Knowing what looks normal and what does not when your bird poops can help you know when they
have become ill or are stressed.  On the following pages you will find what to look for in a bird's
COLOR & SIZE ARE KEY
Normal poop for seed eating Goulds is small, relatively tight (little water), brown to black with a small amount of white at
one end.  Abnormal poop can be any other color, shape or size.  However, birds fed soft food, greens or pellets on a
daily basis will have slightly different poop as their norm.  Below are the different types of poops and what they can
mean.
amount of clear liquid surrounding them generally mean
there is something amiss.  If the bird has diarrhea, there is
definitely something wrong.  Droppings are considered
droppings are extremely wet and messy for long periods of
time.  Remember, a change in your birds diet, offering your
bird green food, high heat or humidity, and stress can cause
watery droppings - but this should not be for more than a
day or so.  If you find your bird has excessively watery
droppings for more than a few days, you should have it
checked by a veterinarian!
thing about poopology is that not every bird's normal droppings looks the same!  It all depends on their diet, their vitamin supplements,
whether they are eating greens and/or fruit and how often they receive these items, if they have been stressed recently, if they are breeding
or molting, or if they have been receiving medication in one form or another.  There are many reasons their droppings may be off, so it's good
to know what their
normal droppings look like before you go into panic mode when they don't look quite right!

I recommend that every new bird be Vet checked by a certified Avian Veterinarian to verify a clean bill of health before you can really decide if
the droppings are normal.  Once the bird has been settled and has acclimated to it's new environment
and is used to the foods you will be
providing, you can then begin to observe their droppings daily in order to get an idea of what is "perfect poo" or if something could be wrong.

Once you know what their droppings look like you'll become an old pro at knowing when to take your bird to the Vet, and when a Vet trip is not
necessary! The photos below are normal for MY Gouldians on the diets I provide them and in my environment.
FECAL SMEARS
GRAM STAINS
OTHER REASONS THEIR POO MAY BE OFF
It has been my experience that breeding birds will often have wetter than normal or larger than normal droppings.  A hen who broods all day
and night with very few outings from the nest will have very large and smelly poo.  Sex hormones can affect the cock bird in the same way
causing his droppings to be a larger than normal and a bit smelly.

Molting birds tend to have "funny" poo too.  Some birds come through the molt without any difference in their poo, but some pass softer, less
solid poo while molting.  I call them "splats" but monitor these splats as the stress of a molt can lower the immune system allowing problems to
arise!

If you give your birds a liquid vitamin supplement that has coloring in it (yellow, pink, or orange for example), chances are the urine portion -
the wet stuff - around their droppings may be yellowish on the days you give the supplement.  This is normal as the bird does not absorb the
coloring and passes it out in its droppings.

Birds who have been moved or startled may have wet poo for a few hours, or even a day or so.  Stress in any form can throw their system off
and cause them to produce wetter than normal droppings.
If you own a microscope and are willing to do your own fecal smears, you could potentially save yourself heartache when your bird's droppings
are off.  Fecal smears can show anything from parasites to bacterial infections - or merely normal poo!  It should be noted that all droppings
will carry some "normal" bacteria and it will be seen moving in the background of a smear. Brownian motion will also set the slide in motion
(explained on the microscope pages). However, the shape and size of the bacteria can tell you a lot!  Parasites such as worms and protozoa
can also be seen under the scope.  

If you have a very large flock, as I do, you may find performing your own fecal smears very beneficial in maintaining the health of your birds. It
takes a lot of practice to get to know what you are looking at and for, but learning how to create a smear and what to look for can save your
birds life!  As always, if you think your bird is sick and are not able to determine the problem yourself, take your bird to an Avian Veterinarian!
Gram stains show good and bad bacteria.  If your bird has a bacterial infection, a gram stain will let you know.  However, gram stains can be
tricky and if you aren't certain what kind of bacterial infection your bird actually has, you can make matters worse by treating with the wrong
medication.

Even after years of practice, gram stains can be problematic if you don't know what you are doing.  Over or under coloring or rinsing and
decolorizing can cause your results to be faulty. Some bacteria are gram negative, others are gram positive.  There can be both good and bad
bacteria in both gram positive and gram negative results. It takes a trained eye to know the difference.

Here, I am able to grow cultures and perform sensitivity testing to determine the course of action that should be taken to treat my birds, but I
do NOT recommend this to any bird keeper unless they know exactly what they are doing.  My protocols are very strict and all biologically
hazardous materials are sterilized and disposed of in bio-hazard containers. The stains I use require a chemical hood and are handled with
extreme care.

If you suspect your bird has a bacterial infection, ask your Avian Vet to run some gram stains.  Based on the results, they will then run cultures
to determine which type of bacteria is affecting your bird and prescribe the correct antibiotic to correct the problem.

