The great fleece Debate

Fleece or Bedding


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    19

Tommywing5b7

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Hi everyone,

Firstly a thank you to all members for helping me get from total novice to proud Guinea pig owner, (seriously we have t shirts for me and both my kids and an IG page @ninacatsguineas).

I've now had the girls for a month and I've loved it completely. I've got 3 girls in a 160 cage using aubiose as bedding indoors with a bottom layer of puppy pad.

One of the only things I see frequently here and on YouTube etc is which is better for you and your piggies, disposable bedding or fleece.

I've read the sticky threads and I always read the various "smelly fleece" threads that come up.

As far as I understand it, on a detailed level

Aubiose

Pro
Doesn't smell bad
Easy to order
Pigs seem happy with it.
Cost is reasonably low (I'm about half way through a bale after a month. C£20)

Con
Changing the cage is reasonably gross (weekly)
Marks on the correx
Storing the bale is inconvenient
Debris everywhere
Stinky towards the end of the week (despite using a litter tray.

Now fleece on the other hand seems to be perfect in every way except for the laundry & the smell if the fleece is ineffective. Most dedicated Gp channels on YouTube etc seem to go for fleece as do a lot of well experienced users on here.

What I'm asking is has anyone gone from bedding to fleece and been instantly convinced? Has anyone gone from bedding to fleece then back again as it was no good?

For context I have two children and a wife who likes the Guineas as long as they don't hum and I do all the work. (Pre arranged deal 😂)

Sorry for the essay!
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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I do a thick layer of dirt cheap meadow hay, on top of fleece. I think i am the only one. It works ok , but have to look after the washing machine big time.
 

artcasper

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I have only ever used fleece ( well I used Carefresh for a small time but was too expensive for me ) I save money as I make the liners myself, but I do now have a fleece addiction which is costly 😜 I also spend about £20 per month washing it at the launderette - my washing machine cant handle the weight.... ( I could have prob bought another washer with the money spent at the launderette).... so I am a Yey for Fleece but it's what suits you!
 

Swissgreys

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I started with Aubiose becasue the piggies were supposed to be going outside eventually.
I liked it and it worked well, but once it becasue clear they would not be moving outside I decided to give fleece a try (I also saw a lot of good reports on You Tube).

One of the huge advantages was that I sew, and so was able to start by making my own liner and pee pads fairly cheaply.
Buying a couple of large liners can be pricey and I didn't want to spend too much in case I went back to Aubiose.

Fleece has worked really well for us and I love it, but I also know not everyone gets on with it for different reasons.

Maybe try a 'test' fleece liner using an absorbent layer and then a fleece blanket on top.
This way there is no major financial outlay if you ultimately decide it doesn't work for you.
 

RicoandRocky

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I personally love fleece I find it only smells the day before it needs to be washed and all I do to wash it is separate the fleece and the towel and put the fleece in a pillow case to stop hair and hay getting in my wash machine I did a tutorial on cheap fleece trials I think it only coated me less than 5 euro to make
 

PigglePuggle

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We have different cage areas with both fleece and kaytee paper bedding and I still cant decide whether this provides the best, or worse, of both! I think most of us agree fleece usually needs changing twice a week, plus a daily poop pick up. Unless you have unusually well toilet trained piggies. But fleece is pretty and soft and can just be brushed down and shoved in the washing machine. I've never experienced any residual smell in my fleece after a 60 degree wash with a splash of dettol.
Disposable bedding stays cleaner on top as the poops disappear but then when you clean it, it can be pretty wet and smelly underneath. Plus there's the buying and storing and disposing issues.
Could you try an area of both? And/or more frequent cage cleans? We clean out everything twice a week and its actually less effort doing it more often than scraping up nasty grungy stuff after a longer time!
 

flowerfairy

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I use fleece in most of the cage (11 x 2 c and c cage) for my five guinea pigs. Then I put a hay tray each end of the cage lined with newspaper and hay. Works well.

I brush the fleece liners with a stiff bristled brush before putting them into zip up bags to be washed.
 

Alisa3114

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I've been using puppy pads as a base then vet bed on top then the places where they tend to pee and poop the most I have fleece waterproof pads. I love it and I've found that as long as I change the waterproof pads every couple of days it doesn't seem to smell at all.
 

SqueakersNYC

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I use fleece and it never smells - I change it every four days. We have disposable bedding in their kitchen and that’s it. I bought fleece liners that have a double absorbent layer sewn directly into them. They were not cheap but they’re marvellous. Plus it looks way nicer. :nod:
 

Siikibam

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I am one who started with bedding (shavings), moved to fleece within two months or so, didn’t seem to get on with it so moved back to bedding. Then again back to fleece because I reacted to the bedding - aubiose. I REALLY REALLY loved it and would have continued using it but it triggered my asthma. And I accidentally discovered that megazorb (another bedding some use) made my nose itch! I say accidentally because we had the school guinea pigs three times, and the once where they weren’t in their megazorb, I didn’t have an itchy nose 🤷🏾‍♀️

I like fleece now and will stick with it. I’ve occasionally used shavings in their hay trays (still have some leftover) but think I prefer puppy pads. I change them every second day.

