Anne - you don't want paper towels on top of the nesting substrate - it provides a surface tension akin to flooring, making it easier for the parents to crush the eggs accidentally, also allowing the eggs to get chilled. And if a parent catches a toenail on the paper, the eggs could get lost underneath the paper.
The carefresh, being a paper product, will absorb moisture. Even though tiels aren't waterfowl, they do need a certain degree of humidity for their eggs to thrive.
Also, tiels love to design their own nests, and the paper towels don't allow them to dig out a nest how they'd like it, and they'd be less comfortable nesting in there.
Shredded pine or aspen, at LEAST 2 inches of it, but ideally 3 or 4 (you do NOT want the eggs to lay on the flat bottom of the nest box. Even with the substrate around them, this makes it easy for the eggs to get crushed, cracked, lost, or chilled).
And just the aspen or pine, nothing else. The parents will dig out their nest, and the substrate acts as a heat and humidity preserver when the birds are out of the box to eat/poo/drink.
it can be bought at petshops like petsmart,petco etc
candle the eggs are they fertile if not then it won't matter this time but with fertile eggs you want aspine or pine to avoid humidity problems with fertile eggs carefresh will absorb the moisture from the egg resulting in a death of a chick inside the egg(dis) or early death in egg.
i don't take chances so i use aspine 3" of it in each nestbox for my eggs and or chicks.
hope this helps
The issue with carefresh is the humidity loss. Unlike how they look, eggs are not water tight. They allow moisture to pass through the surface of the shell. So when you have them on paper products like Care Fresh, the eggs are steadily losing moisture. This doesn't sound like too big of a deal, except if an egg loses enough moisture, it will die.
So if you have eggs in there now, just run to Walmart, or your local pet store, and ask them for Aspen or Pine shavings. I know WalMart keeps pine shavings in stock. Almost all pet stores keep Aspen shavings in stock because so many animals(and people) are allergic to pine.
If you do NOT have eggs in there, take the entire nest box out until you can get pine or aspen, so your birds are not encouraged to lay eggs. Always sad to lose viable eggs...
It shouldn't be a problem if you're quick. Remove the eggs gently, add the aspen, make a little pit in the aspen where the eggs had been positioned originally, put the eggs back and put the nest box back up.
are there any eggs in there nestbox now?
if yes ive been told to do nestbox shaving changes during early morning hours
as this might stress them a little less, the change over to aspen shavings , as to doing it during night time hours ,when they are normally settling in the nestbox for the evening
also the change over during daytime it gives them(PARENTS) all day to get used to new nesting material(shavings) opposed to the carefresh nesting material which will dry eggs out.and it won't contain heat as well as wood(aspen) shavings do.for both eggs /chicks in the nestbox
if eggs are not fertile there shouldn't be any problems doing it now tonight ...
hope this helps
I don't like Kaytee for much but I do like their aspen bedding. It's nice and clean, unlike some brands that contain a lot of sawdust (which is an inhalation risk). The babies will beak the shavings when they're older but there normally aren't problems with eating it. The nests of wild birds contain a lot of debris so I assume that wild chicks engage in similar behavior.