Beautiful creatures and one of the most loved pets in the world – parakeets! Did you know that these intelligent, sociable birds don’t have that many predators in the wild? In captivity, they are very needy (not in a bad way, though!) and like having their parents’ attention! Caring for them doesn’t seem difficult, but checking on them from time to time is extremely important. Poop plays a major role in assessing whether your bird is healthy or not.
First, let’s see what parakeets are and what they eat, and then we’ll talk about their poop!
What are parakeets?
Parakeets are members of the Psittacidae family. This family consists of numerous subfamilies and genera. These birds live both in captivity and in the wild. They can be found in Australian dry habitats, South America, and Asia. The Carolina parakeet was one of the few species native to the United States. Unfortunately, this bird is now extinct.
These birds have beautiful plumages with bright shades of yellow, orange, green, or blue. They can also be completely white and have pink eyes. Parakeets are affectionate and playful animals, so they can become excellent pets. They love their owner’s attention!
Just like a kid who doesn’t get what he or she wants, a parakeet will pace around the cage if it feels like its “parents” didn’t give it enough attention for the day! Isn’t it adorable?! So if you have a parakeet, talk to it whenever you can!
In the wild, parakeets live and fly in flocks of hundreds of birds. After heavy rain, when budgie food is plenty on the ground, multiple parakeet flocks can converge, creating a massive flock of thousands of specimens. If you find yourself near a herd of parakeets, you should expect them to approach you and steal your food!
Plain parakeets live about 15 years in the wild and 18 to 20 years in captivity. Their lifespan, however, depends heavily on the subspecies. Budgerigar parakeets, for example, have a lifespan of 5 to 8 years, while Monk parakeets live about 20 to 30 years.
What do parakeets eat, and what eats them?
Parakeets are granivores, so their primary food source consists of seeds. However, many parakeets eat flowers, fruits, and nuts. They sometimes feed on insects and insect larvae as well. Wild parakeets may eat corn or wheat.
These birds are small, so, naturally, they could fall prey to multiple animals, right?! Well, the truth is they don’t have too many predators. The fact that they live in flocks of hundreds of birds makes it almost impossible for any predator to try and catch one! It will most likely get confused and give up on the idea.
What does parakeet poop look like?
Parakeet poop consists of stool, urine, and urate. Its color and texture vary depending on what the bird eats. If the parakeet feeds on pellets, the stool in their poop will have the same color as the pellets. If they feed on fruits, vegetables, and seeds, their feces will be green or olive green and more liquid. Moreover, these colors should be equally mixed with a white substance representing the urates from their kidneys.
A parakeet’s droppings are small and round and should remain in the same form after the bird poops. In short, they should be firm and thick. They shouldn’t be too wet or too dry.
If there’s a slight diet change, the poop color and consistency may change. This is not a sign that something’s wrong. Keep an eye on your parakeet’s droppings to ensure they’ll return to normal within 24-48 hours.
Parakeet poop doesn’t smell because this bird’s diet mostly consists of vegetables and fruits, and they don’t produce gas. If your parakeet’s poop starts smelling, you should check with your veterinarian, as it may be a sign of a health issue.
How often do parakeets poop?
A healthy parakeet will poop every 5 to 10 minutes (6-12 times an hour). Again, this aspect depends heavily on the subspecies of parakeet that you own. Small birds poop more often than adult parakeets. Budgies, for instance, poop every 12 to 15 minutes, for a total of 40-50 times a day. They don’t poop as much during the night but might poop while they sleep!
If your bird poops less than usual, this might indicate that it has some problems with their digestive system.
What does poop say about parakeet health?
Like humans and other animals, excrement says a lot about the “owner’s” health. They may signal lots of health issues that can sometimes be life-threatening. It’s extremely important to notice changes in an animal’s poop, especially since it cannot verbally communicate with you and tell when they are sick or feel like something’s wrong. That’s the case with parakeets, too. The color, shape, texture, and size of their poop can help you take better care of the bird and sometimes even save its life!
You should be alarmed if the dropping color is anything but brownish, green, and olive green mixed with white. For example, your bird may be sick if the white in its poop becomes yellowish-green or bright yellow. If the poop contains blood, this might be a sign of lead poisoning. If the poop constantly contains large bits of undigested food, you should also consider taking your bird to a vet.
Moreover, if the urine quantity increases, this may also signal health issues.
If you notice a change in your bird’s poop and are unsure whether health problems or diet changes caused it, you should monitor it for about 24 to 48 hours. If it returns to normal, the change is probably caused by drinking too much water or eating more fruits and vegetables. If the changes persist after this period, you should visit the vet.
What should you do if your parakeet is not pooping?
These birds can have diarrhea. It occurs when the stool in their poop is too liquid. This can indicate that the parakeet has parasites or infections and should be checked by a vet.
Parakeets, like humans, can become constipated, too. This isn’t something that should alarm you, but you should ensure that your parakeet gets enough water. It would be best if you also considered giving them more fruits and vegetables. If the problem is not solved by supplying the body with water and the bird refuses to eat, check with your vet immediately. These birds can die of hunger within 24 hours!
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