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Thread: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

  1. #101
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    I would but I haven't made a c and c cage due to the lack of space i have in my room. But i try to let them out daily for a few hours.

  2. #102
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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    I am NOT trying to cause controversy on this thread, but I have been lurking on here long enough to know you all adore your piggies very much and it would be remiss of me to not pass along what I have learned about Pine. Pine pellets (or anything made of Pine for that matter) do not need to smell strongly of Pine to be deadly to small animals. They do not need to be ingested either to pose major health concerns. Softwoods such as Pine and Cedar contain large amount of Phenols which can in turn cause respiratory, kidney and liver problems as was mentioned. Even Kiln-Dried Pine has been found to be unsafe as the drying process does NOT remove all Phenols. I am really sorry to post this, and I realize "anyone can say anything" as someone wrote earlier on this thread, but I trust the HouseRabbitSociety as well as the countless other studies done on this matter. Following are two articles that do a good job of explaining (without using too much technical talk so even I can understand).

    http://www.afrma.org/pineproblem.htm

    http://www.ratfanclub.org/litters.html

  3. #103
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    Interesting articles. But I'd like to point out that neither of them addresses the use of pellets.

    Pine shavings are air dried, whereas pellets are extruded under very high pressure and heat. Phenols are volatile compounds, which is why you can smell them so strongly. But they vaporize when heated. It is therefore very unlikely that pellets contain much phenol at all.

    I wonder if either of those organizations would like to make a statement regarding pellets.

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  5. #104
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    I am not sure I understand why you are asking because Pine is Pine whatever form is used or whatever process is used on it. It is still toxic in my opinion. Regardless, I love my mice too much to take a chance. It is simply not worth it to me to gamble with their lives over this, especially when there are other products available that I know are safe. As for the organizations discussing Pine pellets, the AFRMA did do a review of pellets in general in which Pine pellets were NOT part of the review. I would say that speaks for itself what their thoughts are on Pine pellets.

    http://www.afrma.org/beddings_pellet.htm

    Thank you for the input. I appreciate you taking the time to give your opinion.

  6. #105
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    Just to clarify, I said I love my mice too much to use anything Pine because I think it is toxic. I know you love your piggies.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    Well, pine is NOT pine in whatever form -- there are differences after it's been treated in different ways. Nor is cedar, for that matter. There are processes that remove the phenols, or reduce them to the point that they are negligible. Heat is one of those processes, and much more heat is used in pelletizing than in producing shavings.

    There's a company on the west coast that superdries its cedar, and has reduced the odor to almost nothing. I don't know the name of the company, but @Paula and I corresponded about a year or so ago. I'm not recommending the use of cedar, just pointing out that different treatments leave different amounts of residual chemicals in the product.

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  9. #107
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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    I have a Mechanical background so I understand about "processes" and "treatments" although I did work mostly with metals and plastics; however, this is exactly why I am NOT going to use anything Pine in any state. I am not sure what you mean by "pine is NOT pine in whatever form -- there are differences after it's been treated in different ways" because it is still Pine no matter what you do to it, but regardless I cannot in good conscience trust any process or treatment to take something naturally toxic and make it non-toxic, especially if it concerns my 4-legged children. Also, if more heat is being used to produce pellets than shavings why is it recommended on here that one check the level of Pine aroma at the store, and only buy the bags that smell the least like Pine? This implies the heat process is not consistent, and the bags of pellets are not equal in how much residual phenols are in them.

    I do appreciate hearing the other side of this matter. You have been very polite and respectful of my point of view, and I thank you. This is a great forum, and I have found the Fleece category quite useful for other rodents.

    To the person that started this thread, I hope going off track a bit does not bother you. My intent in bringing up the safety of Pine was solely because I know how much the members here cherish their GPs, and several folks mentioned their concerns in your thread about using Pine. If you think I hijacked your thread in any way, please let Admin know and they can delete my posts-thanks.

  10. #108
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    I don't know why you just didn't start a new thread about the safety of pine.

  11. #109
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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    I did not start a new thread about the safety of Pine because when I first replied it was in reference to the concerns people had posted on this thread about the safety of Pine pellets. My mistake that I thought I was welcome to join in the conversation.
    Last edited by lovesmice; 10-31-15 at 01:08 pm.

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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    My mistake that I thought I was welcome to join in the conversation.
    Not your mistake at all. You're perfectly welcome to join the conversation.

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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    Where do I find these?

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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    It depends on where you live, and whether you're looking for horse stall pellets or stove pellets.

    Stove pellets are a seasonal thing in the south (and maybe in the north, for all I know). They're only available in the winter months at places like Home Depot, Lowes, etc. You do have to be careful with those that they're not treated with an accelerant and that they don't smell strongly of pine.

    If you live in an area where there are horses around, then feed stores and places like Tractor Supply will have pellets used for bedding. You have to check those for pine odor as well, but they're not as likely to be unusable for guinea pigs as stove pellets are.

    They're not cost effective if you try to order them online, as they're very heavy, and the shipping costs many times more than the pellets.

    I use TerrAmigo brand, which I buy at a local feed store.

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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    There're so many brands of wood pellets, made of different types of wood. You can usually check with the manufacturer to see what wood is used. Some are harder than others, some are more "chopped".

