Your parakeet should not be eating their poop at all. They are not an animal that is able to glean nutrients out of this, but they may do this for other reasons as well.
This can be a weird, and gross, thing to see happen, but it can happen that your parakeet will try to eat their poop.
Why Does My Parakeet Eat His Poop?
Your parakeet may eat their poop when there is a deficiency with their diet, most likely because they are only eating seeds. Or they may be stressed, burning through more calories than normal, and trying to compensate by eating their poop. It is also possible that they are bored or trying to clean their cage.
In some cases, it is possible for the parakeet to eat their poop when there are no obvious reasons or if they have some other health problems. You should not allow the bird to eat their poop.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why your parakeet is eating their poop and what you can do about it.
Reasons Your Parakeet Is Eating Their Poop
Before you try to get the bird to stop eating the poop, you need to first understand some of the things that could cause this behavior in the first place.
This will allow you to solve the root of the problem and can prevent the parakeet from doing this to start with. Consult our guide on total parakeet care for additional support.
Some of the reasons why your bird is doing this includes:
Parakeets may decide to eat their poop because they are missing out on some important nutrients in their diet. They may think that eating their poop is a good way to get some of those nutrients back.
Parakeets are more likely to resort to this compared to some of the other birds out there.
If you think that this is an issue, it is time to investigate the diet that you give to your parakeet. Your bird needs to get a good mixture of foods, not just one type.
Another sign that your parakeet is not getting adequate nutrition is if you see them eating their own eggs.
This means that you need to feed them a lot of different foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, pellets, and a lot of different types of seeds. It is too common for owners to only give their parakeets seeds, but this will miss out on a lot of nutrients that the bird needs.
Seeds are not a bad thing, unless they are the only food that you give to your parakeet. You need to serve them other types of food to give them a well-rounded diet.
If the reason your parakeet is eating their poop is because they are not getting enough nutrients, then fixing their diet will help stop this issue.
When you notice that your parakeet is eating the diet that is recommended by they are still eating their own poop, then a mineral deficiency is more likely to blame.
Use a cuttlebone and a mineral block with your parakeet to help. These will give the bird more of the nutrients they need.
In some cases, your parakeet may decide to eat their poop when they are bored. Parakeets and other birds are very intelligent and need a good deal of mental stimulation each day.
If you do not provide the bird with something to play with or keep them entertained, then they are more likely to resort to foraging to help give them something to do.
Foraging is a natural habit for most birds, so it is not uncommon for them to do this in captivity as well.
However, if the parakeet has nothing to forage for, they may start to consume their poop. It is common for them to eat anything else that is around too during this time, like hair and even dust that gets into the cage.
This is all damaging to your parakeet and can hurt them, so it is better to find other options to keep the parakeet from getting bored.
There are many toys out there that can keep the parakeet entertained and help them to not resort to eating poop and other things that can make them sick.
Look into a variety of chewable toys, foraging toys, puzzle toys and other kinds of items that can help them keep physically active the whole time.
Stressed parakeets are going to run through more nutrients and calories compared to some birds who are calm and collected in their homes. This heightened awareness, lack of sleep, and elevated heart rate will deplete the energy stores for your bird faster than ever.
When it is not able to make up for this lack of energy through food, or the bird refuses to eat, they may turn to eating poop.
It is a good idea to check out the bird and their environment to see if they are stressed out and this is causing some of their issues with eating poop.
Some of the things you can look for to determine whether the parakeet is stressed out or not include:
- They get upset when there are sudden movements from pets, birds, or other people.
- They get upset when small children try to handle them.
- They get upset that other pets are bothering them.
- They do not like loud noises
- They are molting quite a bit
- They have a big change in their diet
- There is a big change in the environment around them, such as a new home.
The best way to help your parakeet reduce their levels of stress is to remove the thing that is causing the stress in the first place. This is not always easy, but take some time to look around the home to see what could make your parakeet feel more at home.
Your parakeet is not going to want to live in an environment that is dirty. However, their home can get dirty pretty quickly between their droppings, any water or food that spills, and the toys that are kept around.
In some cases, when the parakeet finds the environment to be too dirty, it may try to flick the dried poop out of the cage. When the situation gets dire, they may choose to eat the fresh poop to keep the area clean.
The parakeet is smart enough to recognize that the new poop is just adding to the mess. In the hopes of keeping things a little bit cleaner, they may decide to throw out or eat the poop to help out.
If you start to notice that this is happening, then it is your job to clean the cage more often. Leaving the cage like that is just going to make the situation worse.
At a minimum, you need to do a basic cleaning of the cage each day. This will help to remove a lot of the mess and can keep things tidy for your bird.
Once a week or once a month, depending on how much of a mess is made in the cage, you should look at doing a deep clean of the whole cage.
This includes replacing the liners, cleaning out the water and food dishes, and doing a sweep or a vacuum around the cage.
When this is the main reason for your parakeet eating their own poop, then cleaning out the cage should be enough to get them to stop.
Try to keep up with all of the cleaning on a regular basis, doing a little bit each day and a deeper clean at the end of the week, in order to prevent them from eating their own poop again in the future.
Once you have had a chance to try out the other issues to get your parakeet to stop eating their poop, it should stop. If you find that all the other problems are ruled out and they continue to do this, then the parakeet could have some kind of health issue in play.
Your parakeet may feel compelled to eat their poop if they are ill or have some kind of disease. When this happens, it is time to take the parrot to the vet to get checked out.
A professional will be able to take a look at the parakeet and root out the real cause of why your bird is eating their own poop. They may also have some more advice on what you can do to stop this behavior and keep the bird healthy and happy.
Your Parakeet Eats Poop
While there are a lot of different reasons why your parakeet is eating their poop, this is not a normal thing for them to do. When you start to notice your bird is doing this, it is time to look into the main cause and then find a way to make the bird stop.