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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My birdies love to play at the bottom of their cage — hopping around, chasing their toys and so on. I’ve laid out a food-grade silicone mat to protect their feet from the bars. But as you might expect, the mat gets soiled and I wonder if this is worse for them than walking on the bars? I clean the mat every morning by running it under hot water and wiping it down with vinegar. And during the day I’ll do a quick clean up with a damp paper towel. But inevitably (since they poop every 30 seconds it seems) they are hopping around in their mess. I tried removing the loose toys to discourage them from going down there — but they go anyway (and they have SO much fun with those toys). Any advice about this? Thanks in advance!
 

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Encouraging them to play at the bottom of the cage is really good!
I use bulk packing paper for mine, changed daily to make sure that it stays clean. It’s recyclable, and may be easier than scrubbing a silicone mat every day :)

For example:
Newsprint Packing Paper: 5.5 lbs (~120 Sheets) of Unprinted, Clean Newsprint Paper, 31" x 21.5" https://a.co/d/7y4BsRC
 

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What size is the cage in which you house your budgies?

I'm glad your birds are utilizing the bottom of their cage.
Having the bars of the bottom grate covered is definitely best.

I use packing paper (aka blank newsprint) as well. I buy it in bulk from Amazon.
Note, there are various size sheets you can order.
What I get is 24" x 36"


50 lb Packing Paper
 

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I don't blame you for covering the grate, even though your reason for doing so is to protect their feet from the bars. I quickly learned just how annoying and unhygienic the bottom grating can be. Poop gets caked on and it becomes a nightmare to clean. Silicon mat is a genius idea.

As for letting them play on the bottom of the cage, I prefer having a separate 'playpen' outside of their cage for them to hop around it. It's basically a big cat litter tray that I fill with fresh straw and sprinkle treats inside for them to forage. They really love chewing on the straw and rummaging around in it. I think this would be a better alternative than letting them play on the cage floor. Too much poop collects and I can only imagine how riddled their toys get with it.

Just in terms of cleanup, having stuff at the bottom of the cage seems nightmarish. But if it works for you and yours, then keep doing it I suppose. Ultimately, the happiness of our little fluffs is what matters most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all! I like the cat litter tray idea — the problem is when I leave, and they go back into their cage, they’ll still end up playing and rolling their toys around in there. I find the silicone mat easy to clean, but it needs to be wiped down often if I want to keep it as un-poopy as possible. I’ll get some packing paper too, and take it off by layers as it gets soiled. The cage is 20x30. The main thing for me is to be sure that the mat and/or paper is a better choice than having them walk on the bars. Everyone seems to be in agreement on that. Thank you for your feedback!
 

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I don't see the point in covering the bottom of the cage completely. The bars are far easier to clean for me than to replace paper or use a mat. Spot cleaning is 2 or 3 times a day with my boys, they spend a lot of time on the bottom of the cage too. Simple as knocking off dried poops, spraying vinegar, letting it sit a few minutes and wiping down. That being said, I do give my boys a piece of paper to forage seeds ontop of every morning. As long as you're able to keep the area clean and safe to interact with, it doesn't really matter what you decide to do. As long as they are having fun and its easy for you to keep up wiith. :)
 

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I'm with FaeryBee and KewpieOstrich, I use packing paper. I have the MCage flight cage, which allows me to slide the grate out, and the best part is: there's a little space just above it. I found packing paper that is just slightly smaller than base dimensions, and so it slides in/out over the grate super fast and with minimal fuss. It would be a nightmare with my super skiddish **** if I had to put the paper in through the door. The paper is slightly more expensive than that the larger ones linked to above, but this way I don't have to fuss with anything and can spend more time trying to get him out of the cage or eating pellets.

#TeamPaperOverGrates 😁
 

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Hello Silicon mat is a great idea! I didn’t think of that. I used unprinted news paper. But it’s also messy. I started to use aspen bedding from Nite Angel. It’s more dust free and my birds do not eat those. It provides them enrichment when they forage through to find snacks I hid. I think this forum do not encourage bedding, but you can still try if your birds do not eat them. I get larger aspen shavings to discourage, and it’s easier to do daily spot cleaning. I change once a week.

I also prefer to cover up the bars as my birds do trip over them. Both ways there are pros and cons. See which one works for your birdies. 👍🏻
 
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