Do Mother Birds Eat Their Babies Poop?

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Unlike other animals which poop on the ground where their babies can crawl around and get into it, birds poop away from their babies. 

Which is good! For example, baby birds poop and mom birds will clean and recycle it so well that you can’t even notice.

In spite of what you might have heard, it’s a common misconception that baby birds eat the poop their mother produces.

When we’re researching information about animals, the most important things to know are the habit of the animal and what happens if they eat their own babies?

Do Mother Birds Eat Their Babies Poop?

You are already wondering if mother birds eat their babies’ poop. Mother birds will often eat the poop of their babies. Birds do it for a couple reasons. 

They are recycling nutrients, and they are keeping the nest clean. To you, this might seem nasty, but birds have reasons behind it.

Birds are one of the most beautiful and clean animals. You might see them cleaning themselves all the time.

However, sometimes they do things that can make you feel disgusted. For example, birds often eat their babies poop.

Generally, we don’t see other animals eating the poop of their babies for others. But when we observe birds doing this, it might seem dirty. 

But one of the main reasons is to keep clean. If mother birds don’t clean their babies poop, the nest will become dirty.

Mother birds do not come to clean the poop that their chicks produce. But, they eat it.

Baby birds are too young to fully digest the food they eat, so it’s still present in their poop. That’s why mothers feed insects–and sometimes feces–to their chicks.

It might seem weird to eat something that came out of your own body, but birds actually have a reason for doing it.

Do All Baby Birds Eat Their Own Poop?

Yes, birds eat their own poop. It’s particularly common in parrots and baby parrots, but it can happen with any bird species. Some baby birds will eat their own poop, while others won’t.

One of the major benefits of recycling is that it prevents pollution and greenhouses gases from entering the atmosphere. 

Additionally, recyclables are likely to have more nutritional value than what you’ll find in oil or coal.

That’s why baby birds eat their own poop. They are trying to reuse the food that their parents brought and keep the nest clean.

Do Birds Remove Baby Poop From Their Nests?

Yes, birds remove baby poo from their nest. Generally, birds have the habit of tidying up after themselves; they’ll stop at nothing to keep their nests nice and clean. This includes removing baby poop from the nest.

When a baby bird is born, it will have fecal sacs. For this reason, older birds will remove the fecal sac from the birth canal. 

Sometimes older birds will eat the fecal sac. Baby birds are not yet fully capable of cleaning themselves when they are first born.

Birds help their chicks out by removing or disposing of the poop that’s made by their offspring. Therefore, if a child has not yet been able to do it on its own, its mother will get rid of the waste and clean up after the child.

Why Do Birds Eat Their Baby Poop?

Take a look at some reasons why birds eat their baby poop. You might find it really surprising!


The first task at hand is to clean your space. Birds not only eat their food, but they then re-ingest it with their droppings. 

Some birds might remove the poop from their babies and throw it away. However, some birds—especially parrots—eats its own excrement! It’s all part of keeping its space clean.

The thing with baby birds is that they can’t clean themselves yet, so they need the help of their parents. So, when the babies poop on the parents’ feathers, mothers sometimes eat it. 

It might seem weird, but a mother bird’s job is to take care of her children. Baby birds are too little to do anything by themselves.

Reusing nutrition:

One of the reasons for birds to eat their own poop is that they need a lot of nutrition.

Yet, this reason could be both beneficial and disgusting. Generally, adult birds can digest their food well but baby birds can’t.

Baby birds’ poop serve as a nutritional treat called coprophagia. Birds do this for saving energy and time, as well as for recycling old food. Source: Wikipedia


This habit of eating the poop goes back to the very beginning. That’s when it started, and that’s why birds are still doing it.

How Do Birds Remove Waste From Their Nests?

The act of birds removing waste from their nests is called “cleaning.”

Birds, in their ingenious way, have evolved to keep themselves clean. Some of their cleaning processes might be unexpected. 

