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Thread: What do you use under your fleece?

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    Cavy Slave sleepingchild's Avatar
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    What do you use under your fleece?

    I'm using fleece over shavings for bedding now, but I haven't had much luck in a combination for what to place under them to control odor and wetness. So I'd like to know from those who use fleece the following things if you please!

    1.) What kind of layer combination do you utilize? (Fleece» towel» puppy pad, etc)
    2.) How often do you change out your layers? Do you change them every day? Every other day? One more than the other?
    3.) How often do you change out your fleece?
    4.) How many pigs do you have?

    Any insight on what your set up is would be greatly appreciated!!

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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    I have two lovely girls, named Cuddles and Buttercup. Both are around 1 years old.

    I use 2 layers of u-haul furniture pads for absorbency, underneath one layer of anti-pill fleece.
    U-Haul: Moving supplies: Furniture Pad

    In corners and underneath hideys I use one squared layer of u-haul furniture pad and one matching squared layer of anti-pill fleece, which I shake out the poops daily, and change those out if at all wet during the week.

    I try to sweep/vaccuum up poops twice a day, but sometimes I only manage once a day. I do a complete cage cleaning once every 7 days, sometimes if I am lucky-- it can last up to 9 days.(like if I am sick or have a migraine)

    I have always had some type of "hayloft" with piles of hay ( usually two different kinds, sometimes three) so that has needed to be changed at least twice a week. I am nearly finished re-doing my girls cage, and plan to experiment using puppy pads and carefresh underneath their hay, in their new "Heavenly Hay Piggie Barn" on one end of their newly designed cage. It will be a 9 (grids) x 2 , with a 1 x 3 on one end ( the hay barn) and a 1x2 in the middle ( kitchen) and a 2x2 on the opposite end ( their deluxe bedroom suites-bunk beds with curtains too !)

    So it's a strange set up I suppose, but hopefully my piggie queens will enjoy it for a loooooong time to come, because this is IT for me for a long time. I am nervous too...they haven't had a "ramp" in a long time, and they use to just LOVE LOVE zooming up and down and around and up and down their old ramp. I made a "fleece forest tunnel bridge" for them too, it was a ton of work, so I really hope they love it...I feel like I did when my kids were little and I couldn't wait to see their eyes on christmas morning as they saw their presents and stockings for the first time.
    Last edited by kathlaaron; 12-02-11 at 12:56 am.

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    sleepingchild (12-02-11)

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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    Oh and I forgot to add, that there is two long ramps, connected to their bridge fleece tunnel. One ramp reaching to one end of the cage into their hay barn, and the other one reaching to the opposite end of their cage, where there bedroom suites ( bunk beds with curtains) are.

    The whole middle section is going to be free of anything so they can be free to run, run, run and do their cute zoomies ! ( I hope, they are older now, and they haven't had a ramp since we moved here in August.) However, we shall see how they like it, if they don't I can always just take it down !

    P.S. You did ask...for details...right ? About bedding...cage set up...# of piggies....hope I didn't overwhelm you !

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    sleepingchild (12-02-11)

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    Cavy Slave Japonica26's Avatar
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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    1.) What kind of layer combination do you utilize? (Fleece» towel» puppy pad, etc)

    Right now, there is a bottom layer of my kiddos old diaper change pads (the ones with terry on top and PUL/poly waterproof layer on bottom) in the areas that need it. Then a cheap giant bath towel from a discount store. Then a layer of my kids' old thick cotton prefold diapers, and then the fleece topper (fleece sewed to a cotton mattress pad). They're in a 2x4 C&C cage.

    2.) How often do you change out your layers? Do you change them every day? Every other day? One more than the other?

    I was going to ask others the same thing. I've noticed that I can go about 4-5 days and it's not super soaking or smelly, so that seems reasonable. I scoop stray poops off the fleece 1x a day. I wash all of the layers when I do the big clean every 4-5 days. Both piggies use two litter trays quite heavily--their food dishes and hay are there--and I change these litter trays once a day. Leaving it for two days, it starts to smell. They also have two corner litter toilets that they use occasionally, but it's the main litter trays they use the most often.

    3.) How often do you change out your fleece?

    See above.

    4.) How many pigs do you have?

    Two young boars, Timbit and Pippin, age 4 months.

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    sleepingchild (12-02-11)

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    Cavy Slave sleepingchild's Avatar
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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    @kathlaaron No no! Not overwhelmed! Basically I'm just trying to figure out how much stuff I should place under the fleece, so the more information the better. Sometimes I feel like I have way too much, and it seems like it just gets moist and yucky under there and smells more. Other times I feel like there's nothing there, and the fleece stays wet because there's just too much pee to be contained!

