Budgies make fun pets for both the young and old alike. They are social, lively, and easy to train, even learning how to mimic your voice and do tricks!
But how often do budgies poop?
Budgies poop at least 40 to 50 times a day, passing droppings every 12 to 15 minutes. They even poop when they are asleep.
As birds are often the prey of animals in the wild, they tend to hide any signs of illness for protection. So observing your budgie’s droppings and natural bathroom patterns every day helps you notice any changes which could indicate a health issue.
But although they have frequent bathroom breaks, these colorful birds from Australia do not make a massive mess being easy to clean up.
In this complete guide, discover everything you need to know about your budgie’s poop, helping you keep your feathered friend happy and healthy.
What Does Healthy Budgie Poop Look Like?
Although budgies can learn to talk, they can’t actually tell us if they are feeling unwell!
It is, therefore, vital you monitor your pet’s droppings every day as any changes may indicate that something is wrong.
Now, I know it doesn’t sound like much fun analyzing bird poop, but it can make all the difference to your budgie’s health. The color, consistency and amount of poop can tell you a lot about how they are feeling.
So, what does healthy budgie poop look like?
Unlike many other animals and us, birds only have one posterior opening, known as the cloaca, so the urine and feces are expelled simultaneously. Healthy budgie poop is indicated by its shape and color, usually round with equal portions of green and white.
The green part is the feces, the unused food from the intestines, and the white, pasty part is uric acid.
Droppings should not be too dry nor too wet, but similar to the texture of toothpaste, for want of a better example!
How Often Do Budgies Poop?
You must keep an eye on your budgie’s poop pattern and notice how often they go. Usually, the smaller the bird, the more times they poop!
A healthy budgie poops 40 to 50 times a day, going every 12 to 15 minutes, sometimes more!
So, why do budgies poop so much?
Their frequent bathroom breaks are down to their high metabolic rate and how quickly they process food. A bird’s digestive system is efficient and straightforward, and a budgie can digest food in three hours.
Also, as budgies fly a great deal, they need to be lightweight, so expel as much poop as possible to allow them to do so efficiently.
Does Budgie Poop Smell?
The good news is that healthy budgie poop has no odor.
Their droppings do not smell mainly due to their avian diet of seeds, fruit, and vegetables.
But if you notice the droppings are smelly and an unpleasant waft around the cage, it may indicate a digestive issue or a health problem.
What Causes Abnormal Poop In Budgies?
Once you are familiar with what your budgie’s normal droppings look like, it is easier to distinguish when they appear abnormal.
Often abnormal poop is caused by kidney disease, liver disease, intestinal diseases, and infections.
The exception is when a hen bird is nesting as they excrete fewer droppings, and it is normal for their poop to change in appearance.
Be aware that some pelleted budgie food contains coloring, which can alter the color and texture of their poop. However, so long as your budgie is eating and is active, there should be no reason to worry.
That said, if you notice any changes in the consistency of the droppings and your feathered friend appears weak and lethargic, then you need to contact the vet.
What Does Abnormal Budgie Poop Look Like?
When observing your budgie’s poop, notice any changes in color, consistency, volume, and the number of droppings.
Signs of abnormal budgie poop is as follows:
• Dark green or black droppings – can mean that your budgie is not eating and excreting bile due to stress or poor diet.
• Yellowish-green urates – can be diabetes or a symptom of liver disease.
• Grey droppings – indicates a problem with the budgie’s pancreas.
• Red droppings – the red color is usually blood and indicates an intestinal problem. (If your budgie has eaten red foods like cherries, beetroot or red berries, this can cause redness in the droppings for a couple of days and is perfectly fine).
• Undigested food in droppings – indicates intestinal parasites.
• Excessive urine (polyuria) – increased liquid around the feces. It can be an indication of disease. Sometimes temporary if the bird has eaten wet foods, bathed or drank excessive amounts of water.
• A dirty vent – poop stuck to the feathers around the vent or bottom. Usually indicates a health problem.
• No poop – if your budgie isn’t passing any droppings, it is a sign they are not eating or have a blockage.
If your budgie shows signs of any of the above, take them to a certified avian vet who will run tests to determine the cause. (Source)
Do Budgies Poop When Flying?
Budgies enjoy spending time outside of their cages, so they can fly around and explore.
Ideally, let your budgie out for at least an hour every day to exercise.
As budgies poop every 12 to 15 minutes, you can be confident they will pass droppings while flying, doing their business everywhere, even on you!
Fortunately, as their healthy poop is soft and dense, it is easily cleaned up with a paper towel. Or you can vacuum it once it is dry.
Can You Potty Train A Budgie?
We know that you can potty train a dog or a cat, but what about a budgie?
The short answer is yes, you can. Budgies are intelligent birds and learn quickly.
However, young birds cannot control their bowel movement, so the best time to potty train a budgie is before they reach a year old. It is possible to teach older birds, but it might just take longer.
How Do You Potty Train A Budgie?
Ensure your budgie is perch and hand trained before you start potty training and that they are familiar with your house when you let them out of the cage.
Please note that you shouldn’t try and train a bird to only poop on command. Birds cannot ‘hold it in,’ and if they don’t go when they need to, they can suffer serious health issues like a collapsed cloaca. (Source)
It would help if you familiarized yourself with the signs when your budgie is about to pass droppings, such as fluffing their feathers.
Move them to a familiar area where you want them to potty, such as on a paper towel or in their cage, so that they can do their business. Say a short, simple phrase like “potty please” each time so your budgie can remember it easily.
It is probably best to move your budgie to the allocated area 15 minutes after letting them out of the cage, as they will undoubtedly be about to poop.
Reward your budgie with their favorite treat, kind words or a stroke, so they understand they are doing the right thing.
Practice and repetition are the keys to successful budgie potty training. However, never punish your pet if they go in the wrong place and if your pet cannot learn it, then leave it.
How Often Should You Clean Your Budgie’s Cage?
A dirty cage can lead to health problems for your budgie.
Change the cage liner daily, observe the droppings’ condition, and give the cage a thorough clean once a week.
Owning a pet, however small, is a big responsibility.
Training yourself to observe your budgie’s poop and noticing any changes early on is vital for their health, as any abnormal poop is usually a sign of illness.
It would be best to use an avian vet with the knowledge and facilities to give your feathered friend the best treatment.