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View Full Version : Fleece Is it really, honestly better?



ArielLace
08-25-12, 09:11 pm
So, I want to switch to fleece. I want to switch because it just looks so much nicer, is cheaper in the long run, and is much neater. My piggy likes to popcorn hard and run laps, and he always kicks so much bedding from his cage and it tracks all over the carpet and gets everywhere.
So what I want to know is, is it truly better? I've read so much on this site and all over about it. I feel like I can't possibly research more. My biggest thing is, I don't want a smelly cage! I know there's probably been about a thousand posts like this before, but yeah.
I don't have a C&C cage yet,but I do have a pretty big cage. It is 9sq ft, give or take a bit. I only have 1 pig and I plan to add another within the next few months, and I'll be upgrading the cage around that time. I'm going to get several yards of blizzard fleece for several changes, and a few Uhaul pads because I've read that they're the best. I can spot clean the cage for poops once or twice a day, but I can only do a full wash once a week. And I of course plan to prepare my fleece properly beforehand by washing, drying, and so on.
I really want to make the switch, but I'm just so paranoid about smells. I rent, and I can't have my place wreaking of guinea pee. lol! So from honest experience, is it really better?

(Again, sorry if this is the millionth post like this. I just had to ask.)

MrWhistles
08-25-12, 09:22 pm
I have 2 girls and used to have 1 boar before them.

I use 1 uhual pad folded in half to form 2 equal uhual layers. Then I use 2 more uhual "cut outs" under the hidys and in the kitchen. On top of those layers is the fleece.
I vacuum up poos every morning/pick up any hay pieces in the kitchen(I use a hay rack). And once a week is a complete bedding change. I never smell any urine and poo.

Greenbean
08-25-12, 09:34 pm
I have 2 girls.

I use puppy pads in under my 4x6 cage, and fleece over it. There is no smell at all from the urine, the only smell is from the little poo pellets. I pick up the poo every morning and every afternoon when I get home. I think it's better, it contains the smell, and it's not as messy and dusty. My girl Bean used to kick the bedding out and it got all over the floor. It took me forever to vacuum it all up. And bedding is a pain to maintain. It gets smell fairly quickly, and it's so expensive. I prefer fleece. :)

Pigaletto
08-25-12, 09:56 pm
I agree with the other posters. I never smell urine with my fleece. I change out my fleece and towels every 5-7 days. I have two males. I remember when I was a kid and my family had a pig in with wood shavings, it always smelled.

leopardjunkie
08-25-12, 10:08 pm
I am pig sitting a boar for the weekend and he has shavings and my sow has fleece with towels underneather that I change out sundays and wednesday with pee pads in the kitchen I had vac the poo in the am. We have had the boar 2 days and if his cage was not on my sewing table I would have made him fleece liners for his cage cause he wreaks right now...blech I am going to clean out his cage with some left over carefresh until they get back cause I can"t take it anymore!! She is getting fleece pads for christmas!!!

kananaka
08-25-12, 11:02 pm
I love our fleece. I feel it is way better than "regular" bedding. So my answer is YES!

ArielLace
08-26-12, 05:27 am
You guys are so awesome. I'm so excited. I ordered my uhaul pads this morning because my nearest store only had 3 in stock, and I'm picking them up after work. Then I'm gonna go look at fleece at Joann's. Tonight's laundry night so I can wash the fleece, and tomorrow is cage cleaning day. I can't wait to get him all switched over! I've been looking at so many pictures of the cages posted on here and they're all sooooo cute.

pinky
08-26-12, 06:10 am
I have four 2 x 4 coroplast cages. I use fleece due to the cost. Fleece works well for someone who has the extra time to devote to regularly clean out the droppings and be able to keep it tidy for the guinea pigs. In all honesty, if Carefresh cost the same as fleece, I'd opt for the Carefresh because it lasts a long time without any cleaning. Regular bedding does have its drawbacks, too, though. When you completely clean it out, it's pretty heavy. Plus, you need to bag it or compost it. I think the way someone needs to decide which is best is to weigh the cost, time issues and convenience and see what works best for their lifestyle. You need to keep a close eye on their feet when you use fleece to make sure their feet are clean.

