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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I've not posted in quite some time. But I need some advice. I was talking to my boyfriend and he was getting upset over my pigeons because of some show he watched about certain funguses that are related to pigeon poop, not to mention probably almost every bird alive. My birds live inside and I try to keep it clean. I had some health problems with my heart a couple months ago and my boyfriend was ranting it was all the symptoms of the fungus out there. So needless to say I'm upset and not getting rid of my pigeons. What real risk is there to having pigeons indoors and what steps should I take when I clean that I may not be now?
 

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How many pigeons do you keep indoors?

There are allergies/breathing issues associated with keeping pigeons,partly because of the powder that they shed, but not everyone is affected. Anyone with asthma or other breathing issues should be careful.

If you have a well ventilated area where you keep the birds-and you don't have but maybe a few and keep it clean, it shouldn't be an issue.

I do have an allergy to the pigeon protein and keep my birds outside in a well ventilated loft with an open aviary, but I have 40 birds.
 

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There is a condition called Histoplasmosis which can affect humans, for most as nothing more than apparent cold or mild flu-like symptoms, if any symptoms at all. It can be hazardous for anyone with a weakened immune system, however.

It isn't a fungus which pigeons expel in their poop, though. They are spores which come from a fungus (Histoplasma capsulatum) which grows freely in areas rich in nitrogen.

Bird droppings, whether pigeons or any other, do enrich the soil with nitrogen and aid the fungus' growth. Spores can be carried on birds' feathers or feet, and get mixed in with their droppings where they roost. If an old bird roost is cleaned out, the spores can mix with powdered dry droppings and be inhaled. Point is, though, in many areas (in N America, certainly) this stuff grows anyway, and the spores can be carried on shoes, feet and fur of pets .. all kinds of ways.

Maybe he is mixing this or something similar up with the old nonsense we get about how pigeons carry all kinds of terrible diseases?

John
 

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There is a condition called Histoplasmosis which can affect humans, for most as nothing more than apparent cold or mild flu-like symptoms, if any symptoms at all. It can be hazardous for anyone with a weakened immune system, however.

It isn't a fungus which pigeons expel in their poop, though. They are spores which come from a fungus (Histoplasma capsulatum) which grows freely in areas rich in nitrogen.

Bird droppings, whether pigeons or any other, do enrich the soil with nitrogen and aid the fungus' growth. Spores can be carried on birds' feathers or feet, and get mixed in with their droppings where they roost. If an old bird roost is cleaned out, the spores can mix with powdered dry droppings and be inhaled. Point is, though, in many areas (in N America, certainly) this stuff grows anyway, and the spores can be carried on shoes, feet and fur of pets .. all kinds of ways.

Maybe he is mixing this or something similar up with the old nonsense we get about how pigeons carry all kinds of terrible diseases?

John
John, you are a great resourse. you always make so much sense.:)...I was wondering about the droppings part.:)
 

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I honestly think that the odor of the poops has no cause to the heart...I'm not an expert nor a doctor but I will try to give my opinion to the best of my knowledge...Now the dust will cause problems to those who have allergies from dust/pollen or people who smoke...Pigeon poop dries up and when they stepped on it and the more they spread the poops it makes tiny dust that it is bad for our health...I think this will cause problem to our lungs...I heard about other fanciers who have molds in their body/system from what reason, is not clear to me...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies. I'm positive pigeon poo had nothing to do with my problem I had. I've owned pigeons for 3 years. I had some heart murmur when I was a kid and I was having some heartbeat weirdness going. I'm okay now though. My boyfriend had seen that it can make people have heart pain and I was like that is stupid. It angered me because he jumped to that conclusion instantly. Then I went and researched more on the topic and in extremely sensitive people with immune problems can have an inflammation of the sac around the heart. I said if that had been the case I would have died and still have the problem. This fungus is found everywhere though, even just out gardening you can and most likely will be exposed. But I believe most people just hate pigeons and think they are infested with everything. I'd like more information though on cleaning tips. When I clean my birds cages I sweep them out and spray the bottom with lysol. I open the window when I do this so it will quickly dry and the birds are not in the cage when I do it. I mostly use newspaper and timothy hay. The birds love to play and nest with the hay and I think they eat some of it too. Once a week I also take a weak water solution of dish detergent with about 2 tablespoons of bleach and wipe out the bottom. Is all of this ok or not? What should I change or add?
 

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Do you let the birds bath often? That helps to cut down on the pigeon dust. And you could wear a mask when you clean the cages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't know what happened to me or what caused me to have problems but I did a bunch of tests but I'm fine. I'd love to have an outdoor loft someday, but right now I just live in a large apartment. Thank you all for the responses. :D
 
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