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Thread: The smell is driving me nuts, and Uhaul pads aren't working!

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    The smell is driving me nuts, and Uhaul pads aren't working!

    We live in a no-smoking, formerly no-pets home. Our female mother-and-daughter pigs are in our office (we're both grad students, so we spend a good bit of time there). My husband is pretty sensitive to smells (for example, I can only use half of a scented drier sheet on our clothes, or it's too strong of a smell for him). Ultimately, our very first priority is happy, healthy pigs. But really, the smell is driving us nuts! And with fall coming in the Midwest, we won't be able to air out the room when it gets to be too much.

    I tried Uhaul pads (two layers, sewn together, with one layer of a polyester fleece on top), and the smell has been overpowering within 3 days! I just changed it this morning (put there Saturday), and the pads seemed to be soaked through, too. I alternate my Uhaul pads with towels, which actually seem to do a little better for us. But the bedding smelled, so now the pigs smell, and even my fleece forest smells (need to figure out how to wash that little bugger -- rinsed it in the tub once, but I think it's going to need more).

    We sweep the poos out daily, sometimes two and three times a day, and I'm pretty obsessive about keeping old hay off the fleece (I found this fur-b-gone silicone brush that changed my life -- take off hair AND minuscule pieces of hay). We had a "kitchen" litter box for a while and got rid of it because I don't like working with the aspen chips (always manage to get dust in my eyes), but I reinstated it (at least temporarily) today. I tried using "potty pads" instead of the litter box in the corner (also made with Uhaul pads). Unfortunately, I only had one fully sewn, so I haven't been able to see what it's like when I change the potty pads out daily. The bedding pads were REALLY wet this time, so I don't know if a few potty pads will really fix the problem...although the pads are great to put the hay on and then take out to clean with my new brush!

    I have enough Zorb for one layer on my 2x4 cage, and an old mattress pad for a bottom layer, but just haven't gotten around to sewing it yet -- so I'm really hoping that the Zorb will do better with the smell and my problems will be solved. In all honesty, I'm willing to make up several all-in-one pads and change out their bedding every day if that's what it takes to keep the smell where I want it -- maybe my girls are just stinky, or maybe I'm just not very smell-tolerant. But before I get that desperate, any ideas?
    Last edited by guineapikhs; 09-20-11 at 07:33 am.

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    Cavy Slave Judypie's Avatar
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    Re: The smell is driving me nuts, and Uhaul pads aren't working!

    I do hope somebody has an idea because with my 5 in my office and now a couple rats .. my husband says it smells like a farm going in here. I try my best and change out the bedding every week and my cages are very big but the smell is still a bit much.

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Duffinvt's Avatar
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    Re: The smell is driving me nuts, and Uhaul pads aren't working!

    I have four girls in my cage. I have found that if you have some kind of pads in the corners or wherever they pee, and change daily, it works well to keep the smell down. Do you use white vinegar bth in your wash and rinse? It can also have to do with their diet. Some vegetables make the pee smell stronger. Parsley makes my girls' pee stinky, for instance. I find I really need to change the whole cage bedding at least twice a week. If I know I will have a busy week I put down my good fleece custom made cage pad, cover it with a thick layer of towels or puppy pads and then regular fleece over those. So, I have a double cage change. If I am really busy I just pull up the first layer and Voila! I have the clean pad below. Works well if I am expecting company as I can throw the soiled top layer in a garbage bag and put it in the garage and deal with it later.

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    Administrator lissie's Avatar
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    Re: The smell is driving me nuts, and Uhaul pads aren't working!

    I've tried all fleece and it never worked for me. The smell of soiled hay on fleece is just too strong. Even after removing all the hay.

    The only bedding that I find don't stick to fleece is Yesterday News. I have 1x2 kitchen area that I put YN in and change them out more often.

    I also use smaller fleece pads in their sleeping area and change them everyday.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: The smell is driving me nuts, and Uhaul pads aren't working!

