Another fleece convert-with questions!

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GuineaPinny

Post   » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:28 pm


So we are converting two of our present four cages over to fleece.

We get free carefresh for fosters, so Moisha's cage and Tizzy/Brindy's cage will stay Carefresh for now.

Cleaning four cages once a week has just been two much work, we have not been spot cleaning like we should in between and I've been feeling really guilty about it. But I mean who gives a crap about my guilt, the pigs are living in their bathroom!

Today we went to the thrift store and bought their whole towel section. We already have fleece. My pigs are popcorning like crazy!

How often do you wash the towels?
How do you keep the fleece down? Stick it under the towels?
Does everyone use dustbusters for the fleece or does anyone use dustpans? If it's a little bumpy underneath will a dustbuster still work?

Can anyone share a routine they have that I could copy? I think I can make this less work if I incorporate it into my routine. I don't want to get bogged down with the amount of laundry and just start...buying lots of towels and not opening my closet or something. EW-just imagining it. How do you time manage fleece successfully, is what I'm asking I suppose?

Here's a picture of the first cage (water bottle and hay bin is cut off by the photo-Esme is b/w, Lisbon is tan and white):

Image

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PrayerWarrior

Post   » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:36 pm


I wash my towels and fleece once a week.

To keep the fleece down, I actually stick it over the coroplast. I know some people use binder clips and clip it to the coroplast, but I just shove it down on the other side. You can also use bricks or the pellet bowls on sides/corners to help.

I actually use neither a vacuum or a dustpan. I pick up poop by hand. Hoping to find a dustpan soon, though. There are lots of people that use dustpans instead of vacuums, whichever you prefer.

My routine of keeping my fleece relatively clean until washing day is this: I pick up poop/hay/whatever while they're eating their AM meal, and I pick up poop while they're eating their PM meal. I keep my water/vinegar mix, etc. under my cage. For cleaning day, I roll up my fleece, take it outside, shake it out, and it goes directly in the wash. It started to smell after a few weeks, so I put some vinegar in there with it.

For the towels, I roll them up and take them in the tub, and rinse 'em out to get the bulk of the urine. Then they go in the wash. I sweep up any hay that managed to get under the fleece, and wipe down with water/vinegar mixture. Replace second set of towels and fleece, add pigs.

Always take your pig pictures as soon as you put them back in on cleaning day, because it won't be that neat until next week, no matter how hard you try. So don't stress it. :)
Last edited by PrayerWarrior on Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
JennG
In Memory of Mama

Post   » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:38 pm


Welcome to the wonderful world of fleece! ;)

I fold my fleece so that it "fits" the cage. And then I also use small paving bricks in a corner or two. This not only keeps the fleece down but I put the waterbottles there & it catches the drips.

Since I have large cages, I've been breaking my cages down into two days of cleaning. It takes a good hour to change everything out. I also started doing this every 4-5days because if left longer...ewwee. But now that the piggies have a bigger cage, I'm not sure how long it will take to clean out. I'm assuming close to the same amount of time.

And I usually have 3 loads of laundry-2 loads are the towels & fleece and the 3rd is the cuddle cups/pads/whatnot. Does that make sense???

I do a layer of puppypads (in the areas where they tend to hang out and pee more) than newspaper than folded towels and finally the fleece.

As far as daily cleanings, I think I've said this before but I don't have alot of time in the mornings, so the piggies get their veggies at night. My ritual is to prep veggies. I take them to the piggie room and I vacuum the poos up w/ a Bissel hand held vacuum. The older piggies that have been w/ me for over 3yrs know that the veggies are coming. After I vacuum, I put the veggies in their dishes, fill up hayracks & pellet dishes and refresh water. Actually my kids help me w/ the waterbottles.

The vacuum will suck up the fleece but not bad. When I hit a corner where the fleece is, I will vacuum in the direction of the fleece instead of away from it. Does that make sense???

I hope you enjoy it. I just put everyone on aspen for the weekend and I'm dreading cleaning all of THAT up.