Crazy Cavies
08-26-12, 06:19 am
I think, yes, fleece is honestly better. My pigs love it so much more than bedding, as it's softer and more fun to run on. I like it better, as it's cheaper, and not dusty at all.

jgunnoe
08-26-12, 07:14 am
Just wanted to add my two cents: I have 2 girls in a 2x4 cage with fleece bedding, and I love it! I sweep poos up usually once a day and then do a whole cage changing and cleaning once a week on Sundays. I use 2 layers of U-haul pad on the bottom of the whole cage with one layer of fleece on top. I also sewed some little pads for use in one end of the cage which is their kitchen... They are about the size of one grid, made from only one layer of U-haul pad with fleece on both sides sewn together. I made enough pads so that I can switch them out every few days. When I give their veggies twice a day, this pad is where they eat them, which keeps much of their mess contained.

Another thing I might suggest would be the use of a litter box. I use one on the same "kitchen end" of their cage. It's just the bottom of my old mouse's cage, but it works perfectly! :) I put a single layer of newspaper in the bottom with aspen shavings on top of that. (It seems like if I don't use the NP underneath, then when they jump in, the bedding slides and gets kicked everywhere, plus the NP makes it easier to clean up.) I have their hay above this box, and they also get their pellets in there. (I had a bigger litter box that I also fed their veggies in, but I stopped feeding veg in there, because when they would drop a piece, it would get the shavings all over it, and they would still eat the veg. So I was scared they would eat too much of the aspen by mistake.) This is where they do most of their business, so it gets changed out a couple times a week. It hasn't cost me a lot in bedding, though, because it's such a small box, and I only put maybe an inch of bedding in the bottom. I bought a HUGE 8 cubic foot bag of aspen off Amazon for like $20. That was MONTHS ago, and I've only used about a quarter of the bag.

I should add that when I tried doing a cage in only fleece, (with no litter box or little fleece pads) I would have to clean the cage more often than once a week, because I could start to smell pee after about 3 or 4 days. After I saw on here a lot of people using litter boxes, I tried it and will never go back to NOT using one. It makes things sooo much simpler and keeps it cleaner for longer. You can make one out of leftover coroplast, too. That's what my first was made from. I'll include a pic so you can see the kitchen end. Hope I could help! I would say you'll LOVE the fleece sooo much more!! Most Definitely! :) I think most of us on here who use it are in LOVE! LOL.

33166

bpatters
08-26-12, 07:59 am
Here's a contrary opinion. I hate fleece. I hate trying to get the hair and the hay off of it before it can be washed. I hate the way it smells. But I realize I'm in a small minority here.

Wood pellets are the easiest thing to use, but not the easiest thing to find, especially in the summer. If you decide to try them, you have to get the kind that have been kiln dried so they don't have any strong pine odor.

pinky
08-26-12, 08:17 am
I agree that fleece is not for everyone and that before spending money on multiple sets of fleece, try it out with a single set first. If you decide to have a litter pan or kitchen area, the bedding is bound to spread over on the fleece and it's a pain to clean it off. Plus, you're still spending money on regular bedding, along with the fleece. When I had a kitchen area, they spent most of their time in there and I used a lot of regular bedding and I found they didn't spend much time on the fleece area. When it's all fleece, they run around more and use all of the cage. If I had a single cage, I'd swear by fleece but it is a labor of love maintaining it in four cages. I get up for work at 4:00 on the days I work so I'm sweeping fleece at 4:30 a.m. and immediately when I get home from work. I work part time so it's manageable for me. I don't know if I'd want to do all of that working full time. The other thing to consider is that each guinea pig has different sized droppings and different potty habits. I have two females with very large poops and messy habits. Two others have tiny droppings and are very tidy. My single female and my males are pretty easy to manage. You also need to factor in the cost for laundry detergent and vinegar. I run an empty load with vinegar after I do their bedding. I have a private well so the water cost isn't an issue for me. I think the wood pellets are a great alternative if they're available in your area due to the cost savings, as well. If you're sensitive to odors, fleece might not be for you. I rarely ever let mine go past 3 days for the pairs in the 2 x 4. I can go a week with the single, though. I think it's worth a try, though.

mmas4
08-26-12, 08:18 am
I love fleece. On the top floor I use a layer of towels/uhaul blanket and a layer of fleece. On the bottom floor I just use fleece (my pigs pee 99% of the time in their litter pans and on their top floor). I have a couple of litter pans which they use more than half the time which helps keep the fleece clean. Their cage never smells. I clean litter pans and their top floor once a week. Bottom floor fleece gets changed once a month.

