PDA

View Full Version : Fleece How can I clean less? Once a week maybe.



sakee
09-19-12, 10:43 am
I have a 2X4 lined with fleece with 2 boys in it. They poop A LOT. :eye-poppi I spot clean every day, probably should be doing twice a day.
I just added a second floor kitchen from the store cage and made a corner litter pan out of corro and put it in a corner one of them uses a lot already.
They can go 4 days without a change, but that's the limit, even 4 is pushing it. I have uhaul pads and under that a flannel sheet, which absorbs tons of pee.

What else can I do? I really want to clean only once a week or maybe even longer. I hear of people going 10 days, but with litter training.

TIA

CanadianComforts
09-19-12, 10:47 am
Make their cage bigger would mean less weekly cleanings but really there isn't much you can do. I clean mine once a week but I spot clean 2 times a day lately and have "high traffic area" pads on top of the fleece that I change out every two days.

I would get the idea of litter training out of your head though, they can NOT be trained. Kitchen areas with loose bedding helps but they wont just go in there.

Lilathandra
09-19-12, 11:05 am
I have started adding more layers of uhaul pads under where they pee alot. I used to only use 2 layers but it didnt seem like enough so I have between 4 and 5 layers of where they sleep and eat to soak up the pee. It seems to have helped quit a bit. I can easily go 6 to 7 days without changing out the fleece. I only sweep poops up once a day.

bpatters
09-19-12, 12:14 pm
Bigger cage, and wood pellets instead of fleece. Wood pellets last waaayyy longer.

madelineelaine
09-19-12, 02:04 pm
I have a 2x7 with 3 x2 kitchen. I can go 14 days without changing my cage. I have 2 pigs. It stays nice and dry. Why? Because I use LOTS of towels. In high traffic pee spots I put 4 or 5 layers of towels. I sweep daily. Right now it's been 17 days and it's just starting to smell. I definitely need to do a cage change tonight.

boofp
09-19-12, 02:22 pm
I sweep up poos every two days or so and one major clean and wash down once a week. It probably could go longer but I just make a habit or doing it once a week.The liner I have is double fleece sewed together and then one single layer of fleece under that. I have plastic bins with double fleece liners and then I put a single wash cloth (change these every two days). I also have a boot tray under hay rack I change that towel as needed.

madelineelaine
09-19-12, 02:56 pm
boofp , completely off topic, but I got bins today! I'm still trying to work out how to do it. The bins are about 17 inches long, so they're longer than a grid. I don't know how to make it work so the pigs can still get up and use the top part as a loft/sleeping area. Or if I should just abandon that idea completely, and have two large open bins some how connected to the grids, but so I can still clean.

boofp
09-19-12, 03:00 pm
If you notice they are the loft is only as high as the coroplast(half a grid) So they can really hop up and down. I just put the little wooden bridge under it as a step But you could use a brick or make a ramp

madelineelaine
09-19-12, 03:53 pm
I'm thinking of abondoning the idea of a loft above the bins, but I will make a loft above the litter box bin in the kitchen area. They'll be able to hop up and down, the only issue is there is a bin sticking out, which would prevent them from hoping up.

sakee
09-22-12, 06:53 am
Thanks for the replies. I am starting to think my problem is detergent build up. When I use a super plain detergent with no scent at all it lasts longer, but I have 7th generation detergent too and that has essential oils in it. You can't really smell them but I don't think this soap rinses out as well. I will go back to the other one and add some more under layers.

sakee
09-22-12, 06:58 am
oh, and I ran out of super washing soda this week, I think that was making a big difference, b/c the pee smell is raging right now and it's never been this bad

Elthysia
09-22-12, 07:53 am
Do a wash with a cup of cheap white vinegar, no detergents at all. That stops the fleece from building up smell for me.

sakee
09-22-12, 08:04 am
Do a wash with a cup of cheap white vinegar, no detergents at all. That stops the fleece from building up smell for me.

Ok I will try that, I already use it in the rinse cycle

pinky
09-22-12, 02:03 pm
I would never let it go more than a week. Even though it's more convenient to change the cage less often, urine contains bacteria and ammonia is released as the urea breaks down. Ammonia is a skin and lung irritant so you don't want your guinea pig in that kind of environment. I never let my fleece lined cages go past 4 days and sometimes I even change them sooner if I have soiled areas. I have 2 fleece pads per cage and I'll occasionally change one pad if it's soiled and the other one is clean. Their bodies are low to the ground so they can develop UTIs if they're laying in waste or wet bedding.

