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Hello everybody

I currently have two Streptopelia senegalensis (Palm dove), both females. They have a wooden indoor enclosure with a fine, non-toxic metal grid. The measurements are
width: 200cm (79 in)
height: 200cm (79 in)
depth: 100cm (39 in)

So far, so good. I added a plant and several different perches and branches of various sizes, all wooden.

I keep these two indoors, yet they get direct natural sunlight. The floor is the single thing, I really want to change, and that is where I would love to take your recommendations into account.

As of today, I cut and placed fine artificial grass to cover the floor with newspaper to collect their droppings directly under their "toilet branch". I have two additional plastic containers (approximately 50cm by 30cm / 20in by 20in) on the floor that hold dirt and sand. It is their play & chill area, one could say. I observed, that they absolutely love the sand and forage like hens in it, they even get their seed and try to hide them in the sand to forage for them.

My idea is to get rid of the artificial grass completely, put some plastic sheeting on the floor of the cage (plus additional skirting on the sides to keep everything in the cage), and put a sand-dirt mixture in it, so the whole floor of the cage will be covered in it.

Concerns are:
- Is there a problem with sand?
--> Is there "too fine" sand that could harm them? Do you use sand? What are your experiences?

- Cleaning efforts
--> According to my logic, it should get easier to clean as I can punctually take out their droppings with a little scooper and renew the sand every few months. Or did I miss something?

Ideally, in addition to sand, I would love to offer them some extra "terrain" like stones or piles of other natural material, so the floor gets more 3d.

What are your thoughts about that? I previously benefited from your experience and really value your insights!

Have a great day
Freddy

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You can cover the whole bottom of the aviary with building sand. I know the Palomacy group on Facebook don't advice this as the birds might digest too much sand and get an impacted crop. But I've never experienced this with my birds. First try a little bit and see how they react to this. The advantage will be that it looks quite attractive and are so easy to clean. You can also put some natural rocks inside.

My doves and pigeons love spinach, so you can plant some in pots and put inside the aviary so they can help themselves to it.
 
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