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Old 12-25-2015, 05:42 PM   #1
Honey Pot
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Default Substrate options please!

Confession time here - I've always used wood shavings for hamsters, but I know there's been big changes in substrate recommendations in the last 20 years, that I haven't kept up with!

I'm pretty clueless - please could someone point me in the right direction of some sort of guide. I literally have no idea what I'm looking for, or where to buy it! Thank you, and a happy Christmas all x
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:11 PM   #2
msdemi
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Default Re: Substrate options please!

I personally like finacard but I have heard fitch is good.

Hope that helps
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:41 PM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Substrate options please!

I use Fitch - it's great. It's cheap and its like Carefresh but without the dust. The only downside is its only sold online in bulk. Either 10kg or 20kg bags. I get the 10kg even though the 20kg is only a few pounds more, because it's easier to store. Hemp bedding is also available on Zooplus, but I was allergic to it. When I switched to Fitch from shavings, I just did it gradually, adding some Fitch each time I spot cleaned, so Charlie had a mix of Fitch and shavings for quite a while until it was nearly all Fitch, then fully Fitch at the next big cage clean. He really likes it and supplements his nest with bits of it too.

Fitch Recycling - 10kg Single Smaller Bale For Smaller Critters - Fitch Pet Bedding
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:54 PM   #4
Honey Pot
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Default Re: Substrate options please!

Brilliant - thank you. Fitch looks pretty much the same as the bedding I'm using. Could it be used as substrate and bedding?
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Old 12-25-2015, 09:46 PM   #5
cypher
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Default Re: Substrate options please!

I use fitch & hemp from zooplus but if you're only going to use one I think fitch is about the best there is. Much softer than carefresh & barely any dust at all.
It's ok for nesting but they do best with a nice big pile of shredded plain white toilet tissue for nests.

msdemi do you mix your fincard with anything? I think most people who use it do so they can burrow better.
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Old 12-26-2015, 02:47 AM   #6
velma
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Default Re: Substrate options please!

I alternate between Carefresh & wood shavings or sometimes a mixture of both as they're easy for me to pick up. I'd like to try fitch but it's the storage problem. I like Carefresh, I've occasionally had the bag that smells funky (which seems to be a thing) which is what makes me want to move towards fitch but generally it's okay.
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Old 12-26-2015, 03:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: Substrate options please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey Pot View Post
Brilliant - thank you. Fitch looks pretty much the same as the bedding I'm using. Could it be used as substrate and bedding?
As Cypher says it is best to put out a pile of strips of torn up sheets of toilet paper for nesting - they seem to like the long strips and can weave them a bit sometimes. Your ham might still pouch the odd bit of Fitch for his nest as well, but best to still have the nesting material paper strips too.

As Velma says - you need to find somewhere to store the bag of Fitch - I think it needs to be stored indoors - to prevent it going damp or mouldy. But the 10kg bag isn't too massive and you can squish it into different shapes, like a beanbag. Ours is currently in the corner of the bedroom with a blanket thrown over the top
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Old 12-26-2015, 05:32 AM   #8
Honey Pot
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Default Re: Substrate options please!

Brilliant - will get an order in
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:24 AM   #9
flowerfairy
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Default Re: Substrate options please!

I use finacard on the bottom of the cages and fitch on top. Much deeper fitch compared to finacard.

It all gets gradually mixed in by them. Very gradually. It is nice and soft and the little whizzers (roborovskis) seem able to tunnel away in it which is great.
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:21 AM   #10
Bertiebobbins
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Default Re: Substrate options please!

I've just started using Fitch as a change from care fresh, the hams love it and they use it as substrate and for their nests. Much less dusty and better quality product.
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