Nix16
09-23-12, 07:34 am
You could also try having multiple detail fleece and pads. Roll up the dirty set on day 4 or so, shake it outside and put it in a nappy bucket or the like and lay down an new set of fleece and pads. Once a week do a cage clean with vinegar mix etc, change linen again and wash the whole lot. I know that's still more work than maybe you we're thinking but it might be worth a try

sdpiggylvr
09-23-12, 01:58 pm
I would never let it go more than a week. Even though it's more convenient to change the cage less often, urine contains bacteria and ammonia is released as the urea breaks down. Ammonia is a skin and lung irritant so you don't want your guinea pig in that kind of environment. I never let my fleece lined cages go past 4 days and sometimes I even change them sooner if I have soiled areas. I have 2 fleece pads per cage and I'll occasionally change one pad if it's soiled and the other one is clean. Their bodies are low to the ground so they can develop UTIs if they're laying in waste or wet bedding.

Completely agreed. Thank you so much for bringing this up. Changing the bedding less frequently is not healthy. The bedding needs to be changed regularly in order to maintain a hygienic environment for your piggies.

I would encourage you to consider expanding the cage or getting disposable bedding. Some guinea pigs are just messier and fleece bedding just isn't right for them. You may have to use disposable bedding like Carefresh or aspen shavings instead. With disposable bedding you can spot-clean and remove the wet spots as well as the poops daily, so that might be a better fit.

Best of luck!

sakee
09-23-12, 03:02 pm
Expanding the cage isn't an option in my family's current apartment, but, I am going to stick to the schedule of every 4 days. You're right, I definitely don't want health issues. I like the diaper pail idea, as well as continuing to adjust the laundry routine to make sure everything is rinsed out. Thanks for all the tips!

Paula
09-23-12, 03:37 pm
Completely agreed. Thank you so much for bringing this up. Changing the bedding less frequently is not healthy. The bedding needs to be changed regularly in order to maintain a hygienic environment for your piggies.Not necessarily. There are plenty of ways to go without changing it every 4 days while still maintaining a clean environment for your pigs. The idea of putting some smaller pads in areas where your pigs pee more often is a good way to do this. Regularly removing poo, hay, etc., and having a larger cage are all good ways to go longer between complete cage changes. There's absolutely no reason that a person can't go at least a week in between complete cage changes - the implication that it needs to be done every 3 or 4 days is not the norm or standard for everyone. It reminds me of a conversation on another forum some time back where the thread basically devolved into ridiculousness and people saying cages needed to be changed once a day. It seems that sometimes people get caught up in thinking that "being a good owner" equates to doing things unnecessarily, like changing cages every few days. It's completely fine if that's what works for you and you are happy doing it - the wide majority of folks aren't going to have time or inclination to change cages more than once a week, so that is the goal that we tend to shoot for here.

I personally change my cages once a week because they aren't big enough not to have odor beyond that point, but I know a handful of people who can go much longer because their cages are bigger and they have smaller areas of carefresh or another disposable bedding and "pee pads" in areas that are more frequently peed on and doing so is completely acceptable and there's definitely nothing about it that seems "not healthy."

pinky
09-23-12, 04:18 pm
Not necessarily. There are plenty of ways to go without changing it every 4 days while still maintaining a clean environment for your pigs. The idea of putting some smaller pads in areas where your pigs pee more often is a good way to do this. Regularly removing poo, hay, etc., and having a larger cage are all good ways to go longer between complete cage changes. There's absolutely no reason that a person can't go at least a week in between complete cage changes - the implication that it needs to be done every 3 or 4 days is not the norm or standard for everyone. It reminds me of a conversation on another forum some time back where the thread basically devolved into ridiculousness and people saying cages needed to be changed once a day. It seems that sometimes people get caught up in thinking that "being a good owner" equates to doing things unnecessarily, like changing cages every few days. It's completely fine if that's what works for you and you are happy doing it - the wide majority of folks aren't going to have time or inclination to change cages more than once a week, so that is the goal that we tend to shoot for here.

I personally change my cages once a week because they aren't big enough not to have odor beyond that point, but I know a handful of people who can go much longer because their cages are bigger and they have smaller areas of carefresh or another disposable bedding and "pee pads" in areas that are more frequently peed on and doing so is completely acceptable and there's definitely nothing about it that seems "not healthy."

