Best bedding for indoor piggies?(13 Posts)
Later this year I want to get guinea pigs for me (and ostensibly the DCs, but we all know they will be bored after a week).
I would like an indoor set up and have identified some potential indoor cages. I'm massively confused by bedding though. I've read pros and cons for everything. Articles where people rave about fleece, articles where they say it's mucky and cruel because piggies like to burrow in hay. I've seen recommendations for hay, megazorb, paper pellets, hemp based bedding, Uncle Tom cobbley and all.
So what is a good bet for a first time piggie owner?
We use fleece over puppy pads and always have done. Pros: Colourful (lol), soft for the pigs to sleep on/cuddle on/walk on etc, warm, cheap-ish to buy and maintain, quite absorbent so they dont get wet quickly sitting in their own wee, easy to source. We get our fleece from places like Home Bargains, Poundland, B&M, etc. Puppy pads in huge boxes from Amazon or Pets At Home.
Oh , Piggies. There are loads of
Mad Pig Owners Cavy Enthusiasts on here.
Spend a few hours on the millionty threads here (lots will come up over and over like food/was food can they not have bedding/best outdoor housing/indoor housing/merits or indoor-outdoor/ dealing with hot weather/cold weather/ sows or boars/adults or piglets/Rescue or breeder) because there are new Pig People joining all the time.
Fleece will need washed you need to put it in a pillowcase or it'll clog up your washing machine. I've tried mine with fleece over the winter , they get their dropping mashed into their feet << yuk>>
My indoor cages (for a 2 sow and a sow+boar) are:
The sows have a cage with the plastic base, they have rodent safe wood bedding, puppy pads newspaper and hay (to indulge their need to rummage around )
The boar/sow have a grid cage with cardboard (to protect their paws from the grids) a soft bathmat in the sleeping area , all topped with puppy pads/newspaper/hay
A housie each
And changed daily, they are messy .
Puppy pads are ok if your pigs don;t chew but they have a plasticy bit that would block their guts if they're chewers.
So it needs to be well covered or have non chewers.
But they can hold a lot of pee which is good because ours do their own bodyweight
Sows IME are more piddly
Interesting stuff. Thank you. I like the idea of fleece because washable and therefore less throwing stuff away. Although not keen on the idea of sending puppy pads to landfill.
Will I have to start reading a daily paper again just to keep the cages lined?
We use paper pellets over newspaper and tons of hay on top.
Remember brown hay is for play, wees and poos, green is for food!!! Or so my boys tell me.
Tried fleece and they didn't like it.
The wood pellets I use (The Range, big yellow bag) go like bran when they're wet and you can scoop it out.
Rabbits make little hollows in the pellets but they're tidy and use littter trays . Pigs don't.
If you don't want puppy pads there;s things like HiippyChick bedding (I bought when my DC were night training) its a waterproof inside a double felty layer, nothing to chew. You can wash/re-use
Might even find some on eBay, just hot wash and they'll be fine.
If you do go with fleece, Lakeland do BuddyBrushes which are rubber to get the hay off.
I treated my rodents to some ReadiGrass, not soft enough to lie in but very tasty .
Google ziggies piggies. She hand makes fleece liners with towling in the middle. They are excellent. I also had a horse blanket washing case to put them in in the washing machine. You will have to shape the hair off by hand though. Still far easier than other methods. Nothing stopping you whacking a pile of hay in there too for nesting.
I use washable incontinence pads with hay on top for sleeping on (and in a hayrack as well).
Has anyone tried Fitch? It tends to get raved about by hamster owners as it's quite cost effective, absorbent and non-dusty, but you do have to order online www.fitchrecycling.co.uk/fitch-pet-store/rabbit-guinea-pig-hamster/bedding/fitch-pet-bedding-single-bale-20kg.html
DH vigorously shakes our fleeces outside to get as much hay off them as possible, then we machine wash them inside an old duvet cover that we keep just for that purpose. Then hang them up to dry on an airer but they dry very quickly. Actually we could do with buying a few more as I left a few at my parents' when I was there over Xmas and we find it easier to do a few cage cleans then wash all the fleece in one go in the duvet cover. We do a full cage clean every 4 days. Also we do still put areas for them to snuggle in hay, we rotate what's in the cage to try and avoid bordeom but for example, they have snuggle bags that we can fill with hay, paper bags, plastic litter trays lined with newspaper or puppy pads full of hay, random piles of hay on newspaper, cardboard boxes lined with newspaper or puppy pads and lots of hay inside etc. They are both snoozing at the moment, one in a fleecy snuggle bag on a pile of hay, and the other laying very stretched out on his front on the fleece under the loft.
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