Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Normal Droppings

It is important to become familiar with the appearance of your bird's normal droppings. Within any given period of time, the droppings will vary slightly. Factors such as diet and stress can quickly change their appearance. Learn to recognize these normal variations.

Unlike mammals, birds urinate and defecate at the same time. In fact, the digestive, urinary, and reproductive tracts all empty into the same receptacle, the cloaca.

The droppings consist of three distinct portions:

  1. Feces are the solid waste material from food. The feces should be tubular in shape and formed into a coil. Their color and consistency is affected by diet. A diet consisting mostly of seeds produces a dark green to near black-colored feces. Formulated diets (pellets) produce a more brownish stool.
  2. Urine is the liquid portion. It is normally clear. Diets high in fruits and vegetables will produce more urine.
  3. Urates, also called uric acid, is the creamy-white or chalk-like substance on top of and around the feces.

Reference: "Manual of Avian Medicine" by Glenn H. Olson and Susan E. Orosz