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Wood Pellets/Chips how long would a 40lb bag of wood pellets last?


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Oct 31, 2011
I'm looking into the option of using wood pellets once my pigs are moved into their C&C, as I can get 40lbs for about $7. (I am worried that it won't be as comfortable though... :sad:)

Right now I'm using carefresh, which I get at $18 for 60L. However, I feel like I'd have to use the whole bag to fill the C&C! Would it be the same deal for the wood pellets?

I am also considering the fleece, with carefresh in the kitchen/litter pans, but I am a bit concerned about the option of it smelling, since the cage is in my bedroom. I'm also concerned about the hair in the washer and dryer, since I rent and the washer/dryer aren't technically part of the rent agreement (ie: we're allowed to use them whenever, but if one of them breaks, we need to replace it. Yes it's a scam.)

Anyways, words of wisdom would be appreciated.
I'm sure you're all sick of these topics being recycled, apologies!
I use fleece but would never have the guinea pigs on fleece in my bedroom. I've never used wood pellets but I think they're really heavy so you have to take that into consideration. You'd have to be able to empty the cage and dispose of the pellets. The way you describe your situation, I would use continue using Carefresh or even try Sun Seed Bedding or unscented Eco Bedding.... something where the poop doesn't sit on top of the bedding but gets mixed in. If you'd be able to carry and dispose of the pellets, it might be a good and less expensive option.

I wanted to add that I used to have a kitchen area in my cage. I tried Yesterday's News for cats (unscented) which are in pellet form like wood pellets. Two of my guinea pigs liked it enough that they even slept on it instead of the fleece. Their fur cushions them.
My pigs live in my 2nd bedroom, which I use as an office/hobby room (I'm in there more than the living room.) I use fleece over PoochPads as bedding with a litter box with Yesterday's News, and also these little tidy pads I made from fleece and polyester batting (people sell similar things on etsy if you don't sew.) The door is closed during the day (or whenever I'm not home), to keep them safe from my greyhounds. When I come home from work, I open up the door to air it out and it stays that way until the next morning (the dogs are always in the same room with me.) Well, I would think that if there was a pee smell, that's when I would smell it. I only smell hay. I do have a little Exit Odor pouch on the outside of the cage. I change the fleece every 2-3 days, but clean out poo daily. I flip over the tidy pads daily too. I can smell the pee if I put my nose close to it after a couple days. I wash it with free and clear detergent, and put vinegar where the softener would normally go. I don't smell pee at all after they're washed.

I haven't tried U-Haul pads yet, but I'm building a C&C cage this weekend and sewing together some liners for it (they're in a playpen type thing right now.) Maybe they'll smell more than the PoochPads (they're kind of expensive and I'd rather save them for when my dogs get old/sick and possibly incontinent.)

Honestly, I'd probably go the wood pellets route if I lived in a house. I have to go up stairs to get to my front door, and the dumpster is not close.

Edit: Also wanted to add that I have two sows and not boars, so that might be why it's easy to keep the smell down.
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Folks, the weight of the pellets really isn't much of a consideration unless your pigs are up- or downstairs. To clean out the cage, I pull a medium-sized garbage can next to the cage, put a big trash bag in it, and clean the cage out with a dustpan. When I'm through, I tie up the bag, pull the can out, and I'm done.

To me, it's more work getting the pellets into the cage than getting them out. I can carry the bags in and put them in the cage, but others may not be able to (they weigh 40 pounds). You can use a wagon or a little hand truck, wheel the bag up next to the cage, open it and dip the pellets out with a scoop until the sack is light enough to lift.

I do have small fleece pads (fleece sewed to mattress padding) that I put under their hideys so they've got something comfortable to sleep on. I change those out as needed, every 1-3 days.

