The presence of whole, undigested seeds in a parrot’s stool is cause for concern. It is usually associated with hyper-motility of the gastrointestinal (digestive) tract — in other words, food is passing too quickly through the system, and digestion is not taking place. The problem usually centers in the glandular stomach (proventriculus) or the gizzard (ventriculus).
A gram-negative bacterial infection, which may be caused by organisms such as Enterobacter mega-bacteria or various spirochetes, is often involved. Fungal infections, and parasites such as Giardia or roundworms, are also possibilities that must be considered. Less frequently, gastrointestinal hyper- motility can arise due to cancer, or to problems in the functioning of the crop and pancreas. The possibility that your bird has contracted the very serious Proventricular Dilation Disease (PDD, or “Macaw Wasting Disease”) must also be investigated (please see reference below).
You should contact your veterinarian if undigested seeds show up in the feces of any species of parrot that you might keep. The first step is usually to submit a fecal sample. This may be followed by a radiograph or, if necessary, a biopsy of the area in question.
Please write it with health-related questions or to share your experiences in caring for sick or injured birds.
You can learn more about Proventricular Dilation Disease at: