my cockatiel has an itchy butt

by melissa
(buffalo, ny)

just today our cockatiel started scratching his pooper on the bars of his cage. we left to go have dinner at a relative's and he was STILL itching it! we can tell what bars he was itching on; it had white residue (i'm guessing his poop) on some bars.
he doesnt stay in his cage all day. we let him free around the living room and has a particular lamp area he hangs out on. his cage is cleaned every 2 weeks and always has fresh seed and water. occasionally he takes his birdy bath (he's not really a bird who likes water--is that normal?)
any answers will be helpful. thanks for your time. :)

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Feb 17, 2010
Cockatiel rubbing vent
by: The Avian Vet

There are two reasons why he might be doing this. One is that he has an irritation in, on , or around his vent (pooper), and two he could be masturbating. This is a common behavior in male cockatiels. I recommend that you have him examined by an avian veterinarian in case it is something medical like an infection or parasites.

It is not uncommon for them to dislike water. He should bathe at least once a week. As a side note, seeds are not a good diet for your bird. They are deficient in over 30 different nutrients. It is recommended that you feed mostly pellets like Harrison's Bird Food.

Dr B

Feb 13, 2010
my cockatiel has an itchy butt
by: Linda

It sounds very probable that your bird has a bacterial infection and will need to be taken to an Avian Vet in your driving area so they may diagnose type of bacteria and treat it with the right kind of antibiotic. All antibiotics are not for all infections, so he will need a proper diagnosis before he can be treated.

Anytime this kind of thing starts happening, and you are seeing poop on the bars means he probably has an infection. Birds have only gram positive bacteria in their bodies, and though they can tolerate some gram negative, once it passes a certain point, they will get sick from it. Humans and all other animals carry the gram negative bacteria, so never allow your bird table food, or food from your mouth and give "dry" kisses. Sneezing, coughing, and if sick, just breathing on a bird can cause it to contract a bacterial infection, so keep all that in mind when working around your bird. If you are sick, you must use the disposable masks, make sure your hands are very clean when cleaning and feeding and watering your bird. Other people can also bring in negative bacteria, and if they have not washed their hands immediately before handling your bird, this bacteria is transferred to bird.

So, your bird needs to see an Avian Vet for a diagnosis and treatment. Thanks for writing,

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