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Nharvi

Is French Moult Contagous?

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Hi guys,

 

As a few of you guys know, I have a runner-budgie called Konrad, a little girl that will turn 2 years old in June.

Konrad has had miss-shaped and almost non-existing tailfeathers since we got her, but we didn't worry so much about it back then. She had some trouble keeping her wingfeathers nice looking, and was often missing a few, but she could still fly really well.

The problem is, last August (2006) she lost all her long wingfeathers as well as the tail ones, and haven't regrown them. The Vet said it's probably french moult and I thought that was the case as well, but now I've read only babies catch french moult, so now I'm not so sure anymore. Anyway;

 

We are getting a little boyfriend for Konrad now, a boy budgie with long and beautiful feathers, and who is able to fly wonderfully (he is 6 weeks old atm). I'm wondering, is there any chance that he will catch the french moult (if that is really what Konrad has)?

 

I've read up about it, and from what I understand it's a virus, but it usually transmits from parent bird to egg. Having said that, I come across sites that say that just being around a bird with this condition will make the other one catch it, and others claim it's totally safe.

I also read that most birds show the first signs of this condition when they are around 8 weeks, where's Konrad was 14 months old when it happened, even though her tailfeathers have always been a bit miss-shaped.

Having gone through almost every site on the web with info about this, I've yet to find a proper answer to my question below, and I hope maybe you guys can help me out;

 

Considering I only have 1 bird right now (about to have 2), and we aren't planning to let them breed at all, what are the odds that the new bird will catch it?

 

I have really mixed feelings, on one hand I don't want Konrad to be alone her whole life, but on the other hand I don't want to risk the new baby catching the virus and also ending up disabled when it could be avoided.

 

 

Many thanks

Nharvi and Konrad

 

 

edit: If you want to see pictures of the feathers, you can look here:

http://www.hateguild.net/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=1662

 

More pics are found in this topic:

http://forums.budgiebreeders.asn.au/index....showtopic=14869

Edited by Nharvi

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Nharvi, from your picture it certainly looks like French mount, I’m no expert, but I think usually birds show up having French moult in the nest or shortly after leaving the nest, I have had birds that look perfect, but as soon as they have to fly the feathers fall out. Then soon after some grow their feathers back & you no longer seem to have the problem. Others never seem to grow them back properly at all, then others grow them, only to drop them again. It seems strange that your bird only dropped them at 14 months; did you have him straight from the nest? I ask that, as I thought maybe he dropped his feathers early in his life then grew them back, only to lately drop them at 14 months. Like you say I have read that it is passed through the egg & I don’t think it will effect an adult bird, it may spread to that adult & if you bred from it, may effect it’s young, but since you don’t want to breed, it shouldn’t be a problem. I also read that most birds, after even having it at an early age, stop shedding the virus after something like 12 months, of course a few birds remain carriers. Others may advise you of their experiences.

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Before you get another bird you really need to discuss this with an avian vet because I have read it can be given to other birds. Here is information I have pulled up on the net to help you but again I would take the information given here and discuss the options with your avian vet.

 

If it was me I would not get a 2nd bird as it is seem a bit to risky for the new bird. (again this is me though) and I know that may not be what you want to hear. :budgiedance:

 

French Moult PFBD this is a very easy to understand article and gives 2 theories.

 

Good luck with your decision.

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It does loook like french Molt - I agree with Elly speak to the Avian vet first... It is a Grey area of discussion ..... At worst you'll have 2 runners. You not planning on breeding them so there isn't much concern for the youngens, This is a personal choice, that only you can make think first though and get an opion form a vet...

MY opion only...

Good luck with this adventure all the best

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Hi Nharvi,

 

I have 2 birds with feather problems. French Moult is a nest condition and generally can't be passed to other birds, while PBFD is contageous.

 

I have one bird like Konrad who has no flights or tail feathers. Like Konrad he did regrow some feathers only to drop them at his next moult, which is what I assume happened with Konrad.

 

The other bird was fine as a baby, but during her first moult had a hard time with lice and mites and a respiratory disease, which caused a lot of stress. She went quite bald and has had problems with her wing feathers ever since. She still has tail feathers, but can't seem to keep any wing feathers. I think now that the skin is damaged where the wing feathers grow.

 

Both of these birds have been kept with other birds with no problems. One was in an aviary with toddlers for his first 8 months, before coming to me as a 'special needs' budgie and the other was always kept with my budgies before I got my aviary. Now they share a cage and are the best mate and always do everything together.

 

By all means, check with your vet, but unless your budgie has PBFD (he would have a soft or sometimes overgrown beak if he had PBFD) I really don't believe there will be any problems.

