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What substrate do you use?

I thought it could be interesting to see what different people prefer and why. I generally use megazorb, as I find it quite absorbant and I like that it is soft. I know others find huge problems with dust, but I've not really found it to be worse than any other things! If I can't get megazorb for some reason, my next choice is hemp (which I have currently). I don't find it so absorbant, so wee corners (which the hams have, and the mice don't) need more spot cleans between full cage cleanouts, and when I got my first bale of Auboise a few years back thought it looked a bit "prickly", but the beasties don't seem to agree with me!

I have also tried Back-2-Nature, which I did not get on with at all. I thought it was a bit too hard and pellety, and found an awful lot of lumps of plastic in it. I did mention in a topic somewhere I'd been given a sample of the new Back-2-Nature which is now produced in the UK, and didn't find any foreign bodies in it but still think it's a bit hard and lumpy. Carefresh is another thing I've used and given up on, firstly because the lumps are too big, I find that it really is dusty, and it's horribly expensive!

I'm also testing aspen shavings for the first time, which seem lovely and soft. The only "person" to get them in a cleanout so far is George the APD (who does not seem impressed - but I think that was the indignity of being extracted from bed and plonked in a little carrier).


Sooo...what's your favourite and why?

Comments

  • _racingmouse_racingmouse Legacy
    Posts: 328
    I use purely Bedxel for the mice and nothing else purely because I`ve tried other things and all they done was cause problems. I have to agree with you Emma about the Carefresh issues. I thought I would try it again late last year when I only had Rosie and Miffy. All it done was give both girls a reaction to it and they both ended up needing Baytril treatment. :(

    I currently have a large bale of Aubiose, which Maisy seems to be fine with and she loves a wee dig around in it! So I may use some of the Aubiose in her cage when Betsy is no longer around.

    For the two hamsters (Syrian and Chinese) I currently use pine shavings. Given that Aubiose CAN be used for hamsters, I`m not too convinced about giving this to prinny my chinese hamster as it does resemble little `sticks` and I fear this might be a little too rough for a small hamster who loves to tunnel dig and bury herself! So the shavings seem to be a safer option, however.....

    The other day, I took two plastic boxes outside and using a kitchen collander, put the shavings handful by handful through this collander to seive out the sawdust and yes you guessed it....I ended up with a good few inches of what resembled sawdust in the bottom of one bin and light fluffy shavings in the other bin.

    I took it upon myself to `dust extract` the shavings myself, which smacks in the face of these manufacturers who market their shavings as `dust free and dust extracted`.. :x

    So for now, I will source the best shavings I can find and do exactly the same to make them airy, light and most importantly, odour free.

    The Aubiose I will use for my syrian and share some with the mice. :)
  • _lauren_lauren Legacy
    Posts: 1,214
    I use bedexcel for both my mice and rats. I like that I can order it relatively cheaply including postage and that a 20kg bale lasts me ages. It has no dust and is relatively absorbant (it's the shelves that get stinky in my opinion).

    I used carefresh for a while when I was waiting for my bedexcel to be delivered and found it had a weird texture and musty smell. It is also incredibly expensive.

    I did use back to nature for a short while, the plan was to use it in litter trays for my rats (which they didn't use). It was ok, but again, very expensive.

    I've used finacard as well and found it to be just as good as bedexcel.
  • _Emms_Emms Legacy
    Posts: 207
    I have been using Megazorb for my mice without any ill effects. I know some people are concerned about dust from it, but I haven't found it to be too bad. I also use it for my guinea pigs and rabbit

    However, I have just taken delivery of a 20k bale of Ecobed, as I think it would be better for the fats when they arrive. I've just cleaned out my two boy meeces and have given them the new substrate (I mixed in a little Megazorb as I still can't entirely see how the cardboard can be as absorbent!) and I have to say they seem perfectly happy with it, and Flapjack is currently busy carrying little squares of card from one place to another, so all is well so far!
  • _Emms_Emms Legacy
    Posts: 207
    Lol Ann, thank you. I was going through my pudding name phase at the time :) His brother is Maple (Syrup) :nom:
  • _daffee_daffee Legacy
    Posts: 12
    We use cardboard squares. Very cheap, dust-free, absorbant and the mice love digging through it, building fortsand posting it outthe cage bars.
  • _Galaxy_Galaxy Legacy
    Posts: 714
    What about a wood based cat litter? Not saying a definite brand because I just thought of it.
  • _Anthony_Anthony Legacy
    Posts: 131
    I'm currently using Aubiose, but probably wont use it again. After cage cleanout yesterday, the base of the cage was covered in dust o.o! It's a shame, cos the mice love it. They're builing loads of nests and stuff, but the dust can't be too good for them
  • _Gill_Gill Legacy
    Posts: 326
    :? Can anyone advise me of internet sites where I can purchase the bedding mentioned in these posts? (I'm thinking of Auboise, Megazorb and BedXcel).

    The only readily accessible petshop is Pets at Home, and that is 15 miles away in Liskeard. Also their selection is limited and, when you include petrol, works out rather expensive.

    Any help gratefully received.
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