    So I'm just trying to figure out what everyone else does because I'm just not doing it right! .

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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    I have a large fleece to line the entire cage attached to either: one layer of flannel,diaper cloth or old mattress cover. I change this out once a week because it doesn't get peed on for the most part. I have pads of fleece with 2 layers of the aforementioned cloths attached that I use in their high traffic areas. These pads are changed out every other day, but I do shake the poo into the trash can everyday. I have 4 boys but only 2 of them are living together at the moment, introductions will be happening at my house this weekend so I might have to change the pads everyday. Oh, I also use the bottom of the cage that Huey came in for their kitchen area and I line that with a lot of layers of black and white newspaper. I pull the top layer off throughout the day but I'm going to be sewing a a few fleece pads for it this weekend to see how that works out.

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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepingchild View Post
    @kathlaaron No no! Not overwhelmed! Basically I'm just trying to figure out how much stuff I should place under the fleece, so the more information the better. Sometimes I feel like I have way too much, and it seems like it just gets moist and yucky under there and smells more. Other times I feel like there's nothing there, and the fleece stays wet because there's just too much pee to be contained!

    So I'm just trying to figure out what everyone else does because I'm just not doing it right! .
    There is an old thread called...let me think...I think it's called the "Fleece Study Project"...I will go and find it for you. In the meantime, just a few questions, because the fleece should not be "pooling up" or staying wet on top...so let me ask you:

    Did you wash and dry the fleece 2-3 times before using it ? And it is important to remember NOT to use ANY kind of fabric softener or dryer sheets, for it defeats the purpose of the wash and dry method. You see you want the fleece to be able to "wick the urine through" and by washing and drying 2-3 times you break that barrier allowing the pee to wick through the fleece onto the absorbent layers beneath.

    Yahoooo, I found the thread, no problem ! Maybe this will help you ! Totally worth a read, and important to get your fleece combo to work most effectively ! Anyhoooo...here is the thread below for you:
    http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/...ect-study.html

    I have been using this fleece/u-haul furniture pad combo since I joined last January, and I am VERY happy with it, and do not desire to use anything else for their cage ! I have not had ANY problems with wetness at all, and I really don't need to change their cage once a week, it really can go longer...but I prefer to, cause it does get a bit dingy in spots.

    They are pretty clean girls though, too...have heard that boys tend to stink up their cages much more so than girls do...wouldn't know first-hand for comparison though, since I have only had these two girls. I think how big a cage they have, might also be a contributing factor to a cage smelling up more or less so, but again, not sure.

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    sleepingchild (12-02-11)

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    Thumbs up Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    Quote Originally Posted by kathlaaron View Post
    Did you wash and dry the fleece 2-3 times before using it ? And it is important to remember NOT to use ANY kind of fabric softener or dryer sheets, for it defeats the purpose of the wash and dry method. You see you want the fleece to be able to "wick the urine through" and by washing and drying 2-3 times you break that barrier allowing the pee to wick through the fleece onto the absorbent layers beneath.
    Oh yea, and I ruined a whole lint trap when I did! haha, my roommate was not pleased, but I told him it had to be done or the fleece wouldn't work right. Basically what I think happened is I didn't use enough padding underneath. I was using only one towel at that point, and didn't change it out for a while. I was also kind of exaggerating, haha, but yeah it just was more damp then I thought it should be.

    Quote Originally Posted by kathlaaron View Post
    I have been using this fleece/u-haul furniture pad combo since I joined last January, and I am VERY happy with it, and do not desire to use anything else for their cage ! I have not had ANY problems with wetness at all, and I really don't need to change their cage once a week, it really can go longer...but I prefer to, cause it does get a bit dingy in spots.

    They are pretty clean girls though, too...have heard that boys tend to stink up their cages much more so than girls do...wouldn't know first-hand for comparison though, since I have only had these two girls. I think how big a cage they have, might also be a contributing factor to a cage smelling up more or less so, but again, not sure.
    I just found out about those U-Haul pads recently, so I went and bought some, and they absorb like a champ! I just wasn't sure how many I should layer on top of each other, because I didn't know how much was too much. And I think my boys do stink the cage up on purpose as they rub their behinds on the fleece... ugh, ever hear of toilet paper?! Stinky little teenagers!

    Just kidding, but anyway, a lot of it too is that my room is now closed up for the winter (I live in Minnesota, brrrr!) as opposed to when I got my boys in the summer, when the windows were all open and there was a lot of circulation. So I think a lot of it I just have to get used to.

