The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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Having a budgie can be a wonderful thing, as they are incredibly affectionate birds with personalities that are far bigger than their tiny bodies. They love to sing, chirp, and communicate with you in their own way, often singing their favorite tones and sounds to you as a form of loving communication.
However, because these birds are not as common as other household pets, there isn’t always a lot of information on how to care for them. Often, when planning to adopt a budgie, you have to do a bit more research than you would typically plan for, and this especially includes researching about your budgie’s potential health.
Whether you are searching for potential problems that a budgie can develop so that you know what to look for, or your budgie has developed a new symptom and you are worried about it, it is important to make sure that you know the signs of a budgie’s health.
As prey animals, budgies have evolved to be considerably good at hiding when they are sick and not feeling well, so it can often come as a surprise when that sickness culminates into signs that become obvious on the last day of your budgie’s life.
Thankfully, there are a few ways that you can look for signs of a sick budgie before a potential illness reaches critical levels. From looking at its feathers to examining its poop and its food, there are definite signs that you can look for that will give you a solid idea on whether or not your budgie might be sick.
In fact, despite how gross it might be, your budgie’s poop is often a very clear indication of how your budgie’s health is. For better or for worse, you will be able to see it whenever you are cleaning your budgie’s enclosure, so you don’t have to go looking too far.
Examining Your Budgie’s Poop
You may not realize it, but your budgie’s droppings are actually a very telling sign of how your budgie’s health is doing. The color of your budgie’s droppings can indicate how well the food is being digested and whether or not there is any blood in their stomach or intestines, and the consistency of the droppings can indicate how well their food is being absorbed into their system.
The stench of it can also indicate if there is something abnormal, and depending on your budgie’s situation, the position of the droppings can even indicate something going on.
Green feces is something that is absolutely not normal for most animals. It is an indication that something isn’t being digested properly, or that your budgie’s droppings are mostly urine, as budgies have a cloaca, which is for both urine and feces.
There are two main causes of your budgie having green feces, and they both have different presentations. Very young budgies that are only just leaving the nest will have green poop, but this is natural and expected because of their diet until now.
So, if your budgie is a very young one, it may be normal to find small amounts of green poop in the budgie’s enclosure.
One of the main causes for green poop is because your budgie hasn’t eaten much for a longer period of time. Typically, the feces will be green and sticky in consistency, but the urine content will be close to a normal color.
If your budgie is young and only beginning to eat solid foods, this is normal and expected as they haven’t yet learned how to eat their usual food, so you can’t expect their poop to be of a healthy adult budgie yet.
If your budgie is old enough to eat on its own, or is an older budgie, you may want to examine their food to see how much they have been eating and you will want to look into causes of a decreased appetite in budgies.
Another cause of green poop for your budgie will be substantial problems with your budgie’s internal organs, and this tends to be more serious and needs to be seen by a vet as soon as you can. Poop of this nature will be green and will be yellow in color.
The urine portion of a budgie’s excrement should be fairly close to white or clear in color, in a healthy bird. When the urine is yellow, almost what you would expect from a human, this is a sign that there is something very wrong.
It is not always clear which organ would be having the issue in this case, but it means that there is a significant enough disturbance that both the feces and urine are discolored. An example of this would be a liver problem, which can easily affect both the urine and feces of a budgie.
For such a small creature, a liver problem can quickly become fatal, so when you see that there is urine discoloration as well as fecal discoloration, you need to set up an appointment with your vet as quickly as possible.
Causes of Green Droppings
Now that you have a better understanding of what may cause green poop, you will want to look for other signs of a problem in your budgie, so that you can better explain to your vet about what is going on.
This especially applies to the first example of green poop from budgies, which is often a decreased intake of food. Again, very young budgies are excluded from this as having a problem, as if the budgie is young enough, it may not be eating solid foods yet or in a consistent manner.
There are several causes of a decreased appetite in budgies, with the most common reasons including age and infection. Older budgies may lose their appetite as they reach the height of their age.
This is an unfortunate, yet normal consequence of age and may not be as emergent as it would be with a younger budgie. It is simply one of the sadder side effects of your budgie growing older in your care.
If your budgie is of a relatively young age, one that is old enough to eat regularly but not so old that the appetite begins to decrease, then there’s a chance your budgie has an infection. Other signs of an infection include having sticky or unpreened feathers, especially around the budgie’s head.
If the infection is severe or has been ongoing, more of the budgie’s feathers will be unkempt, and the vent feathers may have feces on them. Typically, though, the infection will be somewhere in the digestive tract to cause green feces.
What Can You Do?
Unfortunately, in all cases of green poop in budgies, there is nothing that you can do aside from taking your budgie to an avian vet. In young budgies, you will simply want to watch them and make sure that they develop the ability to eat their food properly as they grow older, just as you would with a human child.
If the budgie is late to develop in this stage, then you may consider wanting to take it to the vet, but for the most part, this is simply a case of watching your budgie and making sure that it grows up on time for its species.
The same applies to older budgies. Depending on the exact age of the budgie, you will want to weigh the balance between causing distress to your older budgie by taking it to the vet to see if there’s anything you can do about it, or simply trying to accommodate your older budgie’s new lifestyle and habits.
This is more of a matter of personal opinion, as you determine how you want to proceed with your budgie’s age and what kind of life you want to offer it. Typically, a budgie will live between five to eight years, so consider this before you cause considerable stress by taking your senior budgie out to the vet. It may be a matter of simply providing comfort when you can.
For budgies in the middle of a healthy eating age, you need to take them to an avian-experienced vet at your earliest convenience, depending on the severity of the symptoms you see.
Remember, because budgies have evolved to hide their sickness as much as possible, any symptoms that you see should be taken seriously, as it is an indication that your budgie’s health is failing.
Green feces with a normal urine color does not have to be as urgent as a budgie with discolored urine, assuming that there are no other more severe symptoms in your budgie’s behavior. You can often wait a day or two for this.
On the other hand, discolored urine on top of discolored feces is a much more severe problem and you should do what you can to take your budgie to an avian-experienced vet as soon as you can.
Budgies are small and somewhat delicate, and a problem with a budgie’s organs can kill it in a matter of days, so you don’t have much time to waste. You may even want to see if there are any avian hospitals around you that you could bring your budgie in for an urgent care if it has other particularly worrying symptoms.