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Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 11066
Experience:  Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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I have a cockatiel that keeps having poop stuck to the feathers

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I have a cockatiel that keeps having poop stuck to the feathers on her lower side. This just started recently, and I've had her for about 3yrs. Not sure about her age, since I rescued her after someone abandoned her on their front porch when they moved. Anyway, the first 2 times it just finally fell off after she bathed in her water dish. I just do not understand why she is suddenly having this problem.

Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

Are the droppings that fall to the floor runnier than usuual?

Is the color of the droppings normal?

Is she eating well?

Have you noticed any behavior changes?

What do you feed her?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

She is still having plenty of droppings on the floor, too, but they are more spread out like slightly runny. Color looks normal, and she seems to be eating and drinking as usual. She gets fed daily--cockatiel blend bird seed, spinach leaves or other greens, carrot slivers, and an occasional salt free cracker. I also keep one small dish in her cage that I vary between bran cereals, cheerios, etc. As far as behavior, she seems to sit on her higher perch more now, that she rarely sat on before, and tweets like she is wanting attention. She does get out of the cage once or twice a day and sits on my shoulder. She has one bad eye, guessing maybe from previous ceiling fan accident, so she is timid around my other cockatiel and kept in separate cages next to each other.

Thank you,


Thank you for getting back to me. I 'm working on your question and will post the answer as soon as I finish it.

Thank you for your patience. Diarrhea in birds has many possible causes. It can be caused by many different conditions and by parasites. Bacterial infections are common causes. There are a number of different bacteria that could be responsible. The following site has more information on this:

Diarrhea can result in dehydration, which can be fatal. I think your best decision would be to see an avian vet early next week. You should take along a sample of fresh droppings in a plastic bag. This link will take you to a directory of vets:

Because there are so many different possible causes of diarrhea, home treatment isn't likely to be effective. You really need to have a vet diagnose exactly what is wrong in order to start proper treatment. The remedies you can buy in pet stores are never a good idea. Fro one thing, they're usually added to the water, making it taste bad. The cockatiel simply stops drinking, which greatly increases the risk of dehydration. Most of those remedies have been stored for a long time. They're likely to have deteriorated to the point that they won't work at best, XXXXX XXXXX dangerous at worst.

Diet is the single most important factor in keeping our birds healthy. Many people still feed a diet consisting mostly of seeds, but recent research has shown that an all-seed diet is not good for cockatiels. Pellets, supplemented with various fresh and healthy “people foods,” along with a few seeds make up a healthier diet. Birds that are fed mostly seeds tend to develop fatty liver disease, tumors, and other health conditions, so that could be a factor. However, since your bird is used to eating mostly seeds, you’ll have to convert him to pellets gradually. The following two sites are where you can get reliable information on feeding and care. The second one has a section on converting from seeds to pellets.

If you have more questions about this, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your cockatiel recovers quickly.


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