Ask Lafeber


August 11, 2020

African Grey dusty feathers

“I have four Congos (and 1 Timneh). One of my Congos puts out probably 5 times the dust of the others. Her background is unknow, she came to me from a hoarder case. I have people telling me “”too much dust”” from a bird can be a sign of an issue.
She is in good health, though had muscle wasting from her hoarding, but always wondered if there was any truth to what I was told.”


Thank you for attending our webinar by Lisa Bono. Below is Lisa’s response:

Hi Jan,

I have always been told that a dusty grey is a healthy grey. Perhaps maybe it’s due to the area of Africa they originate from. Sammy is VERY dusty. Sydney is not. He is very dark and has been tested for every test out there at least three times to figure out why he is not as dusty. He has the same diet as the others, actually the same everything. So, the only thing we can determine is genetics.

Lisa Bono

Hi Jan,

Has your Congo been checked by an Avian Vet? As you mentioned muscle wasting, I want to make sure you have had her checked by an Avian Vet. Her muscle condition should improve with good care, unless there is an underlying cause. It wouldn’t hurt to discuss an avian bornavirus test for your Grey. Most likely the extra dust is natural to her, as Lisa said. Dust level varies in species with powder down. But when there is doubt, it never hurts to have a Vet check done just to ease your mind.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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