Best Substrate to Use

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Best Substrate to Use

Post by Tranquil-Sheep on Fri 04 May 2018, 11:06 am

I'm wondering what's the best substrate to use for mice?
Also if there is any good suppliers I can use?
I currently have my Mice on Aspen substrate but I'm struggling to get large amounts of the stuff, I can only find small bags.

I've seen you can use small amounts of hay as well as coconut fiber but I don't want to just throw it in the cage if it's not actually okay to use.
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Re: Best Substrate to Use

Post by Jadamouse on Fri 04 May 2018, 4:06 pm

you can use coconut fiber bedding, it is safe. hay would work but it i wouldn't really recommended it as it has no odour control and its not exactly very absorbent.

you can use paper based beddings too such as Carefresh, kaytee clean and cozy and Fitch is available if you like in the uk. Carefresh and kaytee clean and cozy is available pretty much anywhere but they can be a bit pricey.

you could also use paper based cat litter (not clumping, clay or crystal litter) it is a bit hard to find but it is very good for odour control as it is literally made for animals to pee in Smile you can also put shredded paper or shredded toilet paper over the top of cat litter to make it a but more comfortable and warm.

in the past i have used shredded toilet paper on its own and while it worked for a week or so it started to smell quite bad pretty fast... so i don't recommend doing that Smile

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Re: Best Substrate to Use

Post by Tranquil-Sheep on Fri 04 May 2018, 4:14 pm

@Jadamouse
Ah thank you, I'll look into all the options and were to buy them. I might go to coconut fiber though since I already know where to get that.
If you don't mind another question, how do you test the different substrates without causing stress to the mice?
I can guess not to constantly change the substrate but I'm not sure how long to leave it. About a month? Also if i do change substrate to test it do you think i should mix some of the old substrate with it?

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Re: Best Substrate to Use

Post by Jadamouse on Fri 04 May 2018, 5:04 pm

a month is good Smile you don't HAVE to mix old substrate in with the new but it can be a good idea to take a handful of the substrate currently in their cage that smells like them and sprinkle it over the top so their smell is still around and they wont freak out Smile

you could also leave the toys and hides and everything in their cage and dont clean them when you clean the substrate, this way they will still have the smell of them on their toys which will reduce stress. i like to clean my toys and things halfway through the month and then at the beginning of each month clean out all the substrate and leave the toys, so when they have new substrate they have toys that smell like them, and vice versa.

the longer you can go without changing their substrate the better though (as long as its not disgusting and smelly) , as yes cage cleaning can stress them out but if you do what i said above it will be much less stressful for them Smile Smile

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Re: Best Substrate to Use

Post by Jadamouse on Fri 04 May 2018, 5:06 pm

also spot cleaning daily helps with odour control = a longer time you can keep the same substrate in the cage if that makes any sense Smile

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Re: Best Substrate to Use

Post by Tranquil-Sheep on Fri 04 May 2018, 5:12 pm

@jadamouse
Thank you so much, you've been a big help with it all. I'll definatly try take on the advice, again thank you.

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Re: Best Substrate to Use

Post by Jadamouse on Fri 04 May 2018, 5:12 pm

you are most welcome Smile

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Re: Best Substrate to Use

Post by CallaLily on Fri 04 May 2018, 6:46 pm

I believe in the UK you could also easily get your hands on hemp bedding or flax bedding, which are also safe. I haven’t been able to try either myself (not available here) but I hear hemp is great odor control.

Honestly my mice never seemed to stress over cage cleaning. The opposite actually. They all seemed to really enjoy a fresh tank and arrangement, exploring and sparking away every time. I usually did full cleans every 7-10 days.

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Re: Best Substrate to Use

Post by Tranquil-Sheep on Fri 04 May 2018, 7:46 pm

@callalily
I didn't even think of using hemp for them, don't think i've heard of flax bedding though so will look into that. Thank you for the suggestions I'll add them to the list.

I'm guessing it depends on the mice then? I will have to watch mine and see how they act with different cleaning routines, though might change the type of substrate not as often.
Keep Aspen for a while then switch to Coconut Fiber/papaer based ect.

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