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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I have had my girl for a month now. Her home consists of two large plastic tubs (52 and 60L) connected with a PVC pipe. One of the tub functions as a 'bedroom' of a sort with many layers of fleece liners, her igloo and snuggle bag. I made it so because she showed a preference to this bin when it came to sleeping.
The second tub is more of a playground sort of area and also has her food bowl and water bowl. Her wheel is also in this area. I used wood shavings as bedding for this one.

After doing some research and noticing some things myself I will never use wood shavings again. These are the main factors (personal opinion):
1. They make a mess. They stick to the carpet, she carries them onto the fleece and they stick on the fleece. It's impossible to get them off and the basin where I wash her fleece has clogged twice from them.
2. I have noticed that when I scoop them up to clean her cage they leave a small fine dust behind. Even though they were sealed and pet store-bought they can still be dusty and I don't want to risk a respiratory problem.
3. I use my hand to reach in, scoop them out and scatter them (they are pressed into a big block) and while I was scattering them the other day I actually caught a large, sharp piece of wood. And that was the main reason that had me IMMEDIATELY start researching to switch her bedding.


I have two alternatives and I would like your opinions on which one is the best:

1.Change the wood shavings to wood pellets or some other bedding type (I've read Carefresh is not as good as I thought for that)
2. Get an extra bin that is going to be smaller than the other two. Get some bedding that allows her to burrow and fill it up. Replace the wood shavings with fleece and add a litter box.

Now I understand expanding her cage might cost me more in the present, but I'm also worried about long-term costs (and Nelly's happiness above all) and which one you think would be easier to maintain/clean and make less of a mess. With the shavings I have to vacuum every two days and it's unbearable. Also which one would smell the least? The shavings are not absorbent AT ALL for me.
 

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I prefer fleece most of all. It's super easy to spot clean, super easy to switch to a new liner when you do a whole cage, you just toss them in the was, and it's roughly a $20 startup cost that should last the life of your hedgehog. 4 liner at about a yard each, $5 a yard, single layer.

Now, you can make double layer or filled liners if you want, but hedgehogs pee so little and mostly on their wheel that I mostly find that superfulous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know fleece is super convenient and I would have both cages on liners but I just really want her to have somewhere to burrow because she loves it and I have seen her digging around and rolling in the wood shavings very often (which now has me even more worried when I noticed all this dust the wood shavings leave behind -luckily she doesn't scratch)
 

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Charlotte has a fleece dig box and a bead dig box, she uses and enjoys both. You can switch to fleece, which I personally prefer, and give your hedgie some dig boxes to fill that need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's a wonderful idea Charlotte.the.hedgehog! Nelly used to have a fleece dig box but she transferred wood shavings all over the fleece and made an absolute mess so I couldn't clean the straps and I had to get rid of it :-(. But since I won't use wood anymore I could make a new batch.
Thanks so much for all the help! :)
 

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Pom poms from the dollar store also work well in a dig box. Cheap, big enough that they don't get eaten, fit together into a fun pile to dig in, and if they get pottied on, eh, it's a buck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is a great idea, I'll definitely do that. Well there:s no dollar store where I live but I know how to make my own pom poms so I'll try it! Thanks again!
 

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Fleece is very convenient for the owner but not so nice for the hedgehog. It is bland and boring and unnatural, so if you're using fleece, it is indeed a good idea to have a more wider variety of bedding types available by lining only one part of the cage with fleece or using dig boxes. Since you are using 2 tubs you could keep the fleece in one of them and use something else for the other, if you like. There are several types of wood shavings and some aren't as dusty or sharp as others. However, a tiny bit of dust isn't going to cause respiratory infections that easily. These animals come from arid, semi-desert environments. They can handle a little bit of dust.
If you see her rolling around that's probably because she is trying to display her natural sand-bathing behaviour.
If you don't want to use shavings you could see if they sell something like Back 2 Nature in your area. It's very nice imo, it's a paper pellet type of bedding. Finacard is a good option as well but it's slightly dustier, but not as dusty as most wood shavings.

As for dig boxes I usually fill up mine with river pebbles (big enough so they can't eat them), dried leaves and several different types of bedding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I followed your advice and got more fleece for my other tub as well. I founda ddifferent quality than the other one with a slightly smoother texture for variety... I also got pine pellets, a dig box and a litter box. I will upload pictures when she's all set
Do you guys think I should gradually introduce her to the pellets? I thoughts dsudden change might shock her...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I brought the pellets home (Carried 8lt for 2.30hrs on public transport) and I instantly started searching online because something very suspicious happened.

The guy at the pet store and I had a little arguement about the origins of those pellets I told him I wanted pine strictly and he told me this is the only pine brand. But no ingredients are mentioned on the box!
Now because I live in Greece I know there's not a wide variety of bedding to choose from, importing something is way too costly and hedgehogs are not a popular pet over here so I don't know any other Greek owners.
I'm sending you guys a link to the brand so perhaps you would know something more than I do.

It smells strong enough, the pellets are hard and when I cracked one open and performed a little taste test (I know I'm crazy but I had to) it tasted like plain wood.

I'm really worried that this isn't just pine.
http://www.petopoleion.gr/p.Clean-Wood-Pellets-8-litra-5-kila.625505.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh by the way the breeder I got Nelly from used the same wood chips that I want to get away from... I don't know what to think anymore...


Sorry for the multiple posts :/
 

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Pine and cedar should actually not be used unless it is kiln dried because it can be toxic. The link is in Greek so I can't read it. But basically you want anything but pine. I don't think they sell kiln dried pine everywhere.
 

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Your best bet on checking any bedding is to contact the manufacturer. There should be information on the package. They would be able to answer your questions more so than some person who applied for a job at a pet store.

When contacting them, just ask basic questions. They don't need to make a judgement call for you if it's safe for a hedgehog. What materials is in it? Is it raw or treated wood? That type of questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I e-mailed the manufacturer and they haven't gotten back to me in 24 hours... I won't use the pellets when I can't be sure of the ingredients.

I decided I will try a different brand of shavings because Nelly seems really attached to them and has learned to only poop there which makes her cage incredibly easy to clean. Perhaps different brands will be less hazardous and messy...

It's a shame that stuff like Back 2 Nature or Yesterday's News are not available in my country =/
 
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