Skippie
08-26-12, 08:44 am
Honestly, I would prefer using Carefresh bedding and my pigs would too. They like to sort of burrow in the Carefresh and it lasts a long time! However, I switched to fleece a couple of years ago or so because Carefresh is expensive in a big cage! I use a mattress cover under my fleece and do two layers of fleece on top of it. I do two layers of fleece so I can simply take off the first layer once it dirty without having to take everything off. I do not spot clean. A single layer of fleece lasts 2 days. My cage does not smell at all. I change it often because it gets dirty with poo, hay, and pee spots. However, its nice because fleece dries super fast in the dryer. Of course, fleece looks nice too! All in all, I think its comes down to a personal preference. Some people love fleece, some people hate it. Overall, I personally do like it but if Carefresh was cheaper, it would be my #1 pick.

Inle_Rabbit
08-26-12, 09:01 am
I have a love/hate relationship with my fleece. I love the way it looks and the way it matches the rest of the house. I love how I can decorate the cage and make it look cool. I love who clean it is. I love how much the piggies seem to love it. I love how there are NOT wood chips on my floor and thus spread all throughout the house. I love how easy it is to care for and how cheap it can be in the long run.

I hate having to sweep the poos 2x a day. I know it seems like a simple thing but I have two special needs kids under 5, a business to run, a house to care for and college classes. Some days it is hard to get to and on those days the cage smells. It's not the pee that makes it smell its the poo. I hate how my guinea pigs are no longer pine scented. I love the smell of wood shavings and I loved it on the guinea pigs. In fact the guinea pigs kind of smell like hair now. It's a little weird.

I have wanted to try pine pellets but what stops me is having to carry 50 lb bags up to a 3rd story apartment... My back hurts just thinking about it. lol Carefresh is too expensive and wood chips get everywhere!!

MrWhistles
08-26-12, 09:34 am
I've never had an issue with hair and small pieces of hay on my fleece going into my washer.
It rinses out clean and it doesn't go on our clothes.

foggycreekcavy
08-26-12, 09:36 am
Fleece is wonderful, but it is definitely more labor intensive and time consuming than disposable bedding. Once a day poop pickup just doesn't do it--you really need to do it twice a day. And unless your fleece is prepared before hand it won't wick properly and your pigs will sit in and walk through puddles of urine and get smelly.

You also need to make sure you get as much of the hay/bedding/hair off of the fleece before you put it in your washing machine. Still, afterwards you will probably need to vacuum your washing machine out. Even though you may not see hair/hay in the washer, it gets in the filter. You will also need to clean the rubber seals periodically or they start to get grimy (for front loaders, anyway).

I use fleece in my personal pig cages because it does cut down on dust, but I hate the daily upkeep.

leopardjunkie
08-26-12, 08:10 pm
not sure if your area is the same, but I saw that there is a sale on fleece comming up not huge but 30% off :) so you can check and see if it is on sale at your local :) if you want to buy multiple prints the 30% is a good buy, but if you want a single print you might want to wait until the fleece sale is over and use a 40% to 50% off coupon instead and get a single cut of one pattern :):)

Fern_sweets
08-26-12, 08:16 pm
Its so quick and easy..I give the cage a nice wash in vinegar,fleece I have 3 different sets I use,I can quickly gather up the dirty bedding from the cage,shake it outside and then pop in the clean fleece..in less than 10 mins..unless I'm washing the cage,dishes and bottle is could take 15_20mins

ThePigAlchemist
08-26-12, 08:32 pm
I'm also in the category of fleece lovers. I use it as a full-time college student with two jobs who lives in an apartment and don't have any problems. I scoop poop when I get up in the morning and before I go to bed, and that's most of my upkeep. Occasionally I'll scoop during the day if I feel like it. Not hard for me at all, but I also only have one cage with two pigs.

