Advice with wood shavings!

Symoen22

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Hi guys, my piggy has been on fleece for close to 2 years now, and due to the water bills and wear on the machine, I would like to switch. I have ordered shavings (in Australia, it's kinda limited so I ordered shavings from a reputable Guinea Pig store which are incredible!) and as I wait for them to come, I was wondering if you guys could show me your cages with shavings and give me advice as a first time user? I wonder how deep I have to spread them. His cage is a 3x4 c&c and so I feel like for that sort of space, I'll use half fleece and half shavings. The shavings bags only come in 60L as the biggest option so I'm not sure how far that will actually go (I ordered 3 just in case!) And should I do half fleece and shavings just to kind of get Captain Jack used to it? Any advice about shavings and how to use them at all is appreciated! :D:D
 

sport_billy

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Use newspaper underneath the shavings. We switched from shavings to fleece as found the shavings cost to much so other way round for us.
Did you wash the fleece in a horse wash bag? This kept our machine running fine
 

Symoen22

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I did buy special wash bags that was meant for like dog blankets, it's just having this size cage, there was alot of fleece liners to wash each time (I change the liners every 3-4 days, depending on my work schedule) and we have 5 adults in the house so it would be easier to just have something I can either compost or something. I don't mind the cost. These 60L bags were only like $19.90 each which idk if that is costly or not?
 

Eviolus-

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I did buy special wash bags that was meant for like dog blankets, it's just having this size cage, there was alot of fleece liners to wash each time (I change the liners every 3-4 days, depending on my work schedule) and we have 5 adults in the house so it would be easier to just have something I can either compost or something. I don't mind the cost. These 60L bags were only like $19.90 each which idk if that is costly or not?
Depends how fine the shavings are, a pound per litre is quite pricey but not unheard of if it's a popular brand, there are usually cheaper options for shavings, I recommend aubiose if you have a lot of pigs since you can bulk buy it for not too much, it lasts quite long and the pigs like it x
 

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I use soft wood chips as opposed to shavings as you can pat them compactly to make a soft surface for the piggies to walk on. ;)
IMG_20190109_190745 (1).jpg
 

Lorcan

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If I was using wood shavings, there was always about 3 inches on top of the newspaper. It might sound like a lot but honestly it was much easier to spot clean, to turn over if needed, that kind of thing. But that can get expensive, especially if you're already having to pay through the nose as it is.
That said, I used to get a 60l bag of Carefresh into a 4x4 space. I did feel like I was skimping a little but that's because I always like to give myself some wiggle room lol.
Your other option would probably be something like cat litter. Not the clumping or non-clumping kinds, but the wood pellet sort if you can find large enough bags of it. It likely won't be as soft underfoot for them but in my experience, some are much better than others. The caveats are the same as with wood shavings, you have to make sure the wood involved isn't harmful to the pigs. I had one pig that was kept permanently on the pellet cat litter because I was in Northern Ireland so no other beddings were available to me and every time he went onto the shavings he ended up with an eye infection.
 

Symoen22

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If I was using wood shavings, there was always about 3 inches on top of the newspaper. It might sound like a lot but honestly it was much easier to spot clean, to turn over if needed, that kind of thing. But that can get expensive, especially if you're already having to pay through the nose as it is.
That said, I used to get a 60l bag of Carefresh into a 4x4 space. I did feel like I was skimping a little but that's because I always like to give myself some wiggle room lol.
Your other option would probably be something like cat litter. Not the clumping or non-clumping kinds, but the wood pellet sort if you can find large enough bags of it. It likely won't be as soft underfoot for them but in my experience, some are much better than others. The caveats are the same as with wood shavings, you have to make sure the wood involved isn't harmful to the pigs. I had one pig that was kept permanently on the pellet cat litter because I was in Northern Ireland so no other beddings were available to me and every time he went onto the shavings he ended up with an eye infection.
It's worth a shot. Thank you for your advice
 

Claire5012

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Shavings are great but can be messy. I use it because for me it works out cheaper and easier and the pigs are happy on it. I previously have used fleece and Carefresh. I put the shavings down a couple of inches thick so the wee can soak right down through. In their bed area, where they tend to lie down in their widdle, I put a puppy pad underneath the shavings to soak it all up. Bear in mind if you're using fleece and shavings together, the fleece is going to get covered in shavings and it can be difficult to remove from some fabric types without literally picking each bit off!
 

