Why Does My Cockatiel Eat His Poop? (You Must Know)

It might sound gross to some people, but cockatiels do eat their own poop. But would they do so? Why do cockatiels eat their poop? As a curious bird owner, I decided to do some research and what I found was something I had never heard of. 

Boredom, stress, nutritional deficiencies, dirty cage, and health complications are some of the reasons due to which your cockatiel might be eating its own poop. Cockatiels do not gain any benefits if they eat their own poop.

Cockatiels eat poop when they lack nutrients, so they’ll consume their own feces to glean extra nutrients by digesting the material a second time.

Let us dive deep and learn a little more in detail to understand why your cockatiels might be eating its poop?

Is It Bad For Cockatiels To Eat Their Poop?

Although your cockatiel will not get sick immediately if they eat its poop, it is not an ideal way for your cockatiel to gain the nutrients.

There is no such benefit of eating poop for our birds.

Old and dried up poop consists of bacteria, parasites, or worms inside it. If your bird eat this poop, then it might be a problem.

Why Does My Cockatiel Eat Its Poop?

It is important to understand some of the things that could cause your bird to its poop before you try to stop them.

There is a chance that your cockatiel might be eating its poop either for no obvious reasons, or if they have some other health problem.

Now, let us take closer look at some of the reasons why your bird might be eating its poop.


If you do not provide your bird with adequate physical or mental stimulation, then it might decide to eat its poop.

It is crucial to provide your bird with toys and keep them entertained.

If your bird has nothing to play with, then it might start to consume their poop.

There are a number of play toys out there that can keep your cockatiels entertained and help them to not resort to eating poop and other things that can make them sick.

Get your cockatiels a variety of chewable toys, foraging toys, puzzle toys and other kinds of items that can help them keep physically active the whole time. 

Stress & Anxiety

If your bird is under stress or is anxious, then it will need more calories and nutrients compared to birds who are calm in their home.

To cover up the lack of energy, then your cockatiel might start to eat its poop. You must check with your bird and their surrounding to see if they are stressed and eating their poop.

The best way to help your cockatiel reduce their levels of stress is to remove the thing that is causing the stress in the first place.

This is not always easy, but take some time to look around the cage to see what could make your bird feel more at home. 

Nutritional Deficiencies

Cockatiels need a balanced diet filled with nutrition to lead a healthy and happy life.

If you are not serving a proper diet to your bird, it might eat its poop. Your bird will end up thinking that eating the poop is a good way to regain the lost nutrition.

It is crucial to provide your bird with a a good mixture of foods, not just one type. It is typical for bird owners to only give their cockatiels seeds, but this will miss out on a lot of nutrients that the bird needs. 

Although seeds are great for cockatiels, seeds alone does fulfil the dietary requirements of our birds.

When you fix your cockatiels diet, then it might stop eating its poop. You can also add a cuttlebone and a mineral block to your birds.

Dirty Cage

Your cockatiel would not want to live in a dirty cage. However, there are chances that your bird’s cage might get dirty due to a number of reasons.

Your cockatiel’s droppings, food and water spills, and twigs shavings can make your cockatiel’s cage dirty.

In such cases, your cockatiels may choose to eat the fresh poop to keep the cage clean.

If you start to notice that this is happening, then it is your job to clean the cage more often. Leaving the cage like that is just going to make the situation worse.

When you start to maintain a cleaning schedule for your cockatiel’s cage, then the step should be enough to stop your bird from eating its poop.

Health Complications

Once you have checked with the other reasons, you need to make sure that your bird is eating its poop due to a health complications.

If you are sure that other reasons are ruled out and they still continue to eat their poop, then your cockatiel might be suffering you from a health condition.

Your cockatiel might feel compelled to eat their poop if they are ill or have some kind of disease.

In such cases, it is time to take your cockatiel to the vet to get checked out. The vet will be able to provide your bird with the best guidance possible.

How Do I Stop My Cockatiel From Eating Its Poop?

In general, your cockatiel will not get sick if it is eating its own poop. However, if your bird ends up eating a old poop then it might be a problem.

The dried old poop could get a bacterial infection which when consumed can lead to serious health issues in our birds.

There are a few things that you can do on your part to prevent your bird from eating its own poop.

Maintain a schedule to clean your bird’s cage. This will prevent your birds from eating its poop.

In addition, once you know why your bird is eating its poop, you’ll be able to address the underlying issue and stop your bird from eating its poop.

Furthermore, if you feel that your bird is suffering from a health complication, then the best option is to take your bird to a vet.

Related Queries:

Why Do Cockatiels Poop So Much?

Cockatiels poop a lot because they have a unique digestive system.

A cockatiel’s health relies on the continuous movement of their digestive tract to quickly extract energy bird’s diet.

This basically means that a bird must continue eating and subsequently pooping a lot to maintain a healthy and steadily moving digestive system.


Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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