Powder down birds
There are certain birds that do not have the preening gland or on which this gland is very small. The birds that do not have this gland are some of the members of the psittacine family. These birds produce a considerable amount of powder on their feathers. The powder that these birds produce can cause a lot of problems to people that have problems with allergies. Some of the most common problems are asthma, breathing problems etc. The types of birds that can cause these problems include, pigeons, African grays, cockatoos, and cockatiels.
These birds have what are known as powder down feathers and they are usually small and feathery, they have brush tips that help to keep them insulated. The difference between feather downs is that their feathers grow continuously. Instead of becoming molted like in other birds, the tips dissolve into a fine, kind of waxy, white powder that resembles talcum powder. This powder is made up of keratins, and the bird then spreads this throughout its body. Doing this helps the bird to lubricate its body and waterproofs it as well. This is especially important for birds that live in the wild in order to protect them from the rain etc.
The problem with these types of birds is that they let off a great amount of dust and powder, much more so than other birds. This obviously can cause a lot of problems to people that are sensitive and allergic to birds. Some of these birds produce so much powder that they actually coat the floor,, or the cage they are in on a daily basis. You will notice when you touch a powder down bird how your hand will usually end up with a white coat of powder on it. This dust and powder can very quickly spread into the air and circulate throughout the whole causing problems to those affected by it.
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