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* Human beings as well as many parrot species and cockatoos have a very different evolutionary strategy to the budgie. With humans, the individual DOES MATTER. It takes about 20 years to grow and educate a human, and we usually only have one baby at a time. Humans recover well quite from injuries and diseases and live for a long time. (Stone Age people averaged lifespans of about 30 years, but in biblical times some lived much longer, to around 60 years. Pharaoh Ramesses II lived to around 90!)


So, what does all this mean? Well it may just mean that our approach to budgie disease control needs to be changed. For many reasons, you could argue that we have gone down the wrong path in trying to treat sick budgies. Maybe even our methods of disease prevention are


08 18 BIRD SCENE


wide of the mark. It is a simple fact that budgie disease prevention and control is based on human medicine. That is, there is a presumption that how we treat humans is appropriate for budgies: it is my view that this is sometimes dangerously wrong. So let’s look at some new science on everything from antibiotics to microbiomes.


Budgies are FRAGILE creatures that do not recover well from diseases. Currently almost all exhibition budgie breeders use human antibiotics purchased from a vet for budgie disease control or prevention. Recent research on the gut microbiome in humans is showing that antibiotics do much harm as well as good. They basically upset the ecosystem inside the gut. In the guts of all animals, there is a gigantic and complex ecosystem thriving, involving billions


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