Cockatiel Not Digesting Seeds (2 Reasons Why + What To Do)

Whether your cockatiel is healthy or not largely depends on what the bird eats, however, even if you feed your bird the correct foods, if these foods aren’t being digested by the bird then the whole exercise will be fruitless 

This article is a look into why your cockatiel is not digesting seeds.


Cockatiel not digesting seeds:

The poop of your cockatiel should give you an idea of what the bird is eating but if the birds poop is full of undigested seeds then this is a bad sign, this is why this may be happening:

Avian gastric yeast infection:

This is a yeast infection that can cause your bird to not digest the foods that it eats properly causing whole seeds to come out with the bird’s poop.

The disease is caused by the yeast Macrorhabdus sp and this disease causes birds to develop issues with their digestive tract.

Issues like destroying the bird’s ability to properly digest food and thus keeping the bird from being able to properly absorb nutrients from foods. 

This is a highly contagious disease and can affect a variety of birds not only cockatiels. The disease is also very common in other small birds like parrotlets, lovebirds, budgies, and finches.

Other signs of this condition include regurgitation, lethargy, diarrhea, and weight loss. 

What to do:

Taking the bird to the vet is recommended if you think that your bird is suffering from this condition.

The vet will examine your bird’s fresh droppings to determine if the bird is suffering from this condition.

If it is found that your bird is indeed suffering from this condition then antifungal medications will be given to the bird by the vet.


Proventricular dilation disease, also called PDD, wasting disease, or macaw disease, is another reason why your bird may not be digesting its food, not only its seeds, properly.

The proventriculus, the first part of the bird’s stomach, has glands that secrete digestive enzymes which digest food.

If the bird has PDD then the base of the proventriculus will become attacked by a virus and the virus will cause the base of the proventriculus to swell and become paralyzed. 

If this happens then your bird will eat as normal, and sometimes even more than normal, but will not be able to digest the food that it is eating and will start to waste away. This is where the name wasting disease comes from.

Eventually, the food that is left in the bird’s body will gather bacteria and this will cause the proventriculus to dilate and even burst inside the bird’s abdominal cavity which will cause an infection and even death 

Other signs of this ailment, in addition to the bird pooping undigested food, is weight loss, seizures, vomiting, weakness, lack of appetite, or partial paralysis 

What to do: 

Taking the bird to the vet is recommended if you think that your bird has this condition.

There are no specific treatments for this ailment but the bird can be given anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the inflammation of its GI tract.

Unfortunately, because there is no specific treatment for this disease, it will eventually kill the bird. 

Isolating the sick bird and making sure that healthy birds do not come near it is recommended.

Because this ailment is known to be contagious you may have to change your clothing and disinfect yourself before touching your other birds after touching the sick bird to keep cross-contamination at bay.

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other bird related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: My Bird Is Throwing Up Clear LiquidWhy Is My Bird Throwing Up WaterBaby Pigeon Not Flying AwayCockatiel Vomiting Blood, Parrot Falling Off Of Perch At Night

Cockatiel Not Digesting Seeds (2 Reasons Why + What To Do)
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