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General Questions about my new cage setup

adorelfn

Active Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
36
Hi everyone
I recently purchased the Midwest Guinea Habitat plus and expect it to arrive any day. I was reading some reviews of it online and have been looking at pictures of the amazing cages some of you have built and I have a couple of questions or sort of need advice since I'm new to GP's.

I have read that using carefresh or wood shaving bedding in these types of cages can be difficult to keep clean and I notice many do not use it at all but instead cover the bottoms with fleece. My question is probably silly, but don't the piggies pee and poo all over the fleece? Do you set up an area for them to go and they just know to go there? Should I cover the bottom with fleece or use the divider and only use the bedding in the small area? I'm unsure what to do and want to make cleaning as easy and as stress free as possible for my piggies. I have 3 girls and plan to eventually connect two of these cages ( probably into a double decker cage due to space limits ) but for now I just ordered the one. I want them to have the best cage I can give them but I'm on disability for a back problem right now so funds are somewhat limited.

Any suggestions you can provide would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Kim

PS my piggies are Lily, Ava and Stella I've only had them about a week and am taking it slow with regard to handling them so they have time to adjust. I will post pics of them when I'm able to get some good ones.

Thanks again!
 
Yes they poop and pee all over the fleece! The pee is absorbed pretty well in the fleece and the poop doesn't really smell till about a week (for me, anyway). I wash it by rolling up the fleece and towels underneath, shaking them outside, and then washing them in the machine! It is pretty easy for me.
 
The fleece actually works by wicking the moisture from the the top down into the absorbent layer underneath. I use two layers of towels underneath the fleece, and after 5 days there is still no smell. I have three boars so this is a big deal; aspen bedding smelled after 2 days. I vacuum up poop about twice per day and everything stays quite clean and dry. I also have a "kitchen" area where the hay racks, food bowls, and water bottles are located. The kitchen area is a plastic tub filled with bedding to avoid getting food/water/hay on the fleece.

I switched to fleece 5 days ago, and honestly before switching I was skeptical. i didn't understand how fleece and towels could do anything for odor control. I am PLEASANTLY surprised that it lives up to the hype! Plus... I'm not going to have to spend $80/month on bedding!
 
Hi everyone
I recently purchased the Midwest Guinea Habitat plus and expect it to arrive any day. I was reading some reviews of it online and have been looking at pictures of the amazing cages some of you have built and I have a couple of questions or sort of need advice since I'm new to GP's.

I have read that using carefresh or wood shaving bedding in these types of cages can be difficult to keep clean and I notice many do not use it at all but instead cover the bottoms with fleece. My question is probably silly, but don't the piggies pee and poo all over the fleece? Do you set up an area for them to go and they just know to go there? Should I cover the bottom with fleece or use the divider and only use the bedding in the small area? I'm unsure what to do and want to make cleaning as easy and as stress free as possible for my piggies. I have 3 girls and plan to eventually connect two of these cages ( probably into a double decker cage due to space limits ) but for now I just ordered the one. I want them to have the best cage I can give them but I'm on disability for a back problem right now so funds are somewhat limited.

Any suggestions you can provide would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Kim

PS my piggies are Lily, Ava and Stella I've only had them about a week and am taking it slow with regard to handling them so they have time to adjust. I will post pics of them when I'm able to get some good ones.

Thanks again!

Hi! I have this cage as well! You will LOVE it! I use fleece on both sides of the divider because I find it SO much easier to clean than Carefresh or anything else. I can just sweep it up twice a day (my pigs are used to me doing it now to the point where they chase the tiny broom or try to sit on the dustpan lol), wash the fleece and towel(s) weekly, and my pigs are good to go. I did use Carefresh in the "kitchen" area for about, 5 minutes (ok it was more like 2 days but still lol) and it was somewhat of a nightmare to sweep out. Got all over my floor, it wasn't fun. Just be sure you prepare the fleece properly before using it and you will never look back! By preparing the fleece just in case you don't know yet, you need to wash it at least three times first before using so it wicks the liquid properly. When I prepare mine I wash it with only a little bit of very mild detergent, then dry it - DO NOT use dryer sheets! Then repeat the process two more times. :) By the way, one thing you'll find on this cage is that the water bottle "nozzle" hangs a little too low (in my opinion), and it was uncomfortable for my Matisse to use, so I now hang the bottles on the two doors on each side as I don't use them anyway. This way the bottles are a little higher and my piggies are more comfortable. You'll see what I mean when yours arrives.
 
