Why Quarantine?

When it comes to bird ownership, this is arguably one of the requirements that is misunderstood the most. It is for the protection of both the existing flock and the new flock that a bird or birds be placed in quarantine. Each species of birds has adapted to its own particular habitat, and as a result, its members have developed resistance to the bacteria and viruses that they encounter on a regular basis. It does not matter where a new bird is obtained, how well it is cared for, or what the seller’s reputation is like; quarantine should be viewed as a very vital process.

The new bird is placed in a completely new environment that contains a wide variety of germs, both beneficial and harmful, to which it has never been exposed before. The bird is then crated and removed from its ecosystem. There will be some anxiety experienced throughout the process of moving to the new area. Depending on the nature of the bird, the differences in surroundings, and how the bird reacts to them, this stress could be quite little or it could cause a significant amount of upheaval for the bird. Because of the stress that the bird is experiencing, its immune system may become compromised, and it is possible that the bird is not in as good of physical health as it was before it left its natural habitat. In the event that the bird is not placed in a quarantine facility, it will be exposed to millions of new germs, and its immune system will be forced to work in order to combat all of these new pathogens (good and bad). Because of its weakened immune system, the bird will not be able to build an effective defense and may, in fact, succumb to a germ that, in a different setting and under normal circumstances, would not be pathogenic (cause disease) in this species.

The new bird now develops an illness and begins shedding large quantities of this now (new to him) pathogenic germ. Additionally, the new bird begins shedding large quantities of germs that the bird carried with him from his previous habitat. Because there are now millions of infections in the environment, the native birds are being put in danger of contracting them. They have immunity to some of the germs, but the sheer volume of them is too much for them to handle. Some of the bacteria are new, and some of them are ancient. Now both old and young birds are falling ill, and the natural assumption is that the sickness was brought in by the most recent batch of new birds.

It should come as no surprise that the outcomes would be substantially worse if even one of the birds in question already suffered from a pathogenic condition.

If this new arrival had been adequately confined, his level of stress would not have been as high, and his immune system would have had more time to build up to the smaller numbers of viruses it had been exposed to. After a period of time during which the immune system is subjected to a series of mild challenges, it is able to construct immunity at a much more typical rate and does not become weaker. All of the birds engaged will benefit from and be required to successfully complete this progressive adaptation to their new surroundings. Germs are incapable of reading one-way signs.

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