I always wanted a bird as a kid.
I asked my parents for a bird every year for my birthday and Christmas.
I blame my grandma.
She loved birds and taught me about birds in the wild.
We even went bird-watching a few times together.
I think I got my love of birds from her.
Anyway, my parents always said ‘no.’
Their reason? Birds poop all the time.
“I don’t want bird poop all over my house,” my mom would always say.
Well, that question stayed in my mind as I was thinking about whether to get a bird for myself as an adult.
How often do green cheek conures poop?
Well, green cheek conures poop once every 15-20 minutes. The good news is that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a house full of bird poop. You have options to keep your home clean while owning a bird.
What should my green cheek conure’s poop look like?
Healthy poop varies with diet, but some general guidelines remain true regardless.
Most of the time, a healthy bird will have green-brown poop that is tube-shaped with solid white products and a clear liquid component.
The amount depends on how much they have eaten.
Variations may include red stool, blue/purple stool, and brown and may occur with dietary changes.
For example, when my green cheek conure eats blueberries, I can expect blue/purple stool within a few minutes.
Does green cheek conure poop smell?
Fortunately for every bird owner – no.
Bird poop has no smell!
The reason bird poop doesn’t smell is two-fold.
First, their diet usually consists of fruits, seeds, vegetables, and pellets.
These foods, when broken down and digested, do not make waste that smells.
Second, birds have a short digestive tract that works quickly.
Therefore, there isn’t enough time for digested waste to develop an odor.
Does diet affect how often they poop?
Changes to their diet can affect the size, consistency, and frequency of their poop.
I mentioned blueberries before.
Blueberries make my green cheek conure poop quickly.
The amount of water your bird drinks can affect the amount of poop as well as its consistency.
The more water, usually the less formed the stool will be.
Red peppers and other colored vegetables will change the color of the poop as well.
Does their poop tell you anything about their health?
Bird owners need to observe the poop your bird makes.
The appearance of their poop can tell you a lot about their state of health.
Below are some signs to look out for to keep your bird healthy:
We just said bird poop doesn’t smell.
If it DOES, that could mean your bird has an infection such as giardia or a digestive tract problem such as steatorrhea (fat in the stool).
Just like in humans, black stool can indicate that your bird is bleeding somewhere in the GI tract.
Lime Green stool
This can be a sign of a specific infection called Chlamydiosis, or Parrot Fever
If diet and water intake are unchanged and your bird gets diarrhea, that could be a sign of stress, infection, intestinal parasites, or kidney, liver, or pancreatic disease.
Be sure to visit your avian vet as soon as possible to get changes to your bird’s stool evaluated.
Can my bird’s poop make me sick?
Yes, you can get ill from inhaling particles from dried bird poop.
There are three main illnesses you can contract from bird droppings.
The first is Psitticosis and is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia psittaci (not confused with other Chlamydia species illnesses).
The second is Cryptococcosus and is caused by the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans.
The third is Histoplasmosis caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum.
You can get this illness when cleaning bird droppings that have dried and become lightweight and powdery.
If possible, wear a mask when cleaning your bird’s cage to avoid ingesting these particles.
If you notice respiratory symptoms such as cough, fever, chills, be sure to mention that you own birds to your healthcare provider so they can be sure to get you the proper treatment as soon as possible.
Many respiratory illnesses can have the same symptoms, so providing this information at the beginning can prevent potential delays in appropriate treatment.
Can you potty train a green cheek conure?
It is possible to potty train your green cheek conure.
There are a number of techniques to do this.
While you’re training your bird, keep a wipe and your positive attitude at the ready.
Training your pet bird to be housebroken takes consistency, patience, commitment, and positive reinforcement just like housebreaking a dog or cat does.
The first step is to watch your green cheeked conure poop—a lot.
You’ll want to get to know your bird’s body language before it goes.
Most conures will have consistent body language that some call a “potty dance.”
Examples might look like your bird going from a relatively stationary position to walking around in a circle or back and forth on a perch before going.
Some birds will walk backward or fluff up their feathers.
Again, you’ll want to get to know your bird’s signs.
Once you know your bird’s signs, you can quickly move it to your potty station of choice.
This station can be whatever you want but will depend on your bird’s ability to get there.
For example, if your bird cannot fly, you should keep a potty station within walking distance of your bird.
Reinforce, reinforce, reinforce!
Your bird will respond very well to praise and consistency.
Don’t be discouraged if they don’t get it at first.
Your green cheeked conure will have another opportunity to get it right in about 20 minutes.
Keep a positive attitude and remember that consistency and patience upfront will result in many years of fewer accidents in the future.