HI bird friends! I am bringing home my new quaker baby at the end of the month, but I want to get his cage set up beforehand. I'm wondering about the pros and cons of using the grate in the bottom of the cage or taking it out. I know they are a pain to clean from experience with my conure's cage. I'm wondering what other people use for substrate...I was looking into a CareFresh litter which is recycled paper & wood. It's fluffy and soft which can encourage foraging, but I don't want it to encourage nesting. What are people's thoughts/experiences? What do you use for the bottom of your birds' cages? TIA
Both QP Ralph and CAG Scooter have the bottom grates in place in their cages. Ralph likes to play in the bottom of his cage, mostly building with his sticks. The grate is usually an important part of his stick structures. Scooter's former owner said she never put the grate in, but after I adopted her, I quickly learned that Scooter liked to walk around on the newspaper lining the bottom tray. Too often, she would be walking through her own poop, so I started putting the grate in.
Newspaper is about the best choice for lining the bottom of a parrot cage. Papers printed with soy ink are the best, since the soy ink retards bacterial growth. The various litters mainly intended for use as cat litter or for the bottom of rodent or rabbit cages aren't really suitable for bird cages and it's recommended against using such litters in parrot cages. I've tried things like paper towels in the cage bottoms, but they didn't work nearly as well as newspaper. And it's a good way to repurpose the paper after it's been read. 😁 ..
I agree with cnyguy, we use newspapers too. They are the best and safest for birds. But I put the paper on top of the grate and change it daily. The paper on the bottom of cage gets changed less often. Casey doesn’t use the bottom of his cage so that works for us.
I see this thread is a bit old, but I’d offer an opinion. It’s more important to have the grate in place above the newspaper if you have a girl Quaker. My Lucy Quaker got broody at times and would shred the newspaper to make a nest.
I never understood why a grate was in place until that broodiness happened. And then I had to make a grate so Lucy couldn’t get at the cage paper. It was too stimulating to have paper available.