Smelly Fleece!


Post   » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:04 am

So I had fleece in my cage for my two pigs. It is a 2x3 cage with a loft so it is fairly large and i plan on expanding. When I had the fleece I spot cleaned every day, changed the fleece out every 3-4 days. I also have an air filter and a desensitizer. My mom started to complain that it smells so we switched to paper shavings and i hate it. I can't experiment with wood shavings either because of severe allergies and the hay makes it really bad as it is. They toss it all out of the cage and it's impossible to spot clean. My guinea pigs are on a balanced diet and one is pregnant (I'm not sure if that influences the smell). Is there a way to fix the fleece smell? Maybe put the shavings underneath since they contain baking soda?


Post   » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:20 am

It's probably my imagination but it seems like things were less smelly when I switched from bleach to vinegar. In the past certain detergents I've used on towels caused them to get stinky when they got wet. It was weird. Sorry I'm not much help.


Post   » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:44 am

Wood shavings won't work under fleece. It won't wick the urine down into it like cotton will. You ARE using cotton towels or the like under the fleece, yes?

My suggestion is that you change out the cage every 2nd or 3rd day (4 days is probably too long to go) and add vinegar to the rinse every month or so. The laundry detergent does sometimes make a difference. You might try Tide. If it's expensive for you, just use it for the pig stuff. Another thing that may help is to go to a 2X4 cage. A 2X3 is the minimum requirement for two females, but I think a 2X4 should be the minimum. The larger the cage, the cleaner it will be.

If you are expecting babies however, you may want to use shavings during the time the birth may happen as it's easier to spot clean the cage after the birth. You can always switch back to fleece afterwards (don't forget to baby proof the grids beforehand too).


Post   » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:55 am

I'm using paper shavings not wood sorry I don't think I worded that well in the original post. I have sewn liners not just fleece sorry to clarify and it has a layer of a mattress pad which absorbs very well. I handwash it in vinegar water every time it's washed and I make sure it doesn't smell when I finish (my washer keeps it from whicking for some reason. My cage is currently in the middle of baby proofing :) also I cannot make my cage larger yet because my parents won't approve yet. I'm planning on making it a 3x4 once I get permission

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Post   » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:15 pm

(sorry for my poor english and mistakes)
For my two pigs I have built a cage made of coroplast and fleece; on the coroplast I have put a large towel, a layer of newspapers and just in contact with the fleece I put a lot of those advertisement flysheet you can find at supermarkets. In the morning there are a lot of droppings and wet zones, but no smell. Anyway, I hang out the fleece on the sun; I sometimes change the flysheet or I turn it over and I let the pigs on the floor until the fleece is dry (or I put a second fleece on the cage). When the cage is ready again with new flysheets and fry fleece there is no smell at all. I wash the fleece maybe once a week together with other laundry, with normal soap and no softener. I think there are fleece fabrics which are not good for our use. I bought a large piece of good fabric and I cut it in two pieces. Maybe the smell depends on the food. I don't feed my pigs with pellets, only hay, grass and vegs (and two drops of vit C).


Post   » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:08 pm

Okay thanks! Is it possible to use sand in the cage? I may try to experiment with that if it's possible I feel it would be easier to clean for them and they could dig like they already try to do. I'd just have to make my coroplast sides larger. I got the idea from what I've seen in hamster cages. Is this safe for guinea pigs? Also where does the pee go?

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Post   » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:50 pm

I don't think the sand is good for pigs' feet and lungs; moreover it could be boring to clean the sand. Many years ago I had another pig who used to live on the sand used for hamsters, but there was smell, his fur was terribly dirty and the cost of the sand was not a joke! Try my method which is free of charge. The pee of my pigs never goes beyond the first layer of flysheets; in fact the towel (first layer) has been there for two months now because it is dry and clean. If you contact me by email, I can send you some pics.

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Post   » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:12 pm

Is the under bedding really wet when you change the bedding? Is the smell you're complaining about an ammonia smell or a different piggy smell?


Post   » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:04 pm

It is slightly wet in only one spot. Not badly though just slightly damp. It does not smell like ammonia but I can barely small anything. My mom claims it smells like a pet store. Also Rhome_Italy I do not quite understand what you mean by the way you described your set up nor can I email you. Could you ask Lynx or anyone who can to post the pictures?

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Catie Cavy
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Post   » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:29 pm

Have you tried washing the towels and fleece with a dash of bleach? This has helped me in the past. I use very little and don't use it every time but it did help to keep smells down. I also do a vinegar rinse which seems to help too.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:41 pm

Kailaeve1271, click on Private Messages at the top of the page, and you can contact Rome_Italy that way.