Fleece is so much more economical even though I have pay-per-load laundry, and I don't find pieces of bedding on my socks like I used to when I used kiln-dried pine or Carefresh.

Colorado Cavies
08-26-12, 09:08 pm
So much better. We have all our pigs on carefresh right now due to them being at boarding while we deal with bed bugs. DX I hate that stuff. I hate it so very much. It was such a pain to clean their cages today and the carefresh got EVERY WHERE! It was beyond annoying. Can't wait until they are home and back on fleece.

Paula
08-26-12, 09:28 pm
I prefer fleece because it's so much cheaper and a lot easier in the long run. I have a lot of animals on fleece - if I were using disposable bedding it would be very difficult and I don't find that fleece smells any more or less than disposable bedding after a certain number of days. I'm not in the sweep several times daily club, though. I don't use any disposable bedding at all and find it fairly easy to brush off the hair and hay before it goes into the washer and don't have any issues with our clothes smelling like hay or animal stuff (this was a major concern of my husband's as he's very sensitive to odors).

Fleece is not always pretty, though, so I hope you don't have an unrealistic expectation. It looks awesome after you've just cleaned the cage and then it's a mess pretty much immediately afterwards. And you probably will still end up with bedding on the floor if you do an area of disposable bedding, and the hay will be a mess no matter what. It's just a fact of life with these guys, but it's definitely manageable whichever bedding you go with.

nichols96
08-26-12, 10:04 pm
Yes, yes, yes! It is by far better than loose bedding. I use one of the recycled denim uhaul furniture pads, folded in half. I then sewed one layer of fleece to the top of the 2 padding layers. I had enough left over fleece and pad to make several pee pads to match. We have 2 females and have found it necessary to change the large pad only once a week, and , even then, it is more because of hay debris than smell from pee. I think fleece is cleaner for the piggies too, because the poops are cleaned out twice a day. I wash mine in Wish Free detergent with 1/2 c of white vinegar in the rinse cycle, then machine dry. I would say, go for it, make at least one pad, and, if you dont like it, switch back to loose bedding.

ArielLace
08-26-12, 11:53 pm
Thank you guys for all the input! I'm glad some people that don't support fleece gave their opinions too, so I know the cons to expect. I'm definitely gonna give it a try. I'm completely committed to sweeping poop twice a day, I already scoop cat poop twice a day so its no big deal! And I think it'll be much quicker than trying to spot clean the loose bedding. I'm also going to make extra little pads to go under high traffic spots. As for a litter box, anyone have experience with the rabbit corner litter boxes? My piggy already mostly pees and poops in one corner, so I was considering getting a corner box for his new cage layout.

pinky
08-27-12, 03:39 am
Thank you guys for all the input! I'm glad some people that don't support fleece gave their opinions too, so I know the cons to expect. I'm definitely gonna give it a try. I'm completely committed to sweeping poop twice a day, I already scoop cat poop twice a day so its no big deal! And I think it'll be much quicker than trying to spot clean the loose bedding. I'm also going to make extra little pads to go under high traffic spots. As for a litter box, anyone have experience with the rabbit corner litter boxes? My piggy already mostly pees and poops in one corner, so I was considering getting a corner box for his new cage layout.

I use those litter boxes for my hay. I prefer a bin of some sort so hay dust doesn't get into their eyes from a hay rack. I have one that climbs in, but I clean it regularly so it's no big deal. I tried them as litter boxes, too, but none of my current ones used it. I had one that's deceased that just about lived in one, though. She loved hers.

