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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > General Budgie Talk > Housing for Budgies


Housing for Budgies Discuss Cages, Cage Set-Ups and Aviaries

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  #11  
Old 01-26-2017, 03:48 PM
tonic (Toni)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlingWings View Post
In fact, if they do ingest any grit or sand, it has been proven to erode away at the crop and gizzard, causing inflammation, infection, and discomfort.
That sounds like useful and interesting research, do you have a link to it?

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  #12  
Old 01-26-2017, 04:06 PM
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I do

Here's a few quotes, with the links below:

Quote:
Insoluble grit is most commonly in the form of silica, and accumulates in the gizzard, a muscular portion of the stomach that helps to grind up food.

It's not uncommon to see wild birds eat grit, after all, they need to eat whatever they find. Grit aids in removing the outer fibrous shell around some seeds (think something like sunflower seeds) if the seeds are eaten whole and not removed by the beak prior to going down the hatch.

Captive parrots face a much different scenario, and even though they eat seeds and nuts (which are often easy to separate), these birds are quite adept at removing the hulls and shells from these food sources with their beaks (and it's fun to watch them do so!).

Some parrots may eat too much grit if it's made available. This leads to irritation of the digestive system and in some cases, can cause an blockage of the crop, gizzard, or proventriculus.
Parrots benefit from having many things in their diet, but is grit one of them? | MLive.com

https://the-oasis.org/the-dangers-of...-parrots-diet/

Quote:
It was believed that grit was necessary for the mechanical breakdown of food in the gizzard, as an aid to digestion. . However, now we know that birds do fine without grit in their diet. Some birds will in fact have problems if grit is over eaten.
https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/budgies-feeding

Soluble grit is different than insoluble grit; soluble grit is essentially crushed eggshell and cuttlebone, and is fine, although budgies get that same thing from having a mineral block and a cuttlebone in their cage.

Insoluble grit, which is just gravel or sand (silica-based) is the dangerous one.
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  #13  
Old 01-26-2017, 04:14 PM
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Geno as someone who has kept budgies and many other species of birds for more than 60 years I know it can be very hard to take in the changes that have come about after more than 2 decades but I know that you are never too old to learn.

Remember that the practices that we employed in the old days for the keeping of budgies and other parrots to were only modified from the keeping of canaries which have entirely different needs to parrots. Even our cages are only modified canary cages and are really not suited to birds that climb. Canaries don't climb but parrots including budgies do. Nearly all the cages available have vertical bars but parrots are much better off with horizontal bars. Manufacturers are slowly realizing that this is the case and we now can buy some cages that at least have horizontal bars on the side.

And it is the same with feeding and management of our budgies. I have seen cases of impacted crops with parrots including budgies being fed grit and also the damage that sandpaper perch covers can cause to their feet and it is not pretty. I have been a member of various bird clubs now since 1993 and even the older members of these clubs have had to re-evaluate their bird management. These clubs have also in the main been showing clubs and we used to use grit on the bottom of the show cages as well, this is not being done anymore and we use the seed they normally eat for the floor of the cages.

As for using newspaper, yes it may not be as attractive but it is not dangerous. Newspaper print now does not contain chemicals like it used to and is more often than not vegetable based inks being used. We always use it to line our breeding cages and also the show cages when having a table show at a meeting rather than the seed which makes a mess on the meeting room floor and we don't wish to spend an hour or so cleaning up after a meeting. Meetings are usually held in the evenings but shows are during the day on a weekend so we have more time to clean the hall.

Also years ago we would never have thought it necessary to give our birds fruit and vegetables, maybe the odd bit of milk thistle or spinach but nothing else except seed. As research into birds diets has gone on we now know that we should feed our birds a variety of fruits and vegetables as well. Sometimes it takes the birds a little while to get used to it but they will. I have had budgies absolutely demolish Bell Pepper that has been put into the aviary and they really enjoy it.

So please Geno keep an open mind and remember we are never too old to learn and there have been massive changes in the way we keep our beloved birds.

Also as a side I would never under any circumstances let any of my birds fly outside. As someone who has worked very closely with the Budgerigar Society of New South Wales Information Service we have had so many calls about lost birds, not only budgies but other parrots as well and I have also taken in many birds that have been found by someone that were obviously pets and the finder did not want to keep them. It is really just not worth the risk.
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Old 01-26-2017, 04:42 PM
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Thanks again, folks, for your helpful replies.

I have removed the sandpaper perch covers. Come to think about it, those things really are kind of cruel. When I do sanding around the house, even a low grit sanding paper wipes away my fingerprints. Imagine what those sandpaper perches can do to little budgie feet.

Still up in the air regarding the lining of the cage bottom. Much to think about there.
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Old 01-26-2017, 04:49 PM
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Non-sandpaper bird cage liners are commercially available.
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Old 01-26-2017, 04:57 PM
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Rolls of white or brown butcher paper are also available at places like Costco or Sam's Club.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:03 PM
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Wow!

It's been over 25 years for me too, and this was an eye opener! I would have just assumed that gravel would be on the shopping list for the new budgie we'll be getting.

The new info available on best practices is really useful!
  #18  
Old 02-06-2017, 04:54 AM
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Geno, if you dislike the look of paper on the cage bottom, you could consider using your preferred sand/gravel together with a bottom cage grate, so that your budgie can't get to it.
I use a grate in the budgies cage and literally a 10 second wipe every morning has it looking clean (I wash it in the bath every couple of weeks).
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