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Old 04-08-2019, 06:12 AM
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Cage liners - wood pellets?

Hello everyone,
I'm sorry if this has been asked before, I just prefer to get a direct answer to my question (just trying to be thorough )
Me and my boyfriend are considering getting a pair of budgies (we were thinking cockatiels at first, but just fell in love with these little guys). So we are in the process of bird-proofing our apartment.

Since neither of us have never had a bird before, we have some, probably over-asked questions

So the question of the day is - can wood pellets be used as cage bedding instead of paper liners and such? I've seen wood pellets in bird cages in a couple of pet stores. Has anyone on here had any experience with this material?

Thank you in advance for any answers and advice
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Old 04-08-2019, 08:18 AM
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Re: Cage liners - wood pellets?

Quote: Originally Posted by Alouette View Post
Hello everyone,
I'm sorry if this has been asked before, I just prefer to get a direct answer to my question (just trying to be thorough )
Me and my boyfriend are considering getting a pair of budgies (we were thinking cockatiels at first, but just fell in love with these little guys). So we are in the process of bird-proofing our apartment.

Since neither of us have never had a bird before, we have some, probably over-asked questions

So the question of the day is - can wood pellets be used as cage bedding instead of paper liners and such? I've seen wood pellets in bird cages in a couple of pet stores. Has anyone on here had any experience with this material?

Thank you in advance for any answers and advice
The wood pellets and shavings - such as pine, cedar and redwood - give off aromatic hydrocarbons (phenols) and acids that are toxic and very damaging to the respiratory tract. I usually say use new paper as use Soy ink is made from soybeans. Compared to traditional petroleum-based ink back in the day. So newpaper is safe to use. If you have to go with bedding then decomposed non-toxic saw dust, corn cob, wood shavings (i.e., Aspen shavings) or other suitable materials. I just don't trust most what available commercially, like the wood pellets I come across.

Last edited by ParrotGenie; 04-08-2019 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:16 AM
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Re: Cage liners - wood pellets?

I would only use newspaper on the bottom of the cage and nothing else, any bedding or shavings of any kind can and will stimulate them to nest and breed. If you go this route you will likely find the pair laying eggs on the floor and its a whole new ball game with bringing babies into the mix. Not good for anyone new to birds. So again, NO shavings in the bottom of the cage, just newspaper is okay!
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:46 AM
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Re: Cage liners - wood pellets?

Ok, thank you. I didn't realize pine could be dagerous, since in all places I've looked, it's on the safe wood list.
Do you think beech tree or hay pellets could be safe?




Note: I'm just exploring options, if there is no other safe way, I will, off-course, use paper liners
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Old 04-08-2019, 11:03 AM
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Re: Cage liners - wood pellets?

I’ll reiterate what has been stated: only newspaper. Aside from nesting, you need to monitor their drippings, since sometimes their poop is the only way to know something is wrong. With any sort of pellet or shaving, monitoring becomes impossible.
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Old 04-08-2019, 12:24 PM
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Re: Cage liners - wood pellets?

Well I hate to argue, but while I've never had a pet bird, I have volunteered at a wild bird rescue and they're all kept on pellets there. Mostly because of costs. There's no amount of safe newspapers that could cover all cages all the time and plain paper is actually quite expensive.
No one there has any problems locating the droppings or troubleshooting potential problems (even with canary size birds).
I can understand droppings getting lost in wood shavings but these are pellets... they're hard. Only dissolved by liquid. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but bird poop is only part liquid, and the liquid is absorbed by the newspaper anyway, so I'm not seeing the difference. If it's only liquid, that's an indicator on it's own, that something is wrong.

You do have to pay a bit more attention that you would with paper, but honestly it's not that difficult.
I can understand if a certain type of wood is toxic, or they might chew on the pellets, but if the only problem is poop location..



Maybe it's different with parrots, I can't pretend to know, but has anyone here actually tried wood pellets?
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Old 04-08-2019, 12:45 PM
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Re: Cage liners - wood pellets?

