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Thread: Got some Questions about shavings?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Question Got some Questions about shavings?

    I plan to use aspen wood shavings from great choice because that is what the store was selling that and pine shavings which i know is bad for them.
    Here are my questions.

    1. Is my wood shavings safe for the piggies
    2. Should i be worried about my boar getting his genitals more dirty because of the shavings? if so should i clean him more often? how often?
    3. I want to reduce the smell of shavings! the smell isn't super strong but it does smell i plan to air it outside in a plastic tote that has screen covered holes in it to stop bugs and stuff is this a bad idea? will it help? How long is good for it to air out?
    4. I plan to spot clean everyday mainly the bathroom areas but how often should i fully swap out everything i was thinking once a week but that means bedding could be pricey i got a 24 sq ft cage

    Also thank you for help ahead of time

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    Quote Originally Posted by arcangel View Post
    Should i be worried about my boar getting his genitals more dirty because of the shavings? if so should i clean him more often? how often?
    I simply wouldn't use shavings for any reason, and especially for boars. They tend to get the shavings on their penis and then the shavings get stuck in the penile sheath. This means that the penis can't be withdrawn into the sheath and sticks out constantly. While not deadly to the boy, it can lead to other problems. If you are determined to use shavings, then monitor your boar to ensure that this doesn't happen.

    Sorry, I can't address your other questions because I gave up using shavings quite some time ago when I saw the problems they caused.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    i plan to use shavings well i figure how to do fleece last time i used was very much done wrong and made me put off by it. are their any links to how to do correctly i have watch the wood pellets video but i have no idea what people are saying about winking. I don;t want my boy to have issues but i am curious with fleece do you spot clean the full cage with fleece?
    Soon to be Guinea father of two

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    It's not "winking," it's "wicking." Wicking happens when a material (in this case, fleece) pulls liquid through to an absorbent material underneath (pellets, pee pads, U-haul pads, etc). The fleece stays dry, so the pigs' feet stay dry.

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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    thanks for the correction. is there something you have to do with the fleece to let it leak thru like or is because of the stuff below it and what wood pellets are good and bad? i don't even know where you would get wood pellets maybe home depo?
    Soon to be Guinea father of two

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    The best pellets are horse stall bedding, usually available at any farm feed store. You want to make sure they don't smell too strongly of pine.

    You have to prepare the fleece to make it wick, and there are dozens of threads on these forums about fleece preparation. Look at the fleece forum for more info.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    ok ill look that up. i plan to still use shavings while i get the fleece worked out and payed for any tips on the shavings questions so i can make sure the piggies are good while i get fleece handle
    Soon to be Guinea father of two

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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    I used aspen shavings for a good while. It never caused a problem for my boar Maple, but that's not a good reason to think it won't cause a problem for yours. Maple is just good like that--his current health problem is the first health problem he's had for the entire 4 years I've had him. Also, with his current issue I'm very glad I don't have aspen shavings, because he's half paralyzed, so he's dragging himself across the ground. That would really mess him up if he still had shavings.

    As for your other questions, what smell do you mean? I personally liked the smell of the fresh wood when we first changed it. I don't know how you could reduce that.

    Speaking of smells, though, I did a full swap of the aspen shavings every week. Any longer than that and my whole room started to smell like a barn (not a clean barn). I'm afraid that's all I can tell you about aspen.

    Also, a tip on the fleece: don't do what I did. I washed a lot of fleece blankets a lot of times before I finally figured out what I needed. It was expensive and stressful. So when you get your fleece, I highly recommend you go to Walmart. They have lots of fleece blankets with cute patterns for like two dollars each.

    Good luck on your bedding adventure!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    doesnt fleece shrink when washed?
    Soon to be Guinea father of two

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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    A very little, but you'll have to wash it several times in hot water before you use it to make sure it wicks. It won't shrink much after that.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    with the uhaul blankets that go in between fleece where do you buy them beside uhaul is there any place online to get them my sister is a very good sewer so i think she can help me make fleece cage liners.
    Soon to be Guinea father of two

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    Cavy Slave RoseCarter's Avatar
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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    My cage is 30x50. Does fleece come in sheets? I will need to cut it to fit. Also if walmart sells fleece what type do I get?

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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    Same here..I'm new to the piggie world and have been using Carefresh mixed with aspen for bedding. Today I bought some fleece because I'd like to see if it will work for me. My question is this..are the layers 1. towel 2. pad then fleece?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    I’m personally not a fan of any wood, not even the aspen which is supposed to be ‘safe.’ Every time I switched to aspen to be economical over paper bedding my piggies got quite ill. Every time, various brands. They also seemed to scratch themselves much more often with the aspen. I would love to try fleece but my hubby just isn’t into sharing his washer with piggy pee/poo pads. So I stick strictly to paper, never an exception, not even for ‘just a week.’

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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    Sorry, I just reread your post and saw that your cage is 24 square feet! Thatís HUGE! So roughly 12ft x 2ft or 4ft x 6ft. Iím glad you can offer such a piggy paradise to your babies! With that size I donít see how you could afford any bedding choice other than fleece long term. How many very lucky piggies are you adopting? That is just crazy cool.

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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    Wood pellets would be by far the cheapest bedding to use. My 16 square foot cage used less than $20 of pellets per year. I did put a light fleece over them to make it easier to clean, so you might have to change more often. But the pellets will break up into sawdust which actually makes a "floor" that can be swept and is extremely easy to maintain. It's also by far the best you can use for odor control.

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    Re: Got some Questions about shavings?

    You can buy fleece fabric by the yard at a fabric store or online. Joann Fabric and Crafts almost always has it on sale. It is roughly 54” wide, so one yard would be 36” x 54.” I would suggest the plush blizzard type since it’s a little thicker and has a smoother texture so the hay doesn’t stick as much. The anti-pill type is thinner and doesn’t wear as well. If you buy fleece throws, the texture varies a lot. Some of the cheap ones are really hard to get the hay off.

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