Symoen22

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Shavings are great but can be messy. I use it because for me it works out cheaper and easier and the pigs are happy on it. I previously have used fleece and Carefresh. I put the shavings down a couple of inches thick so the wee can soak right down through. In their bed area, where they tend to lie down in their widdle, I put a puppy pad underneath the shavings to soak it all up. Bear in mind if you're using fleece and shavings together, the fleece is going to get covered in shavings and it can be difficult to remove from some fabric types without literally picking each bit off!
May I ask how often you do a complete clean of the shavings? I used to wash the fleece every 4 days, so would I have to do a complete clean of the shavings around that time as well?
 

Eviolus-

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May I ask how often you do a complete clean of the shavings? I used to wash the fleece every 4 days, so would I have to do a complete clean of the shavings around that time as well?
Usually once a week is enough for shavings but I'd play it by ear
 

Claire5012

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I do a complete change once a fortnight. I spot clean every day and move the older shavings to the area they wee in most so it's rotated pretty well in that time.
 

Symoen22

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I do a complete change once a fortnight. I spot clean every day and move the older shavings to the area they wee in most so it's rotated pretty well in that time.
How big is your cage? I have to order the shavings so it costs a little extra, if I can go a fortnight before a complete clean (and still be healthy for my piggy), then that is the best news! The amount of space that is shavings (I'm doing half fleece half shavings at the moment) is 2x4. But the shavings are going all over the fleece so once winter is over, I feel like I'll do complete shavings. I just want to keep a little fleece there since it's suddenly gotten cold!
 

Claire5012

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Yes I used to use fleece with carefresh and that was bad enough, so I can only imagine the amount of bits with the shavings. My pigs didn't seem to be bothered at all by me taking the fleece out. To be fair, they used to lie elsewhere half the time anyway. I think they got too hot on it. I've got a ferplast 120cm cage attached to a 100cm.
 

alessandrahorse

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Symoen - Can I suggest a separation of hay at one end of the cage where they sleep and snuggle down for warmth along with only a little covering of the shavings and then a couple of inches on the floor where they move around. All of this on top of newspaper as mentioned which makes easier cleaning plus, the newspaper will also absorb piddles. Or, fold the fleece into a little bed inside a litter box to try and keep separate as best you can.
 

Symoen22

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Symoen - Can I suggest a separation of hay at one end of the cage where they sleep and snuggle down for warmth along with only a little covering of the shavings and then a couple of inches on the floor where they move around. All of this on top of newspaper as mentioned which makes easier cleaning plus, the newspaper will also absorb piddles. Or, fold the fleece into a little bed inside a litter box to try and keep separate as best you can.
Thank you, I do have his hay and hag bag in one big litter tray (I searched for the absolute biggest I could find) and he does cuddle into it. I also have little cuddle beds he loves as well. But as to your suggestion, I will definitely try it out
 

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We use wood shavings for our 2 piggy’s, a 60L bag costs £6.99 it lasts us about a month (we clean out every 4 days). I’ve always used this as find its cheap. I guess the difficult part is what to do with it when it becomes waste, we have in the past composted it, but as u can imagine, there was a lot of it and being wood it takes a long time to decompose. But it did make excellent compost in the end (after about 9 months). Alternatively you can put it in your garden waste bin or household waste. We put about an inch thick layer all over the cage with hay on top in the bedroom section. I’ve never used newspaper underneath I don’t really see the point. If you put a thick layer on then press it down it compacts it and kind of acts as a sponge anyway to soak up the piggy pee 😊.
 
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