How Often Do Cockatiels Poop? (Explained!)

Cockatiels are entertaining pets for both children and adults. They are social, lively, and easy to train; they even learn how to mimic your voice and do tricks! However, if you own a cockatiel, you will spend time dealing with fecal waste. But how often do cockatiels poop?

How Often Do Cockatiels Poop? On average, cockatiels poop 18–30 times per day. This means that a healthy adult cockatiel poops every 15 to 30 minutes, regardless of whether it’s awake or asleep.

How Often Do Cockatiels Poop?

Cockatiels poop a lot because they have a fast metabolism. As birds are prey animals, cockatiels need to immediately gain energy from their food. Within three hours of consumption, food becomes waste.

Cockatiels also have small stomachs, so while their metabolism is fast, they must pass a meal through the digestive tract in installments. So, cockatiels are constantly digesting and excreting waste.

Cockatiel poop is also not unpleasant to smell. If you notice a strong smell of excrement from the cage, your cockatiel may have a bad stomach or digestive problem.

They only have one posterior orifice, known as the cloaca. In mammals, the cloaca separates as a fetus and becomes three separate orifices: an anus, a vagina, and a urethra.

In fact, cockatiels urinate and defecate simultaneously, with the same regularity.

How Often Do Baby Cockatiels Poop?

Baby cockatiels poop as often as they are fed. This is because when baby cockatiels are fed by their mother, defecation is promoted.

When baby cockatiels defecate, the mother can keep the nest clean by either eating or discarding the fecal sac that the baby cockatiels excrete.

What Does Healthy Cockatiel Poop Look Like?

In terms of color, healthy cockatiel poop is an olive shade of green and white. The green represents processed food that has passed through the digestive tract, whereas the white represents uric acid from the urine.

The poop of a healthy cockatiel will have a semi-soft texture. It shouldn’t be solid, but it also shouldn’t be watery. This suggests diarrheaOpens in a new tab. due to a nutritional imbalance.

Why Do Cockatiels Poop So Much?

All birds have a high metabolism, meaning they digest food very quickly. Typically, the smaller the bird, the faster its metabolism. According to the Journal of Experimental BiologyOpens in a new tab., cockatiels have the highest metabolic rate.

Consequently, food passes through the digestive tract of a cockatiel rapidly. Cockatiels have small stomachs and can’t store much food, so they must be quickly passed off as waste to keep the bird healthy.

As long as the poop remains healthy in shape, color, and smell, there is no need to be concerned if a cockatiel is pooping seemingly constantly.

Talk to an avian vet if the bird’s poop starts to look like diarrhea or if you see blood stains or other color changes.

How Does A Cockatiel’s Digestive System Work? (Explained)

Cockatiels have a unique digestive tract that includes a storage crop and two chambers within the stomach.

The cockatiel will swallow food. As cockatiels don’t have teeth, they don’t chew in the conventional sense. Instead, they consume seeds and nuts whole if they are small enough. With the beak, larger things, such as fruits and vegetables, are shredded.

When the food is small enough to pass through the esophagus, the cockatiel tilts its head back and swallows. At this stage, it also produces saliva to aid the food’s digestion.

Further, the food passes through the esophagus and reaches the first part of the digestive system, the crop. The crop is a sack that sits at the bottom of the throat, where it’s stored. Wild cockatiels may fill their crop before flying away to eat in a safer location.

When ready to start digesting, the food moves to the proventriculus, the first of a cockatiel’s two stomach chambers. The food is softened by digestive juices, including mucus and gastric acids.

Once softened, the food moves to the gizzard, the second stomach chamber, to be ground into smaller pieces. If your cockatiel is standing or swallowing pebbles, it is doing this to make a grid in its gizzards and help it digest.

Once food has been adequately broken down, it goes to the small intestine. Here, nutrients are absorbed with the assistance of the pancreas and liver. The food then reaches the large intestine, where any final water is removed and passed as waste through the cloaca.