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Poopology!
USING A MICROSCOPE & PERFORMING GRAM STAINS
For those of you who keep very large flocks, a microscope and gram stain equipment can come in very handy.  It takes years of practice to
know what you are looking for and at, but the time will be very well spent.

Head to the
Using a Microscope page for more information - simple techniques and tips on how to get the most from your scope viewing
experience and basic instructions on how to perform and read a gram stain! The pages are still under extreme construction, but should be
complete soon!
DISCLAIMER: This information, photos and all results are from my personal experience only.  They are in no way
meant to be used as a diagnostic tool and may differ from your own birds droppings even with the same issue.  If you
think your bird is sick, take it to your Avian Vet immediately!
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TO THE PREVIOUS PAGE
receive a supplemented seed diet only will have consistently small, light to dark brown droppings with a bit of white at one end. There may be
a slight yellow tinge to the urates in droppings from birds who receive water supplements.

When their systems are functioning properly, they are very efficient and use their nutrients wisely.  If it is too cold in your bird room, your birds
are subjected to some kind of stress or anything new or out of the ordinary, their system may not work efficiently hence causing
large,
oversized droppings
. Unless your birds are breeding, you should not see large droppings.  Evaluate your bird room for stress causing
problems and proper temperature and humidity. If nothing has changed, have your bird evaluated for disease processes.

Completely
black droppings with little or no white can mean liver and/or kidney damage, internal bleeding and/or can indicate megabacteria
- however, if the birds have eaten something very dark such as charcoal, their droppings may also look black. There should, however, be
some white even if they've eaten something dark or black. Pay close attention!  If you've given your bird a fresh dish of grit containing
charcoal, chances are the bird has eaten some and its droppings will be black for a day or two.  Charcoal is not absorbed - it is an absorption
method used here to pull toxins out of my birds bodies.  It merely passes right through the bird taking good with the bad.  When looking at
their droppings under the scope, charcoal looks just like it did when the bird ate it!  What goes in, comes out in the same shape and form!  I
expect to see darker than normal droppings for a few days after replacing their grit combination! I also recommend charcoal be given
sparingly and pulled completely when giving medications! Charcoal will pull vitamins and nutrients, medications, and toxins out of the birds
body.  Too much can cause malnutrition.  

Below are some photos taken from birds I have scoped. These are somewhat typical for the disease process named below it, but droppings
with completely different pathogens may look the same.  Again, please only use these photos as a guideline.  They are in no way intended to
help diagnose you birds or initiate any kind of treatment.
Worm Poop in Gouldians
Ecoli and Blood in Gouldian droppings
Normal Gouldian Breeding Poop
Normal Gouldian Poop on a Seed & Chitted Seed Diet
Normal Gouldian Poop on a Water-based Supplement Program
Breeding Poop
Normal Gouldian Poop on
a Seed & Chitted Seed
Diet
Normal Gouldian Poop
on a Seed & Water
Supplement Diet
Normal droppings for YOUR birds may look very different!

Please use these photos as a guideline only. Chances are
your diet differs or you are feeding different foods or
supplements.  

Your flocks droppings will most likely look somewhat
different than mine!
Worm Poop
E.coli and Blood
E.coli & Severe Yeast Infection in Gouldian
Severe Yeast & E.coli
Megabacteria Poop in Gouldian finch
Severe Megabacteria (AGY) resulting
in death of a Gouldian
Yellow (any color of yellow) droppings are always bad. In my experience, they can indicate campylobacter, cochlosoma, cryptosporidium,
bright yellow droppings with huge blobs of urates at one end typically indicate campylobacter.  Take your bird to the Vet immediately!

Green can indicate problems as well.  Unless your bird has received a large amount of green foods, their droppings should never be green.
Green droppings may indicate ornithosis, fungal infection or necrosis of the internal organs. Green droppings can also occasionally indicate a
protozoal infection, but I rarely see protozoa in green specimens I've scoped.

Smelly - if their poo smells bad, there is definitely a problem and medical attention is urgently needed.  Often times smelly poo indicates a
bacterial infection that is transferable to humans.  Get your bird to the Vet!!!

White droppings, where nearly the entire dropping is white is also a reason for concern and indicate a potential kidney malfunction or an
out of control yeast infection. Sometimes coccidia will cause white droppings, but more likely will leave a "wet vent" situation with the bird "butt
pumping" and a creamy white residue on the feathers surrounding the vent.  I will occasionally see white droppings if there is a gizzard
problem. Problems include gizzard worms (not typically passed in the droppings), a gizzard impaction (can be worms, too much grit, a
malfunction typically indicative of a bacterial infection in the gizzard), or improper supplementation.
professional diagnosis.  Doing so could make matters worse or even kill your bird.  While initial treatment of the wrong
medication may initially produces signs of recovery, chances are the bird will not fully recover and could end up with damaged
internal organs or chronic conditions.
Excessively Watery Droppings in Gouldian Finch
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