Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fully Fleeced

Pinni in her all-fleece cage
I've been watching the dynamic between cage size and the number of enclosed guinea pigs over the last few months.  I first experienced this a decade ago when I ditched my store-bought cage in favor of a C&C cage:  the larger the cage, the less cleaning it required.  This time, though, my observations come from a single pig in a large cage, and it's been dramatic:  the cage stays bone dry for a long period of time (and Pinniped is a leaky pig).  I decided this would be a great time to switch to an all-fleece setup.

I've tried an all-fleeced cage a few times in the past.  I first attempted it with my store-bought cage, and the results were laughable - it was wet and stinky within a day or two.  I never tried that again.  I continued to use shavings when I converted to the C&C cage, although I have fleeced the upper levels for years (and have been using a mix on the lower level for a year or so).  Fleece is also my bedding of choice when traveling; it is much easier to pack than traditional shavings and combined with the grids, makes for a very quick and clean setup.  

Pinni has a cobbled together fleece setup, as you can see from the photo.  I don't have any fabric cut to size for the entire first level of the cage.  Lucky for me, Pinni is not a burrower, because there are plenty of edges for her to get under.  The fleece is less messy than my half-shaving setup, although Pinni manages to drag the hay all over the first floor when she has a mind to.  I have to regularly remove the poo, instead of just sweeping it to the shavings-side of the cage.  But overall, it has worked well.  I suspect that the current setup is not large enough to accommodate two sows - I will either need to expand the cage or return to my half-and-half mix as I had before when I find Pinni a friend.


7 comments :

  1. Fleece batting and pul I hated the shavings expensive and messy

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  2. Not a burrower, you are lucky indeed! Four out of my six girls are burrowers. There was always at least two who would go around testing between binder clips for weak points after cage changing. If that didn't work, they would wait until there was nobody around to yank an opening large enough to dive into. I would come home to find multiple wheeking lumps under the fleece.

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    Replies
    1. yep one of my two girls ALWAYS has to burrow.

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  3. I have three piggies in a C&C 12 square foot cage (4x3) and I have tried both fleece and paper pellets. The appearance and cost effectiveness of the fleece appealed to me initially, however, it didn't take long for me to realize it isn't good with odor control. The cage had an unpleasant odor within just a couple of days of being freshly set up and that did not work for me so I reverted back to using the paper pellets that I am more than happy with!

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  4. I use towels and fleece in my cages. The difference though to most is I am more then happy to change the fleece every day - it's so easy to do. Just fold in the corners to the middle pick it all up and toss it in to a big plastic container - take all fleece outside and shake off. I also change the underneath towels every couple of days as well and throw in some new clean ones. It's fast and way less messy then using shavings or hay or anything else like that as bedding :) and look at all the cute designs you can get fleece in!

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  5. Hi, I found your blog in September when we bought my daughter two baby, male piggies. They were just three and five weeks old when we brought them home. I'm curious if you know about this but I have noticed that they potty in only one place in the cage but they poop all over it. Can they be litter box trained or could I put some kind of tiny litter box where they potty and see if they would use it and just could change that out daily? I love your fleece setup and I'm thinking of doing that as well since their bedding seems to end up all over the house thanks to our shih tzu walking through it and then trailing it everywhere. I'm going to move them to a covered c & c cage soon so I will make the transition then. how often do you clean the fleece? Thanks Shannon shanin281@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Some pigs can be litter trained - but it's usually if they decide to train themselves. Many people who use fleece have a "kitchen area", which is filled with shavings, and is usually where the hay is kept, since many pigs tend to pee where they eat.

      Poo happens, and it will be all over the place. I sweep up poo and loose hay every day. Right now, my cage needs the fleece changed every 7-9 days. It's lasting longer in the dry winter weather. I haven't done this in the summer, yet, and I'm sure it will need to be swapped out more often.

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