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Most people don't waste a single thought about their bird's droppings. They believe that bird poo is nothing more than, well, bird poo. But by having a closer look to a bird's excrements, one can gain useful information about the animal's health. Colour, consistency and the position of the droppings on the floor tell the attentive bird owner whether a bird possibly suffers from an illness or from parasite or is as healthy as you wish him to be.

Consistency of the droppings
Typical budgie droppings consists of a dark, firm range and a white urine portion in the centre. The urine is of a creamy to firm consistency in general. If the bird drank much or ate fresh food, it is a bit more wet for an hour or two. If the condition of the droppings differs from the consistency described above during a longer period than two hours, this might indicate an illness (in its early stage).

DiarrhoeaWet droppings and urine portions which contain more liquid than firm portions often point on a kidney problem. If the excrements (faeces) themselves are too wet, the bird probably suffers from diarrhoea. In both cases you should watch your bird very careful and should be alarmed. It is recommended to contact an avian vet as soon as possible since dangerous infections may be the cause for the symptoms you've noticed. Your bird needs immediate help to survive the disease he or she suffers from.

Voluminous droppingsIf the entire droppings of a budgie look voluminous and the colour of the faeces portion is nearly the same than the one of the urine - the whole dropping is coloured light-grey or brightly grey-brown then -, you most probably have to deal with an infection of the pancreas. Please take your budgie to an avian vet immediately. Such infections or malfunctions of the pancreas should be cured as soon as possible to save the bird's life!

Changes in colour
Dropping that contains bloodWhen you find reddish or dark-brown to black droppings, traces of blood might be the cause for this discolouration. The only exception from this rule is: In case you served red food to your bird before, the droppings can be red for one or two hours. For example red beet or cherries as well as some kinds of berries temporarily lead to reddish droppings. In case the droppings remain discoloured in the described way for a longer period or you can easily spot (clotted) blood, you should immediately contact an avian vet and discuss this symptom. The photo in this paragraph shows a budgie's dropping that contains lots of blood. The internal bleeding was caused by an intestinal tumour.

Green dropping of a hungry budgieTwo different causes can lead to green droppings. Budgies who didn't eat anything or too little for a longer time produce green, sticky droppings with almost normally coloured urine portions. Young budgies who recently left their nests occasionally eat few and therefore their droppings may be green. So this doesn't have to be a sign of illness, but it indicates that they eat too little. Once they have become more experienced in eating, their droppings should show the normal colours.

You should always try to find out why a young budgie or an older one doesn't eat enough. Maybe the parents stopped feeding their young and it is in danger of starving to death. Or maybe the bird suffers from a painful infection in his crop or intestine. You can recognize an infection of the crop by the sticky feathers on the budgie's head and in the face. If you have any particular suspect which points on an infection of the digestive organs, your bird has to be examined as soon as possible by an avian vet who will subscribe a suitable medicine.

Droppings that show a liver diseaseGreen excrements with yellow urine portions refer to a substantial disturbances of the internal organs. If for example the liver is damaged, the organism excretes biles what leads to the discolouration of excrement and urine. In case you notice such droppings you shouldn't waste any time and contact an avian vet immediately. Liver problems can be caused by bacteria or viruses, most illnesses are curable. Please note: In budgies, a fatty liver is the leading cause for liver problems. These birds tend to develop a fatty liver which needs to be cured or else the birds might die because of a liver malfunction or failure.

Undigested food in the droppings
Seeds in a droppingIf undigested grains or seeds show up in your bird's droppings (see photo on the right) or if there are pieces of undigested vegetable or other fresh food in the excrements, the bird's digestion is disturbed. Your bird is threatened by starvation or severe deficiency symptoms like palsies caused by vitamin deficiencies can occur if you don't take your bird to a vet as fast as you can.

Occasionally it happens that droppings contain parasites such as roundworms. Usually this happens only during or after a bird has received a treatment to get such parasites out of its body. In case you suddenly find a worm in an excrement of a pet bird who wasn't treated against parasites before, it's an emergency and the bird must be examined by a vet immediately. Unfortunately internal parasites usually are very small and therefore it's hard to notice them. But once you know that they're there, you should act quickly. Untreated infestations with parasites can lead to a bird's death!

Distribution of the droppings on the floor
You should consider the time of day when you try to find out something about your bird because different distribution patterns are typical for day and night.

Distribution during nightDuring night, a healthy bird remains perched at the same place and sleeps without any disturbance. The droppings therefore concentrate in a small area as you can see in the left part of the illustration in this paragraph. If the bird is jerky and not sleeping well he or she moves inside the cage or aviary at night. The droppings then are wide spread on the floor what can be seen in the right part of the illustration. If the droppings are spread on the floor in such a manner, for example parasites like red mites may have disturbed the bird while he tried to get some sleep.

Distribution during dayThe situation is exactly in reverse during the day. A healthy and active bird widely spreads its droppings on the floor. Concentrated amounts of droppings by day as shown in the right part of the illustration in this paragraph point on extended breaks and thus on a potentially existing illness.

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