Excuse me a second…
- Grapes? Check.
- Strawberries? Check.
- Pomegranate? Check.
- Cherries? Check.
- Corn syrup? Check.
- Molasses? Check.
Now, just stick them on the blender here. Oh, a lid! Nope, don’t need that! I’ll just set that down here and now to turn the speed setting to “11” and here we go!
Alright I’m back. Oh, that? Just ignore the goo oozing off my ceiling there. I’m here to talk about poop.
Seriously, yes… poop. It is, perhaps, one of the most common, simplest, and easiest indications for lay-persons such as ourselves to judge our parrot’s overall, digestive health.
Avian poop (can you tell I live with a 2 year old and had to change my vocabulary a bit?) has 2 parts. You can see that in the white and black colors. Ever wonder what each was (Of course you did! Doesn’t everybody?)? Here’s a hint – Why don’t birds pee?
The white part of bird poop is concentrated uric acid. Mammals dilute theirs as urine, birds don’t. Therefore, bird poop is both solid and liquid waste in one.
The darker/black part of the poop is the solid waste. I don’t think I have to make the comparison to mammals on that one!
Birds also pass water through, which usually mixes in with the two and gives it that wonderful splatter ability.
Yeah, not exactly dinner conversation material, is it?
OK, poop. I get it, but… why?
Considering you have both of those, you can now get a fairly good idea of what you should be looking for in your bird’s poop, I hope.
If you notice excessive liquid or white “urine”, then if means your bird isn’t pooping any solid waste. It’s normal at times. Birds don’t always eat, sometimes they just drink and, well, they gotta pee at some point!
If, however, you see an excessive amount of this “urine”, or their poop is generally watery, it could indicate a problem with their diet and/or a health condition; they may be drinking a lot of water for another reason you may need to consider.
There’s also texture to think about. (Yes, we are a strange bunch, thinking about poop texture on a constant basis like this.)
A dry diet… or at least a bird that will eat a dry diet, will generally have more solid, darker poop than one who eats a wetter diet.
We have a Caique who will soak all his food into a soup before he eats it. (Yes, I have tried to explain to him that almond shells do not soften, but so far, it’s a lesson he’ll have no part of!) For months after he came to live with us, I was always worried about him before I connected the dots – wet food = wet poop. Of course, his cage is crusted over with poop on a weekly basis and it requires a metal scraper to even make a dent in the stuff, but in his case, his poop simply reflects his diet.
Don’t judge me like that! I feel you… Yes, I do line his cage with paper, but the little spaz rolls himself up in it and tears it to shreds within 5 minutes of cleaning his cage *sigh*.
Barring any obvious change in diet, an abnormal shape, color or smell is one of the first signs your bird may have a health issue they need to be checked out for.
Let me stress this one point here: Don’t ask on a message board. Don’t go to Yahoo Answers. Don’t ask a friend. Go to a vet. Go now, do not stop, do not pass go. Go directly to your avian vet.
The best poop?
Budgies. Hands down. Nice, neat little dots on the bottom of a cage floor are almost “cute” compared to an, oh, let’s say, macaw! Couple that by a rather dry diet of grains, seed and some produce and you have a relatively easy cage cleaning ahead of you.
The worst poop?
For the love of God, are they the absolute worst!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you don’t know what a Lorikeet is, you’re not alone. A Lorikeet is one of the only parrots that eats a nectar diet. Their tongues are specially designed to wick up their food, but they’ll eat fruits and other solids as well.
But remember, what goes in…
That blender experiment is exactly what you should expect from a Lorikeet. Take the stickiest, most colorful shades of brown mixed with the rainbow, stick it in a blender and just blast it across your house. You’ll have a slight idea of what to expect with this epic parrot-poop-from-Hell.
You not only get the wonderful glaze on anything and everything around them, but they can aim! Hot, sticky, sour-smelling, projectile bird poop everywhere!!!
The first person who held a Lori and saw that stream of liquid Hell shoot out of their rear, but still thought this was a bird that would be great in a home, should be tar, feathered, draw and quartered and then shot!!
There you have it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a mess to go clean up… and some newspaper I have to buy stock in!