User avatar
WEAVER
one pig at a time.

Post   » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:48 pm


Ok, my best advice to you is get a routine going and stick with it. You fall behind and not only do the cages get smelly by day two, the whole thing gets all thrown off and out of whack.

I vacuum only once a day. I just don't have time to do it twice. I change out all my beds daily and some mats and pads if they need it. Cages are totally cleaned every three days.

I use newspaper to line my coroplast and than three layers of towels with the fleece wrapped around the towels pretty tightly.

I highly recommend having a kitchen area, or at least a litter pan under the hayrack.

Here is my kitchen area to give you an idea. Without it cage cleanup takes FOREVER.
Image

All pigs are different, so all cages require different care. I have the five cages, and no two really have the same clean-up. Some cages can go four to five days (my large herd's cage) because they are really good about going potty in the kitchen area. Other cages like my boys have to be cleaned out every three days and cannot go even a day longer.

User avatar
mmercedesmom
Supporter in '09

Post   » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:20 pm


Weaver, you have to show her your tucked corners. I aspire to tuck as well! I don't always, but I am getting closer. :-)

They don't mind lumpy at all. I don't have as many on fleece, but I usually do sweep up poos by hand. I have tried the dustbuster, and use that if crumbs of pellets and stuff are stuck to the fleece. I have tried a little brush and dustpan and it annoys me.

I have a couple of those handheld size rubber brushes (fur removal brushes) and use those to gather the poos and hay, then scoop them into the "poo box", a desgnated cardboard box, and carry out to the trash.

I too have messy pigs and neat pigs. Actually only one pair of neat and tidy pigs. They do most of their business in their hay/litter box and are much easier to clean up after.

User avatar
WEAVER
one pig at a time.

Post   » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:30 pm


I always just leave my fleece a little longer (about two-three inches all around) to stretch it out and firmly tuck. When I lay the fleece down into the cage over the towels, I rub my hand over the fleece. The fleece than stretches, push the fleece from the middle of the cage to the sides. Pick up the edges of the towels and tuck the fleece around it, almost like making a baby crib.

I can use my hand vacs and it does not untuck my fleece at all.
Image

User avatar
JennG
In Memory of Mama

Post   » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:48 pm


Nice work! And I LOVE that turtle pattern. I wish I could pay you to buy my fleece and prep it for me. :)

I hay potties under my hay racks as well. They do tend to use them while enjoying the hay. In the bigger two potties (which are cheap but large cat litter boxes & I have a smaller one), I layer a puppy pad, newspaper, aspen and carefresh. In the smaller potty, I just put newspaper (several layers), aspen & carefresh.

I cannot find the cheap rag rugs like you have in front of your potty area, Weaver! I used to find them at Walmart for about a buck. Now all I can find at Walmart are the larger ones. *sigh* I like to use them to put on my ramps.

User avatar
WEAVER
one pig at a time.

Post   » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:55 pm


Jenn, not sure if you have a Dollar General or not, but that is where I found my most recent ones. I was using those large Walmart ones, but they take up so much room in the wash.

User avatar
JennG
In Memory of Mama

Post   » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:02 pm


Ooo! I'll have to look over there. Duh! I should've known they'd have some. Thanks!

User avatar
GuineaPinny

Post   » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:26 pm


okay, we are implementing suggestions as they come! thank you thank you! I thought you had to wash all the towels every day. Whew! That's why I've been so hesitant to switch to fleece.

Man, I'm so glad I never offered advice on any of those fleece threads. Haha. "Fleece is a great alternative! Do you have a maid?"

*Peaches just popcorned*

Kitchen area now in place. Still working on others. Thank you for all the tips.

User avatar
Feylin

Post   » Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:51 pm


I like having a loft for the kitchen area, but I think my boys are just kitchen area impaired. They enjoy fighting IN the kitchen, which kicks aspen everywhere so we must have solid sides all the way up the grids.