    But anyway, I'm still glad to hear about what other people are using. I never thought about those old cloth diapers, or even flannel! I'm definitely up for saving money, so I may try using some of those! So keep the replies coming everyone! Thanks so much again!

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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    Since you have boys, it sure couldn't hurt to use 3 layers of u-haul pads, but always, only one layer of fleece on top. It's not just your boys, I have read a ton of threads about other people's male "teenagers" and how they go through periods or spurts of "scent marking" as well as a ton of "smegma" which can lead to some pretty strong smells, especially right after a "cage cleaning" ! UGH.

    I have heard good things about using baby cloth diapers, ( can't remember how good though) but not flannel. Flannel tends to get very wet, very quickly, and stay wet, which is really not good for them, and if they lay on it enough they can be suseptible to getting "urine scald" or a UTI (urinary tract infection).
    http://www.guinealynx.info/uti.html

    We use to live in Rochester, MN ! Only for about 18 months though. Wisconsin, is pretty cold too.

    I have been so worried about members who are from LA....have you heard about the 150 mile an hour winds that practically resembled a category 4 tornado there in California ?! Incredibly large trees fallen one after the other in neighborhoods, and so many many people without power ! Man...scary stuff. They sure need our prayers over there.
    Last edited by kathlaaron; 12-02-11 at 07:45 am. Reason: puncuation

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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    We use cotton prefold diapers as the middle layer between the towel and the fleece topper. Hey, they absorb well enough when used on human babies...I had a ton of them left over after my youngest was potty trained, but you can buy them online at most cloth diaper stores. Obviously getting the junior or toddler sizes (x-large) would be the best bet and they do have to be prepped as well before use (washed about 4 times on hot water, never any fabric softener). They quilt up and become very thick.

    Green Mountain Diapers: Prefold Diapers

    You can also find deals on shipping, buy seconds (ones with a flaw in them), or there's cloth diapering forums where moms swap previously owned ones (if they're clean and under a layer of fleece anyway, I'm sure the piggies won't care).

    I find them handy to add as an extra layer in the areas where they pee the most. Then I also don't have to change the bath towel as often if I change the prefolds...sometimes the towel underneath isn't even wet.

    My two boars are 4 months old and haven't noticed too much of a stink yet. They do like to scent certain areas after a cage cleaning but it's not something you'd notice unless you stick your face in the cage.

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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    Regarding cage and room odor......when my boys were teenagers, I could hardly stand the smell. I literally had to change the cage from top to bottom EVERY day. It seemed as though they were going to bankrupt me in bedding! The bedding story is an issue in itself.

    What I wanted to add is that for those of us who live in the Northern states (and in my case, New England), we're all keeping the windows closed now until Spring and have to find a way to mitigate any odor.

    We bought the Homedics air purifier with a HEPPA filter from BBB in two different sizes. I keep one alongside the cage and it is invaluable in eliminating any odor. BBB often sends out 20% off coupons which will reduce the cost.

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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    I currently use machine-washable dog pads under one layer of fleece called Pooch Pads. They're kind of expensive but last for many many washings, and come in different sizes. I would not have considered them for the guinea pig cages, except I already had them (had a large dog with severe IBD and was on prednisone and peed a great deal, so I had to pad train him - washed them 3 times along with vinegar before using in the cage.) I wash everything every 3-4 days, with 2 pigs. I will probably switch to u-haul pads though, because I'd rather save the poochpads in case I need them for the dogs again. That said, they do work really well and stay really dry.

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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    1.) What kind of layer combination do you utilize? (Fleece» towel» puppy pad, etc)

    i layer 4 towels over the bottom of the cage, then i add a layer or two of fleece.

    2.) How often do you change out your layers? Do you change them every day? Every other day? One more than the other?

    i sweep up poops daily. i usually sweep up any hay that's been dragged out of the bowl; i assume any hay on the floor may have pooped or peed on.

    because of the smell, i change my pigs' cage out completely every 1-2 days.

    3.) How often do you change out your fleece?

    every 1-2 days.

    4.) How many pigs do you have?

    2!

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    Well, after taking some advice from here, I've finally figured out that the smell that I was mostly smelling was from them stinking up the place with their scent glands or whatever. Whatever out is that they do to mark their territory, that's what I've been smelling, and omg after floor time yesterday it must be at it's peak, because boy, it REEKS!

    Smelly teenagers!

