Reducing outbreaks of Trichomonosis in garden birds

Greenfinch

Trichonomosis is a disease in garden birds caused by the parasite Trichomonas gallinae. It most commonly affects birds that visit garden feeders and bird tables including finches, sparrows and pigeons, as well as birds of prey (due to feeding on smaller wild birds that are carrying the parasite). Trichonomosis causes disease in the back of the throat, however it does not produce cysts as is often thought. You may notice signs of the diease by observing general illness in birds, problems swallowing or excessive saliva, or shallow, laboured breathing. 

The best way to reduce the spread is to maintain hygiene levels, such as providing clean fresh water and regularly cleaning bird tables and feeders. This will help prevent transmission of diseases at feeding areas.

Ark-Klens, our disinfectant, cleanser and deodoriser is the best cleanser disinfectant for the bird table and feeders, and will kill Trichomonas. If you are concerned about other organisms such as bacteria and viruses we would suggest Tamodine-E, our disinfectant that protects against a wider range of viruses, bacteria and fungi.

CitroSan, our natural, biodegradable drinking and bathing water sanitiser, will help to prevent the transmission of Trichomonas in the bird bath.

Studies into Trichomonas

At the recent UFAW symposium on feeding wild birds, a group from Canada reported identifying Trichomonas from feed removed from a feeder where there had an outbreak of Trichomoniasis. The likelihood is that food just inside the feeding holes of a tube feeder may become damp or soggy due to rain getting in, and Trichomonas could live in this moist environment. On this basis it would be sensible to not overfill feeders so that they can be regularly taken down and cleaned and dried, and choosing tube feeders which are easy to strip and clean and have good rain covers or are sheltered is advisable.

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