I pin my fleece up the sides of my grids. That way, if I have to, I can just slide out the really pee soaked towels. I have rediculous burrowers and the clothes pins put a stop to that. Also, because the fleece slopes upwards, the poops stay IN the cage.

Now that I've been doing it for a few months, I have 3 sets of big fleece and 2 sets of towels. One set is in the cage and one is in the process of being cleaned. I'm thinking now that 2 towel layers is not enough and I should switch to 3.

I put layers of smaller fleece ontop of the big fleece to solve the problem of daily poop picking up. I just roll up the little fleece, and shake the poops out.

User avatar
camende
Supporter 08-09 & 11-13

Post   » Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:59 pm


I used to use big pieces of fleece that went end to end in the cage. The girls used to drag hay all over the cage and it was a pain to clean.

What I have done in the last couple of months is to use fleece pads. They are fleece and then mattress pads sewn together. I had my stepdaughter make some and then I bought some from Weaver.

To spot clean the fleece pads, I just lift them up and shake the poop into a paper bag. It takes 20 seconds per pad!. I change the pads when they seem wet which is once or twice a week. I do a complete change at least once a week. At that time, I use a vinegar/water solution and clean the coroplast.

Before I converted to fleece pads, It took me 1.5 hours to clean the cage once a week Plus it took 4 loads of laundry.

This is a picture of the fleece side of the cage (the other side is the kitchen which is carefresh, that also gets changed once a week)

You might not be able to see the full cage but there are 7 fleece pads that can be lifted up, shaken, and put back (or replaced if need be)
Image

PrayerWarrior

Post   » Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:48 pm


That's an awesome idea, Camende, and I might even consider it for my pigs that aren't burrowers.

Nomes

Post   » Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:59 am


Camende, I have a silly question- where do you buy mattress pads? Is there some specific brand/type I should be looking for?

User avatar
New Guinea Mom
There is No Cure

Post   » Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:19 am


I am a new fleece user as well. I use one towel and then the fleece and the extra goes over each long side of the coroplast and get's pushed under the cage. I change both on the second day. I used it for the first time this past Sunday and on Tuesday, I took everything out and washed it after shaking it all out. Before I launder everything, I put a new towel down and cover it with the fleece. I use two brick caps under the water to catch any drips. I find Lenny sleeping on the brick sometimes. I might put the other two caps I have in the cage once we go bigger.

I did notice a smell after I laundered everything. I use a clear and free detergent and softner. I may try adding the vinegar. How much should I put in?

Does it sound like I'd doing everything right?

User avatar
camende
Supporter 08-09 & 11-13

Post   » Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:34 am


PW, you could use bricks or paver stones down so that your piggies don't burrow under them. Really, a couple of my piggies looked underneath the pads but I think they decided it was softer on top then underneath on the coroplast. I have not had a problem with any of the piggies burrowing.

User avatar
camende
Supporter 08-09 & 11-13

Post   » Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:37 am


Nomes, I bought the cheapest mattress pads I could find. At the time I was looking, I found some at walmart for under $10 and I think I found some on sale at Linens and Things.

I would look for them on sale since there is a big price range

User avatar
camende
Supporter 08-09 & 11-13

Post   » Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:42 am


New Guinea Pig Mom, You are NOT supposed to use a softner with the fleece. It affects the the wicking properties of the fleece. Only use detergent and vinegar. I don't think it matters how much. I probably use about 1/2 cup to a cup with each wash.

oh, also, no drier sheets with the fleece.

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New Guinea Mom
There is No Cure

Post   » Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:31 am


OOPS! Okay. I use the dryer sheets. Okay, I'll just save those for the kids stuff then. Thank you!

Does it matter what kind of vinegar?

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becksters
Two Time Supporter

Post   » Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:39 am


I wash with a bit of detergent (short cycle like for delicates)then I put it through a second short cycle with some vinegar. I just use plain white vinegar.

Sometimes I just wash with detergent (on a regluar cycle) first and do two rinse cycles to make sure the detergent is fully gone, and then I will smell and if it smells good I forgo the vinegar step.

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