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Old 05-17-2019, 12:16 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 45
Post Best substrate for burrowing in the UK?

Hi! Just wondering where people buy their substrate and which is the best/most cost effective. My girl is on aubiose currently which is dirt cheap but not good for burrowing!
I was thinking about fitch, but the cheapest i can find it is £23 for 10kg, and the reviews recently of it on amazon have been really bad saying it comes with huge chunks of hard card in it :/
I've ordered some clean & cozy but its not the most cost effective (i have the barmey cage and i reckon it might not even fill it up). Obviously carefresh has the same issue - its bloody expensive.
I've heard of megazorb but i've seen bad reviews saying that it smells funny - I live in rented accommodation so I cant really get away with that.
Is there anywhere to buy a good burrowing substrate cheap, e.g. somewhere to buy good quality fitch / some kind of similar thing? Fitch seems like the most cost effective option but I'm worried people are saying the quality isnt great!
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Old 05-18-2019, 02:38 PM   #2
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Location: UK
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Default Re: Best substrate for burrowing in the UK?

You'll get mixed opinions on paper or wood based bedding. For paper bedding fitch/clean and cozy are ok, I preferred clean and cozy and it does hold burrows well. Would use both over carefresh.
I use a mix of hemp and megazorb, and add hay if you want it to hold burrows better - that works great. The hemp is Hugro hemp which is a bit better and less sharp than aubiose. But you could just stick with aubiose and mix in paper bedding, honestly of all the bags of megazorb I've bought I don't think I've had a problem with the smell. The dust content is a bigger issue but it isn't that bad, especially when you mix beddings.
Might just be worth giving fitch a go but with a cage like the Barney which isn't that big and has a shallow base, spot cleaning/infrequent half cleans should make clean and cozy work out not too expensive.
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Old 05-19-2019, 03:24 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: London
Posts: 462
Default Re: Best substrate for burrowing in the UK?

I had used Fitch up until recently when I upgraded to a DIY linnmon cage.

I also wanted to encourage burrowing (both my hamsters hadn't shown much of an interest) - I got the 85litre kaytee clean and cozy from Amazon (it was £21 at the time) and it has filled my cage (100cm×60cm) - almost too much substrate! And best of all, my girl LOVES to burrow in it! It's wonderful. Would highly recommend
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:07 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Midlands
Posts: 195
Default Re: Best substrate for burrowing in the UK?

I use a mixture of about 1 part aspen, 2 parts carefresh and 4 parts megazorb.
Megazorb and the carefresh are cheapist parts, then the aspen adds air and helps keep burrows in place.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:44 AM   #5
Sara H
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 56
Default Re: Best substrate for burrowing in the UK?

Hi, i've just changed all mine onto Kaytee Clean & Cozy, They love it and all started burrowing straight away. I got it on Amazon as the best price on there and it does go a long way. It is very light and soft and would recommend.
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:18 AM   #6
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Bath, UK
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Default Re: Best substrate for burrowing in the UK?

I usually use Megazorb in my Chinese cages and find it holds up to burrowing well, is soft and usually lasts a long time between clean outs. I use shavings for my diabetics as they need such frequent clean outs that anything else would work out to be quite expensive and I also use it for my Robo and my Campbell group. Hamsters can burrow in woodshavings but I don't think it holds up tunnels as well as Megazorb.

In hospital and maternity cages, I usually use a paper based substrate. My first choice is usually Kaytee Clean and Cozy as I find that Fitch really has declined in quality whilst the price has shot up in recent years and Carefresh just isn't as soft. Recently though I have tried Softacard but that wasn't as soft as I'd have hoped. Out of the paper based substrates, I feel that the Kaytee Clean and Cozy is the best for burrowing.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:13 AM   #7
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Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 676
Default Re: Best substrate for burrowing in the UK?

ohh this is interesting, I always use megazorb, it does have a smell, but it's not a strong smell and after the first day or so of putting it in the cage I don't notice it at all. I have never thought to mix it with other substrates, I might have to try that and see if it makes a difference. My Luna is always burrowing, digging around in megazorb. I get mine from Millberry Hill, works out cheaper than amazon most of the time.
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:18 AM   #8
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Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Posts: 3,147
Default Re: Best substrate for burrowing in the UK?

I just gave in and got on the Clean and Cosy Train and I. Am. Sold.

Not as cheap as my precious, lovely smelling hemp but Pico took maybe 5 seconds to show me a perfect little tunnel as soon as she went back into her cage and I can't say no after that.
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:29 AM   #9
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 45
Default Re: Best substrate for burrowing in the UK?

Thanks for your suggestions everyone! My clean and cozy arrives tomorrow so she’ll be getting a clean out then and I’ll see how she likes it. Mixing substrate looks like it could be the best option, I’ll also check out megazorb since it seems fairly popular!!
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:51 AM   #10
Adult Hamster
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 372
Default Re: Best substrate for burrowing in the UK?

I'm putting my order together for setting up for my hamster and have added Kaytee cozy and clean. I want to order the 49.2L...does anyone know how long that will last on average? I'm getting a Syrian and using the big bin from IKEA..Samla. I just want to know so I have an idea when I have to order again. I also saw Kaytee critter litter...can I use that for the toilet or is paper cat pellet litter better?
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