Ask Lafeber


March 2, 2023

Parrots and Chickens

I want to get chickens but have parrots. Can you safely have both with Avian Flu being so bad now.


Hi Melanie,

It’s best that you do not have chickens when you have parrots, even if the parrots are indoors and the chicken are outdoors. This current avian flu outbreak is a perfect example. The poultry industry in the US is worth billions, and the USDA will always side with the poultry industry when there are disease outbreaks that affect poultry and can also be spread by parrots. If the disease is spreading in an area, the USDA can go house to house and legally kill backyard chickens. If you have parrots in your home, they will kill those also. There is another disease called Newcastle’s disease which occasionally has an outbreak. Newcastle’s disease outbreaks in the 70’s & 80’s resulted in the USDA killing thousands of pet birds. In fact the American Federation of Aviculture was formed in order to stop these mass killings. Some agreements were made and technically the owner now has the option of quarantining pet birds, at their own expense, or letting the USDA kill them. For decades, pet bird owners did not let others know they have parrots, and no parrot owner would consider having chickens. But time goes by and people forget and new owners have no idea of what has happened before. I will warn you that no matter what agreements the USDA has with AFA or other interest groups, if things are bad enough, they are going to kill your pets no matter what, if they determine they are a risk to the poultry industry. This would be a bad time to get chickens, but honestly I wouldn’t get them even when this outbreak is over, because there will always be another one. If you do get them, I would research both diseases and what the USDA says you should do to protect your chickens. But basically you must have a covered coop and they can’t roam in your yard.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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