I now also have bath mats on top of the fleece, which makes it last a little longer before a change is needed.
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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Another fleece fanatic here! Got my liners from Ziggy’s piggies and they’re fab. I have hay trays (I use pine litter with hay on top) as well and vet bed squares under hideys. I’ve never found it smelling under usual circumstances, it has only smelt once and they were a few days off their cage clean due to family illness. My pigs live in my sitting room so I would definitely know it if it smelt!

If you’re gunna give it a go I’d recommend getting a horse bag to contain all the hair/hay to keep your washing machine clean. We also use a dash of white vinegar and non-bio washing powder. I have a large cage so my fleece liners are in 2 or else I don’t think it would have fit in my washing machine.

I didn’t get on with loose bedding as I found it harder to clean and rather dusty, even some of the low dust stuff. With fleece I just give it a quick go over with a dust pan and brush (which Bella thinks is a fun game!) and change out the hay trays every other day and it’s perfect! :)
 

Caris

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I started with aubiose, but found that it got everywhere and that it really set off my allergies, and that it was incredibly dusty. It was a pain to poo pick, because it wasn't as simple as brushing it up with a dustpan and brush, and I like to keep the cage as clean as possible! And I found that it actually got quite smelly fairly quickly, despite cleaning out the dirty parts every day. And I hated the end of the week clean. Lots of waste, and it took ages!

I made my own fleece liners firstof all to test, by sewing together some cheap fleece with a mattress liner in the middle, and immediately loved them. They look nicer. Poo picking is a lot easier and takes less than half the time. End of the week change, you literally just pull the liner up, brush it off, stick it in the washing machine and replace it with the new one, and voila! Done. My guineas seem to prefer it.

I went back to aubiose while waiting for some liners to arrive for my boys' bigger cage, and it reinforced how much it didn't work for me. My boys also didn't seem to like changing back. They didn't tend to stretch out as much, whereas on the fleece they literally sprawl.

I have found that the bigger the cage, the much less you need to change the fleece. My girls have a smaller cage (hoping to get them a 5x2 soon) and need changing quite a bit more.
 

Julie M

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I used to use woodshavings but when I moved the pigges to a bigger cage then it was costing too much to fill the cage and causing too much mess. So i tried fleece. I too used ziggys piggies for liners. I have had the same liners for nearly 4 years now. (and some new ones) I find that kitten litter trays for their hay with back 2 nature pellets in them works well. And once you know where your girls generally pee you can place pee pads (essentially small liners) where they pee and I usually change these every 2nd day. Also a horsewear wash bag to wash them in and rubber brush for sweeping away hairs is essential (for me anyway) And warning......sweeping poops up can sometimes become a bit of an obsession with fleece! 🙄😂
 

Patterjack&Piggles

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I'm actually still undecided... I've had my gang for 3 months now, and they are inside. I've tried all fleece in their double storey hutch, and found it too much extra laundry, but Aubiose on both levels made a heck of a mess! At the moment, the top level has carpet off cuts with homemade fleece pads/puppy pads in the toilet areas, which have become few as the just tend to go up here for a snooze now. The bottom level has puppy pads, Aubiose and hay on it, and this gets changed every 4-5 days. Still not sure if I'm happy though! 😂
 

piggieminder

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I started with woodshavings and found them very dusty and bits forever stuck in boars private parts - ouch!
Moved onto vet bed which I absolutely love as it wicks the wet into newspaper and puppy pads underneath. The big but is with 3 large cages it's very thick and heavy to wash and there was far too much of it.
Last summer I made fleece liners with mattress cover sewn into 2 layers of fleece, a great compromise as I can get more pieces into the machine at once.
Cons were
Spike, one of my older piggies had trouble walking after a week on the fleece. Turns out he has artritis in his hip and is better on the thicker vet bed. So back to vet bed for the oldies.
One of my younger boars drinks and wees a lot and as the fleece dosen't wick so well, he got slight urine scald on his back feet. Small bits of vet bed under hidies solved that problem.
I use large hay containers that they can burrow into and sleep in - small dog bed, pet carrier with door off, underbed storage box, Back to nature in the bottom and piles of hay on top lets them indulge in natural piggie behaviours while keeping the mess and dust down in the rest of the cage and house.

Good luck in finding the right solution for you, it maytake a bit of trial and error!
 

Tommywing5b7

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I started with Aubiose becasue the piggies were supposed to be going outside eventually.
I liked it and it worked well, but once it becasue clear they would not be moving outside I decided to give fleece a try (I also saw a lot of good reports on You Tube).

One of the huge advantages was that I sew, and so was able to start by making my own liner and pee pads fairly cheaply.
Buying a couple of large liners can be pricey and I didn't want to spend too much in case I went back to Aubiose.

Fleece has worked really well for us and I love it, but I also know not everyone gets on with it for different reasons.

Maybe try a 'test' fleece liner using an absorbent layer and then a fleece blanket on top.
This way there is no major financial outlay if you ultimately decide it doesn't work for you.
I may do this for a week and see how it goes as you say.

Thanks for the advice!
 

Tommywing5b7

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I use fleece and it never smells - I change it every four days. We have disposable bedding in their kitchen and that’s it. I bought fleece liners that have a double absorbent layer sewn directly into them. They were not cheap but they’re marvellous. Plus it looks way nicer. :nod:
This is encouraging. Did you buy the liners or make them?
 
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