Why Do Budgies Poop in Their Water and Food?

two budgies inside their cage

Have you ever come to change your budgie’s water and gotten a nasty surprise?

Budgies don’t make a particular effort to poop in their water and food; it just happens as part of their everyday activities. Sometimes when they are bathing in their water, they poop at the same time. They might poop in their food when eating, or it might just fall in there from their perch. 

If you want to know how to prevent your budgie from messing up their food and water, this article will give you some pointers. I hope you find them helpful!

Why Budgies Poop in Their Water and Food

Some animals will naturally wee and poo away from their food and sleeping area. For example, dogs are pretty easy to potty train because their instinct is to keep their dens clean. 

Other animals, like budgies, will poop in their breakfast without a second thought. It’s not that they make an active decision to use their food or water as a toilet. They just don’t have the instinct to keep their space hygienic. 

In the wild, budgies have plenty of space to poop to their heart’s content without messing up their food or nests.

But in a small cage environment, this becomes more of a problem because their food and water sources are more limited. 

How to Prevent Poop in Water and Food

You can’t completely prevent budgies from pooping in their food and water. You will have to keep a close eye on their cage and freshen up their water and food every day. But there are some things you can do to limit the damage. 

For example:

  • Don’t put food or water directly below perches. Budgies are likely to poop from these, and the mess can land where you don’t want it!
  • Use cup feeders rather than flat dishes, so there is a smaller target for poop to get into. 
  • Use bird water bottles, which are fully enclosed. Your bird will drink out of the metal straw, but you should still provide some water in a dish for bathing. 
  • Use enclosed feeders so that nothing can fall into them from above. 

Unfortunately, you will have to accept that a bit of poop will get into their food and water. Some people manage to potty-train their budgies. This takes a lot of time and patience but it means you can prevent your bird from pooping around the house.

However, I don’t know anyone who has successfully convinced their bird to poop in a specific corner of the cage (and, quite frankly, I have better things to do with my time!).

Is It Dangerous for Budgies to Poop in Their Food?

It’s not a big deal if your budgie poops in their food or water occasionally. Just clean it up when you notice it. If the poop is wet and sticks to the bottle or dish, wash the item with warm, soapy water.

Make sure you rinse the dishes well and give them a good dry, so your budgie doesn’t get a mouthful of soap. 

Drying the dishes properly will also prevent food from sticking to the sides, so they stay cleaner for longer. 

It can be dangerous if budgies’ food, water, or general cage gets really dirty. This can attract flies, molds, and bacteria that could make your birds unwell. So, keep on top of sanitation, and make sure you clean the cage every day. 

Cleaning Your Budgie’s Cage 

You need to freshen your budgie’s food and water every day. If you have some newspaper on the ground of the cage, you can also change this every morning or evening. 

Deeply wash the cage floor, dishes, and bottles every week or two. Make sure to use budgie-safe cleaning products. 


Is it bad if budgies eat their poop?

Budgies shouldn’t be eating their poop. It’s ok if they break it up with their beaks to clean their sleeping areas but if they are actually eating their poop, it might be because they aren’t getting enough nutrition from their diets. 

Is it normal for budgies to have diarrhea?

Budgies have delicate digestive systems, so it’s not unusual for them to have diarrhea. If they have a lot of loose poo, you need to make sure you aren’t feeding them too much fiber or watery vegetables.

Diarrhea could also be a sign of illness, so it needs to be addressed with the vet before your bird gets too dehydrated. 

Final Thoughts 

No matter how frustrated you might be, budgies are not pooping in their food and water to make your cleaning duties more difficult! It’s just part of living in an enclosed area. If they poop in a stream in the wild, it’s not a big deal.

But when they do it in their little water dish, it’s not long before their bath is a mess. 

I’m afraid cage cleaning is part of what we sign up for as pet owners. But the benefits far outweigh the work!

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