 

 

eathers.

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Hi all and thank you for all the good and informative answers.

 

Well first off, Konrad has a good looking beak, I've never had to help her with it, and the skin on her feet looks all good. You can see her beak here:

http://www.hateguild.net/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=1670

http://upload8.postimage.org/493561/photo_hosting.html

So I think scaly face and PBFD is out of the equation, but I'm not 100% sure. Do all birds that get PBFD get miss-shaped beaks?

 

Konrad does get a wingfeather now and then, as well as a tailfeather, but they fall off before they have had a chance to grow out fully. I'll find one of the long feathers about once every 8 weeks in her cage. but thats about it. She has never had a bald spot or dropped any other feathers thats made me worried.

 

I didn't have Konrad straight from the nest, I got him from a local petstore here in Sweden, I couldn't find any breeders here in Sweden at the time, so I ended up buying him from there. She is believed to be born in June 2005, and I got her in August 2005.

I have later found out that petstores here don't handle the birds very well, they are breed in Germany and then imported by a big truck to Sweden, a trip that takes at least 15 hours.

I did end up taking the tiniest and most torn bird, since I'm a sucker for those big puppy eyes, but I do know Konrad wasn't in the best shape when she arrived to us.

She has however managed to recover well and has a good life, apart from the feather problem.

 

I just want to clear up, the reason we want to get another budgie is simply for Konrad, I enjoy the quiet little chatty bird I have, and with another it's going to be a bit louder, but I really don't mind.

It's illegal to keep a single budgie in Sweden, but I don't care much for that part, since the vet advised me to keep Konrad separated from any other birds in the beginning when she lost all her long feathers, both because of infection as well as the risk of being bullied. Now the vet has said it should be okay to get another bird, but I will give the vet a call today and see what she thinks.

 

Not that I don't love my little runner, but I don't want to risk another bird having to go through that, Konrad looks happy enough, but she is still a disabled bird, and I would prefer not having a second bird with the same condition.

 

Thank you all for the great information, I have read through all the articles that you guys linked as well as the other ones around on the board about french moult, but I'm still not 100% sure, hence the post.

 

Nharvi and Konrad

Edited by Nharvi

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I just got off the phone with the vet, and she basically said that if it is indeed French moult (which she thinks it is going through Konrads papers there) it has a tiny chance of being transmitted, but she couldn't tell me how it transmits, since they don't know for sure.

She did advice me not to use Konrad for breeding, which I would never do, and if I avoid that, it hopefully won't be a problem.

She did point out that it is indeed a virus though, and they aren't 100% sure how it transmits.

 

She left it up to me to decide if it's worth a try.

 

What do you guys think? I still think it's sad for Konrad ending up alone only because her feathers aren't in the best shape, but on the other hand, risking another budgie to turn into a runner doesn't feel good in my heart, when I know it would be my fault if the new baby did actually catch it as well.

 

I feel so torn, has anyone of you guys put in a healthy budgie together with one that has french moult, and what was the outcome in that situation?

 

Thanks,

Nharvi

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If I knew that it could be transmitted to another budgie or if I was given the information that there is a possibility (even if small) I personally would not put another budgie at risk. It is not fair to get a healthy bird sick this is my own personal opinion. It may not happen but then it could no one here can tell you it won't you know. :ausb: At this point it is not about personal appearance but the possible spreading of a virus to a healthy bird.

 

You are a wonderful owner. Would she be happier with another budgie well that is like saying would my kids be happy if their friends came over absolutely but she is not going die a lonely life she has you to care for her and love her. My grandma's budgie lived to be 18yr as a single budgie.

 

The urge for wanting a 2nd budgie is the hardest part to resist I understand and know this urge very well. They are wonderful companions.

 

I know you will make the best decision for you and Konard.

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The only way to prove Fm is DNA testing. Bloods need to go to South Africa, we can't do it in Australia. $120.0o0 for the test. I have had it done on one of my birds. Fluffy.

 

This bird has FM. No it's not contagious between adults.. It might have a chance to grow the feathers back. Try Olive Leaf extract. Use a cotton bud and drip in the liquid and dab on the quills.

Edited by Daz

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Thank you both for great answers.

I don't have the urge really to get another budgie, I'm happy enough with just one, but I feel a bit sorry for little Konrad being on her own all her life.

 

Daz, So if FM isn't contagious between adults, does that mean it only transmits from mom/dad to egg? Since the baby we would be getting is around 6 weeks today, and would be moving in in 2-4 weeks, could he catch it since he is still young?

I'm sorry about all the questions, I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing by either not getting another budgie, or getting another one if you see my point.

