Why can't budgies eat their droppings? - Talk Budgies Forums


User Menu
Forum Home
Budgie Gallery
Budgie FAQ
Site Guidelines
How-To-Guide
Members List
Today's Posts
Log In
Register now!
Search



Advanced Search
Popular Forums
Announcements

Budgie Articles

Budgie Talk

Budgie Pictures

Budgie Videos

Budgie Behavior

Determining Gender

Your Budgie's Health

Taming and Bonding

Budgie Breeding

In Memory

Other Birds

Contests

Chit Chat

Site Information

Talk Network
Talk Budgies
Talk Cockatiels
Talk Parrotlets
Talk Parrots
Sponsored Ads

Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Your Budgie's Health


Your Budgie's Health Learn about avian health and vet care. This forum does not substitute for veterinary expertise.
Thread Description:What are the scientific reasons?

Closed Thread
 
Short URL LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 02-22-2015, 05:49 AM
Imaginary's Avatar
Hatchling
 
Profile:Imaginary is offline
Budgie Experience Level: Budgie Lover
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 192
Gallery: 0
Karma:
Points: 249
Rep Power: 5
Imaginary has a spectacular auraImaginary has a spectacular auraImaginary has a spectacular aura
Thumbs up Why can't budgies eat their droppings?

Personally, I have a grate at the bottom of the cage which I often clean, and I don't let my guys eat their own poop because I think it's not healthy at all. But my sister recently ordered the same cage I own, and was not too thrilled about the grate. She wants the budgies to be able to play on the bottom, and also eat their poop if they want to. She says that there are minerals etc that the budgies aren't able to digest in the "first round", so eating the poop will provide them with extra minerals etc. Her opinion is that the only reason for why we don't let budgies get near their droppings is because we find it disqusting to eat poop. It is true though, when I've searched after this the arguments against eating poop are pretty much the same, they either say it is unhealthy without going into debt, or say it's nasty.

I would therefore like to ask for your opinions, and I would like to see exactly why it is or is not healthy to eat their droppings. You know where I stand, but I would still like to know why. Thanks!

Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 02-22-2015, 07:06 AM
Kate C's Avatar
Member of the Month October 2008
State:
 
Profile:Kate C is offline
Gender:
Number of Budgies: 100'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Outer suburbs of Sydney
Posts: 6,826
Gallery: 3
Karma:
Points: 5073
Rep Power: 24
Kate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Actually your sister is right. Because budgies have very short alimentary canals they often cannot digest some of the complex vitamins and minerals. By eating their own poop they are able to access partly digested vitamins and minerals. This is what my avian vet told our club during a lecture he gave. And he is one of the top vets in Australia, not just for birds but he is qualified for exotic animals as well and also teaches at Uni. By exotic animals I mean animals like lions, tigers and other zoo animals that are foreign to our country and are definitely not kept as pets as well as native Australian animals not kept as pets but are kept in zoos as well as in the wild.

It is humans that have a phobia about poop. In nature animals eat the excrement from their own offspring as well as of other animals and each other. Doesn't seem to hurt them at all. They must get some benefit out of it or they wouldn't do it. And they know better than we do. The only real problem with some animal poop is that we have domesticated them and pump medications into them and ourselves and these not only kill bad bacteria but often kill good bacteria. Wild animals also seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to sick animals droppings and don't touch them.

Many countries now use grey water for watering fields and household yards. This grey water has treated human liquid waste in it. It is therefore being used when people grow their own fruit and vegetables. Some countries have been using human waste for pretty much centuries to fertilize their fields. It has been a very valuable source of fertilizer for food production for them.
  #3  
Old 02-22-2015, 07:36 AM
Imaginary's Avatar
Hatchling
 
Profile:Imaginary is offline
Budgie Experience Level: Budgie Lover
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 192
Gallery: 0
Karma:
Points: 249
Rep Power: 5
Imaginary has a spectacular auraImaginary has a spectacular auraImaginary has a spectacular aura
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kate C View Post
Actually your sister is right. Because budgies have very short alimentary canals they often cannot digest some of the complex vitamins and minerals. By eating their own poop they are able to access partly digested vitamins and minerals. This is what my avian vet told our club during a lecture he gave. And he is one of the top vets in Australia, not just for birds but he is qualified for exotic animals as well and also teaches at Uni. By exotic animals I mean animals like lions, tigers and other zoo animals that are foreign to our country and are definitely not kept as pets as well as native Australian animals not kept as pets but are kept in zoos as well as in the wild.

