Parrot Odors: Do Birds Smell Bad?

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Birds should not have bad odors, they may have a specific odor, but this odor is a unique scent that is unique to different kinds of bird species and is usually not considered to have an unpleasant smell. When your bird smell bad, you may need to know where the smell comes from, it could be in their feathers, poop, or breath so that you can determine if it is normal or not. When you smell an unusual odor, the first thing to check is their environment, make sure that they still stay in a hygienic place. When your bird stays in a dirty environment, it would not only smell bad but it would also affect theirs over health.

Some bird species have pheromones, which they secrete that are useful in terms of breeding and reproduction, where both males and females get attracted to their natural smell. You should be able to know if the odor that you smell is due to their bodily processes or if it is caused by the environment. In this article, we’ll show you the different possible causes of why birds have bad odor and the remedies to avoid it.

Reasons Why Birds Have Bad Odor

1.   Poor Hygiene

A dirty environment and when a bird is not bathing frequently will cause an intensify smell. The bird’s feathers can easily pick up the smell from the environment, such as when somebody cooks, or someone smokes beside its cage, the residue will not only settle into the feathers but it will be a cause of odors. To make sure that the environment is clean and odor-free, you may need to bathe your bird at least once a week and clean their cage frequently.

Their poop must be cleaned every day so that it will not spread out bacteria. You may use newspaper on the lining of their cage so that it would be easier to change it on a daily basis. When your bird, as well as the environment where it stays, is clean, you can be sure that your bird will is healthy.

2.    Illness

Studies show that there is no bird’s disease or illness that causes a bird’s body to have a bad odor. The bird’s poop is also not too odorous unless you would really smell it intentionally, and if it is still fresh, but if you notice a strange smell, it could mean that your bird has digestive issues. Having bad breath is also uncommon to birds but if you smell something in their mouth, it could either be the food that they ate or there is a possibility of an infection to their digestive system or linings of its throat.

A veterinarian must check the condition of the bird to make sure that the bird has an illness and why it has a bad odor. If in case that it is due to infections, your bird needs to undergo antibiotic treatment. It would also be helpful to know the exact reason why the bird emits bad odor to also be exact in determining the immediate cure.

3.   Hormones

The bird’s hormones are the usual reason why it sometimes has an unusual or elevated normal scent. There are bird species that emits odor when they get excited, frightened, or depressed brought by their hormones. If you smell a strange and unexplainable scent, it is best to contact your veterinarian so that they could conduct tests that will determine why the bird emits an unusual odor.

If the smell comes directly from their feathers, it could mean that it is due to their preening session wherein they groom their feathers, they spread the preen glands that is a chemical compound that provides an olfactory fingerprint that is unique to each bird. The changes in their hormones are most commonly due to environmental factors and with their emotional changes, so make sure to always make your bird happy.

4.   Diet

Your bird’s diet is also a contributing factor to why your bird smells. In general, the last meal that they eat, especially if it is a vegetable, smells a lot. This smell will not last long as long as your bird will not eat the same thing. There is also a possibility that pelleted mixes, as well as another seed diet, can also change the way they smell, but it is completely a normal thing.

If the smell due to their diet annoys you, you may add more fruits and vegetables in their diet because it may also influence sweet and fruity smell. You may also try changing their diet because there is a possibility that their diet is not suitable for their digestives system. Before taking any steps regarding their diet to consult a veterinarian, and it is also ideal to do it gradually.

How to Maintain an Odor-free Bird

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·        Create a stress-free environment

Your bird’s emotion also triggers their body to emit an odor, pleasant smell if they are happy and excited, but it could be a bad odor if they are stressed or threatened. To maintain an odor-free bird, you may need to create a stress-free environment for them by making sure that they are happy by giving them attention and keeping their environment clean to ensure that they are comfortable. It is also advisable to let them stay in a place where they cannot inhale bad odors such as near the trash bin or in the kitchen.

·        Always go for fresh foods

The foods that you give your bird affect the way they smell. If you give them spoiled food, it can cause bacterial infection in their digestive system that causes bad breath and other odor that evaporates from their skin. If you feed them fresh foods such as fruits, you give them a more pleasant smell. These are some of the foods that you can give them that will not add up or change their odor Apricots, Broccoli, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Collard greens, Mango, Papaya, Peaches, Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, and Yellow Squash

·        Avoid Vitamin-A Deficiency

Bacterial and fungal infections are a common cause of bad odor of birds. If your bird lacks Vitamin A, your bird may be susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections. There are also other signs that your bird lacks in Vitamin A, such as sneezing, nasal discharge, periorbital swelling, dyspnea, conjunctivitis, poor feather quality, anorexia, and feather picking.

·        Maintain a hygienic environment

The usual cause why birds have a bad odor is due to an unhygienic environment. Their poop doesn’t have a strong smell, but if it piles up, not only that, it will stink, but it can cause the build-up of bacteria. Cleaning their cage as well as all accessories in there is also important to maintain the cleanliness. To keep your bird fresh and clean, you need to bathe them at least once a week to remove any odor that was trapped into their feathers.

Final Thoughts

When a bird has a bad odor, it does not only concern you, but the health of your bird is at stake as well. Birds naturally do not emit a bad odor; if they do, you would know that there seems to be a problem, so your responsibility as an owner is to take necessary steps to reduce or totally remove the bad odor that your bird emits.

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