But still, they still try their best to keep their nests as clean as possible. Let’s see some ways birds remove waste from their nests.

Removing the waste:

When birds remove waste, the type of waste depends on what they’re removing. Sometimes it’s not poop or a sac.

So the bird simply removes the waste and throws it down. But sometimes they have to remove poop or sacs from the nest.

Birds clean themselves by using their mouths. They will also help their babies remove waste from their bodies.

Throwing away the waste:

Few things are as wasteful as throwing something away that could have been reused.

Baby birds are born with a light, clear membrane known as fecal sacs in their mouths. Birds generally throw the waste in different locations away from their nests.

Their nests are their homes, and they want them to be clean. When birds do this, they try to throw away the waste as much as possible.

Eating the waste:

” This process might not seem right to you, but sometimes it’s how a bird eats. Whether the waste is poop or something else that doesn’t matter, birds eat the waste.”

Even the most disgusting people will eat their babies poop to manage their nests. But that’s not all: they can get extra nutrients from their babies poop, because these birds use it to clean up their nests.

Do All Mother Birds Eat Their Babies Poop?

Using nestling poop as a nutritional treat is the best hypothesis (called coprophagia) for why birds eat fecal sacs. 

Nestlings cannot digest their food completely so their parents eat their feces. It is still possible to obtain energy and nutrients from those sacs.

There are some adult birds that eat the sacs throughout the whole nesting period, while others eat them only when the chicks are young. 

Feces of the young contain less and less potentially usable materials because their digestive tracts are becoming more efficient. 

Although the mucous covering might protect a parent’s feathers or skin from bacteria their guts cannot handle, the sacs can contain both nutrients and harmful bacteria.  

As if that weren’t enough, there might be more to this behavior.

A poopy package transported outside the nest could attract predators, as well as leave the chicks alone. Parents keep their young close to them by eating the sacs to conceal the nest.

Do Baby Birds Poop In A Sac?

Baby birds are enclosed in a tough membrane made of their droppings, called a fecal sac. The droppings come out with the baby bird’s poop.

Birds have the amazing ability to clean their nests by removing feces from their young (called “poop”). 

They do this by packaging the poop in a mucous membrane called a fecal sac. So, baby birds are supposed to poop in a sac.

Baby birds that produce poop in a sac also poop after each feeding. It’s so common for them to do this. 

The poop is then stored in the sac until it’s convenient for the baby bird. Once the baby bird has grown into an adolescent, it stops producing fecal matter inside of its nests.

Once they are a few days old, baby birds start to poop in the form of poop pellets. They no longer need to poop in their sac, which can make the process easier for them.

How Often Do Baby Birds Poop?

Baby birds poop whenever they eat. The more often a bird eats, the more often it will poop. That means baby birds will poop more often than adult birds.

For example, if an adult bird produces approximately 20 droppings each day, the baby bird will eat around 50 droppings a day. This is because smaller birds produce more waste.

Generally, baby birds poop more frequently since they are eating more often. So, it is pretty common that a baby bird will poop each time they eat anything.

Baby birds poop so often because their defecation is stimulated. This happens most when they are fed by their mother birds.

What Does Baby Bird Poop Look Like?

Baby birds produce fecal sacs as a means of excreting and expelling waste.

These sacs are solid and look like small, twisted pieces of worms. When a baby bird drops, the darkest part of the dropping is either poop or droppings.

Generally, when a baby bird poops, it will look like a round and dark brown blob. Sometimes you’ll even see a membrane around the poop.

Poop is a natural animalcule that comes in different colors. Regarding the poop of babies, it usually comes as a dark worm-like sac, but some times its shape is solid.

Final Thoughts

Some mothers have an instinctive need to keep the nest and their eggs clean by eating parts of their babies’ poop (it’s not mandatory, but it’s common). 

The mother bird can recycle the nutrients in their poop so they’re just using what little nutrition they can get.


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