Most humans usually don’t go out of their way to look at their poop, but it’s not a bad habit to get into if you own a cockatiel. The droppings of your cockatiel are a great way to tell how healthy it is, so the sooner you learn about your cockatiel’s poop color, the better.
Normal cockatiel droppings should always be consistent in size, color, and texture. Cockatiel poop should be green or brown with specks or streaks of white and be accompanied by colorless urine. This shows that a cockatiel is digesting its food correctly and has no obvious health concerns.
However, if the color of the cockatiel’s poop is red, pea-green, yellow, or otherwise discolored, the cockatiel could have a hydration issue, an internal injury, or a disease.
The texture of the droppings is equally essential. If the feces are watery (mushy) or dry (stiff), this could mean that a cockatiel has diarrhea, polyuria, dehydration, constipation, or a digestive problem.
Furthermore, the color and consistency of their droppings can vary depending on their diet.
Natural food colorings and high-moisture foods can cause harmless changes to a cockatiel’s stool. For instance, blueberries might make the poop turn a dark purple color.
Keep reading to learn more about the color of cockatiel poop, why you need to check your cockatiel’s feces every day, and how to determine if the cockatiel’s poop is healthy or unhealthy.
What Should Cockatiel Poop Look Like?
We know it sounds gross, but your cockatiel’s poop can tell you a lot about its health. Cockatiels often change the way they poop when they are sick. Changes in poop color, size, wetness, or frequency can all be signs of illness
It’s a good idea to know what a healthy cockatiel’s poop looks like as a starting point. If you look at droppings every day, you’ll get an idea of what’s normal and be able to tell if the droppings change strangely.
However, most of what birds excrete is urate, not urine. This trait helps birds save water, which makes it even harder to answer questions like “What does healthy cockatiel poop look like?”
Normal cockatiel poop has three separate components:
- The fecal component is the part of the droppings that are solid and brown or green in color. The poop color can change based on what you feed your cockatiel. The poop comes from the intestines of your cockatiel.
- The urate component is a white substance that looks like toothpaste. As a way to conserve water, cockatiels make a solid urate. The urate is white and comes from the kidneys of your cockatiel.
- Clear liquid urine is the third component and comes from the kidneys.
The color of healthy droppings may vary depending on a cockatiel’s diet. When the cockatiel’s droppings change color, it is often a sign of a health problem like liver disease.
According to the Veterinary Clinics of North America, an increase in urine quantity or color change is abnormal. The same applies to the stool and urate components of the cockatiel’s droppings.
A cockatiel’s diet and health can affect its color, texture, and liquidity.
Cockatiel Poop Color Chart
Consistency matters in cockatiel droppings, which means that a healthy cockatiel may have bright green poop rather than the standard dark olive green poop.
Certain foods, such as cherries and blueberries, can temporarily discolor a cockatiel’s feces. Since the digestive system works quickly, the stools should change color within 24 to 48 hours.
Feces change color as they dry, so only monitor the color of fresh/new feces.
|Cockatiel Poop Color||Meanings|
|Green, brown poop||Green or brown poop indicates normal, healthy droppings|
|Black, or fresh red poop||Black or fresh red poop can indicate an excess of protein, digestive tract bleeding, intestinal infection, tumors, and egg binding.|
|Thick, black, tar-like texture||Malena ( digested blood in the stool)|
|Mustard Yellow feces||Mustard yellow feces indicates a liver disease|
|Bright green or yellow feces||This signifies that your cockatiel may not be eating (Chlamydiosis)|
|Slimy droppings||Yeast overgrowth|
|Foamy or bubbly droppings||Bacteria infections (e.g., Clostridium)|
|No feces for several hours, only urine and urate||Your cockatiel may not be eating|
|Red urates||Heavy metal toxicity, internal bleeding, and kidney issues|
|Brown urates||Lead poisoning|
|Dark or sticky feces that contains blood||Roundworms|
|Droppings often look like popcorn||Avian Giardiasis, Pancreatic disease|
|Putrid-smelling or blood-tinged feces||Avian Papillomatosis|
|Excessive urine||Kidney disease|
|Straining, lack of dropping, blood in droppings||Prolapsed cloaca, Blockage|
|Watery, unformed poop that looks like pea soup||Diarrhea|
|Solid feces surrounded by white, milky urine||Polyuria|
Why Is My Cockatiel’s Poop Different?
