Pine/Aspen Shavings! Bedding help!

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Post   » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:16 am

I was wondering what kind of wood bedding would be the best? I have tried paper bedding & fleece and I wanted to try something else. I heard pine or aspen shavings reduce the smell and make for easy cleanups? What’s everyone’s thoughts on those beddings and which would be best? I know wood shavings like cedar aren’t good but I thought I read somewhere there is one kind that isn’t harmful to piggies respiratory system like the others! Thanks in advance!!

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I dissent.

Post   » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:59 am

What were your concerns with either paper bedding or fleece? Most guinea pig owners find pine or aspen to be a lesser bedding in terms of absorbency and odor control. I have tried most beddings over the years, and have not been impressed with any of the wood beddings. They stay wet and do nothing to mask urine odor, and I feel like the sharp, wet pieces could pose an increased risk for pododermatitis.

Cedar is considered unsafe due to the phenols (same with pine, to some degree). If you haven't read the GL page on beddings, you might find this useful:

Some owners have used wood pellets with some degree of success. I believe they do use a layer of fleece on top. I currently use paper bedding, and it is by far my preferred choice.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:57 am

I'm all in for wood pellets. They're by far the cheapest and the best for odor control. Horse stall bedding is usually good, but you'll have to make sure it doesn't smell strongly of pine. TerrAmiga makes a good brand.


Post   » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:29 pm

I used aspen for a while before I went to towels and fleece. I can't really say that aspen makes for easy clean ups. If your cage is as big as it's supposed to be, you use a lot of aspen to cover the bottom. It has to be two to three inches deep all around to be effective. If the pigs like a certain spot, it is easy to just scoop that spot out, but most of the time they make a mess everywhere. Then, when you clean the cage, you have to scoop and sweep ALL the aspen bits out before you scrub out the bottom (with vinegar) and rinse it. There is generally a bit of dust to contend with when dumping in the fresh stuff. There is now also a problem of having a huge bag of soiled aspen to get rid of. If you clean out the cage every week, that's a lot of refuse to throw away. In addition, if the coroplast is not high enough around the sides of your cage, the pigs tend to kick a lot of the loose aspen out onto your floors and walls. I also agree with sef1268 that it does very little to keep down odors.

There is no such thing as a perfect system for dealing with the bottom of your pig's cage. The last few years I had pigs, I used fleece and towels. It requires you to clean more often, but each cleaning was relatively quick and easy and there is less dust and less mess around the outside of the cage. Less dust was important to me because I am allergic to dust and also have asthma. The downside, of course, was that I had to launder the pig's bedding on a regular basis. (PS: I used wood stove pellets in hay bins and loved the absorbency and how it kept down odors.)


Post   » Tue May 07, 2019 8:00 am

Some pine may be ok (but you have to be absolutely sure it's kiln dried and most do not say) , but aspen is by far safer. I am old school and have always used wood shavings. So, there is no issue for me about more clean up, 'cuz that's just the way it is! :) I tried paper bedding for awhile, but it is so expensive and to me, it seemed to increase any bad smells.
I had a sick pig who had very strong smelling pee. I figured out that by putting the pine pellets (sold for horse bedding or feline pine for cats) really keeps smell to zero. I now just use it in the corners they pee in, rather than the whole bottom (whole bottom of cage does indeed make for a LOT of heavy clean up). I feel they are too "unstable" (they shift around, not sure how this would work for a horse!) to use as an "only" bedding, so I put the aspen over the top.
I recently got a pretty large cage w/2 additional piggies. We added a balcony to almost double floor space and I am trying the fleece up there to see how that goes.
So, if you decide to give this a try, you can purchase these items much cheaper if you have a Tractor Supply near you. Their cost of litter is by far the best, and they have some nice hay, but I do not like any of their foods, so have to go elsewhere for that. We have 22 total critters and have to go all over town to get all their supplies!


Post   » Wed May 08, 2019 4:32 pm

I was told by a gal that ran a rescue that poplar was okay and I have been using that for nearly two decades without issue. I am able to get a bag that supplies 9 cubic feet for $6 at a local coop. As for cleanup and I know I will hear about this, since I live in an apartment, it's difficult to clean up their cages so I get the large leaf bags at Costco to line the bottom and then place newspaper on top to hid the plastic bag below. When it's time to clean the cage, I just bundle up the bag with the shavings and put in another trash bag for disposal.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed May 08, 2019 5:26 pm

There's no problem with using the trash bag as long as the pigs can't get to it. Because they WILL eat it if they can.

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Post   » Wed May 08, 2019 9:50 pm

Fuzzee+Kaspar, I should be able to send you a temporary passsword for your old account, Kacee, if you want. It is MUCH better to keep all your posts together.

First check the Kacee account (read lots of posts) to make sure it is yours.

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