causes of diarrhea in budgies

Diarrhea in budgies: some causes of wet poop

Parakeet poop is one of the easiest ways to keep tabs on your pet’s health and diarrhea in budgies can often be cause for alarm. A healthy parakeet poop is not very wet and has well-defined feces and urates. The feces portion is typically green or brown while the urates should be white. Anything that veers from this norm is concerning, but the wet, loose poops or diarrhea are frequently transient in nature and in many cases, can be explained by the following causes.

  • Fear based wet poops. This is typically seen in parakeets that are new to your home and feeling very anxious. When they are afraid they can have very loose poop that sometimes has no urates at all and is just a small amount of feces and urine.  We still see this with Kelly, she has a very nervous temperament and if we startle her coming into the house or wake her abruptly from a nap she will immediately display “fear poops”.  These should resolve either when the parakeet has gotten over being startled or whenever they feel comfortable. With a newly brought home parakeet this can last some time, make sure they are eating and drinking and don’t have other outward signs of illness such as fluffing up, tail bobbing etc.
  • Post-bath poops that are completely liquid.  When a budgie takes a bath they frequently ingest a lot more water than would be typical for them. This can result in waste that is completely water. This should be relatively short-lived. Side note – it always reminds me of the Baby Alive Doll that I used to have where you would feed her the bottle of water and the liquid would just run straight through her!
  • Eating fruits or vegetables. Fruits and vegetables have a very high water content compared to seeds. Eating a big helping of wet lettuce or watermelon would naturally cause loose poop or diarrhea for the time that it is being processed.
  • Molting. Not every budgie has loose poop when they are molting, but it is a relatively common side effect. In our house it’s intermittent for a few days while they are at the most wretched heights of pin feathers. As long as they are eating and drinking I try not to overwhelm myself with worry!
  • Competitive drinking. I can’t say that this is common among all budgies, but mine have an intense flock mentality. If one of them eats the other one has to as well, even when they are in separate cages. So, sometimes one of them goes to have a drink, and then the other one does, and they end up in this feedback loop where they just keep drinking because the other one is drinking.  This can be a very specific cause of short-term diarrhea.

The theme with all of these causes is probably readily apparent. You should be able to define the root cause relatively easily based on what your budgie has just been doing or eating. The diarrhea itself ought to be short lived, except in the case of fear, which can take a bit longer to resolve in a newly acquired budgie or molting, as that can be intermittent over a period of time. Trust your gut and keep an eye out for any other symptoms. There are many instances in which diarrhea warrants a call to your vet. Once you know your budgie it will be easy to tell what’s “normal” for them and what’s cause for immediate concern.

Please note – I am neither a vet nor a medical expert about parakeets. If you are concerned about your pet’s well-being please call your vet and make an appointment. This post should not substitute medical care for your pet and I am not making any specific recommendations of care.

9 thoughts on “Diarrhea in budgies: some causes of wet poop”

  1. My budgie is new to my home ..its been around 13 days is it normal for him to still have watery poops .. he is totally comfortable with my hand .. and not feared … but still have watery poop and stained vent feathers … he is very young that is around less than 3 months old … he is very play ful and active … like his mate … but had poop either stuck like a solid mass or have poop that cannot be differentiated from water …is it normal .. please help ..😫😓😖

    1. It is unusual that the new budgie would have watery poops for 13 days straight. Also it sounds like there are some other issues with poop built up around his vent/bottom.

      I recommend taking your new budgie to the vet if possible, it sounds like he may need some medical treatment.

      Best wishes to you, I hope your new budgie will be okay!

  2. Sometimes I notice almost liquid poops on the morning. At first this it was very scary, cause this is my first budgie and I don’t have practical experience. But next day everything was good. Just when I relaxed some other morning I saw liquid poops again. A little later I found the cause — he likes to sleep near the drinker, and when he does he drinks a lot during night. When he sleep in some other part of the cage — everything just fine.

    1. Hi Mickael, thanks for reading and commenting. That’s so funny about your little guy drinking throughout the night. Reminds me of a person heading to the fridge for a midnight drink 🙂

      I’m glad you found the source of the liquid poops!

      1. Thanks! He is 5-6 months now, everything is OK, and I’ve got him company — a couple, 2 and 3 years old. They are stressed after moving to my place, but more relaxed each day. They are getting along with each other. My little budgie so exited about his new friends! He sings to them and feeds time to time. It’s so sweet!

    1. Hi Shaye, I’m sorry to hear that your boy is under the weather. Unfortunately I’m not able to help diagnose what’s going on based on those symptoms. It could be a lot of different things (or nothing!).

      If at all possible please take your boy to a veterinarian who can run tests and figure out what’s really going on. In the interim, if you’re on Facebook I recommend joining a group called Parrot First Aid. They will also encourage you to take him to a vet, but may have more concrete advice for how to support his well-being leading up to a visit.

      Best of luck.


    1. Hi there, that doesn’t sound good to me at all, especially since you bought him from a street vendor possibly because he was in poor conditions?

      He really does need to see a vet if at all possible. In the interim, make sure you keep him warm and comfortable and definitely strictly quarantine.

      If you have a facebook account you can also join a ground called “Parrot First Aid”, that group can be very helpful with providing recommendations for caring for sick birds while you’re waiting to see a vet.

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