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Avian Gastric Yeast in hookbills - can they be bred?


Meeting neighbors
Hi folks, I'm asking this question because a bird I had that was new to my flock (yes, it was quarantined, no, it had no signs or symptoms of being ill) died of AGY last week. Initially I wanted to re-home all the birds to people who would NOT breed them, or house them with other lovebirds (my birds are all lovebirds). After speaking to the vet technician today, she indicated that the prevalence of AGY is so high, that at the latest symposium, the possibility that it is 'just a part of the bird's natural flora' was introduced. I was advised that once they had all been treated, they should all be on Apple Cider Vinegar to keep it 'knocked back,' but that they can still breed.

In the meantime, I've been scouring and sterilizing cages, food dishes, and water bottles daily to try to control the presence of it in their cages. All porous toys were thrown out. All cages/bowls/water bottles are undergoing a 20 minute soak in a 32:1 bleach solution, then a thorough soak/rinse in fresh water. I've switched to bottled drinking water, and after treatment ends, I was advised to give ACV in their water regularly, 1 tsp to 2 cups. So I'll make that up in advance and shake it up before refilling their water bottles for the day.

The question hangs in the air though - DOES anyone know if this IS a part of these birds' natural flora that goes out of control, and they CAN be bred, or can anyone point me in the direction of a journal article that suggests that they should NOT be bred? I am waiting to hear back from our one and only avian vet in the city on Wednesday or thursday - but I'm skeptical and haven't had any luck at all finding the answer online. My vet essentially said that even if I were to re-home this flock to people who wouldn't breed them, it's likely that new birds from other breeders will have it as well. PLEASE - if you don't already - weight your birds at LEAST once a week - you can get a food scale for $15, and I put them in a tupperware container that's been zeroed to the scale, then place the bird inside with the lid on to get their weights. My bird showed NO signs of the disease, clean vent, no vomiting, with the exception of one day about a week and a half before he died, when he was on the floor and seemed weak and tired. Oh - and he was also eating 3x the food my other birds were eating, which is one of the possible symptoms. Thanks in advance guys.


Rollerblading along the road
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Real Name
Since it's contagious, ridding your flock of the infection will be necessary to avoid passing on to new members, especially chicks who are fed by their parents.

If you rehome your birds to anyone, you must ethically disclose this known issue to a prospective owner whether they intend to breed and have lovebirds, or not.


Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Spotlight Award
Ontario, Canada
Yes, it seems very hard to eradicate. Petsmart had three adoptable canaries recently. They were for adoption only to a home with no other birds due to AGY. Apparently seen by a vet, but it kept recurring intermittently in them. They were clear at the time of adoption, but it goes to show how tenacious it can be, unfortunately.