Fleece Bedding Checklist?

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MollyB

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Hi guys!

I've decided to try using fleece bedding in Teddy's outdoor hutch.
It's on 2 levels and has recently been re-covered so it'll be waterproof too.

I was hoping you could give me some pointers on the initial set-up so I know I'm on the right track. Here's what I'm thinking/not sure of so far:

1- To wick the fleece, it needs to be washed at least 3 times, or until water soaks through it
2- The layers are: Fleece, towels, then newspaper?
- Will towels be fine or should I get some kind of wadding or a mattress cover that's more absorbent?
3- It needs to be swapped out every day or every other day - particularly in the winter?
4- It doesn't have to be sewn together, but is there a benefit to having a sandwich so you're essentially washing one chunky piece, or is it better to have the separate layes of fleece, towels etc.

I've been reading through a few articles already on here, but I couldn't quite get all the answers I needed to get started, so I thought I'd ask. Also, tell me if I've missed anything! I'm a complete newbie so I'm sure I have. :)

Thanks so much! Teddy's been much happier with his new hutch cover, I can't wait to spoil him with fleece too :3 x
 

nikij

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Hi, let me know how you get on, I am considering trying fleece in my outdoor hutch too, I have only had my guinea pigs for 3 weeks and have been using hay and sawdust but they make such a mess!
 

MollyB

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Hi @nikij! I will do. I've been using the same; it's just so messy and It'd be great if I could get something as snuggly as fleece for him! :D
 

Critter

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It's preference at the end of the day. After using fleece for a few years I felt the best for my personal circumstances was to make a fleece quilt, polyester wadding sandwiched between two fleeces or fleece top, wadding middle, waterproof material on the bottom. Keeps shape well in the cage/hutch, as in the piggies don't tend to kick it all out place, washes and dries quicker than towels too.
However after using mine for ages they suddenly shrunk in the wash when I changed my washing machine. Same temperature - who would have thought it?

Otherwise some people love all layers to be loose. Has it's advantages as there's no sewing involved.

They're now on VetBed, but it's bulky in the machine.

I think if you try your way first and see how it works for you, you may find that you don't have to make any adjustments :)
 

flowerfairy

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Mine are indoors but do have fleece. I sewed fleece zorb and fleece in a sandwich and use that for a few days then change it for my other cage liner. Fleece, mattress protector, fleece.

It is so wonderfully easy to put in place when it is sewn together. I use vet bed mats for them to sleep on. To help with washing you could use a couple of liners per layer so that each one is smaller in the machine.

Hope you find a way to suit you and your guinea pigs.
 

MollyB

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a fleece quilt, polyester wadding sandwiched between two fleeces or fleece top, wadding middle, waterproof material on the bottom. Keeps shape well in the cage/hutch, as in the piggies don't tend to kick it all out place, washes and dries quicker than towels too.
... They're now on VetBed, but it's bulky in the machine.

Thank you @Critter! Could you tell me what waterproof fabric you use at the bottom?
Also, would vetbed be a good option, or do you think a beginner should stick with a fleece liner at first?


I sewed fleece zorb and fleece in a sandwich and use that for a few days then change it for my other cage liner. Fleece, mattress protector, fleece.
...I use vet bed mats for them to sleep on. To help with washing you could use a couple of liners per layer so that each one is smaller in the machine.

Thank you @flowerfairy! Where did you get your Zorb from? Would you say a mattress protector does the same job or would zorb absorb more and keep him drier for longer?
Also, do you mean break one layer up in to 2 smaller liners instead of one long one?

Thanks so much for your help guys, it's helping so much! <3
 

Critter

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Hi again :)
well, I went to my local market stall fabric shop and they do washable awning fabric. Turned out that it wasn't the best thing really, it's heavy and after a few months of washing it was no longer waterproof! If I were to make more I would try again with mattress protector fabric. I'm not sure what that is specifically but I recon I'd get some washable material waterproof fabric protectors and cut them up to size... :)
 

flowerfairy

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I got my zorb online. Just googled it and chose the best price. Got the mattress protector from tesco. I used two layers cos it looked so thin. My girls hardly ever wee outside their litter tray so not really put absorbancy to the test. Zorb is meant to the be the tops for soaking up liquid. It is quite expensive.

I meant have the liners say half the length of the cage. Three layers thick just shorter so if they wee one end you have less liner to wash at a time.

Lots of pads ie mini liners in high wee areas work well too. Good luck.
 

Piggiepalace16

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My 4 are on fleece at the moment in their double tier hutch. Personally, I really like the fleece, it keeps them much warmer than their normal bedding ever did. It also means that I can add in little cozy items for them to snuggle into that won't get too messy! When I wicked mine, I have done this many times and it has worked first try - I mix a tiny bit of bleach, fairy liquid and then your standard detergent together put it in with your fleeces and it should wick first try. Make sure to respin again though, because you can't be too careful when it comes to the bleach. Whenever you have to wash them again, don't use bleach though because it's not needed, and definitely don't use any clothes softener, as this will get rid of the wick.

With me though, I am planning on getting them liners because being piggies they like to mess them about, and they also don't last very long with the 4. Normal fleece does work though. I recommend polar fleece as this keeps them much warmer, and won't get all cold in the winter unlike other fleeces. You can also buy these pretty cheap.

