and excessive thirst or swollen wattles and combs.
At first it may be difficult to be aware of all of these signs, but as you get to know them it will be much easier to recognize when something doesn’t seem right.
How can you make co-habitation of parrots and chickens go well?
If you would like your parrots and chickens to occupy the same space, rather than your parrot living indoors, while your chickens remain outside there are a few things to keep in mind.
Practically, this often looks like allowing your indoor parrot to visit its friends in the outdoor chicken coop, rather than them both living in exactly the same place.
One concern to keep in mind is that chickens are omnivorous and can be aggressive.
Though chickens and parrots often get along together well, chickens have been known to occasionally be aggressive and attack smaller birds.
It is recommended that the parrot’s food is kept higher than the chicken’s food.
It’s best to encourage as little contact during eating as possible, as it should discourage any temptation to fight over food.
A warning that some parrot owners who allow them to live with, or visit their chickens is that parrots may pick up and copy some of the crowing of any roosters or cockerels!
Parrots and chickens can live well together.
You can safely keep both birds by using healthy cleaning practices and always washing your hands.
Make sure you know the risks before you buy chickens in order to keep your parrot safe, and then be vigilant and aware of any potential risk.