You may think your bird has diarrhea when its dropping appears watery, but this is not always the case. For example, when the bird eats food with high water content, such as cucumber, watermelon, and lettuce, it excretes more urine than usual, making its dropping appear loose and wet. So, in this case, we can’t say that the bird has diarrhea, and we can conclude that dropping is normal, given the change in diet. Other than that, change in the color of any part of the droppings may indicate the presence of health issues.
Bird droppings consist of three parts: feces, urates, and urine. Feces are solid waste material, and their color depends on bird species and their diet. For example, in parrots, it tends to be green while quail, it is light brown. The urates should always be white and should form like paste material. On the other hand, urine is transparent, and it surrounds feces and urates.
Causes of diarrhea in birds
A variety of conditions can cause diarrhea in birds with the absence of illness. These conditions include:
- Stress or excessive enthusiasm
- Cold or high temperatures
- Excessive proteins intake
- Diet changes
However, some pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and protozoa cause diarrhea. The bird will appear sluggish, inactive and it puffs its feathers and in extreme cases, it lies on the bottom of the cage, and it tucks its beak under the wing.
The most common bacterial diseases that cause diarrhea are E. coli and salmonella, but other pathogens, such as coccidia and Newcastle virus are also common causes. Non-infectious diseases, such as food poisoning, also cause diarrhea.
First, the breeder should address the environmental and nutritional factors as follow:
- Placing the bird in a warm and quiet room.
- Refraining from providing foods rich in protein such as boiled eggs, and foods that contain a large amount of water.
- Adding chamomile in the drinker to help relieve any digestive issues.
- Keeping the cage clean.
If diarrhea continues for the next day and the bird puffs its feathers and its health deteriorates, this indicates that the bird has a major health issue, which requires diagnosis and further investigation. In this case, you should isolate the bird from the rest and consulate your veterinary.
Reviewed by Dr. Wael Abu-Hmoud