Exotic Bird Sanctuary/Education
Dedicated to enhancing the life of Companion Birds through Education, Rescue, Rehabilitation
Outside of the blood work we do on each parrot we also do a poop test. This is very important as it shows us if the parrot is lacking from something or there is a problem that can be corrected with med's. In most cases we find a problem.
Early signs of illness are often not recognized; however, bird’s survival instincts have made them masters of disguise. In the wild a sick bird will attempt to maintain a normal appearance for as long as possible, so it is not shunned from the flock and become someone’s dinner. By the time any signs of illness are apparent, the bird may have been ill for some time.
While there are definite signs of illness it can still sneak up on you. Little things change over time that can be easily explained. Your bird may become grumpy, and you attribute it to hormones, moulting, or not enough sleep.
It’s very important to observe droppings. Number, volume, color and consistency should be noted. Watch for any decrease in the total number or volume, change of color, increased water content, decrease in feces with increased urates or an increase in urine.
If you are going to the vet, it’s always best to take the freshest sample of poop you can get. Wax paper works well with collecting the fecal matter. Line your cage the night before to catch the morning poop and the most recent as well. You can wrap the wax paper in foil or in a bag for
We did a search and came up with this article that we thought could help you further.
Practice observing your birds droppings first.
Hopefully your bird is quite healthy right now and this is the perfect time to practice poop observation. Use a plain print newspaper, white paper or wax paper on the floor of your birds cage so you can see the droppings clearly. Once you have an idea what healthy droppings look like you'll have little trouble spotting the signs of illness later.
What is all that stuff in the droppings?
Bird poop is actually quite remarkable in it's own right because all forms of waste are expelled at once in one tidy little blob. There are 3 parts to that blob and you much learn to tell them apart of this article is to be of any use to you.
Urates are the crystalline section of the urine. This part will appear chalky white and has a consistency that isn't really watery or solid. As close as I can describe the constancy would be good old Elmer's' glue, just not as adhesive.
Urine is the clear part and is like water. In fact it's not much different than anyone other animals pee. Sometimes the Urine and Urates will mix and form a cloudy liquid, don't be alarmed if you can't always tell the two areas apart.
The Feces is the third part and it's the only real solid part. It'll be that tubular shaped section in the middle of the dropping. It may be straight, coiled, of even broken up in to smaller yet still tube shaped pieces.
Normally inconsistent or consistently abnormal?
The one thing to remember with droppings is they will normally be
Color and consistency can indicate health problems.
Always remember that diet, stress and environment will have a natural effect on your birds' droppings. In times of stress the droppings will naturally be more watery. This is due mostly to the birds fight or flight instinctual response. When in a panic birds will expel any waste in their system prior to taking flight. More Urine and Urates are produced than feces each day. If the stress is ongoing the majority of the droppings will have very little feces in them, if any at all.
You'll also notice a lot more urine in the droppings if your bird is drinking excessively or eating foods high in water. Lettuce and fruits are very high in water and are the most common cause for watery droppings. Even birds that enjoy bathing frequently may have watery droppings because as they are preening off the bath water they will ingest some of it.
The color of feces may change from time to time depending what your bird has eaten recently. Seeds and green veggies will naturally produce green feces while blueberries and blackberries produce black feces. If you feed your bird a pellet diet the feces will often be the same color as the pellet if they are colored or a rusty color if they are not colored. If you think your birds feces looks wrong keep the diet simple (back to seeds) for a day and re-check. Thankfully the bird digestive system works very fast and you'll have any odd food induced colors worked out of the body fairly quickly.
Urates (the chalky white part)
Urine (the clear watery part)
Feces (the solid tubular part)
Lumpy or Undigested food: Incomplete digestion, Giardia, hypermotile intestine.
Should the droppings smell?
Oh, what to do...
When dehydrated encourage your bird to drink or bathe. If that doesn't work use foods like Lettuce, fruit or even cooked rice to get extra water in to your bird. Do not pry open your birds beak and attempt to force water down its' throat, this will almost always lead to aspiration and death. The only time you can attempt this is with a crop tube and even then I do not recommend you put pure water in to the crop. Rather mix up a thin mixture of hand feeding formula so the bird is less likely to regurgitate and aspirate.
Here is another link that gets into the topic more.