ArielLace
09-10-12, 01:03 am
So an update, I've officially been using fleece and Uhaul pads for a week, and I think I love it! My piggy LOVES it, and it looks so nice. All the friends I've had over have commented on how great it looks. Its been very easy to keep tidy throughout the week, especially since I got a hay holder. I've just been using a little hand broom and dustpan to sweep up poops, and it takes no time at all. At first it wasn't wicking the pee even after proper washing and drying, but after a few hours it started working. I only just noticed a tiny bit of a smell today, exactly a week later, and that's only if I practically stick my head in the cage! I'll be switching liners first thing in the morning before work.
I've never seen my piggy popcorn as much as he did when I first put him on his fleece! He was so excited. I can't wait to get him lots of exciting patterns. We only have two different solid colors since it was just a test run.
And something completely unrelated but equally exciting, a new piggy came home today. He's currently in quarantine, and the cage he will share with Luke will be expanded by the time the two are cleared to meet. Quarantining is so hard, I'm so eager for them to meet. But I know its in both of their best interests to wait it out, so that's what I'll do. I'm just going to be antsy the whole 3 weeks!
Thanks again for all the tips and input. I'm so glad I found this site. You guys are the best!

HarleypigsMummy
09-10-12, 05:32 am
Can anyone tell me what the UK equivalent of U-Haul pads are? Am I just being silly? xx

Nix16
09-10-12, 05:51 am
Not sure in the UK but here in Australia they are movers blankets or furniture blankets. You should be able to get them from a storage company or possibly a hardware store.

HarleypigsMummy
09-10-12, 06:13 am
Thanks Nix16. I'm wondering if matress protectors would be kinda the same? And is the idea that these are sewn in to the fleece to make a pad which fits the cage size? I'm being a bit dim I think! x

CritterSlave
09-10-12, 09:42 am
I have fleece and I love it!. I just expanded my cage to a 2x12 yesterday and I'd hate to know how much carefresh I'd need for it it would cost a fortune!

ArielLace
09-10-12, 01:48 pm
Thanks Nix16. I'm wondering if matress protectors would be kinda the same? And is the idea that these are sewn in to the fleece to make a pad which fits the cage size? I'm being a bit dim I think! x

I just folded the fleece under and pinned them together. When I washed them I unpinned them and put them back together when they came out. You could sew them together though and I think I will eventually. Pinning them is just easier right now. But make sure to be careful what you use to pin them together in case your pigs burrow under it.

winterpegger
10-02-12, 01:04 am
Fleece is wonderful, but it is definitely more labor intensive and time consuming than disposable bedding. Once a day poop pickup just doesn't do it--you really need to do it twice a day. And unless your fleece is prepared before hand it won't wick properly and your pigs will sit in and walk through puddles of urine and get smelly.

You also need to make sure you get as much of the hay/bedding/hair off of the fleece before you put it in your washing machine. Still, afterwards you will probably need to vacuum your washing machine out. Even though you may not see hair/hay in the washer, it gets in the filter. You will also need to clean the rubber seals periodically or they start to get grimy (for front loaders, anyway).

I use fleece in my personal pig cages because it does cut down on dust, but I hate the daily upkeep.

How do you prep the fleece to ensure it wicks? Just changed to fleece yesterday and found this is a big problem.

lissie
10-02-12, 02:17 am
How do you prep the fleece to ensure it wicks? Just changed to fleece yesterday and found this is a big problem.

Wash and dry, at least three times, with no fabric softener.

winterpegger
10-02-12, 01:10 pm
Wash and dry, at least three times, with no fabric softener.
Thank you

madelineelaine
10-02-12, 02:07 pm
I love fleece! I used to keep my hamster on shavings, and then carefresh. I didn't enjoy either. If I could've used fleece, I would've. Now, I LOVE FLEECE! I can't imagine ever putting my pigs back on shavings, or even carefresh. I made a loft (3x2) for the kitchen. This makes clean up a bajillion times easier now, because the hay only invades a small bit of fleece. I also made a hay bag which contains the hay even more.

Fleece is so wonderful.

Trish
10-07-12, 01:24 pm
George started out on aspen. He is in my room (since that is where I spend the majority of my time), and I could smell urine a half a day after changing it and cleaning the cage. I went to Carefresh. George sneezed like crazy with that. So I changed to fleece.