Please do not put ANYTHING in the bottom of your bird's cage (under the grate only, never on top where they can get access to it) except for sheets of either newspaper or Butcher's Paper, and that's it. Sheets of Paper only!!! There are actually several reasons that you just cannot use ANY TYPE of animal "bedding" at all, such as any type of wood chips, pellets, corn-cob, crushed walnut-shells, shredded paper bedding like the "Carefresh" stuff, any type of litter, etc.:

#1) They ALL trigger hormonal-behavior in all species of birds/parrots, just by them being below them and them seeing it, even if they can't get a hold of any of it...Anything that looks like or could be used as "nesting material" will trigger their sex-hormones, and with Budgies specifically, who are not supposed to naturally go through puberty until they are around 1 year of age, they tend to be sent into puberty much earlier by any types of bedding/wood chips/shredded paper, etc. AND [B]by putting ANYTHING in their cages that create SMALL, DARK PLACES THAT THEY CAN GET INSIDE OF/UNDERNEATH. These include any type of Boxes, Tents, Beds/Triangle Beds, Hammocks, and the literally deadly/lethal "Happy Huts" and "Cuddle/Snuggle Huts"...Let them sleep on a perch, they don't need any type of bed or "Hut" or "House" to get inside of...

#2) Even when bedding/wood chips/pellets etc. are underneath the grate of their cage, they still manage to get pieces of it up with their beaks, and this will result in them eating them. It always happens, and with most wood chips and especially with the pellets, the corn-cob bedding, and the crushed walnut-shell bedding, they cannot digest it, it causes a blockage inside of their Crop or Intestines which will kill them without surgery to remove it, and in the case of the crushed walnut shells and the corn-cob beddings they can actually be injured/cut by their razor-sharp edges and suffer internal bleeding.

#3) Birds are extremely sensitive to any and all scents and fumes. Period. From anything. And most beddings and litters have some type of aromatics that they radiate, and with the bedding being directly underneath them 24 hours a day, they are breathing-in that stuff all day long, every day, and depending on what it is it can cause anything from an Upper-Respiratory Infection/Irritation to death.

So just line the bottom-tray of your Budgie's new cage with either sheets of Newspaper or Butcher's Paper and that's it (NO SHREDDED PAPER, like "Carefresh" either, it's a perfect nesting-material for them and will trigger their sex-hormones almost immediately)...It's easier to use sheets of Newspaper or Butcher's Paper anyway, you just remove the top-sheet that is soiled in the morning and put a clean sheet on top, and you're done for the day! (or dedicated bird-cage liners if you want to spend the money on them, but no reason to)...That's the other thing, using any type of "bedding" or absorbent litter, shredded paper, etc. is way messier and causes much more work because you have to be constantly scooping it out and dumping more in...

***And Newspapers are FREE!!! I stop-in to a local convenience store once a week (Sheetz in my neck of the woods) and grab as many of the "free" Newspapers they have, like all of the Ad Bargains, Bargain Sheets, Auto Traders, and all the rest of your local "Penny-Saver" advertising newspapers that are free! You can take as many as you want to take for FREE and you never have to worry about spending money unnecessarily on cage-liners, bedding, litter, or whatever else...And you'll be much happier and thank us later when your Budgies aren't either becoming extremely aggressive/violent and biting you all the time, or they are aren't constantly humping everything and everyone, and especially when your female Budgie, if you get one, isn't chronically laying infertile egg after egg after egg after egg all year-round, as well as when she doesn't become Egg-Bound because the bedding/wood chips or pellets in the bottom of the cage is keeping her in breeding-season all year round, and then you have to pay a couple thousand dollars for surgery to remove the egg, or pay to euthanize her, because once they become Egg-Bound those are your only two options...So just stick to using sheets of Newspaper or Butcher's Paper (if you happen to have a Butcher in the family), and your birds will stay healthy and happy, and you'll save money, time, frustration, and heartbreak...
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Old 04-08-2019, 01:01 PM
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Re: Cage liners - wood pellets?

I do not live in the land of the free, no free newspapers for me. Only the glazed and colored advertisements get dropped in my mailbox for free.
But thank you all, I get the picture now. Paper only.
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Old 04-08-2019, 01:09 PM
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Re: Cage liners - wood pellets?

Quote: Originally Posted by Alouette View Post
Well I hate to argue, but while I've never had a pet bird, I have volunteered at a wild bird rescue and they're all kept on pellets there. Mostly because of costs. There's no amount of safe newspapers that could cover all cages all the time and plain paper is actually quite expensive.
No one there has any problems locating the droppings or troubleshooting potential problems (even with canary size birds).
I can understand droppings getting lost in wood shavings but these are pellets... they're hard. Only dissolved by liquid. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but bird poop is only part liquid, and the liquid is absorbed by the newspaper anyway, so I'm not seeing the difference. If it's only liquid, that's an indicator on it's own, that something is wrong.

