We are considering getting ds (age almost-12) a couple of guinea pigs. I did some searching on the net and found lots of general info. But, as always, it is nice to hear from people that actually have these as pets!
I read about the C&C enclosures, they look easy to make and I know I can handle the construction with no problems (I have a close friend in the sign-making business and can get the base material at little or no cost
I saw a link about fleece bedding (they look like thick blankets for the enclosure floor), "litter boxes" and hidey holes. Does anyone here use this fleece bedding?
I can sew just about anything, these look pretty basic. Would it be possible to make my own? I assume it is regular polar fleece and not sweatshirt fleece (is this correct?). What is the "fillling" material, what type of batting? Can regular poly quilt batting be used? One website (piggybedspreads.com) mentions their filling product is "medical grade" (I'm
not sure just what that
means, do you?).
If I use the fleece bedding (which looks pretty cool, economical and makes cleaning easier), do I still need to load up the cage with grass, etc?? I like the less-stuff-to-be-kicked-&-scattered-around idea.
I also like the idea of not
having to constantly be purchasing shredded bedding material (which doesn't seem to be a very eco-friendly an idea).
Also, with fleece, I am wondering about washing it. We have a real concern with water usage and kind of hate the idea of washing just one or two items at a time (these being the fleece bedding pieces), not to mention the front loading washer needs more than that in a load.. Can these things be washed in hot water with, say, a load of jeans?? Or, are there health hazards connected with washing the gp bedding with our clothing? Can I soak them in a vinegar/water mixture first (to kill bacteria) and then add them to the rest of the load? We use 7th Generation to wash our clothes, would this be okay to clean the fleece bedding?
Okay, to a couple of other questions: How often to clean the enclosure if we use the fleece bedding? I would plan on having back-up fleece, so no waiting wash & dry, I could simply wipe-out the enclosure and add new padding.
The fleece bedding website mentions curtains, litter boxes and pads and other cozy hidey-holes. Good ideas? Needless expenses? I realize the site is trying to sell their products, so hearing from actual users would be much nicer!
With the fleece "flooring" do the little critters still need something shredded (grass, paper)to hide in, or would one of the hidey-holes do the trick? We plan on keeping them in our living room which is temperate and in which we think they would be comfortable. They'll be located in the same space where we have had cockatiels for many years (and the birds did beautifully).
Finally (!!), HONESTLY, how messy are guinea pigs?? I can't take the same kind of mess the cockatiels made (their powder was more than we ever expected
). I'd rather disuade ds now than have everyone put up with my dislike for the guinea pigs later.
I understand that I will probably be the one to do most of the clean-up, but a realistic projection of this will help with our decision to take these animals into our lives. I don't want a repeat of the cockatiels.
That's it for now. I'll probably be back with more ?? if we follow-thru on this idea!