Does Cockatiel Poop Smell?

The good news is that healthy cockatiel poop has no odor. Their droppings do not smell, mainly due to their diet of seeds, fruit, and vegetables.

But if you notice the droppings are smelly and emit an unpleasant waft around the cage, it may indicate a digestive issue or a health problem.

Is Cockatiel Poop Toxic To Humans?

Cockatiel poop can be toxic to humans if particular conditions occur. If a cockatiel’s poop is left uncleaned for a while, the bacteria and fungi population grows quickly, which has a negative effect on humans. This can also happen with moist and fresh droppings.

Without potty training, it is not possible to catch and clean every time a cockatiel poops. Therefore, do daily spot cleaning to maintain a feces-free cage floor.

If you are left to stagnate and dry out, cockatiel poop releases bacteria and fungi into the air. These concerns can also be present in moist and fresh droppings.

Common health issues related to cockatiel excrement include:

  • Histoplasmosis
  •  Cryptococcosis
  •  Psittacosis ( Ornithosis)
  •  Salmonella

As per Emerging Infectious DiseasesOpens in a new tab., cockatiel waste can also contain roundworm larvae. Thankfully, this is less likely in tame cockatiels that live in human homes.

However, each of these issues is zoonotic, which means they can make humans sick. Infectious fungi or bacteria are transmitted through inhalation or skin contact.

DermatitisOpens in a new tab. details the case of a man who developed a rash within 24 hours of a wild cockatiel defecating on his arm.

Therefore, wear gloves when removing poop from a cockatiel’s cage. A scouring brush and soapy water should be used to clear dried refuse.

Also, don’t touch your eyes, mouth, or nose until you’re done. If you have a problem with your lungs, you might want to wear a face mask.

Do Cockatiels Poop Everywhere?

Cockatiels aren’t proud or fussy about where they poop, so they will not just eliminate anywhere they like in a cage. When you let your cockatiel out for exercise, it may leave a trail of excrement behind it.

  • If you have a cockatiel, expect it to poop:
  •  While it sleeping.
  •  While flying, rarely breaking airborne strive to do.
  •  The entire house, including your soft furniture.
  •  In its food.
  •  In water, whether that is the cockatiel’s own or a water bowl for another pet.
  •  On you during handling.

The cockatiel is just doing what comes naturally.

Can Cockatiels Hold Their Poop?

Regarding how long cockatiels in general can keep their poop, there is relatively little data.

Science World looked into a rooster that was said to hold its poop for long periods of time while sitting on the lap of a favorite person.

According to their research, the rooster learned to leave the person’s lap when he had to use the restroom in order to avoid peeing on them.

The Avian Avenue Cockatiel Owners Forum says that adult female cockatiels have been seen holding their poop for long periods of time so that they don’t mess up the nest while they are incubating eggs.

This is also a fascinating aspect of cockatiel behavior. MIT notes that many owners claim their pet birds don’t want to poop on them.

The well-known cockatiel discussion on the Parrot Forums says that many cockatiels will develop a preference for pooping in certain places and a dislike for pooping in other places.

Cockatiels may not have the same internal structure as humans or other mammals, but they do seem to be able to hold their waste for a while.


Because cockatiels constantly poop, they can leave a big mess in your house. Cleaning can be difficult for you if you are not a huge admirer of it. Now that you can train your pet, it no longer has to be that way.

You only need to be patient and put in some work, that’s all. You won’t be able to resist cleaning frequently at first. However, you will end up with a disciplined bird and less cleaning once you get to know your pet and begin training it.

Don’t push yourself too far to prevent harming your cockatiel’s health. Although these birds can be taught to use the toilet, you should constantly remember that it is a requirement for them. Your pet may suffer if you are too strict about keeping your home tidy.

Cockatiel Enthusiast

My name is Bojan. I have been around Cockatiels for the past 7 years. I love writing about Cockatiels and helping people understand how these beautiful birds live, what they like, and how to provide them the best possible care.

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