You do have to pay a bit more attention that you would with paper, but honestly it's not that difficult.
I can understand if a certain type of wood is toxic, or they might chew on the pellets, but if the only problem is poop location..



Maybe it's different with parrots, I can't pretend to know, but has anyone here actually tried wood pellets?

You're comparing apples to frozen-pizza here!!! First of all, Wild Birds/Parrots actually LIVE FULL-TIME surrounded by all kinds of different "Nesting-Materials", regardless of what their species is, where in the world they are located, and what type of environment they live in (doesn't matter whether they are species of Parrots, Game Birds, SongBirds, Poultry Birds, etc., what matters is they are Wild and not Captive-Bred/Pet Birds)...Whether they live in the forest surrounded by all kinds of branches, twigs, sticks, dead leaves, hay/straw/grass, etc., or they live in Australia, South America, Africa, Mexico, etc. and are surrounded by again branches, dead leaves/palms, all kinds of grasses, etc., ALL Wild-Birds/Parrots live in their natural, wild environments/habitats, and have access to all kinds of nesting-materials 24/7, 365...They also obviously breed regularly, usually twice a year during both natural Breeding-Seasons, typically once in the Spring and once in the Fall, depending on the type of bird and where they are from.

I'm not going to go into the fact that wild birds in their natural, wild environments/habitats aren't exposed to artificially-made and commercially-sold beddings that can be harmful to them or kill them from one reason or another if they either ingest them or breath-in their fumes...But what I will make a point of is that people who are buying a captive-bred bird of any species, parrot or otherwise, to be PETS, they typically try to do everything they can to keep them from breeding (unless they are breeders of course), and to keep them from going into "Breeding-Season" and becoming constantly hormonal, which is exactly what happens when you put anything that can be used as a "Nesting-Material" inside of their cages or in their constant view...The last thing a new Budgie owner is going to want is a female Budgie who was put into their first Puberty at only 5-6 months old instead of around a year old when it typically happens naturally, and then end-up with a female Budgie who is a chronic Egg-Layer, who does nothing but literally just sitting 'on the nest" 24 hours a day, lays Egg after Egg after Egg, then becomes malnourished, undernourished, and eventually Egg-Bound and either dies or requires surgery to remove the Egg that is stuck due to a Calcium Deficiency...So obviously the goal is to keep Captive/Pet birds of all species from becoming hormonal all the time, which is what naturally happens when you constantly expose them to either things that can be used as "Nesting-Materials" or anything that creates a Small, Dark Place that they can get inside of or underneath...

The other thing with Wild birds/parrots is that they are ALWAYS on a "Natural-Light Schedule", meaning they wake-up with the Sunrise and they go to sleep with the Sunset, and this is exactly what keeps them breeding ONLY during their natural Breeding-Seasons instead of breeding all year round...Captive/Pet birds/parrots are not only living inside of homes and usually aren't exposed to the Sunrise/Sunset, but they also live according to their owners schedules and routines, instead of living according to the Sun and the natural light changes it produces...

So you can see the HUGE difference between any WILD bird/parrot living outside, under the Sun, and in their natural environments/habitats and that do breed during their natural Breeding-Seasons, and birds/parrots who are CAPTIVE/PET birds/parrots who their owner's do not want them to breed or to go into hormonal-periods that cause everything from chronic/constant Egg-Laying to horribly Aggressive and sometimes Violent Behavior...

So yeah, of course you can give wild Birds/Parrots, regardless of species, all kinds of things that can be used a nesting-materials, things that create small, dark places, and anything else that they regularly have contact with in their natural, wild environments/habitats, they are going to breed during natural breeding-seasons regardless of what you do...
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Last edited by EllenD; 04-08-2019 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 04-08-2019, 01:13 PM
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Re: Cage liners - wood pellets?

Quote: Originally Posted by Alouette View Post
Well I hate to argue, but while I've never had a pet bird, I have volunteered at a wild bird rescue...Maybe it's different with parrots, I can't pretend to know, but has anyone here actually tried wood pellets?
This is one of those things you simply donít argue. Especially if you have never actually owned a parrot. I suggest you pay attention to the advice youíve been given. It may not be the advide you want or expected, but itís the correct answer to your question. No, nobody here has tried wood pellets, for all the reasons cited in the unanimous advice youíve been given.
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