Bird poop is one of those undesirable things that come with bird ownership. You have to learn to live with it if you want to pet a bird. But, there is a solution to make it easy for you to bear the pooping and that is, “potty training”.
On a visit to a friend, I came to know about this amazing fact that birds can be potty trained. I saw my friend’s little bird pooping on a piece of paper itself.
The visual not only amazed me but also made me curious about how this happened.
I asked my friend about it and even further researched it to understand it properly. Being a bird owner, I know how relieving it can be if your bird becomes potty trained.
To help you know about potty training in detail, below I have compiled all the information that I got from my experience and the research.
Can All Birds Be Potty Trained?
Like many living creatures, all birds can be potty trained. However, the amount of patience required to train them may vary depending on their species. Some birds are easier and quicker to train than others.
Any pet bird species that people are likely to allow to fly or move freely can be house-trained. With the right steps and practice, you can create their habit of defecating at one place or surrounding.
Birds take more patience to be trained than other pet animals like cats and dogs. Thus, the process can be a little arduous, but the benefits are worth all the effort.
Related Read: How To Cope With The Loss Of My Pet Bird
Do Pet Birds Poop Everywhere?
Birds commonly tend to poop everywhere if left free to fly outside the cage. They do not consider a particular place to poop. Whenever the urge hits them, they poop wherever they are.
In the wild, the Bird’s poop contributes to the pollination of seeds. Therefore, birds have evolved to poop everywhere. Pet birds show the same excrement behavior.
So, it is unnatural for birds to poop at a particular place. However, they can be trained to do so.
The other reason for birds pooping everywhere is that they cannot “hold it in” for long. The birds have a very small bladder that cannot store much for long. The moment they feel the urge to defecate, they do it.
Their small bladder is also the reason why birds poop so frequently. The number of times a bird poop is directly dependent on its size. The smaller the bird is, the more frequently it poops.
So, it’s nothing uncommon if you find their poop on your couch, carpet, or car.
Related Read: Do Pet Birds Smell? Even With Well Maintenance?
How To Potty Train A Bird?
There is a proper process of potty training a bird. With consistency, they can be trained to poop on command at the place where you want. Here are the steps that must be taken to potty train a bird.
1. Observe Your Bird
The most crucial step in potty training a bird is the observation of the bird’s pooping behavior. The bird or any other creature behaves differently if it feels the urge to relieve. Thus, while wanting to poop, birds display cues that you must learn to anticipate if you want to potty train them.
The most common signs shown by birds before relieving includes stepping backward, crouching, moving tail, different stance, and fluffing feathers. They may squat and raise their tail a bit or simply shake their rear end. The signs can be different for different birds.
2. Pay Attention To The Frequency
It’s important to pay attention to the frequency of your bird’s poop. Some tiny birds poop after every five or ten minutes, especially after eating, but it is completely individual.
Notice the pattern and the time interval between your bird’s poops so that you know when your bird wants a potty break. Once you figure out the timing, you can set reminders accordingly.
3. Find Places For Them To Go Potty
Once you are well aware of your bird’s pooping schedule, you can start training your bird to poop at the right places. Decide the place where you want your bird to poop. The place can be the bird’s cage, piece of newspaper, garbage can, or pooping stations.
After finalizing the place, stick with it until they become fully trained. According to your bird’s pooping schedule, take your bird to the place you finalized and let them do the business. You have to do this every time the bird poops until it doesn’t build the habit itself.
There can be times when your bird does not poop after being placed over the potty place for two minutes or so. But, there is nothing wrong with it. You can resume playing and then try again after a few minutes.
4. Pick A Cue Phrase
A cue phrase or command will help you make your bird understand what you are requesting. However, it needs consistency. So, you can use a short phrase such as “Do it”, “Go potty”, or “Poop” every time you anticipate that your bird needs to poop.
Using a command or phrase eases your worries regarding their poop but it comes with a risk. The cueing and rewarding may insinuate birds to hold it on for long which can cause many health issues.
Therefore, it’s your responsibility to reach out to them whenever they need to poop. So, they do not wait long for you to command them.
5. Praise Your Bird
When your bird lands in the right place to poop, be sure to praise your bird with sweet words. As you continue to do so, your bird will begin to understand that it must poop in the right spot. Even if it does not poop there or misses the right spot, do not get angry or punish him.
With consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement, your bird will readily become potty trained. Potty training will help you spend a good time with your bird but also in keeping your favorite shirt, classy couch, and elegant carpet perfectly clean.
Related Read: What Bird Should I Get? Which Pet Bird Is Best For Me?
Can Birds Be Trained To Poop In One Place?
With patience and the right efforts, you can train your birds to poop in one place. Potty training a bird helps in developing the sense of habit in a bird to defecate at a particular place.
The easiest and shortest way to achieve this is by keeping them in cages. This way all the poop gets collected in it. But this isn’t the complete solution. They have to be trained anyway as they can’t be kept in cages all the time.
Creating a “potty friendly” environment by setting up potty stations at the places where the bird is most likely to hang out can help you while training them to poop in one place.
But do not forget that after all, they are tiny little creatures that cannot contain themselves. So, there will be accidents now and then. Be patient and prepared to deal with such situations. Keep your cool and do not get angry at your bird for it.
What All Birds Can Be Potty Trained?
Theoretically, all birds can be trained. But the birds that are easy to train include parrots, cockatiels, parakeets, and even conures.
Parrots are the easiest birds to potty train as they are quick learners and take a small amount of time to develop the habit of defecating at a particular place or potty stations.
These intelligent birds are believed to have a subconscious awareness of the place they poop. If observed, you will find that parrots often defecate in certain areas only. This makes it even easier for the owners to set up potty stations for them.
Defecating is a natural process, thus, despite getting angry or punishing your bird, you can potty train them.
Any bird can be potty trained with the right steps and a positive approach. You must take it easy and be ready for accidents. Make the training process enjoyable for both of you.