I love the pellets. I intend to use them forever unless one of the pigs develops foot problems and I need to go back to something else that's softer. If that happens, it likely won't be fleece because cleaning the filter in my washer is such a pain. But so far, so good.
hmm. I guess I can try the pellets and see what the pigs and I think of them. I'm not worried about them being heavy. But one question I asked up there that I would love to have answered (and maybe, @bpatters, you might be able to answer this) is how long a 40lb bag would last? (In a 2x5 C&C). I do like the idea of a woody smell. I guess I could always mix carefresh in with the pellets? To make it softer? I'm probably overthinking this lol I just got the cube frame built a couple days ago, and I just got the coroplast today (12 sheets of 4x4 delivered to my door for FREE!) so I'm going to start working on it soon. I'm pretty excited and not sure what to put in it when it's built lol besides happy pigs of course!
My cage is made of closet shelving, so it doesn't quite translate to C&C measurements. It's about 16 square feet, and it takes one 40-pound bag of pellets to fill it. That lasts easily 10 days to 2 weeks, and once when I was the hospital, lasted three weeks. I've also discovered that if the ox is really in the ditch and you can't clean it, you can just dump another 40 pound bag in over the old stuff, and go for another week or so with no problems. I've only had to do that once, but it worked just fine.
Thanks :) So, to sum up, you do need the whole bag each change, but you have to change less often? So, 3-4 bags a month @$7 a piece. I think that'll be a bit less or about the same as I've been spending for carefresh for their little cage, so I'm okay with that! :) Thanks you guys!
I've never paid over $5 for a bag, and I only use about two bags per month. So it's costing me about $10 a month for the pellets. I think your cage is just slightly smaller than mine, so we'd use about the same amount.

And yes, I do use the whole bag each time, but only change the cage once every two weeks.

But do bear in mind that I do use some small fleece pads where they sleep, and I move their hideys around. So that kind of helps distribute the output evenly around the cage.
Thanks @bpatters! It's sounding like it's very realistic to go more than one week between changes (which I'm okay with lol)
Perhaps I could find cheaper pellets but $7 for 40 lbs is okay with me, and as I don't have a car I need to carry it back from the store... My Home Hardware is only about 5 blocks away, but I don't want to go much farther than that on foot!
I definitely plan to make fleece pads and hideys. Good point about moving them around-- I was planning on doing that just to keep them interested, but you're right, it would keep the "junk" evenly spread.

With the carefresh, I scoop the corners between cleanings. Is that something to do with the pellets?
(I guess these are things I could just wait and find out for myself, sorry! I'm just curious I guess :))

Also thanks for the idea about the medium sized rolling garbage can. I think I'll invest in one!
Mine don't use the corners, but you could scoop them out more often if necessary.

I learned the hard way that if pigs have set up potty habits for themselves, you interfere at your peril. Put the litter pan in a different place, or something new in it, and they're likely to forget all the potty manners they ever knew. Mine used to use corner litter pans when I was using fleece with aspen in the litter pans. Well, they got the aspen all over the place, so I tried fleece pads in the litter pans. Wrong. move. They never went back to using the corners again.

Five blocks is a heck of a long way to walk carrying 40 pounds of pellets. Maybe you can find a used wagon, or a moving dolly, or something to haul them home with.
Five blocks is a heck of a long way to walk carrying 40 pounds of pellets.

I was just thinking the exact same thing. Skritters must be young and strong. I think I would buy 2 or 3 bags of pellets (assuming I had the storage space) and either offer a friend gas money to haul it or call a cab.
I was just thinking the exact same thing. Skritters must be young and strong. I think I would buy 2 or 3 bags of pellets (assuming I had the storage space) and either offer a friend gas money to haul it or call a cab.

It wasn't bad, I was able to carry it plus a bag of groceries and my backpack. But I definitely couldn't carry more than one at a time! It's so close I could just make several trips or bring a wheelbarrow or something.

Thanks, I tend to think of myself as a weakling lol

@bpatters: Thanks for the tips! My pigs are used to using carefresh right now: their cage and all their floortime litter pans are carefresh and they've been good about using them. In their small cage they've had one corner they've been using. But I have no idea how they'll use this new cage! I don't know if I should be putting in litter pans of carefresh, or just let them develop new habits with the pellets..? (I'm building the coroplast boxes right now, just taking a (10pm lol) dinner break. I'm so excited for it to be done!)
It's a long shot, but you might try putting a little carefresh in places you'd like for them to go and see if they'll take the hint. I always thought the refusal of my two to keep using their litter boxes was because they had something under their feet.

If that's the case, I think it doesn't matter as much under the hay rack, because as we all know, when they're stuffing their little faces they couldn't care less what their feet are on. But if they're just wandering around the cage and think, "Oops, I've gotta pee," and then get there to the wrong surface, they may go elsewhere.

A word of caution: You won't have as much trouble with this in British Columbia as I do in Texas, but wood pellets are a seasonal item here, as they're mainly used for outdoor stoves. I have to buy enough by the end of February to last me until it turns cold again in November or December. So if you wind up liking them, you may need to look for a storage place for some extras during the summer months.
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