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Discussion Starter #1
I dont know if anyone has any cockatiels/Parakeets or are experienced please chime in but I tried many other forums for this thing and nothing. I plan on giving a more natural feel to her cage when upgrading but wasnt sure on a few things. Here is what I wanted to pick up:

Sand
Food and Water Dishes
Chameleon Climbing Vine
Tree Branch Perches
Assorted Plants

Is sand good to use with birds? I wanted to try something different then ther grate at the bottom of her cage. If its not such a good idea what other bottom would you suggest for a natural look in her cage.

The food and water dishes would lie in the Sand/bedding.

The Vine would be used for activities such as nawing and climbing and it will be used around the house for extra activities.

Tree Branch Perches would give the natural feel of trees.

What plants are safe to use with Cockatiels?

I was also wondering about if those Terranium tanks would be safe to use with birds. Instead of a cage.

This is also going to go for Parakeets, It would be pointless to have 2 threads regarding the same things. I am wanting to bring the natural world for my birds as well.
 

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Well, I don't have Parakeets but I have finches the way I make my cage look natural is by buying a mat of grass then cutting it make it fit my cage then add some branches from my tree to look even more natural... Also, keeping bird is a MESS!! The seed shell are always falling out and buying food for them are much more than buying plants or fish, plus they eat at lot! They have to eat twice the amount of their body weight..
 

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James, sorry to hijack your thread.....

Finch man, could you recommend any good web resources for keeping finches? My husband has begun keeping them and could use the help!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I don't have Parakeets but I have finches the way I make my cage look natural is by buying a mat of grass then cutting it make it fit my cage then add some branches from my tree to look even more natural... Also, keeping bird is a MESS!! The seed shell are always falling out and buying food for them are much more than buying plants or fish, plus they eat at lot! They have to eat twice the amount of their body weight..
Yeah my mom stocks up on food for them and we dont buy for a couple of months. Where do you get your mat of grass at? Is it easy to clean? I want to cut down on the fake plastic perches that come with the cage and want more natural and also want to take the food/water trays out and get a couple deep dished reptile trays that look more natural. They are messy but I have to love my little Girl LeeAnn(Cockatiel).

Kelley feel free to hi jack;) If it can be used for the same purpose then go for it.
 

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James, I have finches too, but I don't think you'd have a problem with plain sand. My neighbor used to use sand for his parrot, and he could then clean the sand with a kitty litter scoop. A lot of people use that ground corncob bedding in the bottom of cages, too. I use natural tree branches for perches for my finches; with cockatiels and parakeets, you will have more of a chewing problem, but they are easily replaced (just cut something off a shrub or tree in the backyard!). The problem I see with having food/water dishes on the floor of the cage--birds don't watch where they poop! You will have a real problem keeping the dishes clean. Also, as finch man said, they will have seeds and seed hulls everywhere. If I come across a good website for cockatiels or parakeets, I will let you know.
 

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James, sorry to hijack your thread.....

Finch man, could you recommend any good web resources for keeping finches? My husband has begun keeping them and could use the help!
Kelley, PM me with the type finches you have. I know of some really good websites for finch info--some are breed specific and others are general.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
James, I have finches too, but I don't think you'd have a problem with plain sand. My neighbor used to use sand for his parrot, and he could then clean the sand with a kitty litter scoop. A lot of people use that ground corncob bedding in the bottom of cages, too. I use natural tree branches for perches for my finches; with cockatiels and parakeets, you will have more of a chewing problem, but they are easily replaced (just cut something off a shrub or tree in the backyard!). The problem I see with having food/water dishes on the floor of the cage--birds don't watch where they poop! You will have a real problem keeping the dishes clean. Also, as finch man said, they will have seeds and seed hulls everywhere. If I come across a good website for cockatiels or parakeets, I will let you know.
On the food thing I have an idea that if the tray is deep enough then I wont have too worry about my cockatiel. I noticed when there is less than a half of dish of food then she doesnt make a mess. But I clean any way. I do plan on upgrading the cage sizes so I can acocomadate more in there.
 

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You don't need the sand. Newspaper will work just fine. And leave the grate in. It will help keep your 'tiel cleaner and happier. I have a male Lutino 'tiel that is over 18 years old.

You don't want the food and water dishes in the bottom of the cage. They need to be up higher for a couple of reasons. One is bird poop and the other is that a single 'tiel is normally very reluctant to get "down" to ground level.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You don't need the sand. Newspaper will work just fine. And leave the grate in. It will help keep your 'tiel cleaner and happier. I have a male Lutino 'tiel that is over 18 years old.

You don't want the food and water dishes in the bottom of the cage. They need to be up higher for a couple of reasons. One is bird poop and the other is that a single 'tiel is normally very reluctant to get "down" to ground level.

Okay so on my Lutino it would be fine how it is with the food and water? The sand is what I want for a Natural look(it will also bring my tank colors out into the living room and into the cages). I had noticed that my female wont get to the bottom unless feeding and drinking. Hmm, this may put a stop to my plans for a while. I can think of something though. Thanks everyone.
 

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I would also avoid the sand, you will find it very difficult to keep clean, and the birds may eat it. While digesting a small amount is not harmful some birds will fill up on it which will cause a problem. Be very careful with what plants you expose your birds to they will definitely chew on them if not digest them. I would not use a tank due to lack of ventilation. If you have other questions I would be happy to try to help. I have been breeding birds for over 20 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Okay well I am not going to be using sand but brown construction paper and I am keeping the grate.I plan on putting Gerraniums and a SpinderPlant in with the Cockatiel and a Spider Plant and a Wandering Jew in with the parakeets. I still am going to make it look very natural but it may be hard since I cant bury the plants. How would you go about adding plants to a cage and making it look natural with the grate?
 

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Lotta finch keepers here. We have zebra's,gouldians,red headed parrot finches, a lone shaft tail and a canary.
James, whatever you do make it easy to clean and disinfect.
 

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It's been a very long time since I kept a cockatiel or parrot (sun conure) but I do recall that I managed to switch them over to a pelleted food. It cuts waaaaaay down on the mess factor. But if they've been raised on a diet of seed mixes (likely) they can be very stubborn about switching over.
 

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Before putting any plants where birds can reach them check this list first.

Personally if the plant is NOT on the safe list. I avoid it.
Rex is right on this. I see your spider plant is on the safe list, but geraniums are not listed at all. It's not worth taking a chance on your birds. Also, any live plant you do put in a cage is not going to stay looking pretty for long. I sometimes put potted plants in my finch cages, and they love them, but in 2-3 days, the plant is just about destroyed. But it gives the birds something to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rex is right on this. I see your spider plant is on the safe list, but geraniums are not listed at all. It's not worth taking a chance on your birds. Also, any live plant you do put in a cage is not going to stay looking pretty for long. I sometimes put potted plants in my finch cages, and they love them, but in 2-3 days, the plant is just about destroyed. But it gives the birds something to do.
I had found a list that had said that Geraniums are safe for birds. Hmm, Im not going to risk it.
 

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Also put your parakeets in a area where they can get some sun light it helps them get really nice color and more active. But make sure that the area is not going to toast them..:icon_smil
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Also put your parakeets in a area where they can get some sun light it helps them get really nice color and more active. But make sure that the area is not going to toast them..:icon_smil
Doing that this week. Its getting warmer so they get to go back to there spot.

IDK if anyone has tried but how do you attepmt to give a bird Fruits and veggies. I want to try to give them Bannanas but they dont seem to take an interest in it.
 
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