I think everybody can agree that parakeets make for great pets. They are small, cute, and almost always in a good mood. It feels great to see them happy and vocal. Yet, no matter how well we take care of them, sometimes parakeets can get sick. And while pets can’t really tell us how they feel, there are ways to diagnose them. The most common way to do so is by checking their droppings. But what can parakeet poop tell us about their health? And what we can do to understand our little friends better?
About Parakeet Poop
Unlike most pets, parakeets try to hide any symptoms of illness as best as possible. That is a result of their “prey” behavior — signs of weakness are a death sentence in the wild. However, droppings never lie, and parakeets have a hard time hiding them.
The differences between birds and other pets continue as the parakeet’s digestive system is much simpler. The whole digestive process takes less than a day, and so, poop can provide information about recent food or activities.
It’s important to know that when it comes to birds, droppings are not just poop. They have three components — feces, urine, and urates. The first two are already familiar to us, but what are urates? Urates are a fluid secreted by the kidneys, mostly made up of concentrated uric acid. Those three components are usually released together, but any change in one of them should be a concern.
What Is Normal?
Anything, from diet to age, can factor into how normal droppings should look like. However, before deciding what is normal for your pet, you should inspect the poop for at least a few days. Also, keep in mind that parakeets produce an average of 40 droppings per day. There are a few things that parakeet owners consider as normal when it comes to poop:
- Normal parakeet droppings shouldn’t smell
- Urine should be clear
- Urates are creamy-white and opaque
- Depending on the food, feces are either dark-brown or green.
What Is Not Normal?
Changes in color, consistency, and volume are the first indicator that something is not right. Furthermore, we should not confuse a temporary change with, for example, diarrhea. Like normal droppings, what is abnormal depends on many factors, but there are a few noteworthy signs:
- Colored urine
- Feces that have a bad smell and undigested food in them
- Feces that are yellow, rusty brown, or contain blood inside
- Yellow or green urates
- Larger feces that are watery or mushy
- A decrease or increase in the number of daily droppings
Before doing any kind of analysis, consider what your parakeet had to eat. Moist foods, like fruits and vegetables, will increase urine volume. Some fruits will also change the color of feces, like blueberry, for example.
All in all, taking good care of our little friends is very important. We can all agree that inspecting parakeet poop is not pleasant, but it’s essential nevertheless. With little to no other ways of communication, bird dropping changes should not be ignored. And don’t forget to call the veterinarian as soon as you notice something different. Always remember to be there for your parakeet and never ignore its needs.