A lot of it depends upon how many guinea pigs you have, how large a space and how much they go. For those of us who have used disposable diapers for our kids, we know that although they often feel dry to the touch, they can still be saturated with urine. As much as I would not have left my kids with a urine soaked diaper, I would also not leave a cage that way, either. I can't see risking a UTI for the sake of convenience, but that's just my opinion. A dry fleece top layer with a urine saturated absorbent layer is just as unsanitary as a diaper that feels dry to the touch but is heavy with urine. If the absorbent layer feels wet, it's saturated with urine and I think it's better to replace it with clean bedding than to have a thicker layer and leave it longer. If someone has guinea pigs that seem to go in one spot most of the time, spot cleaning or smaller fleece pads might do the trick but I wouldn't let a cage go where the guinea pigs soil randomly and I'd never let it go longer than a week. Guinealynx states that generally, one week is the maximum between cage cleanings. I agree with them when they say your nose will tell you. If there's odor, it needs to be changed.

http://www.guinealynx.info/housing_tips.html

Paula
09-23-12, 05:27 pm
As much as I would not have left my kids with a urine soaked diaper, I would also not leave a cage that way, either.No one's suggested or implied one should leave a cage completely urine soaked. The implication that your pig is going to immediately come down with a UTI if the cage isn't completely changed out every few days is really only accurate if you're talking about a small cage where the animal hasn't much room to move around. One of the many benefits of providing larger cages is less need to change cages so frequently. It's not a matter of convenience, although that is the attitude that people seem to like to take when they feel that their way is the best and really only way of doing things. It's not. I think it's great if a person wants to change out a cage several times a week or even several times a day. That is simply not realistic, or really necessary for most folks and quite honestly it's an unrealistic expectation to set out for people, especially new owners overwhelmed with all there is that differs from 'what the pet store said' anyway.

If you want to change your cages multiple times in a week, that's fine, more power to you. But to imply that it's a "matter of convenience" is the kind of comment that might really turn folks off to owning guinea pigs in the first place. Changing cages more often is a matter of personal preference, not usually a need unless you have a cage that's not big enough in the first place.

Please note the page Teresa has set up for bedding and that the general idea is to find a bedding that "only needs to be changed once a week at most." (http://www.guineapigcages.com/bedding.htm) That page focuses on disposable bedding, but the general idea is the same - multiple weekly cage changes is not ideal or generally realistic for many people, and with a few measures to guard against "urine soaked bedding" it isn't a legitimate concern, anyway.

pinky
09-23-12, 05:47 pm
No one's suggested or implied one should leave a cage completely urine soaked. The implication that your pig is going to immediately come down with a UTI if the cage isn't completely changed out every few days is really only accurate if you're talking about a small cage where the animal hasn't much room to move around. One of the many benefits of providing larger cages is less need to change cages so frequently. It's not a matter of convenience, although that is the attitude that people seem to like to take when they feel that their way is the best and really only way of doing things. It's not. I think it's great if a person wants to change out a cage several times a week or even several times a day. That is simply not realistic, or really necessary for most folks and quite honestly it's an unrealistic expectation to set out for people, especially new owners overwhelmed with all there is that differs from 'what the pet store said' anyway.

If you want to change your cages multiple times in a week, that's fine, more power to you. But to imply that it's a "matter of convenience" is the kind of comment that might really turn folks off to owning guinea pigs in the first place. Changing cages more often is a matter of personal preference, not usually a need unless you have a cage that's not big enough in the first place.

Please note the page Teresa has set up for bedding and that the general idea is to find a bedding that "only needs to be changed once a week at most." (http://www.guineapigcages.com/bedding.htm) That page focuses on disposable bedding, but the general idea is the same - multiple weekly cage changes is not ideal or generally realistic for many people, and with a few measures to guard against "urine soaked bedding" it isn't a legitimate concern, anyway.

I would never put convenience ahead of cleanliness. As I stated in my first sentence, "A lot of it depends upon how many guinea pigs you have, how large a space and how much they go. " My comments about not letting it go more than a week are based on using fleece. I frankly think you could keep a thicker layer of disposable bedding longer in a cage because the droppings and urine get dispersed more when the guinea pigs run around and aren't saturated in one area as much as it does in a fleece lined cage. I use Carefresh when I go somewhere overnight and can't spot clean the fleece. I have waited close to a week to change the bedding when I've used Carefresh but I did find it was really heavy so I knew it had to have a lot of urine in it. The point is, urea turns into ammonia and it could be harmful to guinea pigs. If people are willing to add kitchen areas, extra pads they can remove or employ other options to keep the cage clean, more power to them, but they are probably still devoting as much time as they would changing the fleece. Either way, they are removing the soiled bedding which is what needs to be done in a timely manner to keep the cage clean.