It is humans that have a phobia about poop. In nature animals eat the excrement from their own offspring as well as of other animals and each other. Doesn't seem to hurt them at all. They must get some benefit out of it or they wouldn't do it. And they know better than we do. The only real problem with some animal poop is that we have domesticated them and pump medications into them and ourselves and these not only kill bad bacteria but often kill good bacteria. Wild animals also seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to sick animals droppings and don't touch them.

Many countries now use grey water for watering fields and household yards. This grey water has treated human liquid waste in it. It is therefore being used when people grow their own fruit and vegetables. Some countries have been using human waste for pretty much centuries to fertilize their fields. It has been a very valuable source of fertilizer for food production for them.
Wow, thanks. What about acid and bad bacteria? Plus, I've read that budgies are rarely in contact with their droppings in nature, so how can we be sure it's safe through comparing it to other animals, as birds live very different from for example lions (of course, but you know where I'm getting at)?

I will, however, continue to not let them eat and be in contact with their poop other than random ones that get stuck on for example branches, but it is mainly because even though it might not be bad for them, it's bad for us, and I don't want their little feet to have too much stains of poop on them, when they run around on tables and curtains. Also not that hygienic when they take an occasional sip off water from us or eat some of our food.
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 02-22-2015, 10:24 AM
FlightFox's Avatar
FlightFox (Alisha)
Hatchling
State:
 
Profile:FlightFox is offline
Gender:
Number of Budgies: 1
Budgie Experience Level: Budgie Newbie
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Toronto
Posts: 190
Gallery: 0
Karma:
Points: 153
Rep Power: 6
FlightFox has a spectacular auraFlightFox has a spectacular aura
Default

The dangers of poop eating normally refer to the transfer of parasites, infection and disease. But this only applies if you have more than one bird in the cage. For example, if one of the birds has a parasite the parasite eggs are often shed in poop so if the other bird eats the host bird's poop then they both become infected. So to with disease, it can spread the same way.
The biggest issue is poop in the water as it prompts bacteria growth, the most dangerous being e.coli
Generally budgies have no intrest in eating their own poop, their not rabbits, providing your budgie is getting all the minerals in their regular diet. Some budgies can be quiet fastidious and will clean their perches off of any poop there (this can sometimes look like eating it but really their just cleaning). Hope that helps.
On another note, I don't have a grate in my birds cage and he has never even tried eating his poop, so grate or no I'm sure it will be fine.
  #5  
Old 02-22-2015, 10:49 AM
JWKnight (J.W.)
DEACTIVATED ACCOUNT
State:
 
Profile:JWKnight is offline
Gender:
Number of Budgies: 28
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Wichita Kansas
Posts: 2,335
Gallery: 7
Karma:
Points: 1617
Rep Power: 9
JWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant future
Default

In my main flight I don't have a grate... The reason is because I built it...

But my budgies go down and pick at poop, but I wouldn't say that they are ever eating it. And how can anyone say that they don't have access to their poops in nature? They have access to their own as well as any other animals if they wanted to eat it........

But budgies tend to be very clean birds, if they are eating it, it doesn't bother me that much, I'm sure they know what they are doing. But they also forage for seed that was tossed out of their dishes... Which is nice since seed isn't all that cheap

I don't think it matters either way... When I first read up about budgies I read several articles that said they shouldn't have grates at the bottom... But who knows what's the best way. Too many opinions...
  #6  
Old 02-22-2015, 11:28 AM
Jonah's Avatar
Jonah (Randy)
Servant of The King


State:
 
Profile:Jonah is offline
Gender:
Budgie Experience Level: Budgie Owner
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 11,972
Gallery: 0
Karma:
Points: 16454
Rep Power: 43
Jonah has a reputation beyond reputeJonah has a reputation beyond reputeJonah has a reputation beyond reputeJonah has a reputation beyond reputeJonah has a reputation beyond reputeJonah has a reputation beyond reputeJonah has a reputation beyond reputeJonah has a reputation beyond reputeJonah has a reputation beyond reputeJonah has a reputation beyond reputeJonah has a reputation beyond repute
Default

The cage/aviary setting of our domesticated friend's is very different from the wild/natural setting. While I would not panic if I found my bird's doing this, I surely won't slack off on cage/bird room cleanliness to give them more opportunity at mineral/vitamin intake, because dropping's built up in their enviroment will cause a host of health problem's....
__________________

