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New guinea pigs - help, what do you use for bedding/lining the hutch?

(21 Posts)
Selenium Wed 28-Sep-16 22:42:19

Hi,

We've had our two baby girl guinea pigs for just under a week and they are gorgeous and settling in nicely. But...we are still not quite sure about the best way to line their hutch! I'm wondering if any more experienced guinea pig owners can advise me, please?

At the moment, we are putting a layer of newspaper on the bottom of the hutch and then a load of hay for bedding and food, but it is difficult to clean! I read that wood shavings aren't good for guinea pigs but someone suggested Megazorb or something - is that better? Do you just put a layer of that in the hutch and then just put a bit of fresh hay in there daily? Is it easy to sweep out the dirty bits every day?

If you've found what works best to keep the guinea pigs comfy and also make cleaning easy, do let me know. Thank you!

LimitedSedition Wed 28-Sep-16 22:47:00

Megazorb 2/3 wood shavings (not sawdust) 1/3 probably to about a 1/2 inch depth, then hay. Lots of hay! Enjoy your piggies.

LimitedSedition Wed 28-Sep-16 22:48:57

Also, I forgot, I use brown paper (parcel paper) to line the hutch with because it's a lot stronger than newspaper and rolls up in a big roll when cleaning out. I get it from the pound shop.

Toomuchtoosoon16 Thu 29-Sep-16 18:06:52

Is megazorb like carefresh? It seems cheaper!

Selenium Thu 29-Sep-16 19:48:55

Thank you for your advice! How often do you clean the whole thing out? And do you just sweep out the dirty bits in between big cleans?

glenthebattleostrich Thu 29-Sep-16 19:56:44

Ooh, the parcel paper is a great idea. I currently use newspaper, woodshavings and hay. A full clean twice per week and general housekeeping daily and of course top up the hay.

glenthebattleostrich Thu 29-Sep-16 19:57:23

Oh and you can't post about cute piggies without pictures!

Selenium Thu 29-Sep-16 22:02:40

Here you go!

AtSea1979 Thu 29-Sep-16 22:04:54

Newspaper and hay. Clean the whole thing out every evening.

AtSea1979 Thu 29-Sep-16 22:05:19

Blimey they're big babies!

Selenium Thu 29-Sep-16 22:07:02

They're nearly 9 weeks old, so I guess they don't look that little anymore! I did handle some 2 week old babies recently and even they weren't that tiny...

WetsTheFinger Thu 29-Sep-16 22:13:45

My rabbits have straw in their bed area, and then absorbent small animal litter in their litter tray. The rest is just rubber. They only go too the loo in their litter tray which saves a ton of mess.

AtSea1979 Thu 29-Sep-16 22:16:13

You can't use straw with Guinea pigs and they rarely can be litter trained especially two of them. Mine stayed tiny for ages, they were rescue ones so maybe they were too small to start with.

AtSea1979 Thu 29-Sep-16 22:19:56

Mine at about 6 months old

fluffypacman Thu 29-Sep-16 22:31:45

I used to use megazorb as its dust extracted and much, much cheaper than care fresh. They have sensitive chests and the fumes off newspaper print aren't supposed to be good for them I seem to remember reading. Just use meadow hay in their bedding area and try and buy stuff with a bit of green in it, not dusty, grey, dry stuff from the supermarket. Piggies need access to unlimited amounts of hay. They'll eat it which is good for their teeth and digestion. Mine loved Timothy hay as a special treat. If they're in a hutch outside make sure you bring them in when it's cold or keep them in a shed (unsolicited advice I know but my nephew's guinea pig froze to death and I felt so sorry for it!). They feel the cold and aren't as sturdy as rabbits but are much cuter. Enjoy X

TimeIhadaNameChange Fri 30-Sep-16 11:40:36

Mine are indoors. They have a thick layer of wood pellets at the bottom which is covered by washable bed incontinence pads. The pads get changed twice a week, and once a week I take out the pellets that have got wet. I'll pick out poos when I see them. Some hay on the floor, and some in their hayrack.

For the pellets I use bags from Harbro - they're sold for woodburners but I know one company (Stovies) now targets the equine market. As far as I can tell they're the same as are sold as cat litter, but far cheaper. I've recently tried the Burgess version but, again, far more expensive and smelt more.

Badbadbunny Fri 30-Sep-16 11:47:19

We just use a lining of newspaper and then an inch or two of hay. A bit of a clean out/replace of the really mucky bits every day with a proper clean weekly.

When the weather is fine, we put them out in the garden on the lawn in a pen (four medal sides which attach together), so they can wee and poo on the lawn which massively reduces the mess in their hutch. Move the pen around every few days so they always have fresh grass to eat which they love. We only keep them inside if it's really cold and/or wet outside.

Selenium Sun 02-Oct-16 08:14:55

Thank you so much for all your advice - got a few ideas to try now! smile Aw, AtSea, your babies were so cute! Ours are from a rescue too so not sure about their background but they seem in good health. I just had a thought -maybe they look bigger in that photo above as they are sitting on a 3 year old's lap, rather than an adult's! smile

Toomuchtoosoon16 Sun 02-Oct-16 08:30:04

Badbunny, does your pen have a roof? I have one like that with a plastic/mesh top, but I'm still convinced a determined cat could get inside.
On the back of this thread has added binbag to cage and ordered megazorb!

EastMidsGPs Sun 02-Oct-16 08:49:26

Lovely looking piggies smile
Just to add to what others have said keeping them warm and dry is the way to go. Damp can be a big problem - they can become martyrs to chest problems yes you Mollie
of eating hay which my two if allowed, would eat their body weight in hay every five minutes of the day smile
Suggest strongly that you get it from a reliable source/pet shop, fresh looking and smelling of summer.
We once bought some 'on the way home from work from a hardware shop' and it was dry, horrid and full of itchy critters that required a trip to the vet! so I am always very picky these days.
As an extra treat mine also have a handful of camomile hay at breakfast - well Mollie does, I am not sure Sadie gets a look in smile

Selenium Tue 04-Oct-16 19:42:36

Thank you for your tips - EastMidsGPs! We are going to keep our piggies indoors most of the time - they will have an outdoor run for time outside when it's warm and dry, so mainly in the summer. So hopefully they will always stay warm and dry. It's more fun having them nearby anyway! The various noises they make are so cute! We will try and make sure we only buy good hay. Where do you get camomile hay from? Never seen that!

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