A Cautionary Tale

I fell quite unwell with a chest infection around the end of March 1996. My husband and I had to attend a funeral three weeks and two doses of antibiotics later. When I went to the rear of the built-in closet to get his black suit, I saw it was coated in white dust! When I took a duster to the bedroom walls, it was likewise coated in white dust. Since October 1995, when I transported the budgerigars from my 12′ × 8′ shed into the garage, instead of spending 2-3 hours a day with the birds, we had been sleeping with them as well, since our bedroom is above the garage, which is now “the birdroom”.
My husband then spent a week waterproofing the garage ceiling and bedroom floor. The dust had gotten in where the radiator pipes came through the floor and all around the room’s corners. Not only that, but the linen cabinet was also in the bedroom and had a louvre door, so all the linen, as well as all the items in the wardrobes, had to be cleaned.

My chest illness cleaned up in June after six cycles of antibiotics, and I’ve been wearing a mask every time I enter the birdroom since then. I’ve been really lucky not to have had a recurrence, which I attribute to being quite stringent about wearing the mask while dealing with the budgies. I often see articles proposing that a spare bedroom or other room in the home be used for raising birds, which is great as long as all measures are followed to avoid the spread of this white dust. Be mindful of the hazard. This may lead to “bird fancier’s lung.” One positive outcome of all of this is that my husband now understands how to feed and water the birds, which he grudgingly had to do for a couple of weeks. If anybody has any questions concerning this issue, I’d be happy to address them.

It is now the turn of the century, and I have had no recurrence of the issue, so be certain that wearing a mask in the birdroom is a prudent precaution.

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