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Geeze! The only thing I haven't seen on this post is dried tree leaves...
One of my birds likes to bring in the brightly colored fall leaves. However, his mate will NOT use any of those in the nest. :D They obviously have very different ideas on decorating! ;)
 

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Many suggestions and ideas on this topic. 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. Most of the other items which have been suggested, have been tried at some point, and were later discarded for various reasons. I have been so impressed with this material, and how it keeps the babies, clean, warm and dry, that I may have the makings of a new commercial product. The only down side, is it will cost about four times what those cheap carpet type felt pads, which absorb moisture, and grow bacteria will cost.
 

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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....
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.

Terry
 

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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.
Hope you have it on the market soon Warren!

Terry
 

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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.
 

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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.
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.........:rolleyes:
I did try the paper bowls last year. I didn't really care for them. Don't like the little rim around the bottom that the poop piles up on and then you have to figure out how to pick the bowl up without getting poop all over your fingers........LOL, plus I had one bend with the weight of the babies and I almost dumped the poor babies in the floor.
I have arthritis in my hands, so the plastic bowls will the little groove around the bottom is easier for me to get hold of.
 

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you just reminded me.i had kept a bunch of those bowls like you have when i moved from the old place.maybe i will try them this year.yeah,i learned as well,dont change out a bowl until around 6 or 7 days.usually arent real bad until then anyway.
 

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Mine get tobacco stems, hay, straw, pine needles, shredded paper, shredded fabric and they also get heather, it's supposed to be better than tobacco and helps keep bugs and lice away. I put it all in a pot and let them take what they want.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Thanks everyone for your input. You suggested some items I'd never thought of.........now if I could only find a eucalyptus tree!!!!!!!
 

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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.

Terry
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.
 

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I use pine needles with paper nest bowls.I say almodt every year iam going to buy some plastic nest bowls but never do! Some of my birds use lots of pine needles and some just put a few in the bowl.I just throw them on the loft floor and watch them go thru them. Jeff
 

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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!:)
 

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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 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.
 

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I like pine needles. BUT I have seen several people move over to kitty litter only for nest. Claim is kitty litter pulls moisture away keeping dryer nest. And after the birds get used to it you raise all the young you want. Me I stay with the pine needles.
 

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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
 

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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'll have to measure. Guessing and thinking about it, they are probably 12 inches long at least.
 

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the picture i said i would post!
:eek: :eek: :eek: 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.
 

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My doves had trouble with anything more than 4 inches long, so I put in lots of newspaper shred plus the shaved aspen for traction. It looked good until one of the babies got his feet stuck and couldn't crawl back under daddy. I got him unstuck and tucked him back in.
 
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