Parrot not pooping

Do Parrots Get Constipated? (7 Common Reasons)

Parrots normally have very frequent bowel movements. A healthy parrot is expected to poop anywhere from 20-40 times a day. So if you notice your parrot not pooping as often or observe infrequent droppings, it can be a cause for concern. 

Although rare, constipation in parrots occurs when the bird is unable to pass stool or is having trouble pooping. It can happen for several reasons, including an all-seed diet, dehydration, or cloacal infections.

In certain cases, constipation may be a symptom of a more serious condition known as egg-binding. It is common in smaller species of parrots, so it is important to consider the possibility.  

How Often Should Parrots Poop?

Parrots typically poop multiple times a day. The exact number of times can vary from species to species, but it is not uncommon for parrots to poop upwards of 30 or more times per day.

The color of their droppings may also vary but in general, healthy parrot poop has a dark green or olive shade with a white or cream-colored substance surrounding it. 

Why Is My Parrot Not Pooping? 

Constipation in parrots is relatively uncommon but can still occur under certain circumstances. There may be several factors that could contribute to a change in a parrot’s droppings. These include diet, hydration levels, eating habits, and even health conditions. Here are the causes of constipation in parrots:

Parrot constipated

Lack Of Fiber (All-Seed Diet)

Fiber is needed to help retain moisture in the stool and facilitate its movement through the intestinal tract. A lack of fiber in the diet can slow down the movement of waste and create problems in excretion.

If your parrot is on an all-seed diet, it may be at a higher risk of getting constipated. A healthy diet for parrots should include fiber from different sources, such as green vegetables, fruits, grains, etc.  

Changes In Diet Or Eating Habits 

Sometimes, due to a change in diet or the individual eating habits of the parrot, they may not eat as much as before. This can lead to a decrease in how frequently the parrot defecates. A sudden decrease in droppings may be caused by a new diet that lacks essential nutrients or fiber. However, a loss of appetite may indicate other illnesses.  


Another common reason for infrequent or decreased droppings is dehydration. A bird’s droppings consist of three parts – fecal matter, urates, and urine. The semi-solid and liquid waste in the droppings allows the stool to move through the digestive tract. If the body does not have adequate fluids, it can result in dry and hard stools, making it difficult for the parrot to expel waste normally. 

Lack Of Exercise 

Parrots are active by nature, and regular exercise is essential for maintaining their overall health. However, they cannot engage in physical activity on their own. They need someone to help them work their muscles.

If your parrot mostly plays by itself with little to no exercise, it may lead to a slowdown in its metabolic and digestive processes. This can result in a slower transit time for food and waste, leading to less frequent droppings. 

GI Blockage 

If you let foreign objects near your parrot’s cage, there’s a good chance it will use them as chew toys. Parrots have a habit to nibble on objects, and sometimes they may accidentally swallow pieces of it which can create blockage in the GI tract.

The object may be a small toy or parts of cage accessories or even just household items. If you suspect your parrot has eaten something from the house, it is best to take it to an avian vet.

According to Avian Medicine, gastric impaction is common in younger parrots who are fed crushed walnuts, ground corncob, and excessive grit. They may also get a blockage from chewing shredded newspaper and cloth. Sometimes, the cloaca can also get obstructed by dry poop gat collects around it.


If you have a female parrot exhibiting nesting behaviors and you notice a decrease in droppings, then the problem may not be constipation. Egg binding is a condition when a female parrot is unable to lay an egg.

As the egg develops within the reproductive tract, it can become an obstruction in the passage through which waste needs to pass, giving the impression that the parrot is constipated.

It may seem like the parrot is constipated when it is going through something much more severe. Egg-binding is a serious condition that requires immediate veterinary attention. It is critical to know the difference between the two conditions because early detection is key to saving an egg-bound parrot. 

Cloacal Infections Or Tumors

The cloaca is a common opening for eliminating waste and laying eggs. So any kind of discomfort in the cloaca can prevent a parrot from pooping normally. Cloacal infections in parrots can occur due to bacterial, fungal, or viral pathogens. These infections can cause inflammation, swelling, redness, and pain in the bottom region. 

Parrot fluffed up feathers

Symptoms Of Constipation In Parrots

Constipation is much more evident in parrots than in other pets. This is because parrots have hyperactive bowels. So even minor changes in their pooping activity can be very noticeable. However, there may be other signs that accompany constipation. Here are some of the symptoms of constipation in parrots:  


Straining is the most commonly seen symptom of constipation. It occurs when a parrot is trying to defecate but is unable to pass the stool. Since the stool is not coming out, it can make the parrot strain and try harder. You may also notice the parrot breathing heavily in some cases. 

Loss Of Appetite 

Since the parrot is unable to expel waste from its body, it will not be less interested in going to its food bowl. A constipated parrot will appear less active and choose to stay in its cage. 


If the parrot has been constipated for a while, it has likely not eaten anything and will be drained of all energy. This can make the parrot weak and lethargic. This may also be accompanied by closed eyes and a bobbing tail. 

Fluffed-Up Feathers

As prey animals, parrots usually fluff up their feathers to conceal their illnesses and prevent themselves from appearing weak. Fluffed-up feathers and a general distressed look can be a sign that the parrot is constipated.

Dirty Cloaca

As the parrot tries to pass stool,  it can lead to the accumulation of fecal matter near its cloaca. This can also result in the waste sticking to the feathers around the cloaca, making the parrot’s bottom dirty.

Decreased Vocalizations

Parrots normally vocalize on a daily basis. However, if you suddenly notice your parrot is quieter, it could indicate that it is not well. Decreased vocalizations are typically a sign of illnesses, so it is best to check on your parrot’s health. 

What Should I Do If My Parrot Is Constipated?

If you suspect your parrot is constipated, the first thing to do is to seek veterinary assistance. Home remedies and over-the-counter medications do not work well in this situation and may even make the condition worse. An avian vet will perform a proper diagnosis to find out the cause of the issue.

You may examine the parrot from the outside, but It is not recommended to hold the bird by the chest or stomach as it may cause them discomfort. Also, holding the bird may not be a good idea in case it is egg-bound. You may check the cloacal region for inflammation and wipe the bottom if it is unclean. 

That being said, in some cases, where the main reasons for constipation are dietary, giving some water and fibrous food can help them relieve the pressure. So if you have had your parrot on a seed diet and notice symptoms of constipation, it can be helpful to change its diet.    

Preventing constipation in parrots

How To Prevent Constipation In Parrots?

It is very uncommon for parrots to experience constipation. Parrots have a unique digestive system and a fast metabolism that helps them digest food at a much quicker rate. However, it is always best to stay on top of your parrot’s health. To keep your parrot’s gut healthy, follow these tips:

A Balanced Diet 

A healthy and high-fiber diet is by far the most important factor influencing your parrot’s regular bowel movements. A balanced diet for parrots typically includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, proteins, and occasionally seeds and grains. The high fiber content in fresh fruits and vegetables aids in proper digestion and helps prevent constipation. 


While a balanced diet is good, physical activity complements it by aiding the parrot’s digestive system and promoting healthy bowel movements. On a daily basis, you should encourage flight, provide toys for climbing and exploring, and plan a physical activity regimen for them. Exercise also gives the parrot to be more social helping it stay entertained which can improve overall health.

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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