It is indeed fun to play with your parrot…until he poops on your shirt or on your head. Parrots though are intelligent birds and are relatively easy to toilet train. When toilet training a parrot you only need to consider four things: the frequency, tell tale behaviors, your chosen method, and the designated thing or place for defecation.
Parrots and other birds have a higher metabolism than humans. Because of this they need to poop more frequently. Smaller birds need to go about every 10 to 15 minutes while larger ones go every 30 minutes or so. This figure however varies with each bird with some even able to go for a couple of hours without pooping. To start toilet training find out just how frequently your parrot needs to poop so you can anticipate when to get him and hold him over the official poop station.
Another thing you need to find out before being able to toilet train your bird is its habits. Observe your parrot and look for tell tale signs that is ready too poop. Most birds squat and lift their tails before going to facilitate the process. Each bird though has its own defined habits. So learn the tell tale signs that your parrot is ready so that you can get to your parrot in time to bring it again to the official poop station.
Stop My Parrot from Pooping on Me!
Since we’ve been going on about the official poop station let me remind you that having a designated place for pooping is the key to toilet training your bird. The official pooping station can be anything from the cage itself, to folded newspaper or scratch paper, tissue, wastebaskets, and even toilet seats. The important thing is that as you try to train your bird the place to poop remains constant so as to not confuse your parrot. It would be wise though to train your bird on newspapers or tissue paper if you go out with your bird often since they are more portable. Once trained your bird might have problems pooping unless it is on the designated area. Be warned though that once trained all newspaper and tissue paper that your bird sees will be fair game and can turn into you bird’s poop corner.
Once you have observed your bird and learned its habits and frequency of pooping and have decided on the official pooping station you can now proceed to train your bird. As with all parrot training issues you also need to use positive reinforcement as your method of toilet training your bird. Wait for signs that your bird is about to go then immediately pick your parrot up and place him over the designated place. If the place is its cage, then leave your parrot inside the cage. As the bird starts to poop say a key phrase like “Go potty” in a clear firm voice. After going, praise the bird lavishly or you can even give it a treat. Repeat this procedure until the bird associates the phrase with the act of pooping. Toilet training can take just a few tries for some birds while it can take weeks for others. Just have patience and make sure that you notice your bird and act quickly when it’s giving you the signs. Not doing so will confuse and/or frustrate your bird making it more difficult to train. Also do not expect your bird to poop only at command this will be unhealthy for your bird if that happens. Accidents are fine as long as it’s not the norm.