Should I be concerned about poop sticking to my bird’s bum and does this need to be cleaned?
Original Question: Poop keeps sticking to my birds rear. Do I need to catch and clean it or will he eventually deal with it? He is like a wild bird and very hard to catch. I’ve done it four times already and I always scared he will get hurt. Thanks. - Anne
Thanks for your question!
If droppings are sticking to the feathers around their rear end or on the tail, this is abnormal. There are many reasons why this could happen. Problems I often see associated with this include fluid build-up, a mass, retained egg or an enlarged organ inside their coelom (birds don’t have an abdomen like mammals do because there is no diaphragm). These disorders can interfere with their ability to pass faeces and urine cleanly from the cloaca.
Neurological disorders (including trauma or infectious diseases) can also affect their ability to control the elimination of faeces and urine. If the faeces are too watery (diarrhea), or if there is excessive urine production (polyuria), then the droppings will be more likely to get stuck as well – both problems are common and occur due to a wide variety of disease conditions. A visit to an avian veterinarian will help determine what is going on and how to best treat your bird.
You can certainly clean the area as needed, however, I strongly suggest having him looked at by a vet to get to the bottom of why this is happening. In addition to examining and treating your bird, your vet can also teach you how to catch your bird and handle him safely. If you are looking for an avian veterinarian in your area, have a look at the Association of Avian Veterinarians website. There you will find a “find a vet” directory with a listing of member veterinarians.
I hope this helps!
Dr. Kim Hester
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