The Grey Roost

Poopology - It's not just crap

Early signs of illness are often not recognized, however, A birds survival instincts have made them masters of disguise. Greys are flock animals, and in the wild a sick bird will attempt to maintain a normal appearance for as long as possible, so it is not shunned from the flock and become someone’s dinner. By the time any signs of illness are apparent, the bird may have been ill for some time.

While there are definite signs of illness it can still sneak up on you. Little things change over time that can be easily explained. Your bird may become grumpy, and you attribute it to hormones,moulting, or not enough sleep.

You know your bird better than anyone. If something about their demeanor is sending red flags, go with your instinct, and consult with your vet. Note any changes you noticed so you don’t forget once you with the vet.

It’s very important to observe droppings. Number, volume, color and consistency should be noted. Watch for any decrease in the total number or volume, change of color, increased water content, decrease in feces with increased urates or an increase in urine.

Keep a close eye on any abnormal droppings but don’t become overly alarmed at the odd colored ones, as it maybe the result of coloring in foods that have been eaten such as beets or Pellets. A more watery dropping may be attributed to consuming a high water content piece of fruit. But if droppings are consistently not right for 24 hours , you want to consider calling your Vet.

If you are going to the vet, it’s always best to take the freshest sample of poop you can get. Wax paper works well with collecting the fecal matter. Line your cage the night before to catch the morning poop, and the most recent as well. You can wrap the wax paper in foil or in a bag for transport.

Here are some excellent links to poopology:

Poopology at Avianweb

Poopology at Parrotchronicles


Poopology 101

Signs of Illness to pay attention to;

Prolonged molt or continual presence of pin feathers
Feather picking
Shifting of feet
Stain or debris in feathers over the nostrils
Crusty material in the nostrils
Loss of feathers or swelling around the eye
Excessive sneezing
Excessive clearing of the ears
Excessive scratching at head
Overgrowth of beak or nails
Decreased or excessive food or water consumption.
Change in attitude, personality or behavior
Decreased activity
Decreased talking/singing
Increased sleeping
Change in appearance or posture - ruffled feathers ,br> Weakness, inability to stand
Staying on the bottom of the cage
Sitting low on the perch
Drooping wings
Change of respiration
Noticeable breathing movement (tail bobbing or gasping for breath)
Heavy breathing after exertion
Change in voice
Respiratory sounds such as sneezing, gurgling, wheezing or clicking
Change in weight or general body condition
Enlargement or swelling of the body
Injury or bleeding.
Any discharge from nostrils, eyes or mouth.

With any of the changes listed, you should be consulting your vet.