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Wood Pellets/Chips Wood Pellets

davhamm

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I don't see any recent threads on this. Reading the scattering of posts, seems like there is at least one user, who loves it. I have seen comments about changing pellets every 3 - 4 weeks, others saying they are on a year.. Just trying to get a sense of usage. I have a Tractor Supply by me, and can get 40lb Kiln Dried Pine pellets (for horse stalls) for $6. I have a 2x4 C&C cage. How many lbs to fill it 2 - 3 inches deep? how long will that last, should I go to 4" deep how much longer does that gain?
Fleece for the topping, I have seen some go with fleece others nothing on top, I think the fleece will make it easier to make the pellets last longer. No problem doing daily poop clean ups, wife already does it with the pine shavings.
Any other pitfalls? Was looking at planetwise Cozy'n fresh but its like $9 for a 20lb bag, not a big difference but they dont seem to be very different product (well cozy'n fresh has some charcoal in it) there equine Fresh also looked good but can not find it any where near me.
So what are peoples long term experiences and thoughts?
 

bpatters

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I used pellets for years, and highly recommend them. They're cheap, long-lasting, and the most absorbent material you can find. But you have to be a little careful.

You need to find some without a strong pine smell. I used Tractor Supply for a while, but their suppliers change from time to time, and all of a sudden, I couldn't use their pellets. I switched to TerrAmigo, and was very happy with it.

Eighty pounds of pellets will fill a 16 square foot cage to a depth of 3-4 inches for a cost of about $15, so you can extrapolate for your cage.

The bigger the cage, the less often you have to change it. The pellets break down into sawdust and make a sort of floor for the cage. You just stir them every week or so. One of mine lasted 10 months, and could have gone longer. But I needed to move the cage, so just started over with a new supply.

I did keep a layer of thin fleece over the pellets. It made it much easier to clean up -- I could just take the fleece outside and shake it. It also kept the pigs from dragging their food through the sawdust.

I never had a pig try to eat the pellets. They all sampled them and quickly gave up on them as a food source.

The big disadvantages are weight and dust. The dust is only a problem at cage change time -- shoveling the old stuff out leaves some dust in the bottom of the cage, but that can be vacuumed out. Pouring the new stuff in also stirs up some dust. But it settles down within an hour or so, and if you put fleece over it, there's no more problem.

To manage the weight, I just wheeled a garbage big in the den, put a plastic bag in it, and shoveled the pellets into the bag. It would be more of a hassle if the cage is upstairs.
 

CavySpirit

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So the Tru-value near me can special order this https://alexander.shoptruevalue.com/p/pine-bedding-pellets-037461101052 America Choice Bedding pellets, $8.99 and no shipping fee, any feedback on it. Seems to meet the requirement's, but some of the reviews and pics don't look so good.
You mean you can go pick it up at their store? I only recommend wood pellets when covered completely with hemp shavings. That's a great combo. If you are doing that, then you can try it out. I don't see the reviews, but I think this purpose is different than what others are probably reviewing it for.

I think you can also get cheap wood pellets at Lowes. That's where I bought mine last. For some reason, Home Depot's near me stopped carrying them, but I'm in an area where they wouldn't be in much demand at all.
 

bpatters

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You need to get the store to let you cut a hole in the pellet bag and see how strong a smell the pine has. Some pine pellets are terribly strong-smelling, and it takes months for the odor to dissipate if you just air dry them. Others are better, but you won't know until you try. If they won't let you open a bag, for $8.99, you could just buy a bag and see what they're like.

And if you're buying stove pellets, you need to be sure that no accelerant has been added.

I looked at those, and I'd at least try them out. My main question would be how strong the pine odor is.
 

Demiba

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I'm kind of late to the party but I think wood pellets are amazing. Like bpatters said they last a really long time with no smell whatsoever. I get mine at Tractor Supply or Home Depot. I use them in my cage and litterbox, with fleece on top in the cage, and the only smell comes from the hay that is soiled, or the fleece, so a nightly hay replacement/poop sweep and fleece wash when needed is all I do. For my 2x4 cage a 20 lb bag lasts 2 full cage cleanings, I switch out the pellets maybe every 6 months or so.
 

bpatters

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Do you mean you're putting in 20 pounds every two cage cleanings, or every six months? I'd expect them to last six months, although they do last a lot longer in a large cage than they do in a small one.
 

Demiba

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No, I put in maybe half a bag every 6 mos, so I mistyped that. I don't really keep track to be honest. I have a 2x4.
 

bpatters

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That's what I'd expect. I got 9-10 months out of two 40 pound bags in my big cage, and could have gone much longer. But I had to dismantle and move the cage, so threw them out and started over again.
 

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