Why is all of our Excrement light brown if healthy, why does it change with different different foods? and why is bird crap always white?

Hi crawfyssj5. Whenever my kids mess about with paint they always seem to end up with brown. I guess that’s just what happens when you mix different coloured foods as well. Not to mention that most foods turn brown on decomposition (bananas for example).

I wonder if it’s possible to eat for certain colours. An orange stool would be cool. I’d definitely bring the GF in to see that.

The white component in bird droppings is urea – urine. They only have one opening, the cloaca, so it comes out with the solid waste.

I did have the unfortunate opportunity to see human feces where the person wasn’t producing bile.

It was white/grey

My vegan roommate notices constant changes in stool color, from pale brown, almost tan, all the way to coffee-brown.

Mine’s fairly constant, but given my constant intake of processed foods, I assume it’s all pickles at this point.

It isn’t all light brown. A dark red-brown is most common healthy adults. Shit brown in fact. Although light brown (“baby shit brown”) is nothing to worry about, it’s not common in adults.

As for why it’s brown, in simple terms it’s because shit is used as a dumping ground for red blood cells. Red blood cells lack a nucleus, so they don’t live long. As they die the body digests what it can, and it dumps the indigestible pigment from the cells into the shit. The pigment is what colours shit brown.

It’s mostly just down to dilution. Eating foods with a lot of throughput but little inherent colour will make the colour less intense simply because it waters it down.

It isn’t.

First off, bird crap is never white. The white stuff on bird crap is urine, not crap. Birds only have one opening for both urine and faeces. So when they crap they deposit the urine on top of the shit. Birds also have to live several weeks of their life inside a shell. Filling the eggshell with liquid faeces would kill them, so they instead produce what is essentially solid, crystalline urine which doesn’t fill the egg with poison. So even when bird crap has some white stuff on it, it’s not white.

Secondly a lot of bird crap doesn’t show any white. The white is largely the result of the bird using protein as an energy source. Birds that are living on a low protein diet, which is probably most wild birds, don’t produce noticeable amounts of white material in their deposits. Have a look at hummingbirdor gooseshit for example.

It isn’t. Very

I make green poop every once in a while.

I got a birthday cake one year in the shape of a black top hat with a bunny emerging from the top. The black icing turned my poop a brilliant green.

Take iron supplements, do we?

Uric acid, not urea.

More of the Straight Dope had an entry on this. The index contained the reference:

Shit, why brown

The article is here with a more PC title

Thanks for correcting me without being, er, pissy. :slight_smile:

You are supposed to sign up using the name “Billy Rubin” or the equivalent if you want to post this question.

I made roasted beets a few years ago. They were great. The next morning I nearly had a heart attack until I remembered the beets.

As do I, usually when I eat ice cream with certain types of food coloring. Baskin Robbins’ “Cherries Jubilee” comes to mind.

For really festive colored toilet bowl decoration there are a fair number of drugs that color the urine … I have over the years peed blue, green, brown, orange, searingly fluorescent yellow, emergency services lime green, pink, red, purple and grey. [the grey was some antibiotic or another]

I have done the iron supplement green poo, the beet red poo, red velvet cake red poo … and colors ranging from pale beige with inculsions [where *does the damned corn come from:confused:] all the way through black and tarry yes there is blood there poo:eek: [and yes it did send me running for the ER. ]

As an aside, I remember Unca Cese wrote a column on “Asparagus Pee”. Can anyone direct me to this?
(Now back to our regular programming): :slight_smile: