Carefresh is finally making me switch our bedding to fleece

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MyCavy

Post   » Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:06 pm


It used to be cardboard brown and now that's nowhere to be seen, with the newest "default" Carefresh being a white/bleached color.

Since then, I've noticed that my Sally Bean (aka "Beany") has been eating pieces of her Carefresh - which, imo, will cause intestinal blockage and make them feel full with zero nutrition (similar to iceberg lettuce.) Honestly, this had gotten me really scared for her well-being and I'm hoping she passes it but see nothing even close in her stool.

Two questions:

1) Should I be as worried as I currently am?

I'm a bundle of nerves right now. I'm $20+ in the hole since I'm throwing out the bag of Carefresh and possibly grabbing some aspen until next week. I just cleaned her home, and feel the immediate need to dump the rest of that bedding to avoid any critical issues in the future. Don't know if I'm overreacting or not, but it's "pressing my buttons" since I'd never forgive myself if something bad happened because of my inaction.

2) I have fleece on order (which will arrive Tuesday), which I will wash and prep so it's properly wicked.

I'm looking to spot-clean as often as possible, however, can a "full house cleaning service" happen once a week or does it need to happen more often? Also, I've ordered a set of eight cotton towels. Depending on their thickness, I may order another set (for approx. $19.99 for eight.) I'm looking to at least have four sets of fleece+towels on-hand. I've read on here that the fleece+towels are a simple and effective method as well as a common replacement for sewing layered bedding, using U-Haul padding, ect. I will be using foldable clips to attach the fleece onto the sides of the coroplast to deny access to the towel "underbelly". Is this a proper setup?

Also, could I still use the U-Haul padding if not sewn into the fleece? Does it last as a sheet when added to the bag of laundry, or do they fall apart over time?

Thanks so much for any feedback and suggestions you folks can provide.

User avatar
Renonvsparky

Post   » Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:03 pm


Horse bedding pellets, available at most feed stores works best for me with the fleece bedding I use. It absorbs the moisture and keeps the smell down. It's pretty easy to work with and it lasts a long time. Every time you change the fleece, you can scoop out the wet stuff underneath, which in my case is not a whole lot, and replace it with dry. A bag costs about $20 and usually lasts me for 2-3 months with 3 cages, each one 2 by 4.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:21 pm


I would also contact the people who make CareFresh and complain. That stuff is not cheap.

By the way, Renovnvsparky, should you wish to do a pictorial description of how you do bedding and set up your cage, it might be really helpful!

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:27 pm


I know I've seen Carefresh "Natural" online recently on Amazon or Chewy.com. Are you sure it has been discontinued?

Occasional chewing of paper bedding is okay, but it's not something they should ingest in large quantities. Fleece is a lot more economical and, in my view, safer. I use white towels under their fleece so that I can better monitor for blood in the urine (since we have had a number of guinea pigs with bladder stones and urinary tract infections over the years).

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ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:13 am


If your guinea pig is eating a piece of Carefresh now and again it probably isn't a big deal. If she is grazing on it, that's another situation. Mine tends to taste shredded paper once in a while, but that's about it.

You don't need to sew the towels or any absorbent backing to the fleece. In fact, it's easier to wash if everything is separate and just layered. I think it gets cleaner and dries faster.

I use the washable incontinence bed protectors under my fleece. I have used them for years first with a dog who was incontinent and now for my guinea pig. They are quilted and wick liquid so the top layer stays dry.

You'll have to see how long you can go between washings. One thing that helps is wee pads or fleece pieces in the corners of the cage since they usually back up and wee in the corners. I sew these about 14" square or up to the size of a placemat. I put fleece on the top, a kitchen towel or microfiber towel in the middle with a layer of batting sometimes, then a woven cotton fabric on the bottom. The woven is smooth and works well for a pile of hay. They eat and wee in one place, and the hay doesn't stick to the cotton. Or it can be flipped over to the fleece side for snuggling.

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MyCavy

Post   » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:41 am


>> I know I've seen Carefresh "Natural" online recently on Amazon or Chewy.com.

Imo, Carefresh isn't what it was a year or so ago (which used to be Carefresh "Complete".)

I had a nice stockpile of supplies that I purchased before Foster & Smith folded and became part of Petco. It was clean and acceptable bedding, with the new one acting like a forced up-sell to the $20-$25 bags of white and colored beddings. It's approx. $16 for a bag of bedding that seems to have smaller pieces and shreds of something in it, as well, which I wouldn't want her to eat on a consistent basis with her hay. Tons of reviews say it smells to high-heaven and doesn't expand as much either (thus, why it's cheaper.) I don't know anyone who've used it, or I'd simply ask for a description and photo - so, if you do, definitely throw me your feedback.

I feel the need to take a trip to Petsmart this weekend and see if they'll trade this open bag of white Carefresh for the other one. I still haven't tossed it yet, and at the very least it could help me understand (from a first-hand POV) the difference between "Complete" and "Natural" considering that online reviews can be unreliable.

Here are pictures to show the difference between the two:




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Renonvsparky

Post   » Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:59 pm


Image

Image

Here's a couple of views of what I've done with the fleece and the edging to keep it in place and to keep the guinea pigs from burrowing under it. If you need more, let me know. Always happy to help.

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ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Fri Mar 13, 2020 5:45 pm


The paper bedding is basically paper pulp that’s dried. It’s reclaimed, meaning in the process of making office paper, envelopes, cardboard, or magazine paper, some of the finished product is trimmed for the customer and some just doesn’t sell. So the paper manufacturer puts that back in the pulper which is a giant blender. If there’s enough fiber, they can use it for another batch of paper, otherwise it’s dried and sold. So this product will vary depending on the original paper product. The current rough, chunky bedding reminds me of industrial paper towels and cardboard.

The Kaytee brand, however, is softer with smaller pieces. Again a reclaimed product, but the original paper may be something more like paper towels and TP.

I spent 20 years working for a paper manufacturer. They lost money making paper for magazines, but could have made a ton of money selling this stuff!

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:19 pm


It looks so neat and clean, Renonvsparky! Easier to sweep or vacuum off poops.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:44 pm


I always thought Carefresh "natural" bedding had an odd odor to it. I used another brand (can't remember which) for quite a few years, and also tried the white stuff in the hopes that it would be less dusty, but finally broke down and switched back to fleece last year.

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ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:06 am


The smell could be from chemicals in the pulping process. Paper pulp may be made by using chemicals, or by a thermo-mechanical process which is heat and machine agitators. Again, it depends on what the product was to start with.

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