I started using Yesterday's News litter today (per a million web sites that recommend it). I filled up the whole bottom of the cage. Now half the bag is gone. I cannot imagine people buying this every week. Clearly I am doing something wrong here. Then I dont see how i can spot check with this. It is hard to find poop.
O want to stay away from shavings - i am tired of sweeping every few hours. I have no washing machine in this apartment, so i am not sure about fleece.
Please help me. I have three puggies I bought last week. First time owner. Also, does yesterdays news hurt their feet???
- Supporter in '12
You don't really need to spot clean when using bedding daily. You just would scoop out a really solid area between full cage cleanings as they appear. It would be easy to spot a really wet/poopy spot that you can literally scoop out and put a handful of fresh bedding back.
If you don't have a washer in your apartment and don't want to take fleece to a laundry mat, then it definitely won't be for you. It is more work for spot cleaning daily but might be cheaper if you only had to pay for washing it once a week, rather than buying a bag of bedding a week.
The system they have setup and the products they make are by far the best that I have ever used. I have used every type of bedding (except cedar) that you can think of and tried it all and nothing really compares to the quality and price in the long-term.
Otherwise I used to use fleece blankets by themselves and that works but many pigs try to burrow and make the coroplast all messy and it just takes more time to clean.
as long as its dry there's no issue with using it.
just don't get pine shavings or ceeder shavings as those ones can upset the pigs breathing system
they are very sensitive creatures guinea pigs. At least, that's what i've found.
- pig wrangler
- Supporter in '13
How many pigs do you have, and what size of cage?
The more pigs and the larger the cage, the more cost effective fleece becomes.
Do you have a Washer and Dryer?
If yes, then fleece is the best answer in the long run for cost. If not, then CareFresh or Yesterdays News or other bedding is the answer.
If there is not a clumpy wet spot, or an obvious poop pile, you will not need to spot clean. The idea of this type of bedding is to keep the smell, moisture, etc. down by mixing the droppings around. You will still need to clean the entire cage on a regular schedule, but spot cleaning is just to get obvious messes cleaned up to prolong the need for a full cage clean.
Using fleece definitely reduces dust, so you and your pigs will be less likely to get respiratory problems, let alone needing to clean your house more often.
- Supporter in '11
My piggies have an area of fleece and also fleece beds, but they nap right on the shredded paper sometimes, so it must not be that bad to sleep on.
- KV Nin
- Supporter in '14
My 0.02. I have a washer/dryer but it's shared with the apartments in my building. After shaking out the bedding in the yard, I'm doing about 2 loads of pig bedding a week, so it's not too bad.
One thing I have to say is that there is no bedding that is going to be truly quick and easy. Guinea pigs are little eating machines and produce a lot more waste than most people think. With 3 pigs, there is not going to be a scenario where you clean the cage once a week and have it fresh smelling in between.
Here is a little run down on bedding:
Shredded paper - No! Paper is not absorbent AT ALL and makes terrible bedding for guinea pigs.
Pulp Paper Products (like Carefresh) - This is very absorbent and comfortable on the guinea pig's feet. The downside is that it is very, very expensive and not cost effective for a large cage.
Aspen/pine shavings - This can be purchased in bulk at stores like Farm & Fleet and can be spot cleaned every few days. Not bad for cost. However it can be kicked out of the cage easily and might bother someone with allergies (dust). Also can present a problem when going in the trash (especially if you are limited to how much trash you can dispose of).
Wood stove pellets - Available in bulk and super cheap and super absorbent. Really heavy though and not suitable for the whole cage. Nice for in a separate hay bin area.
Fleece and towels (or blankets sewn with fleece) - Soft on the feet and makes a cage change fast. The initial cost can be minimal if you purchase used fleece blankets and cotton fabric from thrift stores or salvation army. Poos need swept up with a small broom and dustpan. These will not work in a pet store cage and they need changed out MORE OFTEN than a loose bedding. Hay sticks to fleece and you will need to shake it off outside before washing. You also need access to a decent washer and dryer and will be doing an extra two to three more loads of laundry per week.
So you can see that there are pros and cons about every kind of bedding. I personally have always liked using sewn fleece blankets for the main cage and then use wood stove pellets for the hay bin (a removable kitty litter pan). I presently have only ONE guinea pig left. The stove pellets last about a week, but I scoop out any wet areas daily when I'm refilling the hay.
I layer several smaller fleece/cotton blankets (over the main ones) in the two areas where my pig pees the most (under her hidey and in front of her hay bin) and I remove these on the second day. In other words I do a full cleaning every second or third day.
You would have to consider the pros and cons and decide what might work for you. But just keep in mind, there is no truly EASY method in the long run. All animals take a certain degree of upkeep and no method is perfect.
I am curious about the use of fleece like Carriegyrl83 is. I like the idea of sweeping up the poops - numerous as they are. I don't use my washer for the cuddle towels or when I give Randy a bath, so I suppose I would use the laundromat for the cage fleece (or is that a breach of laundromat etiquette?)
- pig wrangler
- Supporter in '13
We have no problem doing multiple loads of fleece/towels in our own washer/dryer.
I always do an extra rinse on each load of fleece to get any remaiming soap out of the fleece and to flush out any leftover furr/hay or other piggy remains.
When we are ready to do human laundry, (about 1 in 15 loads) we run a tub clean cycle and have no problems with smell or hair on our clothes.
- Supporter in '14
I haven't had any problems with hair on our clothing and it is really no different than washing diapers when my children were babies. Back in those days diapers didn't come from a package.
I think cardboard bedding (clean, dust free, absorbent & good odour control) & kiln dried pine shavings or other types of bedding that can be bought in large bags could work out cheaper.
Kiln dried pine shavings are fine to use:clean, absorbent,good odour control), but:- choose medium to large flakes, not fine which are very dusty, store with bag open, make sure the pine smell is low to nil, & the cage must have good ventilation.
Just do what another poster said (sorry, forgot name) - spot check, fluff the bedding about to shake poos down to the bottom, remove any wet spots, refresh just those spots, do complete change once a week.
Having a thick layer of newspapers at the bottom can make changes easy. Just roll the top layers of newspaper with the bedding & dispose in rubbish.
But the idea of loose bedding in the whole of the cage is what other posters have said- you don't have to clean daily except for obvious poo&pee spots.
- And got the T-shirt
Can you find fleece, either locally or online? Fleece over an absorbent layer works very well, and you can cut it to whatever size you need -- no hemming needed. The absorbent layer can be towels, mattress pads, wood pellets -- whatever will absorb the urine.
- Thanks for the Memories
We got some fleece throw blankets at the thrift store and they also came with several yards of just standard off the bolt fleece from a craft store. The under layer is a furniture pad like this: https://www.uhaul.com/MovingSupplies/Protective-Stuff/Furniture-Pad?Id=2670 We brush the fleece off daily using a small dust pan and hand broom. In our case, the poop and hay go into a small trash can and that goes into our compost when it's full. The fleece gets a good shake before going into the washer. I don't cut the fleece to size. I tuck it under the under layer wherever it's too big. That also keeps them from digging under it.
I used other bedding with my previous pigs, and find this to be as easy or easier to maintain. It also seems to be easier for my daughter, who is only 9. Shavings can get heavy, especially if you use several layers of newspaper underneath (and we no longer get a daily paper so...less newspaper on hand). Which is not to say you shouldn't use it if that's available, but if you can find fleece I think that might suit you best. Does that help?