  16. #114
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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    I had mentioned this in another thread, but I am considering switching to wood pellets, especially with how troublesome it has become recently for me to clean both my fleece and U-Haul blanket bedding. I have to do two loads of washing every week (one for the U-Haul blankets, one for everything fleece, bedding and cozy sacks) and I can't do it until after my mom is done with the laundry so that she can do a deep washing of the washing machine after I'm done (pretty much let the washing machine run for about an hour with nothing in it). This becomes a bit of a hassle, especially since it will take her all day or even two days to do laundry for 4 people (my parents, my sister and me), even more so when it's time to wash the bed sheets. Sometimes I will have switched out the bedding but I can't clean the dirty bedding yet, and the dirty bedding ends up sitting in an old laundry basket for a day or more. Pretty much, the U-Haul blanket idea worked pretty well at first, but over time they just didn't seem to work that well anymore, and I sometimes mess up on the blanket sizes and end up not covering the cage completely one week while having too much the next. Also the smell has started to build up faster and earlier on in the week while before the bedding didn't start to smell until it was time to switch it out.

    I told my dad about using wood pellets and how I could use them as the under bedding and only have to change them out completely once a month while cleaning out the bad pellets every week when I switch out the fleece. He's saying no right now because he thought I was referring to wood pellets for pets, not just basic wood pellets you can find at like Lowes or someplace (unless there is a specific type of wood pellet meant only for pets then oh well). I did my research and the nearest store to me that sells 40 lb bags of wood pellets is around $5.50 a bag. I could buy 3-4 bags (that should last me a few months with my cage right now) and I would spend more money on food for them in a single month then on the pellets (they are heavy eaters and one of my boys likes to flip the food dish and spill the food all over the place, wasting away most of the food). I will still do more research before I go buying anything, but if any kind of wood pellets work then I know where I can get the pellets I need. Depending, I won't switch to pellets until I completely rebuild my guinea pigs' cage into melamine wood and Plexiglas (their current cage is a 2X6 C&C cage with a 2X3 loft/kitchen, and it's raised up off the ground to allow storage underneath the cage), which I won't do for at least another few weeks, probably after the New Year. I will make a thread - or make a post in another thread - showing off and talking about the cage I have right now and another one when I rebuild their cage.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    You don't have to change out the pellets once a month. I've gone three months without changing, and only did so then because I was adding another pig and needed a completely cleaned cage to put them back into.

    I will say that the bigger the cage, the easier it is to keep clean, and the longer the pellets will last.

  18. #116
    Cavy Slave CoppersMom's Avatar
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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    Hey Everyone! So I have been using TSC Equine Fresh Pine Pellet (goo.gl/5a4uJ0) and my local Guinea Pig Rescue says this is too hard on their feet? So in place of this would my best bet be to use the Kaytee Wood Pellet Bedding (goo.gl/wldX3V)? Copper does not seem to mind the current pellets under his fleece though, does anyone else use the TSC pine pellets that I do? TIA!

  19. #117
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    It is NOT too hard on their feet. It MAY have too much of a pine odor left in them, in which case it will the phenols in the pine that cause any foot problems. You'll have to sniff and see if you can smell a strong pine odor. I'd be willing to bet your local rescue knows nothing about pellets, and just assumes that they stay hard. The truth is, they disintegrate on top fairly rapidly, and form a level "floor" that isn't a problem at all.

    I've had my pigs on pellets for three years with no problems. And I know a bunch of other people on this and other forums that have been using pellets for a long time.

    Right now, I'm using TerrAmigo horse stall bedding, there's almost no pine odor at all. And I put a thin layer of fleece over the pellets, which makes it easy to just shake off the hay and poop and put the fleece back in. If you can find hardwood pellets with no accelerant (they're almost always stove pellets, which should be available this time of year), you don't even have to worry about the odor.

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  21. #118
    Cavy Slave blessedmom's Avatar
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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    So glad I ran across this thread. I was actually about to buy some fleece flippers. I already know how awesome wood pellets are. I used them in a small apartment in TX and was amazed how great they controlled odor and how long they lasted. We are in a bigger place now and I've been using Carefresh and/or fleece with uhaul pads for the last couple months since running out of pellets. They even carry them year round here and I don't have to go far. I can't believe I was about to go back to all that laundry! My only issues with the wood pellets are that I find it hard to sweep up the poops daily because the fleece isn't pulled taught. Even when clipped to the edges, it pulls loose. Some say they pick it up and shake it off but if I don't clip it, my boys will go under the fleece and the dust from the wet pellets is always stuck to the underside and would fall everywhere on the way outside to shake the blanket. It's also very hard to do the big clean out because they're so heavy and cumbersome and I have issues with my back. But I also have a helpful hubby. I do wonder, does anyone sift them? I tried that and they last FOREVER but it's a bit messy and time consuming. Do most of y'all just stir the dust to the bottom?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: 3 full weeks of wood pellets

    I stir mine occasionally, but never sift them. I don't know how that would work, because the ones underneath the top sawdust layer are still perfectly formed pellets, and they're bigger than the poop.

    They are heavy, but I have a rolling garbage can that I pull in next to the cage, put a garbage bag in it, and just dump the pellets in the bag using a dust pan. Then I tie the bag off, just leave it in the garbage can, and roll it out.

  23. #120
    Cavy Slave CaseyB's Avatar
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    3 full weeks of wood pellets

    This has been a great help ! I find myself doing a full cage cleaning daily because of the smell. I am really sensitive to smells and any urine smell drives me crazy. I am going to try this out once I can open my cage up completely (it is currently split while my male recovers from his neuter).
    I do have a couple questions :
    - does anyone have issues with the pigs burrowing under the fleece ?
    - how do you keep tight while you sweep up the poop daily ?
    - do people use it in their lofts as well ?

    Thanks

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