Coprophagy

Coprophagy is the behavior of a bird eating its own droppings or those of another bird.

DEFINITION OF

An animal eating its own droppings or those of other animals.

CAUSES OF

Eating the feces is a normal behavior in dogs, but coprophagy in companion birds is rare and considered to be abnormal. The theory for this behavior in companion birds is that it is grounded in malnutrition. It is mostly seen in small parrots, such as budgerigars (parakeets) and cockatiels.

WHAT TO DO

Put a grate on the cage bottom so the bird no longer has easy access to its droppings. Clean the cage more frequently, including the grate. Most importantly, the owner should address the possibility the bird has a nutritional deficiency, which may warrant a vet exam and change in diet.

Disclaimer: BirdChannel.com’s Bird Behavior Index is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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Behavior and Training · Birds