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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    Yeah, it's "boar stank" and there's nothing quite like it. It's the worst after putting them into a clean cage. Ewwwww. A couple of weeks ago, we got rid of the pigloo and put in a corner hiding spot with fleece draped over and Timbit ran in there first and within seconds...the smell. Our eyes were watering. My daughter said, "Mom, what IS that smell? Yuck."

    The only bright spot is after they stink up an area, the odor tends to dissipate after a while (or we get used to it--LOL), and they don't do it much after that until the cage is cleaned again.

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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    1.) What kind of layer combination do you utilize?

    For the very bottom I use towels that I get at thrift stores and wash a few times before using, and then I use 2 layers of Fleece for the top. The areas I know that my guinea pigs tend to potty more, I put an extra layer of towel and a third layer of fleece in that area.

    2.) How often do you change out your layers? Do you change them every day? Every other day? One more than the other?
    AND
    3.) How often do you change out your fleece?

    I completely clean my cages every three days. This includes scrubbing the base, hidey houses, and dishes (they poo everywhere!)
    I change that third layer of fleece everyday. It keeps the odor down taking out that piece of fleece that they urinate the most and wash it. It's easier than changing the cage out every single day. My females are alot cleaner than my males so the males cage get's extra attention to cleaning. However, I vacuum everything DAILY. 7 days a week. My piggies poop tons and they tend to poop where they sleep so I always vacuum under the hidey houses and keep the hay in the hay area.


    4.) How many pigs do you have?

    I have 10! 7 males and 3 females. So you can understand why I vacumm daily, and change my fleece alot. Most my males are young and very stinky. So I try to keep the scent to a minimum so my husband doesn't make a snarky remark on how stinky they are. As they get older, the stink should die down. My females poop in one spot only. Such easy girls. If I have a hectic week, I can let go cleaning the whole cage for a week...but I still remove the third layer of fleece where they go potty and change it for a clean fleece.

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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    Quote Originally Posted by Japonica26 View Post
    Yeah, it's "boar stank" and there's nothing quite like it. It's the worst after putting them into a clean cage. Ewwwww. A couple of weeks ago, we got rid of the pigloo and put in a corner hiding spot with fleece draped over and Timbit ran in there first and within seconds...the smell. Our eyes were watering. My daughter said, "Mom, what IS that smell? Yuck."

    The only bright spot is after they stink up an area, the odor tends to dissipate after a while (or we get used to it--LOL), and they don't do it much after that until the cage is cleaned again.

    Don't ya hate when you put all that hard work into cleaning the cage and putting cute fleece in and in two second the boys mark it up and stink up the whole house? hehe

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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    Quote Originally Posted by cavycuddler91 View Post
    Don't ya hate when you put all that hard work into cleaning the cage and putting cute fleece in and in two second the boys mark it up and stink up the whole house? hehe
    Yeah, it's crazy...squeaky clean fleece and everything smells great and then--eeeeeeeew...big noxious cloud rising from the cage. Lovely.

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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    Currently, we have 2 new boar piggies who are about 6 weeks old. We have a 2x3 with a loft (which they love!) after a bunch of research I use 2 layers of towels and one layer of fleece with paper towels in the corners on the very bottom. I also have a litter pan about the size of one cube. I use Carefresh in the pan and put their hay rack and pellet bowl in there. I also put a big bunch of hay in the pan to burrow in and eat. I change the pan every other day and the fleece and towels about every 4 days. Right now I sweep up poos about 6 times a day trying to get them to use the box...ya right! Possible, but not probable. I might put a smaller corner litter pan in the loft for more hay.

    It sounds like I should probably switch to U-haul pads once they get a little older though. It also sounds like I'll be getting an air purifier too!

    Unlike everyone else, I use XO instead of vinegar for cleaning. I use it diluted to clean the cage and full strength in the washer.

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    Re: What do you use under your fleece?

    We have 2 boys...Wuby and Reese.
    I have several fleeces cut to size and change it daily...my boys are messy.
    Under the fleece I have either old flannel sheets and/or towels. Both have worked well. I change the bottom layer about every 3-4 days, but might be able to go longer as I just changed to a much bigger cage. We don't use coroplast-we have vapor barrier over plywood. I can just spray that down with vinegar.

    My question is what do you wash your pig cloth with? I make my own detergent and learned on here that Borax is bad for piggies so I made a fresh batch (I was out anyway) with just the bar of soap and washing soda. We will see how that works out. I used to cloth diaper my children so I am not shy with washing anything. I only do piggie laundry once a week-I keep a laundry basket by the washer for their towels and fleece.

    Can I tell you that I am so glad that you guys told me about fleece instead of shavings! What an amazing difference!

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    sleepingchild (12-12-11)

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