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Bird Safe Mats?

StygianEchoes

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I’ve recently ordered a large outdoor cage for my budgies that will be kept indoors.

The problem is that it doesn’t come with a bottom tray, so I’m going to have to find or make my own.

I was wondering if anyone knows of any bird-safe material that I could use to cover the bottom with? Would a thick plastic set upon a wood slab be good, or is there potential that they chew it up?
 

owlsthetic

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What about just putting newspapers or packing paper directly on the ground part of the cage? It's what I'm doing for my bird's play area and it makes things a lot easier to clean and replace everyday
 

Winn

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I set my aviary on untreated plywood and lined it with 3 layers of paper. The bottom 2 layers help ensure the plywood doesn't get soiled and are replaced only about once a month.
 

StygianEchoes

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I set my aviary on untreated plywood and lined it with 3 layers of paper. The bottom 2 layers help ensure the plywood doesn't get soiled and are replaced only about once a month.
That sounds like a good idea, thanks for the suggestion!
 

Shezbug

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Not keen on the plywood idea (sorry). Plywood has glue all through it and some of them let off a terrible smell if they get wet so I’d be concerned about the actual safety of plywood in a bird area.
There are some non slip heavy duty mats made for cooking areas, bars, car workshops etc that you can get in fairly large single sheets- I’d be likely to use one of those then paper on top.
 

StygianEchoes

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Not keen on the plywood idea (sorry). Plywood has glue all through it and some of them let off a terrible smell if they get wet so I’d be concerned about the actual safety of plywood in a bird area.
There are some non slip heavy duty mats made for cooking areas, bars, car workshops etc that you can get in fairly large single sheets- I’d be likely to use one of those then paper on top.
I think that’s an even better idea! At least if the mats ever get dirty they’d be fairly easy to clean. My budgies really like chewing paper, so would there be some concerns that they chew through the paper on top and start eating the mat? Or are there some super durable ones on the market they won’t be able to bite?
 

Shezbug

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I would not think budgies would have an easy time of getting their beak through the heavy duty rubber mats I’m thinking of. The ones made for bars and workshops etc are extremely heavy duty. If you got a mat larger than the cage bottom they would not be able to get their beak around the rubber either.
They are waterproof, chemical proof type of mats that are quite chunky and heavy.
They can be scrubbed or high pressure washed without a problem.
 

Winn

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Not keen on the plywood idea (sorry). Plywood has glue all through it and some of them let off a terrible smell if they get wet so I’d be concerned about the actual safety of plywood in a bird area.
There are some non slip heavy duty mats made for cooking areas, bars, car workshops etc that you can get in fairly large single sheets- I’d be likely to use one of those then paper on top.
I do agree about plywood, and especially if a bird is likely to chew it. That's a main reason I use extra layers of paper.
Just using paper on top of the wooden floor didn't work out well.

I would also be concerned with off-gassing with any rubber or plastic, or whether a bird would chew that too.
Budgie beaks are less of a concern with chewing either, but fumes could be an issue either way.
 
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Toy

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What about an acrylic chair mat. Not the flimsy plastic ones, but the hard plastic kind. Also you can get thick plexi glass sheets at Lowes.
 

Shezbug

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I do agree about plywood, and especially if a bird is likely to chew it. That's a main reason I use extra layers of paper.
Just using paper on top of the wooden floor didn't work out well.

I would also be concerned with off-gassing with any rubber or plastic, or whether a bird would chew that too.
Budgie beaks are less of a concern with chewing either, but fumes could be an issue either way.
Off gassing would have to be done outside but to be honest when I got my mat there was no smell to it and when the pub I worked at got new mats for behind the bar and for the kitchen there was no smell, same goes for the cafe I used to work at when they got all new non slip heavy duty rubber mats. The heavy duty mats I am thinking of are way to tough to be of a concern for budgie chewing... probably even fairly safe from macaw chewing tbh.

My concern with the plywood is not just for chewing or off gassing when new- they can be terrible when moisture gets to them.
The glue in many plywoods lets off a really strong smell if wet- I do not know about all of them but the ones I have worked with were scary smelly when water got into them.
 

StygianEchoes

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Off gassing would have to be done outside but to be honest when I got my mat there was no smell to it and when the pub I worked at got new mats for behind the bar and for the kitchen there was no smell, same goes for the cafe I used to work at when they got all new non slip heavy duty rubber mats. The heavy duty mats I am thinking of are way to tough to be of a concern for budgie chewing... probably even fairly safe from macaw chewing tbh.

My concern with the plywood is not just for chewing or off gassing when new- they can be terrible when moisture gets to them.
The glue in many plywoods lets off a really strong smell if wet- I do not know about all of them but the ones I have worked with were scary smelly when water got into them.
I have another question, if you don’t mind! How about using a sheet of Linoleum flooring? Would that be a good idea?
 

Winn

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My only other advice for the indoor aviary would be to leave sufficient space between it and the wall for cleaning. I made the mistake of situating mine close to the wall thinking a seed guard would catch the hulls and feathers.
That didn't work so well and I had to move it out a bit to clean behind it.

Best wishes....
 

Shezbug

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I have another question, if you don’t mind! How about using a sheet of Linoleum flooring? Would that be a good idea?
I believe some members in the past have used linoleum.
 

Winn

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My understanding is that linoleum also off-gasses formaldehyde.. the same as plywood or rubber.
It's do-able.. but also requires an outdoor "off-gassing" period the same as any other flooring choice.
 

StygianEchoes

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Would you happen to know if it was the really thin linoleum sheets that are somewhat bendable? (I went to Lowe’s today to check those out, and ended up passing on them because they seemed kind of chewable.)

Or those harder tile-like pieces?

I believe some members in the past have used linoleum.
 

StygianEchoes

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Ah, I see. Would you happen to know if a thick plastic could be toxic to birds?

My understanding is that linoleum also off-gasses formaldehyde.. the same as plywood or rubber.
It's do-able.. but also requires an outdoor "off-gassing" period the same as any other flooring choice.
 

Winn

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I don't know. I used plywood (soy based binder) under mine. My personal opinion is a ceramic tile floor would be ideal.. that wasn't an option in my case.
Hopefully someone with better knowledge will come along to answer your question
 

Shezbug

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Would you happen to know if it was the really thin linoleum sheets that are somewhat bendable? (I went to Lowe’s today to check those out, and ended up passing on them because they seemed kind of chewable.)

Or those harder tile-like pieces?
I have no idea which sort was purchased but either would work- just remember the more lino is moved the faster it breaks up.

Any man made flooring (or any other household items) you buy will likely need to be aired out for some time before being bird safe.
Many items (such as the large rubber mats I am familiar with) are aired out while in stores waiting to be purchased, if they are on show or ready to buy off the shelf they are often already out of a box or plastic wrapping/packaging so have had a chance to loose some of their stink factor.

It does not matter what you choose/prefer to use- what matters is you prepare and care for it right so it is not a hazard for your bird.
 
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