Birds make adorable, cuddly pets that add a lot of joy, both for you and your whole family. Even so, they are a full-time commitments, more like a child than any other pet.
Taking care of a pet bird involves everything from playing with them, watching them and ensure they don’t make a mess, grooming them, and even cleaning after them.
As such, it comes as a relief for many bird keepers once they discover birds can be potty trained. At the very least, this means spending less time cleaning their cage or trying to get poop off your furniture or fabric.
Potty training birds is similar to training cats, dogs, or any other pet. They are intelligent enough to grasp a few instructions and commands, though it takes a lot of commitment, patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement.
Younger birds, especially those you’ve had since they were weaned, are easier to train than older ones. Whereas larger parrots, such as macaws, are easier to train than the smaller budgies and cockatiels since they don’t have to relieve themselves as often.
If you would love to train your bird to potty in one place, keep reading for more insight.
How Long Does It Take to Potty Train A Bird
Same as human beings, birds have varying learning abilities. Parrot species are arguably more intelligent and easy to train than others…
…where some like African greys seem to be endowed with sharper skills than your average parakeet or cockatiel.
As such, only a person telling you how long it’ll take to potty train a bird will depend on the species, and your commitment is being truthful.
That said, your bird can take as little as 72 hours to develop a habit, but it can also take months or even a year. Of course, this will depend a lot on your commitment and the number of hours you are willing to spend training your bird each day.
Training your bird for about 20 minutes, 3 times a day for 5 to 6 days a week, should be enough for your bird to grasp instructions and form a trend in a fairly short period of time.
Conviniently, this schedule can be used both for potty, trick, and speech training for talking birds like parrots.
How to Train Your Pet Bird to Poop in One Place
Training a bird to potty in one place is not a one-off trick but a process. Your first need to understand your bird’s bathroom etiquette and habit before you start your lessons.
Essetially, you should be able to tell when and where your bird toilets, then align your training to his schedule. If he (or she) spends a lot of time caged, a potty spot inside the cage would be more appropriate.
In terms of time, if you notice your bird poops every seven minutes or so, then place him (or her) over the designated space every seven minutes.
Hold your bird over the potty space for one to two minutes to poop. Let him resume playing if he does not go and try again after one to three minutes.
Please note that this process might be cumbersome. So, you’ll need to exercise a lot of patience, especially when pooty training smaller birds (and parrots) because they take many bathroom breaks.
In potty training your bird, also be careful not to overindulge to make sure he does not get used to taking command. Ideally, you do not want your bird to stain to poop when he does need to because this may lead to cloacal problems.
Hand fed and birds with a strong connection to their owners particularly tend to be susceptible to this condition.
Although it’s possible to train a parrot to poop on command, this method is dangerous. Your bird may be so eager to please you that it incurs life-threatening kidney damage while waiting for that verbal command to poop.
So, how do you master your bird’s bathroom schedule?
Simply pay attention!
Responsible potty training has more to do with training yourself than the bird. It’s not about asking your bird to go but making sure you understand when they go and providing them with an appropriate spot to do so.
Many birds use the bathroom as often as every ten to 20 minutes, though it’s highly individual. Watch your bird for its restroom pattern and habits.
Some birds may give you signs before relieving themselves, such as a subtle change in posture, a certain look in the eyes, or a ruffling of its tail feathers.
Even so, every bird is different and will give you varying cues and body language. Therefore, it’s upon you to read the signs your pet is giving.
As for my birds, before they poop, they make a backing up motion, which I feel even if I can’t see them. That’s usually my cue:Forums.avianavenue
Though, it should not be too hard to grasp the cues if you spend enough time with your birdie.
When you’ve mastered your bird’s toilet etiquette, the other thing you need to do is (if you haven’t already) identify the spot where you need him to use as the bathroom, then focus the bird’s attention on that area gradually.
Try to take your bird to the potty spot as much as possible and consistently. And every time your birdie uses the bathroom correctly, be sure to praise him with kind words and tasty treats.
Slowly but surely, your bird will start to understand and associate popping in the right place with fun and rewards.
How Often Do Pet Birds Poop
As we saw before, most birds use the bathroom (poop) as often as every ten to 20 minutes, though it’s highly individual.
Usually, the frequency is higher in smaller birds such as finches and sparrows, though the poops are mostly tiny.
Medium-sized parrots such as parakeets and cockatiels go every 20 minutes, but it’s more than larger parrots such as macaws and African greys that only need to go once every half to one hour.
Babies will poop more than adults as well.
The poops are easy to clean up, especially with smaller birds, but from larger birds, they tend to stick more and leave a residue…
…either way, all birds can be trained to poop in one area.
Understanding how often your bird needs to use the bathroom is crucial to mastering his schedule and when to take him to the potty spot coupled with the cue your bird gives.
Can You Potty Train A Cockatiel, Budgie, Lovebird
All birds and parrot species have some sort of instinct to no poop all over, and some might go as far as potty training themselves.
When properly trained, most will automatically go when picked up and held over a potty spot and even act out cues and signs whenever they want to go.
So, the answer to this questions is YES!
Cockatiels, budgies (parakeets), lovebirds, pigeons, conures, African greys, lorikeets, Amazon parrots, quaker parrots, cockatoos, and any other bird you have can be potty trained. They might not all be equally intelligent or even learn things the same way, but eventually, all species will get the hang of it.
The essential thing is to make sure you train them the right way. Don’t command, but instead, watch your bird, understand how he communicates and structure the lesson around what is natural to your pet birdie.