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Post   » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:17 am

I will try to contact you later if you like. I haven't the pics already done because I was waiting just for the morning and the daily cleaning up, now I want to try to take them. :)


Post   » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:09 am

When Ellie was alive, we used puppy pee pads to protect the cloroplast cage floor (7.5 sq ft) and sides. Below the pads, thick soft towels. On top of the pads, a combination of old t shirts, hand towels, and Carefresh in the litter pan. She never did adjust to using the litter pan much, but occaisonally would sit in it for a change of scenery, especially after I devised an awning for it out of an old gift bag. The T shirts and towels would have to be changed out twice daily to control odor. Ellie slept in her hidey house and whether by accident or design, she was very adept at laying on the towel or T shirt in such a way that the poops generally fell to the side and were easy to pick up. What I did was remove any poops stuck to the fabrics, and take the towels/shirts to the laundry room, and leave them in the sink that the washer drains into. The pee would get rinsed out in the gray water discharge from the laundry, and then I'd put them in the next regular wash load. The waterproof pads are not cheap and also not great for the environment but it makes cleanup a snap. Once a day I'd simply remove and replace any soiled pads. The pad directly under the hayrack collected the most waste. We also picked up poops twice a day in the morning and afternoon, and for what it's worth, Ellie did seem to love her cage. Whenever she was removed from the cage for cuddle time and put back, she would immediately investigate everything before returning to her favorite spot, the hay rack.


Post   » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:25 am

What I was using was a fleece liner and puppy pads underneath. They were sewn would this contribute to the smell? Also does anyone have tips on sewing a hanging hay rack? I'm thinking maybe they are peeing in their hay a lot and causing problems. My hay rack is on the ground and they like to jump in it and use it as a bed

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Post   » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:28 pm

Wet hay would have an odor. Have you done some investigative sniffing to figure out where the biggest problem is?


Post   » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:00 am

It's in the area where they hide the most but I can't tell if it's the hay or the poop. I sewed a hay rack last night and put it up. They aren't as fond of it but I can't tell if that has fixed the smell yet. I also have been turning my filter all the way up, leaving my fan on and I put an odor reducing gel in my room. So far this all helps but it still smells a little. They hay just smells like a barn but their droppings/pee reminds me of my old rabbits pee from when I was younger. I saw online an oral odor reducer that is supposedly safe for them called Marshal's GoodBye Odor for small animals. Is this actually safe or is it just labeled safe yet dangerous for them?

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Post   » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:32 am

Kailaeve, I sent you an email with some pics of my cage, I hope you got it. Anyway, I talked with the volunteer lady who had kept my rescued pigs until I adopted them, she has got also other young and older pigs, rescued and not, at her home with an husband who does not stand any odour. She also says there is no smell at all and her husband is complaining only of the hay flying all around... Anyway, she also does NOT feed her animals with pellets as her vet recommends. Moreover, no expensive special pads under the fleece, only newspapers or a special litter made of recycled paper (she has also some rabbits around the pigs and the house). If I were you I would try one of these options:
1- buy a piece of fleece fabric (here in Italy the best ones cost not more than 6€ a meter) and under it put newspapers.
2- if it does not work, buy an urine stick and check what is happening because smelling urine can mean an UTI or some unhealthy condition (a wrong PH) which can lead to the infection or something else (also in children and adults).
If everything okay, throw pellets away. (The two pigs belonging to this lady are 8 and 9 years old! they never ate a gram of industrial food).
It is not normal to have such a smell at home...

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Post   » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:37 am

As Rome_Italy points out, this may actually be partly due to a urinary tract infection and bacterial growth. Read over:

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Post   » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:07 am

I add vinegar to the rinse every time I wash and I do think this helps. Also, the detergent itself can make a difference. Some either don't wash out well or leave a lingering smell and once the pigs start peeing on it you get a weird smell--not quite urine, not quite poop but very smelly. It might take some trial and error to find the right combination for you. For the longest time, I had one that worked great, and then it was a "new, improved formula" and suddenly I had smells I'd never had before.I'm currently using a detergent meant for people with sensitive skin that has no dye and no perfume and it's better than the last one I used. Also, I throw in some of the Oxyclean powder and think that made a difference too.

Lynx is right about the hay. Soiled hay is very smelly. If you are pulling that out when you clean up the poops, that might help too.

Another thing you might try if you haven't already is to make smaller fleece pads to put in the places where they sleep and spend the most time. I made them out of a uhaul pad sandwiched between two layers of fleece. These I change daily or more to help cut down on the smell.

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Post   » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:36 am

Good points! Sounds like you need to try to get all your bases covered.

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