Any changes to a cockatiel’s poop color or consistency should be monitored for 24 to 48 hours. Change can be harmless sometimes, like when your cockatiel is eating fresh fruit or drinking too much water.
Bloody feces are always abnormal and indicative of a medical issue. Likewise, you should consult a vet if the cockatiel presents other health symptoms alongside the changed feces.
Cockatiel poop color changing
Depending on what you feed a cockatiel, its feces may change color.
A cockatiel’s normal poop color will depend on its diet.
- If a cockatiel eats pellets, its poop will be the same color as the pellets.
- If the cockatiel eats mostly seeds, fruits, or vegetables, its poop will be dark green.
Natural food colorings can alter the feces temporarily.
Cockatiel poop changing texture
Cockatiel poop texture varies based on how much water is in its diet. A cockatiel fed fresh fruit and vegetables daily will naturally have more water feces.
Any excess liquid shouldn’t affect the stool, only the urine. Trye diarrhea in cockatiels is uncommon.
Typically, a healthy cockatiel’s fresh feces should have the texture of a thick paste, while feces that are bubbly, coarse, or overly liquid are abnormal.
Cockatiel poop smells
A cockatiel’s droppings should have little or no odor.
A strong odor indicates that something is wrong, typically with the intestines. The smell doesn’t have to be foul; it just has to be strong enough for you to detect a difference from the norm.
Don’t actively smell cockatiel droppings, as the airborne particles can be harmful when inhaled.
Cockatiel poop size and number
Each poop should be about the same size. A poop that is too small or too big is not normal.
However, it’s normal for a gravid female cockatiel to have larger poop.
A drastic change in the number of droppings a cockatiel passes each day is cause for concern.
If a cockatiel passes significantly more or fewer feces, it may need to see a vet. A cockatiel that feels unwell will often be disinterested in food, leading to fewer feces being passed.
Undigested food in cockatiel droppings
Cockatiels have efficient digestive systems that rapidly metabolize food for energy.
If there is food in their poop that hasn’t been digested, it means they have a problem with their intestines or stomach. Infection, disease, and parasites (worms) can be responsible.
Cockatiel Isn’t Pooping
Since a cockatiel poops so many times each day, it will be obvious if it stops pooping altogether.
A cockatiel stops pooping when it has stopped eating, is constipated, or is egg-bound.
A cockatiel can become constipated when they aren’t getting enough water each day. So, ensure that the cockatiel has access to fresh water. Also, offer water-rich fruits and vegetables.
An egg-bound cockatiel won’t be able to lay eggs or produce waste. Egg binding (dystocia) occurs when cockatiels lack calcium in their diet, so the eggs become misshapen and lack solidity.
Consult a veterinarian if your cockatiel refuses to eat or struggles to poop. Unfortunately, a cockatiel can starve to death within 24 hours, so time is of the essence.
Cockatiel Has Diarrhea
If your cockatiel’s poop is water, it is likely due to moisture-rich food. True diarrhea in cockatiels is when the stool component of feces is affected. An excess of urine occurs due to a different condition, polyuria.
Diarrhea in cockatiels results in wet, slimy stools, sometimes with an unpleasant odor. Also, the poop might look greener and have more water in it.
It can be yellow or have a hint of red, which means there is blood in the poop. The uric acid is usually unaffected and looks normal.
When a cockatiel has diarrhea, the poop sticks to the feathers around the vent and tail. These need to be cleared away, as the stools can dry and lock up the vent.
A warm, moist cloth must be utilized to clean a dirty vent. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which can be fatal if left untreated.
Parasites and viral, bacterial, and fungal infections can cause diarrhea in cockatiels. Extreme parasite infections can result in red, green, or brown feces that are watery.