He came down from Heaven unto this earth below
He came down from glory and praises untold
He came down to man fashioned in their way
He came down to rescue, He came down to save
  #7  
Old 02-22-2015, 11:41 AM
JWKnight (J.W.)
DEACTIVATED ACCOUNT
State:
 
Profile:JWKnight is offline
Gender:
Number of Budgies: 28
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Wichita Kansas
Posts: 2,335
Gallery: 7
Karma:
Points: 1617
Rep Power: 9
JWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant futureJWKnight has a brilliant future
Default

I agree that clean cages are very important. But worrying about whether or not they are eating their own poop isn't. If they do it, it's natural for them. As long as they have food and aren't starving I don't see a problem with it.

If they're doing it because they don't have food, then you have a problem.

Clean cages, and taking care of their needs is always a good thing.
  #8  
Old 02-22-2015, 04:36 PM
Kate C's Avatar
Member of the Month October 2008
State:
 
Profile:Kate C is offline
Gender:
Number of Budgies: 100'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Outer suburbs of Sydney
Posts: 6,826
Gallery: 3
Karma:
Points: 5073
Rep Power: 24
Kate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond reputeKate C has a reputation beyond repute
Default

I have also spoken to my vet about cleaning. He said there is a difference between clean and spotless. He was talking more about aviaries. But he said he has seen aviaries that you could literally eat off the floor and the peoples birds were very often sick, and then he has been to aviaries that have been really dirty and the birds were all healthy and thriving. Of course these are the extremes and there is a happy medium. But one of the problems with having a very clean to sterile cage is that the birds have no access to any bacteria and this can have harmful effects on the immune system. Without access to bacteria (good and bad) the birds don't develop a fully functioning immune system and that leaves them more prone to illness.

This has also now been found to be a problem with humans with children not developing a fully function immune system. With all the disinfectants and anti bacterial cleansers now and children not playing outside and yes playing in the dirt and mud they are not coming into contact with bacteria. The most dangerous place to get some of these really bad bacterial infections like golden staff is in a hospital where they are sterilizing things all the time.
  #9  
Old 02-22-2015, 05:03 PM
tonic (Toni)
Older Budgie
 
Profile:tonic is offline
Gender:
Budgie Experience Level: Budgie Enthusiast
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bay of Plenty
Posts: 2,272
Gallery: 0
Karma:
Points: 922
Rep Power: 11
tonic deserves every one of these pointstonic deserves every one of these pointstonic deserves every one of these pointstonic deserves every one of these pointstonic deserves every one of these pointstonic deserves every one of these pointstonic deserves every one of these pointstonic deserves every one of these points
Default

My thoughts... young budgies need access to droppings of the adults as they have to pick up the necessary bacteria for thier digestion and immune systems (80% of mammals immune system is made up of bugs in the gut - not sure of the amount in birds but see no reason for it to be different). This is why you should give probiotics after any antibiotics, you have effectively wiped out the immune system of the animal/person and need to rebuild it asap.

Adults may like occasional access for minerals etc and I would'nt worry about this in a regularly cleaned cage with healthy birds. However, large wet droppings or those left to build up can grow nasty bacteria and moulds etc so I wouldn't consider this a safe or healthy thing for them to have access to.

Just my thoughts, I'm not one for spotlessness and water changed twice a day etc as they need to encounter bacteria to be able to strengthen their immune systems, otherwise they don't have the immune response needed to protect themselves in time of bacteria burden.
  #10  
Old 02-22-2015, 05:17 PM
DEACTIVATED ACCOUNT
 
Profile:kcladyz is offline
Gender:
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 2,602
Gallery: 0
Karma:
Points: 1604
Rep Power: 10
kcladyz has a brilliant futurekcladyz has a brilliant futurekcladyz has a brilliant futurekcladyz has a brilliant futurekcladyz has a brilliant futurekcladyz has a brilliant futurekcladyz has a brilliant futurekcladyz has a brilliant futurekcladyz has a brilliant futurekcladyz has a brilliant futurekcladyz has a brilliant future
Default

I have a grate but I cover it with paper towels so they can walk comfortably and i can put some foods on the floor. Also makes clean up easy. I do not have to clean as much
Closed Thread



Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:04 PM.



Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright © 2000- 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright © 2006 - , 2403 Networks LLC. All rights reserved.