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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Dove Cage Help (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

tdowell2007
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Loyal user
Springfield, IL
267 Posts

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Hi All,
What do you all put in the bottom of your dove cages to absorb the feces? I have read that you can use:
1) Corn cob (crumbled) Commercially available
2) Cat Litter
3) Newspaper

Any input appreciated.
Tony
RJE
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Inner circle
1848 Posts

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#1, Corn Cob for us. Change the cage regularly and it really helps keep down the dander and dust problem.

Rob
tdowell2007
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Loyal user
Springfield, IL
267 Posts

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THANK YOU Rob! I truly appreciate your input regarding my doves!
Tony
Dave Scribner
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Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Tony, if your doves walk directly on the bottom of the cage, don't use newspaper. The black print will come off on the dove. You'll end up with zebra doves Smile

I've used brown butcher paper, wood chips like what you use for rabbits, and if you really want to kill two birds with one stone, pet shops sell packages of square heavy duty paper covered in sandpaper. This will absorb the droppings and also, as the doves walk around, it will keep their nails trimmed.
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Gordon
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Chicago
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If you keep your doves outdoors, white plaster sand is a great material for the bottom of the cote. It provides grit, acts like kitty-litter, and is very inexpensive. Indoors, it's a bit messy, as the birds tend to flick it around while eating, flying, etc.
Jason Purdy
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New England
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I was once told that Newspaper is one of the best for absorption and odor control. Sometimes, I use newspaper in a tray bottom then corn cob on top of the paper.

Rather than saving all your papers… I went to the local News Paper Co. and they have a large supply of leftovers they just give me.

I tried this recycled paper litter stuff, but I didn’t like it.
Dave Scribner
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Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Jason, you're correct. Newspaper is very absorbent and my comment was meant if it was used alone. The newsprint will come off on the dove and be very messy. The corn cob on top of it is a good idea although it seems a bit of overkill to me. The corn cob should absorb everything nicely.

I did want to make one clarification from my post however. I mentioned wood chips. Never ever use cedar wood chips. The fumes and gases released them when they mix with the bird droppings is lethal to dove. Always use pine or other chip material.
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Jason Purdy
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New England
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Right O Dave,

I used to have a cage that didn't have a raised mesh type floor. Sometimes my birds would get the ink smudge look. Especially if the newspaper would get wet. I had switched to corncob, but again, the birds were walking around on the corncob. Therefore would often be seen eating it. I'm sure it's not harmful, but I wasn't too keen on not having a raised floor. So I did away with that cage.

Now I have four smaller cages that I use corn com in, and 6 large cages (with 1"X.5" raised mesh floor) with newspaper below.

I love the Cedar smell; I used to use it for my bunny cage, but stopped after hearing the same about the "fumes" being bad for rabbits. I usually ad some baking soda below the shavings to help with the ammonia smell from the urine... May be overkill too, but my rabbit lives in my office, and sometimes she has strong Pee, pee... LOL. Not as strong as my beloved former male rabbit, but it still seems to help.
Autumn Morning Star
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Please don't use cat litter! They will eat it and the clay or crystals will clump inside them and make them really sick. Doves are natural dirt/rock eaters. Anything that looks like a small stone is eaten. Better watch those corn cobs, too. Here is some information from a site that is all about birds:

CORN COBS - Once ingested, corn cobs can remain in the body for years before causing illness or death. Ingested corn cobs absorb moisture and swell, which can cause impaction, bleeding and death. Baby birds can also develop bacteria and yeast infections from the ingested material. When wet or in humid climates, cobs can grow Aspergillus molds which cause a respiratory disease in birds. This disease is difficult to treat and can be fatal. The cobs will also absorb moisture from your bird's droppings, promoting growth of organisms and hiding loose poops. It's a poor material for examining droppings.

CEDAR SHAVINGS - Cedar shavings contain ingredients which can be toxic to birds. Even their aroma is caustic. They can cause dermatitis, allergic symptoms and irritation of the digestive tract. They also make it difficult to examine your bird's droppings.

PINE SHAVINGS- Pine shavings don't have the toxicity of cedar and are commonly used as nesting materials for birds. While it appears safe for the parents, ingestion can still cause infections and impaction in the chicks. Like other materials, pine shavings should be changed (or the top layers removed) frequently to prevent the growth of organisms. Since poops can fall between the pieces and absorb liquid, it is difficult to examine and monitor your bird's poops.

KITTY LITTER - There are two kinds of kitty litter, regular and clumping. Both are dangerous. Clumping litter contains ingredients which can absorb moisture and swell to over 10 times their size, possibly causing crop impaction, gastrointestinal tract obstruction and death. Even if not eaten, there is a possibility of inhalation of the powdered portion of kitty litter. These products absorb liquid and make poop examination difficult.

PAPER PRODUCTS - Paper products are the safest materials to use for bedding. Unprinted newspaper, printed newspaper, paper towels, any plain paper and even brown paper bags can be used. Paper towels are expensive and very absorbant and are a better choice for chicks. If using printed newspaper, don't use the glossy pages or the pages with colored ink as these inks may contain lead and other harmful chemicals. Paper and paper products are very easy to change and allow you to visibly monitor droppings. They are also relatively inexpensive.

LINK: http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww12eiii.htm

I put newspaper as a base then paper towels over that. I change the paper towels daily and the newspaper every few days. If your cage is metal, you can use magnets in the four corners to keep it from being pulled up by the nesting doves. If plastic, you can use heavy metal washers.

I clean my cage with a hepa filter vacuume to get all the dust, dried poop and seeds out of the cracks. I spray wash it down once a month. It is always good to wear a dust mask when you take out the paper and stir up dust.

Happy magic!
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
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