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Litter vs Bedding vs Paper vs Liners

QuakerCraz

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Alright, so I'm looking into options for linings for both my birds cages. I'm leaning towards a pelleted bedding be it compressed paper pellets or wood based pellets depending on the cost and what I can find. Both birds are in my room and I want to minimize any mess. With that, I feel pelleted bedding is a better option for that as paper is often seen as something to play with and loose bedding tends to flutter about. I feel pelleted bedding will stay put in the cage tray better and be harder to get at. Also easy to spot clean as well as clean in general since I can just yeet the tray contents outside and it would just break down easily.

What I'm asking here is opinions on various beddings and what you ultimately turn to for use in your birds cages and what you think the pros and cons are of whatever you have used previously and what you use now. Also, is there any bedding you think people should be cautious of or simply avoid all together?

I'm curious to see what people think.
 

Mizzely

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Litter doesn't let you monitor your bird's droppings for changes that could give you a signal that your bird is sick. Additionally, they can breed bacteria as people tend to let them sit longer than they would paper. Some birds try to eat the pellets. Some are dusty which can be irritating to their respiratory system.

Paper is what I use. I fold in the sides and contain all the mess, and into the trash it goes. Takes all of a minute. Cheap and easy. My Jardine's who LOVES to tear paper leaves the stuff under the grate alone.
 

Hankmacaw

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Pellets, whether paper, corn or wood are extremely bad choices. They accumulate moisture and give a good place for fungus and molds to grow.

Birds are messy - period. Paper is still the best for your cages.
 

Zara

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Years ago I used to use sand for Sydney. I switched to paper because sand is so expensive, and paper gives you better visibility of poops. Also, the sand was abrassive to clean and would scratch the tray, so I´m sure it is not hygienic.
My birds are notorious shredders but they cannot reach the paper under the grate :)
 

QuakerCraz

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I currently use loose paper bedding for JoJo and hemp bedding for Sweetie. The hemp stuff words well and I can see everything just fine. Unfortunately I don't get enough paper to use for my birds on the regular and don't have a reasonable source for it. It's why I'm looking at pelleted bedding. I spot clean regularly and do a full clean at least once a week.
 

QuakerCraz

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I'll look into it. I might stop by the pet store and see what kind of beddings are there. I'm not too worried about moisture since I have fans running all the time due to it being pretty hot here. I'm really careful about what I get for my birds.
 

QuakerCraz

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I don;t have a uHaul near me that has that packing paper unfortunately. Not according to the site.
 
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Ali

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News paper maybe?
 

QuakerCraz

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I don't get news papers. I'd like to avoid paper if I can. The hemp bedding I use for Sweetie is actually pretty interesting stuff. No dust and it's just plant fibers basically. Biodegradable and safe for pretty much all animals. I kept one of my snakes in it though I wouldn't use it for small animals. Sweetie likes to chew on some of the larger fibers when she can get a bit up from under the grate. I might see if I can find more of it. Or something similar to it.
 

Mizzely

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Hankmacaw

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Hemp is as bad as the other stuff you mentioned - it retains moisture. You are aware that you cannot see bacteria, fungus or mold until it is very bad?
 

iamwhoiam

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Paper. I use continuous feed computer paper in most of the cages and paper towels in a few of them.
I used corn cob litter and walnut shell bedding many years ago and would not recommend using litter or bedding.
Paper is the way to go. Easy to clean up, cleaner and more hygienic than bedding and litter and better for monitoring droppings.
 

clarousel

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I have a bottom grill in the cage so I'm not too worried about Preeno walking around in his poop. I use newspaper because it's cheap and I can see his poops well.

I initially wanted to use hamster bedding but changed my mind after reading up a bit more.
 

tka

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I use unprinted newspaper offcuts which I change every night. I just fold the papers in on themselves and that contains almost all of the poo, dropped food, shredded toy parts and so on. It literally takes me 5 minutes to change papers every day. I bought 10kg for £12, so it works out cheap too.

I used aspen, paper pellets, shredded cardboard and similar when I had rats, and I don't think those would work for birds. You won't be able to see the urine before it's absorbed, they get damp as they absorb moisture, they can be dusty especially as they get damp and start to break down, and droppings get mixed in with the bedding so you can't keep an eye on them. Plus cleaning was a lot messier and time consuming. For rats, it's important to provide ground foraging, digging and nesting opportunities which is why I used that kind of bedding, but birds don't need that.
 

Shezbug

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I tried a few different bedding options (sand, grit, chunky saw dust, paper pellets and some other bio degradable pellet from the pet store as well as old washable material) when I first got Burt and to be honest I found plain old paper is the best and the safest for a few reasons. I will list some of the main reasons paper is the best option- the list is in no particular order :)

1- You can get heaps of paper cheap if you choose to buy it or you can get it for free if you ask around- people are more than happy to dump their old newspapers on you or even better, the newsagent is usually happy to dump literally piles of newspapers on you if you ask.
2- Paper gives you a really good idea of what your birds droppings look like which is so very important to check on a daily basis.
3- It makes the least amount of extra mess out of all the other options- I found the other options to be either dusty, messy and impossible to contain or just straight up nasty because of the moisture and hidden dropped food.
4- No insects can hide in it like they can and will in the others.
5- It is the easiest and fastest to clean up and change.
6- It is without a doubt the least likely to harbour germs, bacteria or mould than any of the other options.
7- There is nothing in it that can harm your bird if your bird does happen to get to it unlike the other options.
8- It is easy to see how much food your bird is wasting so you get a good idea of what has and has not been eaten.
9- It is as easy to bin as it is to compost if you wish to make some nice fertiliser for your garden.
10- My AV has expressly mentioned that it is the safest and cheapest option for our companion birds in our house.

Number 10 is what me stop even thinking about another choice of poop catching material for the cage floor- the first sign of illnesses can often be seen in poop changes which will be hidden in any option other than paper.
 
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