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Old 02-12-2018, 05:19 PM United States
Skysurfer2010 Skysurfer2010 is offline
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Default Newb Qs- shelves, bedding, smell control

I have a deposit down on a kit that will be ready to come home in roughly a month. I just placed an order for the Ferret Nation double cage. I'm planning on getting the mesh covering for the cage since it's a young kit, getting the deep bass pans, and blocking off the top level until he gets older.

I'm a bit concerned with odors. I was told and read that chins don't have any odors. But today I read some threads discussing bad odors. What is the best bedding to use that can be changed weekly or last at least 4 days? I don't want to do fleece since I can't sew and I don't want to be doing laundry every couple of days. I want as low maintenance and odor controlling as possible.

I would like to make some custom shelving since I'm handy. I researched the types of wood to use, but what thickness is recommended? Also, are there issues with chins urinating on wood? Will the wood begin to smell quickly? Or do chins typically use the lower levels/ bedding to relieve themselves?

I thought about the bass pans for the shelves as well, but I think that looks a little ugly. Plus I think I can make a more fun house for my little buddy if I custom make the shelves.


Thanks from a soon to be new owner!
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:11 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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It seems most people that deal with chins causing odor are people using fleece, using the wrong bedding (paper bedding for example reeks), or there is something wrong with the chin. If you use fleece you do need to change it more often (in some cases every other day) if your chin isn't pee trained. Also you need to wash it right and have enough layers, etc or it will stink.

I currently use fleece, but for years I used pine or aspen shavings. Pine masks smell better, can be dusty, and has that cut pine lumber smell to it. Aspen is less/not dusty and has not real smell to it. With shavings, so long as you change the cage, including cleaning the pans (spray with vinegar and water and wipe off), once a week it shouldn't smell. Also shavings you can spot clean though the week if the chin goes in one spot, just scoop out the wet bedding, which will help cut down on smell too. If need be you can also use a small amount of deodorizer, like baking soda or a horse stall deodorizer (like Stall Dry or Sweet PDZ) under the bedding.

For cage width/length shelves I used 2" boards, but for the smaller ledges 1" is fine. Also make sure you add perches too, it helps with foot circulation since standing on flat surfaces all the time is not natural.

Some chins do pee on the wood shelves, I just go over the spots they peed on with vinegar and water, and a rag or scrub brush. If the pee really gets soaked in you can go over it with a sander or just a piece of sand paper. For the most part most chins will pick a pee area on the floor of the cage, but others just go where ever. I think my guys get pee on the shelves mostly from being on a shelf above and peeing over the edge onto the shelf below.

In case you want to see how my FN cage is, with various shelves and perches, here is a link. Maybe it will help you get some more ideas as to what to put in the cage too.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:21 PM United States
Skysurfer2010 Skysurfer2010 is offline
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Thank you for the information and cage ideas. I have a table saw and want to make as fun and safe as a cage as I can for my little guy. I have a month to figure things out so I appreciate all ideas.

I've visited all my local pet shops and unfortunately they all carry the carefresh brand products in bulk. Everything else is very slim pickings. I might just get a small package of aspen to try it out and switch it up if I don't like it.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:52 AM United States
Mt. Zion Chins Mt. Zion Chins is offline
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If you have a Tractor Supply store near you they have shavings cheap. Although it is in big 'Bales' Also if a chin pulls out hay and then pees on it - it stinks to high heaven. Every day clean the hay off the floor
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:18 PM United States
Skysurfer2010 Skysurfer2010 is offline
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Thanks for the tip.
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