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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that cockatiels are a dusty species of bird, and I think I remember reading that it's because their down feathers disintegrate into dust or something like that. But, I've never seen any discussion of the amount of dust they produce, and I'm curious. Just how dusty are they? Are some dustier than others? If when I get my 'tiel, I give him a shower every day and drip some aloe vera on his back from plants I have, will he still be dusty? Is it possible to bathe a tile too much? My 8 year old sister is so excited about me getting a bird, and she has some allergies, and I really don't want to have yet another pet that she can only look at. :( So if bathing him would help, I'd be all for it.
Thanks :)
 

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Giving baths often will help with the dustiness, and you can get an air purifier to use in the same room to help too. :)
 

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Yeah, I wouldn't recommend them if you're at all allergic to birds or dust. Everytime my birds shake and fluff themselves there's a cloud of dust. When they molt its even worse. All the keratin from their feather sheaths gets up your nose. But I really love how my birds smell. I don't know if its just me but I love to sniff them.
 

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I love to "sniff" my Joe too, it is a divine smell.... and yes they are VERY dusty ( can't tell how much dust they produce ) but it is a lot especially when molting. Bathing or showering helps a lot against the dust.
I don't know about the use of Aloe Vera on their feathers though, even if it is a very natural product and I love it on my skin.....maybe sbdy else can advise on this matter
 

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I don't know if it varies by tiel or not. Honestly, my tiel is not as dusty as I thought he'd be. But there is definitely dust. And although I'm allergic to cats, his dust doesn't bother my allergies. I too am unsure about using aloe vera though on him and hope someone else can answer. And I do love his smell. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmm, I didn't know they had their own smell.
http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=6234
I think this was what I was thinking of. I remembered reading somewhere on here about aloe vera and flaky skin. I wonder if it would help keep down dust? I bought a "Himalayan rock salt lamp" that's supposed to keep allergens out of the air, since it was like $30 instead of $100 for a real air filter, so I'll see if that works at all. Thanks for the advice, everyone.
 

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i have one tiel who isnt bad for dust, then another who leaves white dust prints on my pants when he sits on my knee lol daily baths will help keep the dust down, and so will an air purifier. you can put aloe from the plant in the water you mist him with, it is a safe plant. i would use aloe when he molts. it wont help too much with the dust, but it will help the itchiness that comes with molting :)
 

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I don't know about the use of Aloe Vera on their feathers though, even if it is a very natural product and I love it on my skin.....maybe sbdy else can advise on this matter
100% pure aloe vera is fine for birds and is used regularly for itchy or irritated skin.

Tiels are dusty, one wont be as bad as many though. When our air purifier broke, it got so dusty the birds clogged our filter for the ac unit. So yes it can get bad. We also used to have a member on here who had a lung collapse due to tiel dust but that was an extreme case and she was a breeder.
 

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I'd imagine there's a good deal of variation, but at least with mine I've noticed that the whiteface's are quite a bit dustier than the normal grey, lutino, or pearl.
 

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My wife has alergy's, asthma, etc. We shower our birds once a week, and she has no problems.

It took a couple of weeks of regular showers to really start getting them wet though. At first the water tends to just run off. Shower can also be a very good bonding experience if your careful not to let them fall off and get scared. Fingers make for more secure footing than arms.

Although your bird will likely want to run up and down your arm to find the right spot. Note the spot, the distance from the spray, get him on your finger, and put him back in that spot.
 

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My wife has alergy's, asthma, etc. We shower our birds once a week, and she has no problems.

It took a couple of weeks of regular showers to really start getting them wet though. At first the water tends to just run off. Shower can also be a very good bonding experience if your careful not to let them fall off and get scared. Fingers make for more secure footing than arms.

Although your bird will likely want to run up and down your arm to find the right spot. Note the spot, the distance from the spray, get him on your finger, and put him back in that spot.
Yep... Mine (except for the two that hate baths) seem to prefer if I let the shower hit my shoulder then they play in the mist/spray a few inches away... none of them are happy about direct water on them ;).
 

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My rose breasted cockatoo is so dusty that I have to take one of those electrostatic dusters and dust his entire cage every day. His cage is emerald green and it shows up well, so I know exactly how much dust he puts out; I'd say it's equivalent of a week's worth of dust buildup on your TV but overnight! Cockatiels are one third the size of a RB2, so maybe it won't be AS bad with my new cockatiel. I have a vacuum with a HEPA filter, so I'm sure that helps not wafting back into the air once vacuumed.
 

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I'm pretty allergic to most animals and can break out into an asthma attack or on the rare occasion; hives. Bird dust doesn't bother me too bad, but if there is too much in the air, my lungs start to hurt. I haven't had Molly enough to be really bothered by her dust, but I have noticed a slight dusty feeling on my fingers after I pet her. I just found out that she likes showers, so I'm going to shower her at least every other day or two to bond with her and keep her clean. I even bought a shower perch online to make things easier :)
 

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Not to change the theme but talking about showers I quickly like to ask if your tiels make a noise which sounds like ICK ICK ICK in the shower. ( I used to spray Joe with the bottle, but also started to take him in the shower with us - family soaking - :love: ) Yes he runs up and down my arm, also climbed on my head... and we got rid of quite some dust... very clean nostrils too...

( ... and besides, after the shower he let me kiss his sweet forehead for the first time... hopefully a step closer to head scritches.... )
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hanna, I don't really know about this sound, since I don't have my cockatiel yet, but, does it sound like he's making the sound with his larynx, or is it a sound coming from his lungs like a cough?
 

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After reading about dust before bringing a cockatiel into our home, I was surprised because we've found ours to be no more dusty than any other bird we've kept in the past (never had a Cockatoo though)! I use a hand held hoover and go around the cage area each day for less than a minute and it's fine. I just dust the room once a week and I've not noticed any real difference to be honest, but I guess each bird is different. He's a normal white-faced bird.
 

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Hanna, I don't really know about this sound, since I don't have my cockatiel yet, but, does it sound like he's making the sound with his larynx, or is it a sound coming from his lungs like a cough?
I don't really know, but me thinks that it doesn't sound like a caugh, more like a call....
But amazing how showers can keep the plumage almost dustfree and helps with molting issues
 

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Sunny is pretty dusty, I remember one day he flew and ran into my mirror, there was a perfect outline of him on the mirror in dust (he was fine after running into it, just a little scared). I tried to give him baths to cut down on the dust but at first he hated them.

I eventually found out if i spray the mist straight up and it rains on him he loves to get a bath. That really helps with the dustiness. He usually stays relatively dust free for 3 or 4 days after a bath. You can usually tell when to give baths, especially with darker tiels, because they will go from a dark gray to a light gray.
 
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