    I'm very sensitive to odor. I have a 2 x 6 cage and had four in there until one of my senior females passed away. Now, even with 3, there's a bit of an odor after the second day. Honestly, I doubt that anyone's cage is odor free and they just get used to it or tolerate it. I never go beyond three days before I wash the bedding and I don't brush out the droppings; I shake it into a garbage can or shake it outside so every bit is removed off the fleece. I use fleece pads over uhaul blankets and I flip the fleece pads over on the second day. I think there's a lot less odor if you have one or two. I wonder if multiples scent mark the cage to claim it as their own?

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    Re: The smell is driving me nuts, and Uhaul pads aren't working!

    These are great suggestions. I've heard that boars mark the cage, but I thought I was safe with sows!

    I had been under the impression that most people went a week between changes. I'll try adding vinegar to the rinse cycle (I already add it to the wash). I'll also keep trying with the potty pads. I guess I have a date with my sewing machine this weekend!

    My in-laws are coming for a few days over Thanksgiving, and I want to have enough fleece/pad sets to change the whole thing out every night without washing (about 4-5). They're from a culture that does not typically do pets, so I want to make my girls seem as clean and healthy as possible! If I keep that goal in mind, I can make up enough pads to change them out as often as I want and still keep the laundry down to once or twice a week.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: The smell is driving me nuts, and Uhaul pads aren't working!

    Pinky, when you say you put fleece pads over the U-Haul blankets, that raises a couple of questions:

    1) I thought it was the U-Haul pads that were being recommended, not the blankets. Am I misremembering that? I wouldn't think that the blankets would work all that well anyway, but I haven't tried them.

    2) What kind of fleece pads are you using? Just plain fleece, or is there padding material sewed to the bottom of it? If there's padding sewed to it, then you don't need the U-Haul blankets, and it may be the fleece pads that are smelling.

    3) Is the smell that of peed-on hay, dirty cage, or boar stank? Are your pigs boys or girls?

    4) When I was using fleece, I could never completely get the smell out of it when washing it unless I washed it on the heavy duty cycle, hottest water, with bleach. Otherwise, it still had a faint smell even when coming out of the dryer. Even vinegar didn't completely cut the smell.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: The smell is driving me nuts, and Uhaul pads aren't working!

    Oops... I meant I use uhaul pads.... I made fleece pads lined with cotton batting, polyester padding, uhaul pads, towels. I experimented with different ones over the last year or so. I found the cotton batting and uhaul pads worked the best. The pads over uhaul pads work much better than plain fleece over an absorbent material. My pads have fleece on two sides and an absorbent middle. They stay very dry and wick the moisture to the lower layer. It seems to disperse the moisture much more than with the fleece over an absorbent layer. Wetness is never an issue now. I tried single layer fleece over an absorbent layer, too, and the under layer was wet and very smelly. My bedding smells fresh after washing them. I use vinegar and detergent to clean them. I have almost no odor in the cage that has a single male and the one that has a single female. I can go days without changing those cages and they aren't big like the one my group is in. The 2 x 6 with the neutered male and 2 females smells. That's why I wonder if it's scent marking. I keep my cage and hay tidy so that's not the problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Pinky, when you say you put fleece pads over the U-Haul blankets, that raises a couple of questions:

    1) I thought it was the U-Haul pads that were being recommended, not the blankets. Am I misremembering that? I wouldn't think that the blankets would work all that well anyway, but I haven't tried them.

    2) What kind of fleece pads are you using? Just plain fleece, or is there padding material sewed to the bottom of it? If there's padding sewed to it, then you don't need the U-Haul blankets, and it may be the fleece pads that are smelling.

    3) Is the smell that of peed-on hay, dirty cage, or boar stank? Are your pigs boys or girls?

    4) When I was using fleece, I could never completely get the smell out of it when washing it unless I washed it on the heavy duty cycle, hottest water, with bleach. Otherwise, it still had a faint smell even when coming out of the dryer. Even vinegar didn't completely cut the smell.

