Cockatoo hair is constantly produced and is a normal and healthy part of its growth and development. Dandruff or dead skin flakes fall off as the new skin grows to replace the old skin. This process allows old skin to be replaced by newer, more supple skin, which is less likely to protect the bird from germs and the onset of disease.
In the wild, dandruff blows up and disperses, or the bird flies many kilometers away. In captivity, none of this can happen. But once they’re in a confined space, your pet has nowhere to go and the bird can’t get away from it. Therefore, if you do not actively remove dandruff from the air, birds and their humans will have to breathe air containing high concentrations of dandruff.
This is harmful to the bird. The air passages are so small that it doesn’t take much to block them. Once clogged, they often become ill with difficult-to-treat disease and infections. People often have an increased sensitivity that produces symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, or congestion.
For people who already have respiratory issues like allergies and asthma, the protein in the bran can trigger flare-ups that make it nearly impossible to keep the bird.
Being plumage birds, cockatoos, in addition to dandruff, also produce a white powder to help keep their wings soft. This dust is an additional pollutant that gets into the air with the normal activity of everyone moving around the room.
And that dust and dandruff is in addition to all the normal pollutants often found in a house dust, house dust mites, hairs of other pets, mold and mildew spores, as well as seasonal pollutants like pollen.
If any of their other care is important, giving your bird fresh air should be a top priority. And the only way to ensure that these particles do not harm your or your bird’s health is to constantly remove them with HEPA filtration.
High efficiency particle trap (abbreviated as HEPA) by definition, removes particles as small as 3 microns; this is exactly the type of filter needed to remove avian and domestic contaminants.
And to be defined as such, it must have proven that it can remove 99.997 out of 10,000 airborne particles 3 microns or larger, where a micron is defined as one-millionth of a meter.
Using this type of filtering is a proactive yet non-invasive intervention that can greatly reduce the hazards that cockatoo dander and dust can pose to you and your bird.