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Eating the Compressed Pine Pellets?

Malhablada

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Posts
65
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
65
I use fleece for the main bedding in my cages, but I also use compressed pine pellets (the kind that break down to sawdust when they get saturated) in the bottom of the hay trays to absorb the urine.

I noticed today that one of my boars seems to quite enjoy eating the pine pellets. They've got plenty of room (three sub-adult boars in a 3x5), toys, Oxbow pellets, vegetables, three water bottles, and hideys. It just seems to be a matter of his personal taste.

Should I stop using the bedding? Is it dangerous for him to eat a little sawdust? I'm afraid that if I switch to Carefesh he'll eat that too, and of the two, I'd think the sawdust would be better for him than the Carefresh since it's basically what he'd be swallowing if he was gnawing on a piece of wood.

Thoughts?
 

heatherbunnie

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Posts
373
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
373
If you're using pine it should be kiln dried pine only I believe. But, if he's eating the stuff, you might be best to switch to using fleece as bedding.
 

aqh88

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Posts
2,970
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Messages
2,970
Pine pellets are dried far beyond kiln dried pine so phenols are not a concern. Did you just start using the pellets? Some animals will nibble the pellets at first until they realize they aren't food. I have horses grab a mouthful all the time. Usually they spit it out but some will chew and swallow. They rarely do it again. Pigs will also occasionally nibble on it and eat a few pieces when they first see it.

Small amounts are not harmful. It doesn't expand but instead breaks apart into tiny pieces so it isn't likely to cause any blockages or stomach upset. However it is completely lacking for nutrition and I doubt large amounts are very good. If he doesn't back off eating the pellets after a week or 2 I'd try something else. There are other forms of pelleted beddings such as paper based like yesterday's news, wheat based like oxbow's eco straw, and spruce based which are made by a variety of companies that sell their wood products to feed and farm supply stores. You could try any of those in place of pine and see if he finds them less to his liking before you give up on it.

If you see corn pellets do not buy. These are relatively new and most animals have been finding them quite tasty. I know horses that have eaten multiple bags before their owners moved them and cleaned all the pellets back up. That would not be good for a guinea pig to get ahold of.
 

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