pine litter with chlorophyll? how about corn cob?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by lauramacf, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. lauramacf

    lauramacf Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 27, 2008
    Webster Groves
    Hey all, I just got 8 new jumbo hens and they are in a big cage in my laundry room, quarantined for the month before I move them in with 2 boys we already have. I was using cedar shavings for the boys (whose cages have a wire floor, the shavings underneath in a tray), but I just saw that Monarc advises against cedar shavings for quail in her wonderful sticky info on this board (for respiratory reasons). The girls are being housed in a large cage with no wire floor, they are just directly in the tray with the bedding (and they really love rooting around in it, I'm thinking of switching from a wire floor for the boys, I feel like they are missing out, and they get frustrated when their treats fall through). But the cedar shavings have to go.

    So we need to clean up the hens' cage and I sent my husband to get pine shavings and corn cob bedding. He came back with pine shavings that have chlorophyll added, and I'm clueless about whether this is okay. As long as I'm asking, what about corn cob? The new girls are 4-5 weeks old. Any advice on the matter is appreciated.
     
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 15, 2008
    I prefer not to use the weird pine shavings with lots of stuff added that they sell in petstores but I don't think it's unsafe. I probably wouldn't use corn cob since they'd eat lots of it. Shouldn't be dangerous but it lacks any useful nutrition. They need to be eating their poultry feed instead of the bedding. Try getting shavings at a feed store with livestock supplies. They often have bags that are 2-3 times bigger for half the price of the stuff you get at pet stores or other places that have pet supplies.


    Cedar shouldn't be used around any animal. Not just quail or chickens but all small animals, livestock, etc... It causes lots of health problems beyond respiratory. Personally I don't think they should even sell the stuff like they do and definitely not marked as animal bedding.
     
  3. lauramacf

    lauramacf Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 27, 2008
    Webster Groves
    Thanks for your response! We'd used the corn cob before and I thought it did a good job as an odorless absorber, but the birds didn't come into contact with it much (being on wire above it), now that I've got birds in the litter I've got to be more cautious.
     
  4. Emilys3guppies

    Emilys3guppies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2009
    Toronto
    Good advice so far...make sure to avoid pine and cedar.

    But aspen shavings are fine. They lack the phenols and acids that make pine and cedar poor choices.

    I also use hemp bedding, when I can get it for a good price, or Yesterday's News bedding.
     
  5. farrier!

    farrier! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    My first choice will always be wire. Quail are not the cleanest if left on their own... [​IMG]

    I even have the brooder on wire. Tiny wire but wire.
     
  6. canter6

    canter6 Cooped up

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    Oct 12, 2009
    Dacula,GA.
    Any way I can get a look at a wire bottom brooder?

    I really want to build one.
     
  7. farrier!

    farrier! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    Quote:Sure... [​IMG]
    I am a bit slow with pictures but I will try for later today...after getting hay...and more feed.
    I am also finishing off a bigger button cage today. It is done the same way except for 2 openings in the front for plexiglass.
     
  8. Rainsong

    Rainsong Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2009
    Beaverton, OR
    I would worry about impaction with corn cob, honestly. It happens in small critters kept on corn cob. I've been told they pick and munch, and it swells when it gets wet.
     
  9. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't think the risk of impaction is the same. A chicken does not digest things the same. There is something else I'd forgotten about corn cob though. It molds extremely easy. Get it wet at all and it will be moldy by the next day. If they eat this moldy corn cob they could get poisoned and even die.

    Hardwood shavings like aspen may be safer but aren't as good of bedding. Not as absorbent, tend to be somewhat sharp, stick to things, track all over easier.... I hated them. Pine shavings can be safe. They do contain some of the same volatile oils as cedar but in much lower amounts. Kiln dried pine has even less so is often used for small pets but it's sold in rather small expensive bags. What I do is immediately cut open every new bag of pine shavings and let them sit for a week until the pens need cleaned. The oils will evaporate. If you really want to do a good job dump the shavings into a few rubbermaid containers or similar and set them in the sun to cook. Stir occasionally to expose it all to the air. You can get pretty close to the kiln dried shavings doing this. If your cage has good ventilation that should be more than enough to make the pine shavings safe. You can also use pine pellets which have been extremely treated with heat and pressure. Nearly all the oils are out and they are highly absorbent. When I had 200 coturnix quail (never raising that many again) pine pellets were the only thing absorbent enough to not have the cage turn into a solid mass of goo.
     

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