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Old 01-06-2019, 05:47 AM   #1
Kal
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Default Made mistake with substrate

As the title says we have put wood shavings as substrate in our cage. Hes still settling in the new cage as only moved yesterday and seems fine but I know that Fitch is better. Will it be ok to gradually replace the substrate in the next few months as and when we spot clean etc?
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:14 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Made mistake with substrate

Wood shavings are fine so I wouldn't worry, in the UK they are perfectly safe & although some hams can be allergic it is actually very rare really, if he's happy with them then just leave it & replace it gradually as you say.
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:55 AM   #3
Kal
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Default Re: Made mistake with substrate

Great. Thank you ��
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:25 AM   #4
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Made mistake with substrate

And yes you can gradually introduce fitch and have a mix of the two I did that with our last hamster until eventually it was all Fitch. He did prefer the Fitch. It's nice and soft and they add it to their nest along with regular toilet paper strip nesting material.

As Cypher says, wood shavings in the Uk have to be kiln dried by law, which reduces the amount of phenols in it. It should also say "dust extracted" on the bag. I always found them a bit dusty and was much happier using Fitch (which works out cheap to use as well).

But there is no risk to your hamster in the short term. Using the wood shavings permanently, long term, is something many people are not agreed on.
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: Made mistake with substrate

Nesting material can be an issue too. Pet shops often sell "fluffy bedding" which unsuspecting owners use. It is very dangerous and shouldn't be used. So if you were sold that then it should be removed. The best nesting material is plain white toilet paper - sheets torn into strips. You put a big pile of it in the cage somewhere and the hamster forages for it (they often pouch it) and take it to build a nest with.
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:59 AM   #6
Kal
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Default Re: Made mistake with substrate

Yes we did get small paper flakes from P@H which they recommended. We will try and take out what we can when he is awake later & give him lots of toilet paper. Does it matter if it’s sold as quilted toilet paper (unscented and white)?

I wasn’t able to get a large bag of Fitch so I ordered a small bag just so I could get to see it and see how it goes. The other one I saw was kaytee clean & fresh on amazon - is that any good?

Our perfect family dog died about a year ago and I agreed to this hamster for my nearly 18 year old son but now I am so enjoying this new hamster world we are in! Just annoyed with P@h for selling me rubbish ��
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:11 AM   #7
sophiedoe
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Default Re: Made mistake with substrate

I agree Fitch is the way to go! On the topic though, does anyone know what is going on with Fitch at the moment? I always got 20kg bales, they have been out of stock for a while, so I finally gave up and was going to order a 10kg one, but now they are out of stock! I’ve read various things online about them now only selling very small amounts as people were buying the large bales and selling smaller amounts for profit.

Can anyone suggest an alternative? Any experience of aubichick, you can get quite a lot for not much?
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:00 AM   #8
Fluffagrams
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Default Re: Made mistake with substrate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal View Post
I wasnt able to get a large bag of Fitch so I ordered a small bag just so I could get to see it and see how it goes. The other one I saw was kaytee clean & fresh on amazon - is that any good?
I usually use shavings or Megazorb in my cages but I do keep a supply of Kaytee Clean and Cozy for use in my hospital and maternity cages. I thought it was quite good and I thought it was much better than the last bag of Fitch I bought back in October 2017.

As others have said, shavings in the UK have been kiln dried so they should be reasonably safe unless either you or your hamster develops an allergy to it. I use it for my diabetics as they need clean outs every couple of days as its much cheaper if frequent clean outs are needed. My hamsters are fine with it and in my years of hamster keeping I have only ever had one who has had a problem.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Made mistake with substrate

Personally I use a mix of substrate, I use wood shavings but then I mix in several colors of Kaytee clean&cozy in some areas. Both my hammy and my gerbils enjoy this a lot.
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