I LOVE it!!! I spot clean with a broom 3x a day, takes just a couple of minutes. I change the fleece, towels, and newspaper once a week. I have never smelled urine or pooh. I love that I can decorate his cage with fun fabric, and he is much happier with the fleece.

Trish

Eccles
10-14-12, 11:10 pm
We have only had our piggies for two weeks. The first week (while I waited for my piggie bedspraed to come cause I wasn't going to make anything just now) we had them on carefresh. OMG. For one tihng the GINORMOUS bag only lasts like one week cause you ahve to get all the pee/poop out and that uses up a lot of bedding. And it is messy and stinky.

The piggies love the fleece, they popcorn and run a lot more. And I just put one of those corner litter pans (made for bunnies?) under the hayrack and it contains the bulk of the hay. I put carefresh in the litter pan cause most of the pee/pooping happens there. Which makes clean up a breeze!

I just shook the fleece out in the yard before washing, picked off any remaining strands of hay, and that was it. There wasn't really any noticable hair on it, but our piggies are shorthair.

AmeliaJade
10-20-12, 08:33 pm
I've only been a piggy mom for a short time but I can say that I love fleece! For two weeks we had the boys in a large, used cage with aspen shavings while we prepared their c&c cage. I HATED the aspen. We also tried the shredded egg crate stuff or whatever it is. This is worse than the aspen. The fleece looks nice but does require upkeep. I wake up every day and the first thing I do is greet the piggies and start sweeping their cage. I have a tiny broom and dustpan and I sweep each level to clear out all the poops. They have a litter box where their hay is. I use a layer of newspaper with aspen over top in the litter pan. I clean that every morning. I do a complete sweep of their cage again in the evening.

Right now I'm teaching myself to sew and plan to sew several fleece pee pads so that I can simply switch them out as needed.

porkchophamster
10-20-12, 08:42 pm
I will NEVER go back to shavings for the whole cage! I still use it for the kitchen but it's still wayyyy cheaper than using it for the whole cage. I have extra u-haul pads under their hideout and under their water bottles. I sweep up once per day before I feed them and I don't have any smells except for when I change the carefresh in the kitchen. But that's it! It IS AMAZING! :)

ssssarah
10-20-12, 08:53 pm
i've never used anything but fleece, and i like it a lot but the hay and hair does cling to it, so it's kind of hard to wash and tends to get in all your laundry. but if you can get past that, fleece is really the cheapest way to go and pigs seem to like it more than other bedding. you do have to sweep/scoop up poops at least once a day, but you can also go a week between bedding changes if you have the right kind of padding underneath (a few layers of towels or uhaul padding are the best, from what i can tell).

my fleeces were like three dollars each from walmart. my pigs don't burrow really burrow underneath it, but that's another thing to consider before switching. you don't want them getting under it and peeing straight on the bottom of the cage.

i might not use fleece if my cage wasn't in my bedroom, or if i had more pigs, just because it is more daily upkeep than anything else. i prefer it, though, because i can plainly see their poops and any stains their pees may leave, and as weird as that may sound, i'm glad. it helps me keep up with how much they're pooping or if anything that comes out of them doesn't look like it should.

to me, spending money on package after package of bedding seems incredibly wasteful, but it really is all about personal preference. you can always switch back to regular bedding if you don't like it.

as far as smells, i don't notice ANY smell with fleece. at all. ever. i changed their fleece today after four days but it could have easily gone another two or three days. i only had a single layer of towels underneath and they were damp in places but it wasn't bad, and it didn't smell at all.

Eccles
10-20-12, 09:54 pm
SOOOO much better! I only lasted a week or two w/bedding. Cause you ahve to scoop out the wet areas and, well, it seemed like half the cage had soaked up pee spots and huge piles of poo. SO we were replacing 1/3 to 1/2 the bedding every day. So wasteful and expensive and MESSY!

I sweep the fleece usually twice a day. Every now and again just once if it seems clean enough in the am. I have a litter tray under the hay rack w/carefresh in it because I noticed that is were the bulk of the pee/poop end up and it was getting mashed in w/the hay and GROSS. But I only have to change out the litter tray every 2 -3 days depending. I wash the fleece once a week. No stink.