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    Administrator lissie's Avatar
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    Re: The smell is driving me nuts, and Uhaul pads aren't working!

    Quote Originally Posted by guineapikhs View Post
    I had been under the impression that most people went a week between changes. I'll try adding vinegar to the rinse cycle (I already add it to the wash). I'll also keep trying with the potty pads. I guess I have a date with my sewing machine this weekend!
    I usually wash my fleece and uhaul pads once a week. I've been very lazy to sew so none of mine are sewn. I have two layers of uhaul pads then one layer of fleece on top. The pads that I use under their sleeping areas are bought from Jens Custom Crafts. I have the square beds and huts. I change the pads in those every day and wash everything once a week. Usually soak in detergent, borax and vinegar overnight. Then drain the water and start a new wash cycle with small amount of detergent, borax and bleach. Then I do another rinse. Everything comes out fresh. I'm getting tired of brushing hair off fleece though.

    I'm testing out wood pellets in the whole cage this week. I just put them in last night and I like it so far. They still have their beds and huts to sleep in.

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    Re: The smell is driving me nuts, and Uhaul pads aren't working!

    Hi, Im a bit late replying but I'm gunna throw my two cents in anyways.
    I have 4 guinea pgis and I'm new to fleece. I got my liners about a week ago. They have been wonderful as far as mess, clean up and smell. I washed the fleece yesterday because it was a bit stinky and there was little bits of fleece and paper bedding from the kitchen scattered around on it. The smell really wasnt bad though, I have people in my house all the time and out of curiosity, I ask them if it smells and the truthfully answer no. And to myself, I dont smell it either unless I put my face against the fleece. I use towels as the bottom layer and then I have a 3 layer thick fleece liner ontop of the towels. That seams to work really well with the urine as far as keeping things dry. You could try multiple layers of fleece..but Im not too sure how much of a help that would be. Maybe your just very smell sensitive I dont really knwo what else to say as im pretty new to fleece..but you did get a lot of good responces so hopefully you got some help for the others. Good luck!

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    Cavy Slave anwaflynurse's Avatar
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    Smile Re: The smell is driving me nuts, and Uhaul pads aren't working!

    I only change my fleece liner out every 3-4 weeks. (I use fleece sewed on top of a mattress pad and never have more than a couple of spots that might go thru to the coroplast.) I have 2 boys and used to have to have to do a full cage change weekly till I figured out that when I cleaned the cage it was TOO CLEAN and the boys felt the need to mark everywhere. Now after I do a liner change, I put a couple of the old smelly pads back in. What a huge change this made, no more stinky boar smell. I made a bunch of pads (fleece/waterproof mattress pad) that I put in all the areas they pee and I change them out about every 3 days. The only trouble spot I have is in the loft where the food and hay is. I use a couple of fleece pads up there, but them peeing on the hay really stinks after a day so I usually rake up all the hay on the ground and vacuum every day or so, on the 3-4th day I change the fleece pad up there. After I wash and dry the fleece, I hang it outside, even in the winter, the sun gets rid of the musty pig smell.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: The smell is driving me nuts, and Uhaul pads aren't working!

    I wrote about this in another post, then thought I'd add it to this thread as follow-up. I'm not sure how much of the problem can be attributed to this issue, but I'm hoping things will get better!

    I actually found that my girls (I blame Gloria, but I usually do -- she's the "big mama" of the cage) had a poo pile that they were keeping "fresh" by peeing on it. I had my fleece forest in the hard-to-reach corner of the cage, so although I thought I was sweeping all the poos from it daily, they were hiding them from me. I stuck a wooden (i.e., hard for them to move) hidey house in that corner (so they can't really get at that corner to do their business) and moved the fleece forest to a more accessible corner. They're trying to defy me by just moving their business to another corner. I'm going to make more pads and maybe even add "corners" to the pads to catch the liquid, because right now some of it isn't being absorbed by the Uhaul pads (my current fleece folds under the pads and might be getting in the way?). Worse case scenario, I'll pick up more wooden hidey houses to protect my corners!

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