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© 1991, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Companion birds continue to increase in popularity as pets in the United States. Birds most frequently kept belong to the family psittacidae, or the parrot family. Although domestic breeding of parrots is becoming more widespread, a large number of birds are still imported from outside the United States. By law, these birds must enter the country through quarantine stations. There they spend at least 30 days and are tested for disease and fed food containing tetracycline, an antibiotic. The antibiotic treatment is to hopefully eliminate infections with Chlamydia psittaci, the bacterium that causes psittacosis.