Cage odors?

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one pig at a time.

Post   » Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:13 am

I also try to get as much of the hay and hair off the fleece as possible. I have been using fleece for almost three years, and this year actually had to have my field lines replaced. I still love using the fleece and can not imagine going back to traditional bedding. With having fifteen pigs, and all of these cages I convinced Doug that the $1500.00 (to redo the lines) for three years worth of pig laundry still saved us money compared to buying Carefresh.


Post   » Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:22 pm

How much vinegar do you use per XL load?
I use Borax in the wash, it neutralizes the ammonia smell.

Fleece is the best, we put litter boxes in the 2 corners where he does his business.

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Post   » Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:10 pm

I fill up the fabric softener dispenser to the top line or use a "bit" more than the line in a Downy ball.


Post   » Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:20 pm

Here is a warning on polyester fleece: the fibers can be so fine that they are virtually invisible to the naked eye. They can wrap around toes requiring surgery or worse amputation, and if the pig chew on the fleece they can cause digestive problems. Better to use polyester batting with a cotton cover.

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Post   » Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:59 pm

moody'smom, I don't think all fleece is the same and that all fleece presents this risk.

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Post   » Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:24 pm

moody'smom, I am having a hard time seeing this as being very likely, espeically if you wash your fleece up well before using it. I've never seen or heard of anything even remotely like this. I'd imagine polyester batting would be a WORSE problem since it's so loose! A cotton cover is absolutely unacceptable as it would be always, always wet and nasty. Gross. The poos would be wet and festering in the wet pee and then stamped on and ground in by the pigs. Yuck.

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Post   » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:38 am

Eew. Polyester batting and cotton? Now there's a place for a bacteria infestation.

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!

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Two Time Supporter

Post   » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:38 am

I have two sows in a 2x5. I use towels and vet bed/fleece alternating.

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!


Post   » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:19 pm

I am washing toweling daily to keep my guys clean. It only takes a load - on sanitary. This is washed at 185 degrees F for over an hour, followed by a hot dryer. Neither lice nor bacteria is likely to survive.

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.

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Post   » Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:19 pm

Has anyone on this board ever head of this happening? It just seems like such a stretch. I can't fathom how this "quit" you describe will be anything but sopping wet. The polyester inside totally defeats the purpose.


Post   » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:59 am

I'm confused too. My fleece doesn't fray, even at the ends. There are no stray fibers poking out to wrap around a toe. I would think towels would be much more dangerous in this regard.

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.


Post   » Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:28 pm

I don't actually make a quilt - it was a suggestion if you wanted the wicking property of polyester without the risk of polyester fiber wrapping around a toe. Organic fibers like cotton or wool are thicker with less tensile strength than polyester and thus are easier to see and remove. Obviously wool is not an option because it is difficult to clean and sanitize, so cotton toweling is recommended. Apparently our vet has seen problems with ingested and wrapped polyester fibers repeatedly.

As for sodden pigs, frequent cleanings prevent toweling from getting overly wet. Then again, my pigs don't burrow except under fresh hay.

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Post   » Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:24 pm

What you don't understand is polyester doesn't wick like you're describing. It has to be on top or the whole thing won't work. You'd have to clean the cage twice a day to keep it dry! I know because I've bedded on just towels in quarentine situations. It's disgusting.


Post   » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:15 pm

Clearly your pigs pee less than mine. I've come home to a damp and smelly pig after a few hours worth of time on towels. Sometime during the day he burrowed under the fleece and sat on the towels soaking them all the way through.


Post   » Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:31 am

What kind of fleece are you supposed to use? 100% polyester fleece? Fleece blanket? I'm a bit confuzzled. And new to this. Also, what can you use under it if you can't use towels or other washable fabrics? Would a thick layer of newspaper be OK?


Post   » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:09 am

Fleece fabric from the fabric store. Fleece blankets from the thrift store.

Of course you use washable fabrics underneath -- that's the point. Towels (a bunch of layers) underneath. No newspaper -- it smells when wet.

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