Sand as Substrate for CBBQ

Discussion in 'Quail' started by ThetaSigma, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. ThetaSigma

    ThetaSigma In the Brooder

    May 24, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    I recently decided to try sand as a substrate for my button quail Spankie. He is a few years old and has only been on paper bedding and bark. I liked the bark but it was hard to keep clean. I put 10lbs of sand into the bottom of his tank and placed a bowl of paper bedding for him to sleep on. I have seen many conflicting reports on using sand as a substrate, but I chose to try anyway, hoping it would prevent his feet from getting so nasty. So far he really likes it, especially dust bathing. I am concerned, though, that he'll eat too much of it and become impacted. He's always eaten sand if it's available, but he seems to do so in excess, so I had only given him the bath bowl while supervised. Is impaction a real threat to him? I do have paper bedding, which I can switch him to, but I'm hoping the sand will be okay.

  2. DK newbie

    DK newbie Songster

    Apr 20, 2015
    I don't think it's a real threat to quail no, but I could be wrong.
    I've been experimenting with bedding for my buttons too. I keep some on wood chips, some on wood shavings, some on some kind of hemp-like stuff and some on sand (with shavings in the ends of the cage for nesting - and actually the hen in that cage is 8 days into incubation now).
    I really like sand for the ease of cleaning - simply strain off the poops. However, the poops end up on top of the sand and there are 2 situations where this causes poo balls on the toes. Either when it's cold and humid or when there are too many birds for the space available. The cage I have with sand now is maybe 9 square feet and houses a pair, which is just fine. But 2-3 months ago they had chicks for the first time - 6 little fluffy creatures - and within 1-2 weeks both parents had poo balls. The chicks didn't, but I had to clean the parents. That's about the only down side I've experienced with sand. I've never had anyone over eat it - even the chicks figured out to eat the crumble in the dish rather than the sand on the floor.

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