Things to put under the fleece can be newspapers, towels, puppy pads etc. The fleece doesn't necessarily need to be swapped out every day, just spot cleaned, but the absorbency layers should be redone every day really. I can get away with not having to change the fleeces out for about 3 days (I spot clean and shake them off every single day - spot cleaning twice a day on weekends).
 

MollyB

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If I were to make more I would try again with mattress protector fabric. I'm not sure what that is specifically but I recon I'd get some washable material waterproof fabric protectors and cut them up to size... :)
Thank you @Critter! I was wondering if using waterproof mattress protectors would work. Is that what you think you'd use?

I meant have the liners say half the length of the cage. Three layers thick just shorter so if they wee one end you have less liner to wash at a time.
Lots of pads ie mini liners in high wee areas work well too.
Oh I see! That makes a lot of sense @flowerfairy. You don't have to swap out a whole big liner if only a couple of areas are wet, you just swap out the ones affected? I like your thinking :D

Thanks so much for all your advice @Piggiepalace16! I like your wicking hack, sounds like a great idea! I'll definitely look into polar fleece, and as for swapping fleece; as it's wicked, does that mean it's not technically that wet, so swapping what's underneath would work pretty well?
 

Critter

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Yes, I would try them. However, I HAVEN'T tried them so can't vouch for them, but that would be what I would try if I were to make more. I did like having the waterproof backing on the fleece quilts, it's just that I chose the wrong material to use originally.
 

Tiamolly123

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If you have a fleece over the top of a waterproof backing, the wee wouldn't go through, just sit on the top, making it very bad, for the piggies. If you want to put fleece down put a mattress protector underneath. The wee will go through the fleece into the protector & be held there, so the piggies don't get wet. If you do that you need to wick the fleece only. Protector must be 100% cotton. Cut slightly bigger to allow for it to shrink slightly.
Protector can't be tumbled dry, the fleece can. Only use non biological washing powder & no softener.
I've tried towels & they end up soaked after a day or too. Lot of people use puppy pads. See how you get on.
 

MollyB

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Yes, I would try them. However, I HAVEN'T tried them so can't vouch for them, but that would be what I would try if I were to make more. I did like having the waterproof backing on the fleece quilts, it's just that I chose the wrong material to use originally.
Thank you @Critter! I really appreciate that. I was thinking of waterproof mattress protectors so I'll have to start pricing them up!

If you have a fleece over the top of a waterproof backing, the wee wouldn't go through, just sit on the top, making it very bad, for the piggies. If you want to put fleece down put a mattress protector underneath. The wee will go through the fleece into the protector & be held there, so the piggies don't get wet. If you do that you need to wick the fleece only. Protector must be 100% cotton. Cut slightly bigger to allow for it to shrink slightly.
Protector can't be tumbled dry, the fleece can. Only use non biological washing powder & no softener.
I've tried towels & they end up soaked after a day or too. Lot of people use puppy pads. See how you get on.
Thank you @Tiamolly123! It looks like mattress protectors are a good choice. Have you used waterproof ones before?
 

Tiamolly123

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No I wouldn't.
When I first joined I was told about this way & ive used it everytime for about a year now & now problems.
 

artcasper

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i make my liners and spend the money on proper incontinence bed sheets.... wash and dry really well and not too bulky in the machine ..
 

MollyB

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No I wouldn't.
When I first joined I was told about this way & ive used it everytime for about a year now & now problems.
Thank you @Tiamolly123, you mean you use fleece, then a mattress protector, then do you use anything under that?

i make my liners and spend the money on proper incontinence bed sheets.... wash and dry really well and not too bulky in the machine ..
Oh wow, thank you @artcasper, I didn't realise those existed. Are they quite expensive? Do you mind if I ask how you use them with fleece?
 

Flamestriker

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I'm going to use both :)

As I am installing a loft, I ordered liners for the loft itself and for the part of the cage under the loft, as you simply drop liners in. The rest of the cage will remain as puppy pads and fleece over the top.
 

MollyB

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I'm going to use both :)

As I am installing a loft, I ordered liners for the loft itself and for the part of the cage under the loft, as you simply drop liners in. The rest of the cage will remain as puppy pads and fleece over the top.

Thank you @Flamestriker ! Do you know what your liners will be made of, or is that only known by the maker? I'm hoping to get some bits this weekend to try for him, at least for his top level, but hopefully for both levels :)
 

Flamestriker

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I ordered mine with Ziggy. I love her stuff. I know she uses fleece with an absorbent core in the middle.
 

sandralynn

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I did make pads to start with, fleece with liner sewn in but found them hard to dry. I now use loose fleece on top of incontinence pads. Just bought some more meant for puppies whelping pens and they are great. I also use extra pieces of fleece where they get wet so only have to take small pieces out, mine have litter trays and mostly wee in those. I use a thin bath mat where they have their dish of veg as I found that was a wet area as they drag the veg off the dish. I also put extra fleece where they tend to sleep. Good luck, it is a matter of trial and error really just getting used to where your piggies are doing wee wee's x
 
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