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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4244
Experience:  25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
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My cockatiel have been leaving very large mega droppings.

Resolved Question:

My cockatiel have been leaving very large mega droppings. These are not exceptionally runny....He also has been self stimulating quite a bit. Since yesterday he has perched himself in the lower corner of the cage with his vent up against the bars. He has been exceptionally quiet (he is usually quite vocal..but doesnt mimic). However, if you go and get him...he will readily come out and snuggle, walk around on you. I have not changed his diet and he appears to be eating normally. I have been beginning to wonder if he is female or if there is something wrong. His vents are clear and normal in color....his feet are warm as they usually are.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 7 years ago.
My first question was going to be: are you sure he is a male? Large poops often precede an egg. If there is an egg, do not remove it . S/he will just lay more to replace lost ones.

He should go to an avian-experienced veterinarian ASAP for complete examination, diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Check the link for members of AAV in your area or call your regular vet and see who they recommend. His/her droppings should be examined for parasites and bacteria just to make sure everything is ok. Bacterial or protozoal enteritis can cause large droppings.

Pet/feed store medications are harmful, ineffective, immuno-suppressive, and make them much worse and may interfere with the veterinarian's diagnosis and treatment. Do not use them.

If he is a she, them you need to do everything you can to discourage egg production. It is very hard on them. Photoperiod, diet and sexual stimulation are important factors.

Birds should be on a high-quality, preferably prescription, pelleted diet. In addition, they should be offered dark leafy greens, cooked sweet potatoes, yams, squash, pumpkin; entire (tops and bottoms) fresh carrots and so forth. No seeds (and that means a mix, or millet, or sprays, etc etc.) and only healthy, low-fat high fiber people food. A dietary change should be closely monitored and supervised by your avian vet. High fat diet (seeds) causes estrorogen spike and ovulation.

Birds should get 12-14 hours dark, quiet, uninterrupted sleep at night. Any less and they can suffer from sleep deprivation and associated illnesses. They should be covered or their cage placed in a dark room that is not used after they go to bed. Longer dark hours is a natural way to decrease estrogen.

The cage material should be cleaned everyday, and twice a day if the bird is really messy. Paper towels, newspaper, bath towels are ok. Never use corn cob, sawdust, wood chips, or walnut shell. And no nest-like structures.

Never give grit, gravel sandpaper or cement perches. A bird will eat those to excess when it is not feeling well or if there is a nutritional deficiency. They do not need it at all (an old myth from the poultry days, even poultry do not need it). It can cause an impaction and lead to serious or fatal consequences.Calcium deficient birds (females laying eggs) will eat it to huge excess.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The shelter I received him from apparantly sent me off with bad information and bad advice. Not only is he on a seed mix, I have been using corn cob lining under the bottom cage piece. so nix the seeds and use paper. He may be a she in that "he" is vocal but doesnt mimic. I will follow up with a vet...
Expert:  Dr. Pat replied 7 years ago.
Good. I hope it all works out.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
well...LOL while waiting for your reply....SHE layed an egg...answers all of the questions. I appreciate your help
Expert:  replied 7 years ago.
well there ya go. The diet and other stuff is really important.
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