1. Hi,

    We're brand new to chickens...but not new to birds. We've had a budgie for a year and a half now. The reason I'm writing this thread is to ask about sand. We have decided to put sand in the bottom of the chicken coop, like many others have done with very good results.

    That being said, we're going to buy it as a truckload, which means we're going to have a lot of sand left over. I know I'm using some in the bottom of our garden beds, and I'm going to use some to mix in with some of my houseplants. But...what about the budgie?

    We'll have a pretty significant mountain of sand left when we are finished, and plan on putting the extra in an airtight container.

    Is there any reason (you can think of) to NOT use this sand in our budgie's litter tray?

    She'd never step on it or even come close to eating it (there is a slatted tray on the bottom of her cage and her poopies go beneath that, onto the newspaper.

    I take the newspaper out twice a week and replace it with 'new' newspaper, and once a week her entire cage, perches, toys, etc gets a thorough scrub down with plain hot water.

    Lining the tray with sand and being able to simply 'scoop out' her excrement, seems like it would be much easier, and more sanitary....but I can't find any information on it anywhere.

    I already know that they shouldn't have sand perches and such...that's completely different, as she wouldn't be able to get anywhere near this stuff.

    Here's a factory image of her cage (I broke my camera so I used the next best thing)

    The tray is obviously the large black thing on the cage. However...there's a good 2 inches of 'space' between that and her tray that she walks around on.

    (would also like to use a mix of DE and Sweet PDZ with the sand) She's *never* had mites or bugs of any sort, but I'd like to keep it that way....and I can't stand the stench those little circular containers of parakeet protector put off.

    Thanks in advance.

    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I dunno... I never thought of the poop from the 2-8 budgies I've had over a number of years ever smelled like anything, or would be large enough to bother scooping out of sand.... well, maybe broody poop. LOL

    I just have newspaper under my indoor birds that I just wrap up every few days. I don't keep the wire bar on my cages though and they are free to "forage" in seed wrapped in paper on the ground and chew on paper if they want. I mean, they go about their cage in the morning to pick off any random poos stuck on the perches... so I don't bother with them running over the cage bottom since it doesn't get that dirty in a few days anyway.

    Don't use DE or dessicants with any of my animals since they make enough dust on their own and even if inert, inhaling small particulates is never good. Plus... DE is a fine powder, I'd imagine flapping and flying will result in your house covered in the stuff. Not so good for your lungs or theirs. At least my birds flap and fly a lot. I run an air filter to just combat feather dust.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  3. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Okay, I have a few thoughts. :)

    If she can access the sand, definitely no. When I worked with (not at) a vet, several budgies were brought in with crop impaction from grit and sand.

    Otherwise.. you could, but budgies have such tiny droppings that dry quickly-- it's much cleaner for you and your bird simply to use recycling such as newspaper, and place a new sheet in each day.

    The problem with sand is that even if you scoop, bacteria are still left behind. Not to mention any food that falls into it as well. If the sand gets wet, you could also be setting yourself up for aspergillosis. This isn't an issue outdoors with our chickens because their respiratory systems are not as sensitive, and they are generally housed in outdoor locations with tons of fresh, outdoor air.

    Additionally, for the very reason mentioned above (outdoor housing with lots of fresh air/circulation), I'd advise against using anything dusty such as DE or sweet PDZ indoors around birds, as they are prone to respiratory problems from particulate! Especially a happy, flappy budgie whose wings will stir it up as she goes about her day.

    Those hang-on circular mite prevention dics are terrible-- I'd like to soundly throttle whomever keeps marketing them. They are absolutely not necessary. Mites come from somewhere-- unless you are exposing your budgie to wild birds or other birds with mites, they won't simply appear.

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