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Foraging Tray Struggles

ode.to.parrots

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Hey all!

So, I have three cockatiels, and they all love to use their foraging trays that are kept in their cages. (Albus especially loves his tray! He is an on man, and it is one of the few types of foraging he has figured out how to do!) It keeps them busy while my husband and I are working!

However, the struggle of having a consistent go-to foraging material to put IN their trays has been so frustrating!!

I used to do river stones and beads, which is great for out-of-cage foraging, but too difficult to clean and maintain for the in-cage foraging trays. I needed something that was easy enough for me to just dump so then I could just clean the tray and refill.

Then, for a year or so, I used the Zilla Alfalfa Reptile Bedding, which worked great. However, I think it must have been discontinued, because it always seems to be listed as Out of Stock from the online vendors I had consistently used previously.

So then I mostly recently started using Yesterday's News Unscented Cat Litter. However, I could NOT find it at all at the store I had bought it from previously, and it is also listed as Out of Stock online, so I think that one has been discontinued too...

So now I am trying to find a new option... I bought two contenders from the store and am not sure which would work best. I kept the receipt so that I can return one or the other or both if necessary.

Option 1: ExquisiCat Naturals Pine Pellet litter. Only one listed ingredient: pine.

Option 2: Full Cheeks Unscented Paper Litter/Bedding. Designed for rabbits and other small mammals. Ingredients include: Paper, zeolite, Sodium Bicarbonate.

Obviously, I want to be sure that any materials put in the birds cages is safe for them. I am leaning towards the pine, since my birds already enjoy chewing up pine blocks, and I know untreated pine is always recommended as safe for bird diy projects and such. BUT I am a paranoid and protective bird parent and need another opinion. :o:

Note to clarify: I use packing paper (blank newsprint paper) for the bottom of the cage trays. The materials I am asking about are for SPECIFICALLY their FORAGING trays which I place strategically to minimize mess as much as possible.

Any advice or suggestions you have are welcome!!
 

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Mizzely

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Horse pine pellets are the same thing as the cat litter and are only like $7 for 40 lbs at feed stores ;)
 

Shezbug

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Not sure if you can get them where you are but if you can, small gum nuts are awesome for foraging trays.
 

ode.to.parrots

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Horse pine pellets are the same thing as the cat litter and are only like $7 for 40 lbs at feed stores ;)
Seriously!! That is a steal! Pine pellets it is then!! Haha. Thank you so much!

Not sure if you can get them where you are but if you can, small gum nuts are awesome for foraging trays.
I'll look into that! Goodness knows it is always good to have backup!
 

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Yeah I used them in the cage bottom for Ripley for a spell because he kept grabbing the newspaper and tearing it :shake: But luckily he grew out of that.

My cat does not like it as litter, I tried that :rofl:
 

ode.to.parrots

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Yeah I used them in the cage bottom for Ripley for a spell because he kept grabbing the newspaper and tearing it :shake: But luckily he grew out of that.

My cat does not like it as litter, I tried that :rofl:
Haha. Well, I am glad Ripley grew out of that! Momo does that sometimes, but only in his travel cage luckily!

Aw! That's too bad! It would be so convenient, but alas!

It was funny - at the store an employee asked if he could help me, and I was like, "Well, I need cat litter, but not for cats! :roflmao: "

I adore cats but unfortunately I am severely allergic to them. My friends all have cats, and if I don't wear a mask and take Benedryl, I get an asthma attack. :arghh:
 

Emma&pico

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My foraging trays made up of old bits of their toys shredded paper wooden sticks paper straws toilet roll tubes etc the pine pieces sound like a brill idea do you add other bits too or just pine pieces seed treats etc underneath?
 

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ode.to.parrots

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My foraging trays made up of old bits of their toys shredded paper wooden sticks paper straws toilet roll tubes etc the pine pieces sound like a brill idea do you add other bits too or just pine pieces seed treats etc underneath?
I do like using old toy bits and such, but usually in an elevated cup or out of cage foraging.

The in-cage foraging trays are strategically placed to avoid mess, BUT inevitably it does happen sooner or later, so I have to check it daily and dump it as needed.

I try to make toy bits last as long as possible. Haha.

I am happy to report that all three of them have adapted to the pine pellets! It helps that Indy is so well adjusted that he is basically unfazed by most changes at this point, and once the other two see him doing a thing, they usually follow along. :roflmao:
 
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