As quoted from guinealynx housing tips"

"Your nose will tell you. Generally one week is the maximum between complete bedding changes. How often you need to clean will also depend on:

Your choice of bedding material
The age of your guinea pigs (young pigs mean less waste)
The size of your cage (bigger is better) and
How many guinea pigs you have.

"Cleaning regularly will keep your guinea pigs healthier. More frequent cleaning prevents urine from breaking down into ammonia, which can harm your cavy's respiratory system. Frequent cleaning will also slow bacterial growth and your guinea pigs will be less likely to contract urinary tract infections. "

sakee
09-23-12, 06:41 pm
Not necessarily. There are plenty of ways to go without changing it every 4 days while still maintaining a clean environment for your pigs. The idea of putting some smaller pads in areas where your pigs pee more often is a good way to do this. Regularly removing poo, hay, etc., and having a larger cage are all good ways to go longer between complete cage changes. There's absolutely no reason that a person can't go at least a week in between complete cage changes - the implication that it needs to be done every 3 or 4 days is not the norm or standard for everyone. It reminds me of a conversation on another forum some time back where the thread basically devolved into ridiculousness and people saying cages needed to be changed once a day. It seems that sometimes people get caught up in thinking that "being a good owner" equates to doing things unnecessarily, like changing cages every few days. It's completely fine if that's what works for you and you are happy doing it - the wide majority of folks aren't going to have time or inclination to change cages more than once a week, so that is the goal that we tend to shoot for here.

I personally change my cages once a week because they aren't big enough not to have odor beyond that point, but I know a handful of people who can go much longer because their cages are bigger and they have smaller areas of carefresh or another disposable bedding and "pee pads" in areas that are more frequently peed on and doing so is completely acceptable and there's definitely nothing about it that seems "not healthy."

Thanks for the info. Well, I will keep adjusting things and see if I can extend their cleaning time.

Paula
09-23-12, 07:15 pm
Thanks for the info. Well, I will keep adjusting things and see if I can extend their cleaning time.Sounds good. It definitely can be done. I don't want you or anyone to feel that cleaning less than what a single person or a smaller group of people might deem "necessary" to being a good piggy parent means that what you're doing is substandard. You definitely don't want to create or harbor an unhealthy situation, but if you've got a large enough cage (sounds like you do) and are completely changing out bedding at least once a week it should be completely fine. If you can manage and want to do it more often, that's totally fine, but it's definitely not anything you positively must do, although there are obviously some folks who would suggest and have you believe otherwise. It doesn't work for me, but as @madelineelaine (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/member.php?u=22955) suggested, it can definitely work, especially if you have a gigantic cage to begin with. I know people who can go quite a long time but there are some other factors involved, too. Ideally you can find a good middle ground that's not sacrificing the health of your animals and is also convenient for you. As Billie mentioned, you might need to consider looking into a different kind of bedding besides fleece, like wood pellets. You can definitely find something that works that isn't jeopardizing the health and well-being of your pets.

Nix16
09-24-12, 01:13 am
Just another point, everyone's sense of smell varies at what may be offensive to one person, another person may not even notice. Also keep an eye out for stray hay, I know when my pigs drag out hay and pre on it it stinks, also if they are long haired pigs they may have peed on themselves and stink, I noticed just now my piggy room stinks and I only just changed the fleece yesterday, turns out my pigs need a butt bath and a haircut, whoops, sorry piggies.

madelineelaine
09-24-12, 09:53 am
Nix16 that's true too. Felix is white, and he is a very messy piggy. He needs more frequent baths because of his grease gland too. It's a whole variety of factors.

sakee
09-27-12, 06:22 pm
I decided to buy a large wet bag and put extra fleece or pigloo pads in their corners and hide outs and change them daily and store them in the wet bag until wash day. I like this a lot because the cage looks fresh even though it's not cleaning day. Today, cleaning day, I noticed the fleece is damp on top, probably because the under layers were soaked, so I think I need more layers. I'll see how that goes and maybe I can get to every 5 days.