General Question

paolorui's avatar

Is picking up bird feathers unsanitary or harmful?

Asked by paolorui (4points) August 11th, 2010

When I was a kid I was told not to pick up bird feathers because they likely carry diseases or lice or some other harmful thing. Is this true?

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7 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It’s possible that feathers can have traces of poop on them but they’re no more likely to have that than anything else our kids pick up on the streets – I don’t worry about it.

CMaz's avatar

Healthy? No biggie.

Legal? Depends on the bird. Protected species can’t be touched, even if dead.

missingbite's avatar

Birds do carry lice. However, if you wash your hands well after handling, you will be fine.

shilolo's avatar

There is also the low but real risk of catching West Nile Virus.

lilikoi's avatar

I doubt it. I’ve never had any problems.

soarwing11's avatar

Highly unlikely, but maybe wear gloves and definitely wash your hands after – gloves or not.

downtide's avatar

If you own a pet bird, I would advise against handling feathers from wild birds. They may carry mites which you could pass on to your pet. They wouldn’t cause you any harm though.

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