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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Question Aspen?

Hello everyone!


I am new to the site but not to the pocket pets life.

I have been searching for the perfect bedding for a while now and I was hoping for some other people's opinions.

I have 3 rats and 3 pigs and as of right now I am not completely happy with my bedding setup.

All my furries are currently on CareFresh but I am having some issues with it.


1. The amount I need is hard to get a hold of. I would love to be able to buy in bulk and maybe even get a discount while doing so but this seems to not be an option with the CareFresh. Although I may just be looking in the wrong places.


2. CareFresh can be quite pricey in comparison to your basic "wood" bedding. With as much as I need this tends to hurt the pocket book a little.


With these things being said, I would love to try Aspen bedding but the one pack I purchased, when opened, smelled like chemicals. It was bad enough to give me a headache in a 30 min period.


This meant all piggies were immediately removed and bedding was replaced and the barely used bag of aspen went directly into the garage, waiting to be dumped.

Now I'm not an overly picky person and I didn't want to ask for my money back considering I know nothing about aspen and thought perhaps that was just its smell and maybe I was extremely sensitive to it.


Has anyone else experienced this? What should normal aspen smell like?


The particular kind I picked up had a blend of different woods, none of which were pine or cedar and I thought perhaps that might have lent to the smell.

I am extremely paranoid about litter after having a sick piggy when I was young because we hadn't known at the time that pine and cedar were bad.


This was back in the dawn of time, before the interwebz!


So any bedding ideas, opinions, links would be greatly appreciated!


-Marris

Last edited by HouseFull_O_Fur; 06-25-2009 at 12:05 PM. Reason: Spacing - Oh my!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 12:30 PM
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Ive used aspen for my piggers, bunnies, and hamsters, and Ive never had a problem with it. IMO it acually smells really good! Maybe you just bought a bad bag? I buy my aspen in massive $5 bags from Fleet Farm, and that always worked really well.
The only thing about it is that it doesnt control oder as well as other wood shavings like pine and cedar. So I always put compressed kiln-dried pine pellets in first (also sold at Fleet Farm in massive $5 bags), and then put the aspen over it, so it doesnt smell as fast.



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Have any of your animals been sensitive to the kiln dried pine?


I know it's suppose to be void of the bad phenols (?) but I am a paranoid momma and I worry about allergies and respiritory issues.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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We don't have a FleetFarm but we have feed stores coming out of our ears here.


Gotta love Texas. XD
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 02:21 PM
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The process that the kiln-died pine goes through eliminates the toxic fumes (or whatever it is that hurts their livers...), so it is 100% safe, and works really well! And it is in pellets, so it isnt dusty or anything.
Im sure any farm-type store would have it for pretty cheap is the small animal or horse section.



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 02:25 PM
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There is some debate as to whether kiln dried pine/cedar is any better. Personally, I don't know--but I just avoid it to be safe!!

I just switched back to aspen last night when I changed all the hamster cages. I was using CareFresh, but the dust was really bad and I noticed my hams sneezing a lot--just made the connection that it could be the dust!! DUH!!!

Anyway, like Jess, I think the aspen smells fresh and clean. Maybe you got a bad bag or maybe you're just more sensitive to smells than we are! The smell in my cages went away after a little while. Maybe you could leave the bag open to "air out" a bit before putting in the cages?!

Mandy
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RIP Patches. You were the sweetest hamster I've ever known. There will never be another like you.
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RIP sweet little Bugsy. We didn't know you long, but we loved more than you could have known. Sleep sweet little one.
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RIP little Sammy. Thanks for 2 and a half wonderful years! You had a long happy life and we miss you more than you know. Play hard, sweetie...
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 02:26 PM
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Jess posted the same time I did!! She really knows her stuff, so if she says it's safe, than I would be confident using it.

Mandy
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Happily owned by:
Baby--female calico kitty
Dale-- male black lab
Coco--male hamster
Rascal--male hamster
Mr. Squeakers--male guinea pig
Phineas--male guinea pig



RIP Patches. You were the sweetest hamster I've ever known. There will never be another like you.
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RIP sweet little Bugsy. We didn't know you long, but we loved more than you could have known. Sleep sweet little one.
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RIP little Sammy. Thanks for 2 and a half wonderful years! You had a long happy life and we miss you more than you know. Play hard, sweetie...
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 03:59 PM
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The HRS says that kiln-dried pine pellets are fine to use, and according to Smudges blood work last week, his liver enzymes where fine. If the kiln dried pine pellets contained dangerous phenols, his liver enzymes would have been elevated.


Quote:
Compressed sawdust pellets - inexpensive, highly absorbent litters used in many foster homes. They are made from softwood or hardwood sawdust, but they are not toxic because the phenolic compounds are removed during their manufacture. Their wood composition helps control bacterial growth and odors. Wood stove fuel pellets and Feline Pine are two examples of this product.



http://rabbit.org/journal/1/liver-disease.html


If you still dont want to use them, you dont have to, or they also make hard-wood pellets. Just trying to help and giving you the info
Haha, and thanks Luvpets!



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, that was a great article. Thank you!

I think I am going to see if they have sawdust pellets.

I am assuming these are what the pine pellets are?

I suppose it depends on what kind of wood they were sawing. o_O

I called a feed store in my area and they said they had 8 cubic feet of aspen for $25 so I will be headed out that way to check it out in the morning.

Is it weird I am excited to get new bedding and try it out?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 04:45 PM
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Yeah, it thought it was pretty interesting, and helpful for deciding what bedding to use. Im glad I could help you!
And the compressed sawdust pellets usually are pine, but Ive used the hard-wood ones too. Pine works better though IMO.
LOL, dont worry... I get excited when Im trying new bedding too! Haha



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 06:57 PM
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Welcome...I have used aspen before and it was fine for my mice and it was fine. I also have used Pine and other wood bedding before I knew that they were bad for immune systems and respiratory systems but my mice were fine with it. Right now I use care fresh and I just buy the biggest bag for like $25.00 and I wish that I could buy it bigger too.


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-26-2009, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Got the aspen today!


It looks great and smells wonderful. I have to imagine there was something very seriously wrong with my last batch. It seriously smelled like gasoline or chain grease for a motorcycle.


Anyway, I got everyone's cage changed and some picks of the babies.

I posted a thread about the cage and posted some pics in my gallery of the babies.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-26-2009, 09:55 PM
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Great!!! I'm with you on the bad bag theory. It definately shouldn't smell like that!! It actually has a very pleasant smell!!

Gotta go see your pics now!!!

Mandy
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Happily owned by:
Baby--female calico kitty
Dale-- male black lab
Coco--male hamster
Rascal--male hamster
Mr. Squeakers--male guinea pig
Phineas--male guinea pig



RIP Patches. You were the sweetest hamster I've ever known. There will never be another like you.
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RIP sweet little Bugsy. We didn't know you long, but we loved more than you could have known. Sleep sweet little one.
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RIP little Sammy. Thanks for 2 and a half wonderful years! You had a long happy life and we miss you more than you know. Play hard, sweetie...
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 11:21 AM
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I loved the compressed pellet! Is is weird that I love the smell, too? lol
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 01:16 PM
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Both Drake, Josh, and Sunny Bunny use Aspen. Although Sunny had to get used to it, she had some sneezing but it's all better now. Since we've used it, my room smells 100 times better then it did, you can barely smell the rabbit, as for the gerbils, who live in my moms room, she says you can barely tell they're in the room. Aspen is a really good litter, IMO.

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