Trained Parrot BlogParrot Wizard Online Parrot Toy StoreThe Parrot Forum

Eating poop

Talk about bird illnesses and other bird health related issues. Seeds, pellets, fruits, vegetables and more. Discuss what to feed your birds and in what quantity. Share your recipe ideas.

Eating poop

Postby miajag » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:05 pm

Yeah, gross, I know. Anyway, I've noticed that sometimes Winnie will pick at and apparently eat some of the dried poop that ends up on her perches or cage bars (I thoroughly clean her cage frequently but it's inevitable that some poop is either going to be missed or stay there for a couple days between cleanings; there's also a grate in the bottom so she can't get to the poop that collects down there). Basically I'm just wondering if this is unhealthy or something to be concerned about. As nasty as it sounds, she actually seems to seek it out and enjoy it. Could this be indicative of some vitamin or mineral deficiency? I've poked around a few other sites but have been unable to find much information. Does anyone else's bird do this?
User avatar
miajag
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 162
Location: Maryland
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Quaker Parrot, Budgerigar
Flight: Yes

Re: Eating poop

Postby pchela » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:09 pm

That's a good question that I unfortunately do not have the answer to. I know that babies will often mess with their poop and that's a good way to know when to start feeding them solid foods but I haven't known any adult birds who do this. I've seen Pippin investigate poop with his beak (I think he thinks it's food or something once in a while) but he always jerks his head back and shakes his head like he wants to get rid of it as soon as possible.

Hopefully somebody has some information on this. Is it only the dried poop that she messes with?
"I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but LISTEN TO YOURSELF!" ~ Jack Handy ~ Deep Thoughts
User avatar
pchela
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1281
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal -Pippin
Red Belly - Nicholas
Lesser Jardine's - Rupert
Timneh African Grey - Isabeau (Ibby)
Flight: Yes

Re: Eating poop

Postby lainmai » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:13 pm

I've read and was told in school it is often due to missing something in the diet(other animals do the same thing as well). Is Winnie on any supplements, does he have a cuttle bone and/or mineral block?
Owned by 2 Parrotlets (Minoru & Midori) and 1 Senegal (Tobi)
User avatar
lainmai
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 241
Location: Oshawa, ON
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Pacific Parrotlet, Senegal
Flight: Yes

Re: Eating poop

Postby miajag » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:15 pm

She only eats the dried poop as far as I can tell.

She's not on any mineral supplements but is on a fortified pellet diet (Zupreem Avian Entrees) and gets fresh fruits and veggies daily. I used to have a cuttlebone in her cage but she never touched it and I've read that it's not really necessary for a non-breeding bird on a pellet diet so I didn't bother putting it in when I set up her new cage.
User avatar
miajag
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 162
Location: Maryland
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Quaker Parrot, Budgerigar
Flight: Yes

Re: Eating poop

Postby lainmai » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:19 pm

You can always provide a mineral block if you don't have one - they will only use t if they need it.

Are you sure h is EATTING the poop and not just chewing it to pieces? (not that that is much better). Poop eating if very bad as the poop harbors alot of bacteria if the bird is only eating the odd poop it shouldn't be too bad but if it is eating it often or even daily I'd try to put in a mineral block and cuttle bone, if it still continues then check with your vet.
Owned by 2 Parrotlets (Minoru & Midori) and 1 Senegal (Tobi)
User avatar
lainmai
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 241
Location: Oshawa, ON
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Pacific Parrotlet, Senegal
Flight: Yes

Re: Eating poop

Postby pchela » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:31 pm

I did a quick search on coprophagia and basically found that it's either a deficiency of some kind or a behavioral issue. Recommendations were expanding the diet (I know you already feed fresh foods so maybe try some veggies you haven't yet?) and including orange, green and yellow veggies. (carrots, squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, kale). One site suggested that the usual deficiency that leads to coprophagia is calcium. Full spectrum lighting was suggested as a possible remedy. The other recommendation was to relieve boredom by adding more toys, offering a big enough cage and plenty of out of cage time but you do all of those things so I'm thinking it must be a deficiency. And of course a vet check is recommended.

I would probably try adding some more variety to the diet. What are the normal veggies she gets?
"I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but LISTEN TO YOURSELF!" ~ Jack Handy ~ Deep Thoughts
User avatar
pchela
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1281
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal -Pippin
Red Belly - Nicholas
Lesser Jardine's - Rupert
Timneh African Grey - Isabeau (Ibby)
Flight: Yes

Re: Eating poop

Postby miajag » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:43 pm

I'm not 100% sure she's actually consuming it but she definitely picks at it and crunches it up in her beak. Pchela, she gets some combo of broccoli/corn/apple on a daily basis (those are unfortunately the only fresh fruits/vegetables she likes, though I've never tried giving her squash or sweet potato so maybe I'll try those). I'll put the cuttlebone back in her cage and see if she shows any interest in it too.
User avatar
miajag
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 162
Location: Maryland
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Quaker Parrot, Budgerigar
Flight: Yes

Re: Eating poop

Postby Michael » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:39 pm

Could the fresh foods be diluting the nutritional value of the pellets? What ratio of fresh food to pellets is actually being eaten (I don't really care how much is offered cause the parrot could be neglecting one and only eating the other).
User avatar
Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6146
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Eating poop

Postby miajag » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:05 pm

By weight it's about 80% pellets, 10% fresh fruit/veg, 10% seed/other treats. I'd give her more fresh food but I'm aware of the issues with diluting the pellet nutrition and, as I mentioned, she just plain doesn't like most fresh stuff.
User avatar
miajag
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 162
Location: Maryland
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Quaker Parrot, Budgerigar
Flight: Yes


Return to Health, Nutrition & Diet

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 15 guests

cron
Parrot ForumArticles IndexTraining Step UpParrot Training BlogPoicephalus Parrot InformationParrot Wizard Store