Thanks for the info. I've decided to line 2/3 of the cage w/ pads and fleece and the smaller part of the divided area I'll cover in hay to be the kitchen area. I hadn't thought of vacuuming or sweeping out the poo--stuck in the mindset of bedding. So far mine seem to pee in the same corner so that should help some. Can't wait to get the cage kit!! I got the one with the lid as I have 4 cats too. They live to watch the piggies.

Thanks!!
Kim
 
Thanks for the tip about the water bottles kourt!!! Can I ask what u mean by prepare the fleece? Do I need to do something to it?
 
Uh duh. Nevermind. Just reread your post!!! Lol

Thanks again!!!!
 
Uh duh. Nevermind. Just reread your post!!! Lol

Thanks again!!!!

LOL! No problem, I had to edit my post twice because I asked if you got the one with the divider :p
 
Did you order two of them? If i remeber correctly, those cages are only 7.5 sq feet, size enough for one, not three.

If you are going to have a hay area, you will need to line it with some sort of bedding and probably completely change it daily. Hay smells BAD! when peed on. If you are willing to do this though, your piggies will certainly love playing in the hay.

Check out the bedding forum thread and all the fleece topics. You will learn how to pre treat the fleece, best absorbency, etc
 
Did you order two of them? If i remeber correctly, those cages are only 7.5 sq feet, size enough for one, not three.

Kimberly713 has a point. I somehow missed the part about you having three pigs (I must be tired). For three I suggest not using the divider at all as the ramp takes up quite a bit of real estate, and when you can you will want to add on.
 
Hi everyone
I recently purchased the Midwest Guinea Habitat plus and expect it to arrive any day

That's great that you are doing the best you can on limited funds. I have used the midwest cage in the past. It's ok but a little small for more than one pig. C&C cages are actually incredibly cheap if you make your own. I bought the materials and put it together in an hour or two. For a price comparison, the midwest plus guinea pig habitat is $50 on Amazon. You could build a 2x5 C&C cage for about $30 ($20 for grids and $10 for coroplast). It would be considerably more expensive if you bought a C&C "kit." Also, the flooring of the midwest cage is kind of hydrophobic. If you spray vinegar/water solution it tends to stay in one place and you can't get it all over the surfaces very well. I'm absolutely not trying to discourage you from going with the midwest, but in my experience, the C&C is cheaper to make, customizable (you can make it bigger if you move into a bigger space, you can also make it 2 stories much more easily), and easier to clean. The bottom of the midwest cage is machine washable, which is great, except that it takes about 10 min to put the velco straps back on every time you wash it.
 
Wow I just went on a stream-of-thought rant :eek:. Since I have experience with both types of cages, I just wanted to help you make the best decision.
 
@Kimberly713---I only have one on order now but plan on ordering a second this weekend. I plan to make them a double decker cage. So by next weekend they will be stylin' in their very own penthouse! ;)
 
TCTrun--thanks so much for your stream of thought rant! lol I have had the exact same one with myself repeatedly. I've already ordered the Midwest so I can't change that but I do get what you are saying about bying the grids and cloroplast and making my own cage. I'm planning on adding on to the Midwest cage almost immediately so they won't be cramped for long.

I appreciate all of the help you guys have given me--it has really helped me decide what to do with my cage.

Thanks!
Kim
 
Update--still haven't gotten the new cage but I've gotten a mattress pad and several fleece blankets. Once I get the cage I'm going to see liners out of the mattress pad and fleece and I'll be putting a layer of shower curtain liner below that. After changing their current cage for the third time in a week i'm definitely looking forward to getting rid of using the carefresh!!!! That stuff is a mess!! Thanks again for all the advice. I'll probably be asking for more once I get both cages and I'm trying to build the double decker cage!!!! Lol
 
I use fleece in the entire cage. I have two litter boxes with bedding. One piggy uses that for her bathrooming...the other uses the fleece in one corner and sometimes the litter boxes. I find that the fleece does get stinky after a few days of it being peed on. I am a bit disappointed about that but I still think that the benefits of fleece out weigh the stink. Good luck!
 
Has anyone used a Piggy Bed Spread litter box - (broken link removed) - in their cage? If so, do you put the hayrack in it? Does it help or should I just put the hayrack and food right on the bed spread and just get used to picking up hay too?
 
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