Pikachu the cockatiel will not relieve himself in his cage

White face Pearl Grey cockatiel on mans shoulder
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It helped but I still found her at times trying to pick up poop and removing it.

Depending on time of day and how much lead time you have before putting him in his cage before leaving home for a while, you could remove food for a bit of time before you leave so that he will not have as much in his body to need to release.

But that is only practical if you are only going to leave for a short time.

You don’t want him to feel overly hungry and birds eat very often when awake.

Most likely the reason why your bird “appears” to be not pooping in its cage, the little bugger sleeps most of the time while you are gone and as such does not poop much.

Because birds evolved to allow them to hold their potty functions during the period from sunset to dawn and during some seasons that is as long as 12 hours.

Unless you are away from longer periods than that, I do not think he is suffering or that you are harming him, especially since you don’t go away for a whole day often.

Runs to shop for a few hours — less than all day — will not hurt him at all since most companion birds sleep away many of the hours their humans are gone.

Believe me, if he became too uncomfortable, he would go whether in or out of his cage.

Just as a person who has been restrained and can’t go to a bathroom will eventually become so in need of relief that there is no option but to relieve themselves wherever they are, so will Pikachu.

But do try to avoid putting him in this position. Believe me if you wait long enough there will be plenty of poop to go around.

Is he a rehomed bird?

If so, perhaps he was potty trained very well to go on a paper or into a trash can outside the cage when asked.

Experiment and see if this is the case with Pikachu. If it is the case, get him to go just before you depart and, of course, immediately on return.

Are you sure it is a male?

Female birds are well known for holding their poop in while maintaining a nest, etc.

If a female with forming eggs, it also can be held back between laying as there is only one opening.


gregxxxxxxx@hotmail.com asks


I recently, one week ago, took in a rescue cockatiel that was found in a garage hiding from a barking dog.

I do not know his history.

I had him vet checked and he is very healthy. From the very beginning he stepped up to my finger and hand without biting.

He did do some gentle pecking but nothing aggressive.

Yesterday, I gave him a bath and he didn’t seem to mind it.

Also published on Medium.


He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.