One of the more unpleasant aspects of parrot ownership……. is dealing with the frequent droppings (“Poop”). The good news is that you can “Potty” train your parrots.
Parrots are extremely intelligent creatures who catch on fast. So with a little dedication and perseverance, you should be able to teach your bird to potty on command and in a specific area.
Since parrots have an extremely high metabolism, food passes through their system at a rapid rate—usually within 30 minutes. This is one of the reasons they need to poop so frequently. Smaller birds usually need to go every 10-30 minutes, while larger birds can hold it for several hours if needed. Our Parakeet “Snowy” is a frequent “Pooper” and our large Umbrella Cockatoo “Marshmellow” tends hold her “Poop” for a long time.
So how do you “Potty” train your bird? Here are a few tips:
1. Get to Know Your Bird
Before instituting a training program, spend a few days observing your feathered friends as they sit on their bird stands or inside their bird cages. Determine how frequently your feathered friend needs to poop as well as what types of behaviors he/she exhibit prior to going. For example, some birds may crouch down low, spread their wings or take a step backwards or forwards when getting ready to potty. If you see your bird starting to wag his tail , you’ll know its time to pick him up and take him to a designated area so he/she can do his/her business.
2. Select a Place
You will need to select a location for your parrot to use to “Poop”. Some parrot owners teach their birds to go on newspaper or paper towels. Others may select a wastebasket or perch.
3. Choose a Command
When training your feathered friend, select a verbal command that encourages your bird to “Poop” when asked. Use this same command over and over. The goal is to help your parrot associate this term with doing their business. Our African Grey “Jerry” has his own command for himself when he is ready to “go”…..he says “Jerry went Poops” before he goes. (LOL)
4. Use Positive Reinforcement
Praise your parrot every time he/she poops in the appropriate area. If you notice that he/she looks like he needs to go while in the middle of playing with his parrot toys, pick him/her up and take him/her over the newspaper, perch or wastepaper basket you have selected for pooping. Once he/she goes, praise him/her profusely.
With persistence and dedication, your bird will be “Potty” trained in no time. The length of time it requires will depend on your particular feathered friend. Some may catch on in as little as two weeks. Other parrots may require a little more time. Just remember to reward your parrot for his hard work using verbal praise. Most important for all, enjoy the time with your feathered friend and the training process.