Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fully Fleeced - A Year Later

All fleece, all the time (with extra layers under the hay rack)
I bought the bulk of my fleece about a year ago and switched to a fully fleeced cage.  So far, it's worked out pretty well.  I have to go to the laundromat to wash the fleece because our washing machine can't get it clean.  That's an unexpected expense and a bit of a drag.  On the other hand, the fleece lasted really well between cleanings in cooler weather - even better than shavings.  It required more frequent changing in the summer, about the same as shavings.  Not surprising.  There were some issues with lingering piggy smell in the fleece towards the end of the summer, until I changed my combination of detergent, vinegar and oxiclean.

I love the multi-colored fleece, especially ones that are brown, black or dark blue, because they hide the poo so well.  Keeping the cage dry was a bit of a challenge with a really leaky rodent.  I learned to keep an extra layer of fleece or a cuddle cup under the hay, since that got soaked so quickly.  Some areas of the cage need an extra layer of towels underneath the fleece.

I think the pigs have been happy with the switch.  Fleece has great traction compared to shavings.  A guinea pig gets more air time when popcorning on fleece.  It also makes leaping up to the second level easier, there's less of a chance of wiping out.  I still have  a partial bale of shavings in the basement as backup, but I haven't had to touch it in over a year.  I gave away the other bale I had bought a few months after going to fleece, since there was little chance I was going back to shavings.

My biggest problem with fleece?  I've been reconsidering expanding the cage again.  Hmm.  New coroplast, redesigning the layout.  And of course, that will require more fleece.  It needs some more thought.  I'm sure Pinniped and Cannoli would heartily approve if I were to renovate.


3 comments :

  1. What mix do you use for detergent? The cage liners I sewed are kinda stinky now, they smell fine at first but after only 1 day the cage has a stronger urine scent than normal. I don't want to throw them out and re-make them both for the expense and the time, but it's so stinky! I soaked all 4 cage liners in a 50/50 water/vinegar mix last weekend which seems to have helped (although then my bathroom stank like vinegar for a day!) so I'd love to know what you do in each wash cycle to help with that!

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  2. I throw in a large load of laundry with the recommended amount of detergent, 2 cups of vinegar and a scoop of oxiclean. I do heavy duty cycle and put it through an extra rinse. So far, that seems to be working.

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  3. More fleece, more opportunities to shop for fun fabric patterns.. perhaps as a piggy holiday present? ;)
    If you do decide to go with a cage expansion I'd certainly love to see pictures!

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