- one pig at a time.
I really found that the 1/2 cup of bleach in the washer gets rid of smells. Can't remember who gave me that bit of advice the first time, but it works well.
I can't imagine how towels would be unsanitary if you're washing in hot water and changing regularly.
The only way I can change once a weeek is because I use pads and fleece layers. The pads are changed every day or every 2 days and the fleece layers are peeled off and shaken out once a day. The thing that smells is their kitchen area if I let it go more than a few days!
- Two Time Supporter
I have no issue with smell, other then the lovely scent of hay and I only clean the cage about once per week (well usually every 5 days but sometimes I go a week).
I dust bust poops up every morning before veggies and evening. My set up goes like this:
I have at least 5 large towels down - 100% cotton, I lay them flat to cover the entire cage and then I fold some in half for the areas they go the most in, so at the back where their beds are they have about 4 layers of towels.
Then if it's Vet Bed week I just lay that over top (works the same way as fleece but feels like really soft carpet). If it's fleece week this is what I've done - I bought a big piece to line the cage, big enough that I can fold it in half length wise and it fits the cage still, I have another piece folded in half on the back end where their beds are and one folded in half under neath and out from their litter area.
So really they are on 4 layers of fleece and 4 of towels in the high traffic areas. When the top fleece gets a bit dirty I can take it out and throw it in the wash and the under piece will last another day or two usually.
I have a rubbermaid container now, you could use a cat litter box too, with one of the sides cut down and I use carefresh in there and that's where their hay goes. It helps immensely to have that litter area, and it's so easy to just pick the tub out and dump it, clean it and put clean stuff in.
The towels go right down against the coroplast and the fleece or vet bed on top of that when I clean it out and throw everything in the wash I always then disinfect the coroplast with a vinegar/water mix I put into a spray bottle. Super easy actually and a full cage clean only takes me about 20 minutes now that I have two sets of things to alternate with (something is always clean). This may not work for everyone (ecspecially those with a big herd) but it works for my two and I'm still working on totally perfecting it but I'm getting close for our house and my girls, however, it's taken me 3 years to get to this point!
Linens and things sells a 40 inch wide "bath sheet" towels that I am making pads from. I can double pad (6 layers) with two towels. With coupons and sales, I can get two towels for under $25.
I wouldn't use polyester fleece after our vet's warnings. He has a big practice for exotics and sees lots of cavies, rabbits, pocket pets, ferrets, as well as being the vet of choice for our areas wildlife rescues.
I had been using fleece with towels underneath (moody has problems with dust). I was just making a suggestion of creating a quilt with polyester INSIDE so that there would be a water barrier if you feel you need polyester. Hay also makes a good water barrier over toweling. I live in the woods, so shaking out the towels is not an issue here. It goes right into the compost pile for next years fertilizer.
I find that my pigs have always loved to lay in one spot. So, if they burrowed under to the towels this resulted in a wet and smelly pig. Same thing with anywhere that hay may land if I am not hyper vigilant. With fleece the urine was wicked away so I don't tend to have sodden pigs.
As for sodden pigs, frequent cleanings prevent toweling from getting overly wet. Then again, my pigs don't burrow except under fresh hay.