What's Best Parrot For Us - Husband Has Asthma (Sometimes) - West Yorks


Hello folks,

I have been reading the various sections of your great Forum as part of my research. We would love to get a parrot. We've not had one before but we have a good set up at home - no kinds and both at home almost all of the day so it will not be short on company + interaction. Ideally we are looking for a medium sized type of bird who can talk.

The one major issue is my husband does sometimes use an inhaler for asthma. He doesn't use it all the time but some things do set it off - sometimes he knows what's made him wheezy and other times he doesn't have any idea. He does insist on non-feather pillows + duvets so feathers may be a problem.

When we first met I had 2 cats. My then husband in waiting would visit regularly and the cats would really get his asthma going. However over time this did seem to die down and a year after meeting we started living together and by then he had no reaction whatsoever to the cats. So you see how this asthma thing can be a bit unpredictable. 

We are based in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire and the next step would be if we could visit somebody who keeps birds so that my husband could interact with them and see if he gets any reaction. If he has an allergy to them it will be clear fairly quickly given close contact. We are happy to travel a bit. Can anybody here suggest somebody?

Also perhaps somebody could advise if there are some birds that might be lower risk than others in terms of allergy + asthma simply because of the amount of dust or type of dust they create on their feathers.

Many thanks in advance,



Welcome to the forum.

I would stay away from Greys, Cockatoos and Cockatiels if dust might be an issue

Conures are lovely birds or how about a little Caique? I know Lee is still looking for good homes for his 2. They are lovely little birds (as are Conures) playful, friendly, can be noisy but not ridiculously noisy

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Yes the conure family do not produce dust they can be very adorable and also learn to talk but there is never a guarantee on talking.  now the Species of conure can differ in size from the Patagonian down they can be known as noisy some are but mine are not to bad   


Hi guys,

Many thanks for the quick replies. So pleased to hear there are some options open to us.

No - the cats are long deceased. We do have a dog - short haired and has never been a problem for my husbands asthma in the 10 years we've had the dog - when a friend of ours comes to visit with a very hairy (long haired) German Shepherd then that does give my husband a reaction and quite quickly. 

I'd say the cats had hair of a medium length so he did have an initial reaction to them but seemed to build up some sort of tolerance over time.

I've seen people with asthma far worse than my husband's - he is not severe but still I don't want to go down a route that might aggravate things - having to use an inhaler is not a nice thing IMO.

Many thanks again .... Jayne


Regular Member
Hello and welcome Jayne

It's a shame you aren't nearer to us as I would be happy for you to visit my birds. I have a grey and a green cheek conure. I also have COPD. neither bird gives me any problems breathing. I have been unwell with my lungs recently but it isn't related to the birds.

It is well known that African Greys and Cockatoos cN cause problems as they emit dust which can be an allergen. To be honest, it's a very personal thing. Even though your husband has asthma, it depends on whether your husband has an allergy to the feathers Nd dust that come with them.

It might be a good idea to find breeders of certain birds you like and go visit them to see if there is a reaction. You may find private owners not so keen on giving out their address to strangers as there's been a lot of thefts of birds in recent years.


Alice in Parrotland
Regular Member
Hello and welcome from me and my gang too!

As scarlett said I would stay away from African greys, cockatoos and cockatiels as these do produce a lot of dust.

Whatever you do decide though you can get an air purifier which will help



Regular Member
You will be best spending time around different species and different birds within that species.

My patagonian conure is actually very dusty and incredibly noisy when he gets going lol.

As a general rule greys, cocktoos and cockatiels and macaws are considered dusty.

Also when moulting the birds new feathers will have a protective covering called the sheath. As they preen this off it could cause issues if breathed in. Daily spraying of the bird and cage paper when cleaning could help along with an air purifier.

As for talking there is no guarantee that any species will learn to talk. Some are more likely to talk than others but you need to be prepared to take on a bird that never utters a word.


Hi guys,

Many thanks again for all your replies. You've given me a great starting point in suggesting a couple of types that seem in most cases to be considered not dusty - the Conure and little Caique.

i didn't know about these so am now in the process of researching them to see if they would be suitable for us. Of course I appreciate its the luck of the draw when it comes to them talking - would be quite happy if it turned out never to utter a word as long as it was into human contact - if not then I might as well just buy a pretty ornament to sit on the mantelpiece! 

Worst case scenario is having to visit a pet shop (I'm not a fan) but there is one in Leeds which does keep birds so at least we could go there to see what sort of reaction my husband comes up with. Thanks for the offer on the visit Dolly - unfortunately we are never down your neck of the woods.

Will also keep in mind what's been said regarding air purifiers. 

Happy birding folks ...... Jayne  :thumbsup:  


Regular Member
They look adorable and by the looks of it Lee has been handling them quite a bit- they look like they really enjoy human interaction.  :thumbsup:


Regular Member
Have a word with Lee, Diana just put the link up, you could go visit his beautiful little Caiques
Well yes, one of the reasons I chose caiques is the lack of dust. But please read all about them here before you make a final selection.

They are GREAT fun, and also a BIG commitment to keep them that way.


Regular Member
Hi Jaynemc,

I have two Black Headed Caiques that are 20 wks old for sale They are exceptional cuddle and tame, weaned onto a pellet diet and enjoy all fruit and veg. I am in East Yorkshire about 40 mins outside York.


A great opportunity to go and meet the species, see what they are like and see how your husband feels around them?


Hi Folks,

Many thanks for the further replies.

Would be easy to rush + make a decision but I consider a pet is for life so its got to be totally right. I'm still reading up on Caiques and the various Conures. Also will keep posting to reach the magic number and then I can message other members.

I bumped into a thread on a US forum - somebody discussing the Eclectus saying its feathers produced more of a flaky dandruff type material rather than powder as such. Could this be a 3rd option? Of course I've no idea on how common they are in the UK if at all. 

Bye for now ......  :bye:


Eclectus are lovely birds and their feathers are different, but if you haven't kept parrots before they may be complex for you as their diet needs to be carefully controlled because their digestive system is slightly different too. You need to do a lot of research before considering an Eclectus.

have fun doing your research and I'm sure the right birdie is out there for you, waiting to be "discovered".
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