If it works for you, that's fine. Do be aware that a lack of something for the babies to grip with their toes and feet can result in splayed legs. I know the nest felts provide some traction, but am just trying to relay some possibly helpful info.for me i dont used any of those, just the nest bowl, no straw,tobacco,pine leaves or whatever it is... cause no mess and easy to clean and all the first clucth where born seems fined....as long as the loft,water,food container are cleaned....
Hope you have it on the market soon Warren!What I use is a nest pad I make, which is made from natural fibers, and fits into a plastic nestbowl with holes in the bottom, much like your normal felt pad. The major difference, is that it does not retain moisture like the felt pads. It naturally discourages parasites and bacteria.
I use pine needles too. I also change the bowl the day I band them and then will give a clean bowl as needed. Might be every day or every other day. Just depends. I have had a pair leave their babies when I tried changing the bowl while the babies were only 3 or 4 days old. Won't do THAT again. I wound up playing mommy.........i have used pine straw along with a small amount of cat litter in those throw away bowls and it works fine.cant imagine why i would want to change.what i do that alot of people dont do is,i change the bowl out when it starts getting dirty,and give them a fresh one.the breeders dont mind,and the youngn stay healthy and clean.
okay,im aware of that cause i used to breed exotic birds for three years, anyway the nest bowl i used are basket traw bowl made of bamboo that i bought for a dollar, their effecient enough for this purposes and lots of traction on their foot.If it works for you, that's fine. Do be aware that a lack of something for the babies to grip with their toes and feet can result in splayed legs. I know the nest felts provide some traction, but am just trying to relay some possibly helpful info.
I wouldn't cut them in half. I bought a bundle of the shorter pine needles last year and they are still sitting under my loft. The birds didn't like them at all. I bought the long ones and got this nest. And I've had them much higher than that. They really do love the longer ones. In fact, I just banded the babies under this bird today and didn't even give them a clean nest bowl. They seemed so cozy down in the "hole" so I just left it a few more days.I know what you mean Jeff, I first used tobacco stems a long time ago, I placed a whole box of them in the loft and before long they were gone, the birds built nests that a eagle would be proud of, could not even see the nest bowl they were piled so high, but that was when i thought my nest box needed to be 2 feet high, now i won't go over 16 inches high, today I'm trying the long stem pine needles I can get for free, I just pull a bunch together cut off the stems, then cut again in two even pieces, not sure how this will work out as yet but seems like it will work! On another note I do trim my tobacco stems down to a manageable size for the birds and also split them so that they are very pliable! I think for many a "picture guide" would be nice so it can be seen what is talked about and what it looks like, If i get some free time I'll try and take some pictures!
I'll have to measure. Guessing and thinking about it, they are probably 12 inches long at least.Renee, thanks for your picture and thoughts, but the pine needles I'm using seem way too long in fact they measure 14 inches in length is this the same as your pine needles? When i get home today I just have to take some pictures of stuff! pictures are a great way to show things! jeez i noticed you didn't even have to cut the stems, well that's a time saver! lol
I'm pretty sure mine aren't THAT long........gee whiz!! I didn't measure mine yet, but I expect mine are more like 10 to 12 inches long. Hey, give em' a try. They have a way of placing them around the nest bowl and by the time they've sat on them for almost 3 weeks non-stop, they sort of "mold" to the bowl. I'd try them the way they are first and if it appears they are to long, THEN cut them in half. Those will keep the birds busy, that's for sure.the picture i said i would post!