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Tweetsley 06-28-2019 01:55 AM

Avian Bornavirus
Hi everyone! It has been a very long time since I've posted on Talk Budgies. I hope you all have been doing well!

I have an interesting problem and I'm not sure whether it belongs under budgie health or budgie breeding. Anyways, I have 7 budgies. One of my budgies, Lily, has tested positive for having avian bornavirus. Since my birds have all been exposed to each other, the vet said that there would be no point in separating her from the other birds. I just have to keep everything clean and thankfully, Lily has been the only one to show signs of having it. The way my cages are set up, I have three boys in one (Arthur, Charlie, and Molly) then I have three girls and one boy in the other (Fred, Lily, Luna, and George). I have it set up like this because Arthur and George don't get along.

I noticed the other day that Lily wasn't looking so good, so I put her in a hospital cage. I don't know if it's common with avian bornavirus, but she goes through phases. Sometimes she'll be totally normal and then other times she's in pretty rough shape, so I have a tendency to move her between cages. I went away for a few days and had my mom look after my birds. When I came home, I noticed that Lily was sitting on the bottom of the cage. When I went to move her, I noticed that she was sitting on 3 eggs. I candled them and 2 of them were infertile (so I threw them away) and 1 was fertile. I have absolutely no idea what to do with the fertile egg. I have no issue throwing away the eggs when they're first laid (I remember reading on here that life doesn't start forming in the egg until the mom has sat on it for like 12+ hours), but I didn't get to this one in time. I would feel like a terrible person for throwing it away, but I don't want to put Lily's health at risk.

What should I do? My worry is that taking care of this egg and then taking care of this chick will add even more stress to her body. Plus, wouldn't the chick have a chance of catching it from her? Lily is also on the medication Celecoxib and wouldn't she essentially be feeding that to the chick if she were to raise it?

My first thought is to take the egg away from Lily and then give it to one of the other girls, probably Fred, to lay on and then take care of the baby. My other thought is to let Lily lay on it until it hatches and then George (the baby's father) can take it from there. Or I could just throw it away, but I feel like that would be mean. It's also very warm here and my fear is that I would toss the egg in the trash, it would be kind of incubated in the garbage and would hatch, then the baby would die. But I feel like that's probably an irrational train of thought.

EDIT: I just wanted to say that I do try and prevent my budgies from laying eggs. I'm always moving things around in their cages and limiting their daylight hours, but Lily is just stubborn.

RavensGryf 06-28-2019 10:27 AM

Hi Alyssa! :) Good to see you again, although I wish it wasn’t under these circumstances. I’m sorry that Lily has tested positive :(.

About 15 years ago, I had a parrot with PDD (proventricular dilation disease) which is from avian bornavirus. There are different strains. My girl ended up declining quickly and passing. I hope in your case, it can be managed with the Celecoxib.

Personally, I would dispose of the egg. I really wouldn’t want to bring up another bird with the disease. They say bornavirus is fragile in the environment, so thankfully it’s not as virulent as other dreaded diseases without a cure. That’s probably why it doesn’t spread like wildfire. But the main way to get the disease is from a parent or being born to one with the disease. But still, I just don’t believe in bringing more contagious birds into the world. That is my opinion on it. I wish you nothing but the best.

Tweetsley 06-30-2019 02:22 AM

Hi, Julie! Thank you so much for your advice, I really appreciate it.

I think Lily may have PDD too. When she was first diagnosed, she was dropping weight like crazy and had undigested food in her droppings. The vet confirmed her as having avian bornavirus, but PDD was part of the conversation too.

I ended up throwing the egg away. I didn't know that the baby could get it from Lily just by being hatched from one of her eggs. But you're right, there's no need to bring any more contagious birds into this world. Plus, it wouldn't be fair to the baby since it would most likely suffer its whole life.

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