Best loose bedding safe for males or natural bedding? Wanting to go naturalistic :) - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Best loose bedding safe for males or natural bedding? Wanting to go naturalistic :)

I currently use fleece in my boys cage but I'm thinking of changing him onto loose bedding and have a naturalistic enclosure. He just loves to dig and fleece doesn't allow him to do this. He also loves making a nest. I put loads of fleece strips and small to med fleece squares around his cage and he always carries every single piece to his nest area, which is under his sleeping sack . I had to stop using paper towels in his litter tray as he'd also attempt to carry this to his nest >< (wasn't sure how safe it was to allow him to do it)

I'd love to go bioactive but not sure I'm quite ready/experienced to do it yet. So instead could I mix paper bedding and a natural type eg coco fibre/shavings? Or is it best to have them in separate areas to maintain more easily? With loose bedding or natural bedding is it best to do a complete clean out once a week still or do you just need to do the areas that need it and spot clean? My boy is pretty good about using his litter tray or going on the wheel which is over the tray but he always cleans his feet, drops tiny pieces of dried poop in his nest area.

Also I have some concerns with paper bedding. He's always had quite a wet nose and sneezes occasionally (recently treated for a URI for a runny nose but his nose is still quite wet, no longer runny though). Which paper beddings are best that have no dust or minimal dust? Also which ones are best for males so he doesn't get any stuck to his penile sheath ~ he's a pretty active boy who enjoys his boy time!
Or due to these concerns am I best to only use natural type beddings? If so how often does it need changing out, once a week or does it last longer than paper bedding? Thank you
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I currently use Carefresh Complete. It’s ok.. Eggsy likes it because he can burrow and it’s pretty safe. But it gets everywhere. No matter how much I clean him off when I pick him up, some always ends up on my bed or floor. I’ll be moving him to a larger cage soon and I was considering doing two different beddings as well. His breeder used those thin shavings and they said those work really well too. I just chose the Carefresh because it looked more comfortable for him. I’m not ready for an eco cage at all but I do like the naturalistic feel of the Carefresh. I’m not sure what to do to make it easier to clean. Eggsy is litter trained no matter not hard I try. In fact he makes a mess of his litter, I’m not sure if the pan is too small for him or what.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Whenever you're finished with everything (if you do decide to go naturalistic), I'd love to see your setup!
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Old 03-20-2018, 04:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply and advice . Yeh I did wonder if using both fleece and carefresh together would it be too messy but I might just add a little in his bed area for the time being before I make the complete switch to naturalistic / bioactive...
How old is Eggsy if he's still a baby they do poop a lot more but as he gets older he'll poop a little less and perhaps start to do it in one area...
Do you use a different bedding in the litter tray then? Yuki also kicks his litter out of the tray but it's just a few pieces here and there... I find bringing the littler tray out during bonding time since they tend to go not long after waking up and putting Yuki in the tray on my lap he'll use it within a few seconds! If you have few day old pieces of litter in the tray and some old poop, perhaps he might start associating it and do his business on it!
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Old 03-20-2018, 04:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Whenever you're finished with everything (if you do decide to go naturalistic), I'd love to see your setup!
Sure! I've been doing loads of research again this week for bioactive and am really keen to try it, looks so much fun for them and offers tonnes of enrichment! Think I've finally decided on the new viv and know I can get all the substrates etc here. Last thing to look into is the cuc as I have no idea where I can buy isopods and springtails but they must have them available for reptile keepers... I can get the other bugs ok. Also need to look into safe plants and what they are refered to in Japanese but that isn't as necessary/priority.
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Eggsy is 4 months old. I have a small corner litter pan with Yesterday’s News in it. Sometimes he goes right outside the litter box which makes me think maybe it’s too small. But other times he’ll go somewhere random or under his wheel. I plan on getting a bigger one to go under his wheel and hopefully that’ll help.
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Old 10-03-2018, 05:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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keep us all updated, so interesting! I use a combo of fleece liners and shredded recycled paper/fleece strips for nesting and care fresh and paper eco pellets for dig boxes and litter tray - litter tray however is used as a burrow area so i have given up the litter training!

I'm going to start researching this too - anything to make Marjorie like me! bless her
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Old 10-03-2018, 05:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukidama's mama View Post
Thanks for the reply and advice . Yeh I did wonder if using both fleece and carefresh together would it be too messy but I might just add a little in his bed area for the time being before I make the complete switch to naturalistic / bioactive...
How old is Eggsy if he's still a baby they do poop a lot more but as he gets older he'll poop a little less and perhaps start to do it in one area...
Do you use a different bedding in the litter tray then? Yuki also kicks his litter out of the tray but it's just a few pieces here and there... I find bringing the littler tray out during bonding time since they tend to go not long after waking up and putting Yuki in the tray on my lap he'll use it within a few seconds! If you have few day old pieces of litter in the tray and some old poop, perhaps he might start associating it and do his business on it!
carefresh and fleece together isn't as annoying to clean as you would think - shakes off fleece - i change my main liner every 2-3 days and do spot cleans every day and it isn't as bad as i thought it would be!
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Old 10-03-2018, 11:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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carefresh and fleece together isn't as annoying to clean as you would think - shakes off fleece - i change my main liner every 2-3 days and do spot cleans every day and it isn't as bad as i thought it would be!
Ah really? I find it quite messy haha. So I went ahead not long after my previous post and did half and half (fleece part where the wheel and litter tray is and carefresh in the nest side). I then went ahead and did all carefresh and cut long strip of fleece to run along the back end of the cage where I place his water and food bowls as carefresh was getting inside them. The carefresh I use really sticks to it the fleece, it's not so bad now I only use one long strip of fleece and a few small strips in the nest area. But I have to hoover every piece of fleece before I can wash them, which is a bit time consuming >< ive just cut many strips though so I can change them out weekly and do a big wash of them all once a month so not having to hoover them too often!

Also ive already started introducing natural substrate (Eco earth and dessert sand) in a second litter tray I got (like A4 size). Sometimes he goes in it when we have him out and uses it as a toilet, then splats himself out on it lol. I think he really enjoys the texture of it. Only issue I'm having is it sticks to his nose and mouth so then licks it off and chews on it, but this is because he's having mouth issues and producing excessive saliva (he's currently on medication so hope it helps as I want to start using the natural substrate in his cage soon!). We're currently having a big wooden vivarium made so when that arrives I plan to give the bioactive set up a try! (Provided yukis mouth issue is resolved).

Will post updates!

If you're interested to know more about naturalistic or bioactive setups, Draenog has made a set by set guide on here and her blog, and there's also a facebook group for it too ^^
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Old 10-04-2018, 02:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Heya, we have used a lot of different bedding including ones recommended by the breeder which ended up as a vet bill... got stuck im his little fella. Carefresh he refused to sleep on or near! Best thing I’ve found is eco nest, he loves it and so do our chins
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