**Guest post from Keith G.**
As a bird owner, I find that I spend a lot of time looking at poop. Let me explain.
About four years ago I became a bird enthusiast. Not by choice, really, but by proxy. My girlfriend at the time (my current wife) was the proud “parent” of three parrots, Chicken, Kiwi, and Contessa, who are detailed in a previous blog post. Needless to say, when she chose to move back to Wisconsin with me, her and the birds were a complete package.
Over the years, my wife and I have had to deal with a number of health-related issues with our little flock, from feather picking to a busted-up beak, and most recently, a nasty bacterial infection.
A few months ago we began to notice that our eldest parrot, Contessa, was experiencing diarrhea. Changes to parrot droppings (as in most animals) are often a good indicator that something has gone amiss. Parrots are notoriously good at hiding any health problems, so by the time you start to notice a visible change, it’s usually not a good thing.
Being a bird owner, I know that healthy parrot droppings have three parts: pudding-like fecal matter, which in Contessa’s case is normally green; softer, white urates; and lastly, liquid urine. In context, if Contessa were to unload some droppings on her Parrot Playground they would look like big blotches of green paint, with white paint mixed in and some clear liquid surrounding the whole splotch. Changes in the consistency of a bird’s droppings (food bits left over, too watery) or color of the urates (changing from white to lime green) can indicate health problems. Contessa’s diarrhea was a weak green and all liquid. This was not a good sign…
To be continued…