Cockatiel has Watery Feces (Polyuria)
Polyuria is when the cockatiel passes an excess of urine, but the stool remains the same solid mass.
A cockatiel can have watery feces with a normal stool when it has recently eaten high-moisture food, such as cucumber. Outside of this, watery feces are classified as polyuria, a condition distinct from diarrhea.
Polyuria often signifies various illnesses, parasitic infections, and stress. According to Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine, polyuria is a frequent sign of diabetes mellitus.
Cockatiel Has Too Much Urate in Poop
The kidneys are responsible for producing and filtering urine. When a cockatiel has urate waste that isn’t normal, it can be a sign of diabetes, which is a disorder of the metabolism.
Urates should be white or off-white in color and have a chalky consistency. Green, red, or yellow-tinged urates are abnormal. Changes in the smell, consistency, color, and texture of droppings signify a health problem.
How Often Should A Cockatiel Poop?
A healthy cockatiel will poop between 18 and 30 times a day, or around every 20 minutes or so. Cockatiels that are young or juvenile may produce more droppings than this.
You may notice a lot of droppings in a concentrated area when you wake your cockatiel up in the morning because it defecated during the night.
Read this blog post to find out more: How Often Do Cockatiels Poop?
Cause Of Abnormal Droppings In Cockatiels
The diet of your cockatiel can have a significant impact on the appearance of its poop. If you give it blueberries, you might notice that its poop has a blue tint. If your cockatiel eats too much fresh fruit, especially watery fruit like watermelon, it may urine more than usual.
Colored pellets can lead to colored droppings, while brown droppings can come from pellets that aren’t colored.
However, how much water your cockatiel drinks will affect how much urine it makes.
It’s also important to know that urine and urates can come out at different times than feces, so not all liquid droppings are diarrhea.
There are, of course, also more dangerous causes for abnormal droppings. In the chart above, we talked about some of them. There could also be a parasitic infection, a disease of the intestines, a disease of the liver, or a bacterial infection
How Does Vet Determine The Cause Of The Cockatiel’s Abnormal Droppings?
To figure out why your pet cockatiel is having strange poop, your vet will probably suggest a wide range of tests and a full physical exam.
With a complete blood count, the vet can find out if your cockatiel has an infection. With a blood chemistry profile, the vet can find out how well the liver and kidneys are working. If metal toxicity is the cause of the strange droppings, X-rays may be needed to find out.
Also, your vet may want to look at some of your cockatiel’s poop under a microscope to see if there are any bacteria parasites or strange cells.
Depending on what your vet finds during the first tests, he or she may need to do more specialized tests to make a final diagnosis.
What Should You Do To Help Your Cockatiel?
You can help your cockatiel have healthy poop by making sure it eats a balanced and healthy diet. If you have questions or concerns about what your cockatiel eats, you should see an avian vet. Your vet can give you advice and tips on how to help your pet cockatiel and make sure it gets the food it needs to do well.
In general, your cockatiel needs the right amount of pellets, fresh fruits, and vegetables. You can give them seeds and treats sometimes, but they shouldn’t make up more than 10% of their daily food.
A clean and healthy environment is another way to keep your cockatiel in good health. Every day, replace the paper at the bottom of the cage so you can keep an eye on its droppings. Also, every day, clean out its food and water bowls to stop bacteria from growing.
Do not let other animals, especially other birds, come close to your cockatiel unless you know they are healthy. Diseases are easy to pass from one bird to another.
Keeping an eye on small changes in your cockatiel’s behavior may be the most important thing you can do to help it. If these changes are accompanied by changes in your cockatiel’s poop (like how often it poops, how it smells, how big it is, what color it is, etc.), you should call your avian vet.
We hope that by reading this article, you have learned a lot. If you make an effort to learn about your cockatiel’s poop, you’ll be able to spot signs of possible illnesses faster and get your pet cockatiel the help it needs to get well again.
It is important to know that your cockatiel might not be sick just because it has abnormal droppings. It could just be a sign of illness. Therefore, you should work closely with your avian vet to figure out the best ways to determine what is causing the abnormal poops.
You should take your cockatiel to the vet as soon as possible.