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Thread: Why use fleece

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    Why use fleece

    I don't understand why you use fleece and not just bedding? It seems like fleece would be hard to keep clean. What are the benefits? I have used bedding for 5 years and never heard of using fleece, it just seems like it would be more time consuming to take care of and get very smelly and dirty faster.. I just don't get it?

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    Re: Why use fleece

    You are right, using fleece seems time consuming. Vacuuming, washing with special detergent, ect. However, there is a benefit (or at least I see) - it saves money. Bedding here in NY is 25.99 for a 50L bag of carefresh confetti bedding. I plan to purchase a bulk of fleece and liners in order to create several fleece liners. I foresee this allowing me to change the fleece more often since I will have another sheet available. Taking care of fleece bedding needs more dedication then bedding, but I feel it' worth it financially in the end. It's also a wonderful way to customize a cage.

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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: Why use fleece

    We sell all kinds of fleece on the Market store, so I'm all for fleece, HOWEVER, it is definitely more high-maintenance than disposable bedding. No question. I've been going back and forth in experimentation for over a year on bedding testing now -- in various size cages with various pig populations. And you are right, it can and frequently does get smelly faster depending on various factors.

    It's also a fallacy that fleece is cheaper than disposable bedding. You can buy a huge bag of Kiln-dried pine shavings at a feed store for under $10 that can last for a month for a 2 guinea pig 2x4 C&C. Of course, if you use the most expensive Cadillac of disposable beddings, such as pretty Carefresh, yes, you will pay through the nose, no question. But you don't have to. People have used pine for many many decades without health issues. It's not ideal, but neither is fleece for other reasons.

    I've also had a study commissioned on the Carbon Footprint of pine vs fleece. I have to have it redone for better typical gp cage parameters so that it's more easily understandable, but, it already shows that fleece is not more eco-friendly than pine. There are different considerations.

    For example, the micro-fibers (not filterable) from fleece are notoriously bad for the oceans. You're ultimately eating that plastic in the long run because it's coating the ocean floor and killing fish. So, pick your poison. Kill trees, kill the oceans. It's not a black and white choice.

    It all comes down to your personal life style, your resources, your priorities, your concerns, your biases, esthetics, allergies and more. What trade-offs do you want to make?

    If someone doesn't have easy access to doing laundry, fleece is out. If someone doesn't have access to cheap pine shavings, that's out.

    I have an interesting new combination of bedding elements that I've been working on for quite a while. It keeps evolving though because I haven't hit perfection yet. May never, but I feel like I'm getting close.

    Structurally, Cagetopia C&C Cages are about to take a leap forward in cleanability and other things. So, stay tuned over the next few months!

    If you are happy with shavings, just stick with it. It's a whole different world of maintenance if you switch. But, saying that, if you have shavings, you should have a nice light but generous layer of hay on the cage, pretty much everywhere. You get to do that when you use pine. You can make pine a much more natural environment with a little effort, too. So, again, it's not all black and white with simple answers.

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    Re: Why use fleece

    Hi, I am in the process of preparing fleece, having a bit of trouble though. Im using bleach, detergent (no softener), it seems to be doing better now that i have started using bleach, im washing at 60 too.

    If it fails will pine shavings be a good alternative: http://www.petworlddirect.ie/p/livin...havings/p11311 these are the brand id have access to here in Ireland as I don't trust the brands the pet stores sell, they are generic and I hear they can be harmful to guinea pigs.

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    Cavy Slave grace&piggies's Avatar
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    Re: Why use fleece

    I found disposable bedding hard. It smelt either luck dirty cage or had it's own odor (pine/newspaper dust, etc). I never liked the smell of pine shavings so that was out. I did use newspaper based bedding and an off-brand carefresh when I first moved to a c&c cage. It was costing about $10/week. Where I live, all the disposable bedding had to go in the bin and we have pretty small bins (picked up by council) each week. It took up most of the space if not overdid it and I had to find other places to dispose of it (ahem... neighbours' bins). I also was found having to constantly be following availability and specials through a number of retailers frustrating. I work 60+ hours a week and straight up don't have time for that.

    To have a cage liner made from fleece/absorbent layer, it was about $80. My newest liner is at least 3-4 years old so I have more than made the money back. You do need to sweep up the poops/food/hay every other day and do a full change at least weekly - but you do with disposable as well. What I'm throwing out is minimal compared with the mess of the disposable bedding. As for washing, it took some getting used to. Now that I've got the hang of doing it efficiently and effectively with my washer it's a piece of cake. No smells! I can do a full cage change in about 5-10 minutes.

    CavySpirit has listed excellent points above and for anyone tossing up between the two, read through it and consider your situation. For me it has been a positive change and I would never go back. I can't think of one negative effect it has had for me in my circumstance. I find it time-efficient, cleaner, and more cost-effective.

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