 

Thank you all again

Nharvi

Edited by Nharvi

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Re French moult...I also cannot say anything concrete as I have no hard facts. I have had what appears to be French moult babies and all in with other youngsters in a kindie cage and noone else loses their feathers. I have had one or two in an nest that lose their feathers and the others in the same nest do NOT. Some of mine may be more a case of stress moult as happens to some young ones ...like Bubblegums two babies who dumped their flight and tail feathers shortly after being plucked by their mother and are still trying to grow new ones in. If however it is French moult ( and they ARE in with others )...noone else is getting French moult from them. Also have known French moult adults who do NOT pass it onto others...........so my personal theory is..not transferable. But that's just a theory and not supported by fact. :ausb:

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Thank you Kaz, maybe I'll be able to get Konrad her little boyfriend then after all.

 

I wasn't planning on letting the birds breed at all even before I knew about this, since I I both lack the space for more birds and the knowledge enough to breed budgies.

If I would get more than two birds, it would have to be after we move to a house (which is a few years ahead int he future), so that there is room enough to have a huge cage.

The current one is almost 120 cm long, 130 cm high and about 70 cm wide I think, so it should be good for two birds considering I have the cage door as long as I'm home and awake.

 

I really hope that it's safe, even though I love my little runner to death, I don't want to be the cause for another budgie to catch FM simply because I lacked the knowledge.

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I had 2 FM chicks 2yrs,I sent them to budgie heaven.Touch wood I hav`nt had any since.I guess it is hard,when you only have 1or2 budgies. My advice, you would`nt want to know.

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Well, getting rid of Konrad is out of the question, I've always been a sucker for needing animals, and actually Konrad was my first real newborn baby animal ever.

All the dogs, cats, horses, chickens and whatnot I've had through the years have all been animals I've taken in when they had nowhere else to go and unless they ended up at my place, they would go to heaven.

 

Konrad isn't suffering, and I won't put down an animal and send it off to heaven just because they look a bit odd. If she was indeed sick and suffering, in pain or some other way, then it's a totally different thing. I think, when you get an animal, whatever the reason, you are responsible for both their happiness, and also to help them when they are ill and making sure they don't suffer.

 

I can see how it's different if you have a lot of birds and are breeding them and you don't want an infection to spread, but I simply don't have the heart to make a decision like that, hence why I won't get more than one more bird tops.

 

I didn't mean this in a harsh way by the way (By The Way), I just wanted to make sure that putting Konrad to sleep isn't an option for me, then I rather pass on another bird :D

Edited by Elly

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Hi Nharvi, Konrad has always been happy and healthy in your care, just minus a few feathers. This is the case with my two runners too. Personally I would go ahead with the 2nd budgie as I've not experienced any problems mixing a runner with other budgies. I don't find they are picked on any more or less than any other budgie. In fact our female runner was always the boss of her cage.

 

 

Feathers.

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Oh you always know how to cheer me up Feathers, and I've followed your and Kaz advices in many other cases, and it's always turned out for the best, so I will do as you say this time as well.

 

You make me a very happy girl with those words, and Konrad will be even more excited than I am I'm sure :D

 

Yaay, we're getting a baby budgie! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Edited by Nharvi

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Hi Nharvi!

 

Since you are a lovely caring person, whatever your heart tells you to do in this situation will be correct. Budgies do perceive us as big budgies and do not feel lonely unless you are at work all day long. So that very reasonable Swedish law could be ignored here. Also, so many knowledgeable people report no problem of keeping two and more birds together with an infected one, so it is possible to abide by the law!

 

I personally have 4 budgies, and one is worrying me too much with his feather conditions. The vets cannot tell me anything definite. The birds are happy and healthy otherwise. I had got them long before I could learn about this condition. And after all I cannot be 100% sure that my yellow one has a contageous disease. One of my other birds looks somewhat like Konrad colourwise. She lost her tail too by the way but it is slowly growing back.

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I have had 3 FMs this year out of 27 chicks. All three have been from different parents and their other chicks have been fine. There is a thought that they grow an imunity to the disorder as they grow older and can give this imunity to their chicks.

 

I have culled (gave away) two of the FMs but still have one to see how he goes.

 

PR026-1.jpg

This is sook he is 6 months old now. The photo is a few month old. As you can see he is a big bird so I have plans for him in the Breeding Program.

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You make me a very happy girl with those words, and Konrad will be even more excited than I am I'm sure

 

Yaay, we're getting a baby budgie! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

 

You put a smile on my face with your enthusiasm too, Nharvi :) Enjoy your new little boy when you get him and I look forward to photos.

 

 

Feathers.

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