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Unconvential Bedding

Discussion in 'Hedgehog Housing' started by Tongue Flicker, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. Tongue Flicker

    Tongue Flicker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2014
    Messages:
    134
    Sorry for the typo error on the title lol..

    I love being the unorthodox keeper and for 2 decades that worked for me well. So now, i'm raising one of the most debated and controversial topics ever in the history of pet keeping: Substrate.

    Due to my 'almost doomed health of mine', incident last year and earlier this year, my pet keeping and husbandry skills have gone to the next level.

    I didn't have the luxury of good health or reliable persons to count on to assist me with all my pets (hedgies included) so my usual regimen of daily cleaning/bathing/washing was cut short. I had to resort to unusual means to help me deal with my animals while at the same time not compromising my health.

    Long story short, i'm using a subtrate mix made of 3 parts fine laterite or volcanic soil (sifted), 1 part eco earth/cocofiber (soaked, dried, sifted), 1 part diatomaceous earth (food grade), 1 cup of sifted/washed/sun-dried coarse sand (Yes, sand! Avoid calcisand, vitasand, artificially dyed sands) and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon powder.

    Mix them all well and ready to serve, dry. In case your familiar with a bioactive substrate, i call this mix the reverse bioactive substrate. It absorbs excess moisture (so do not use if you have dry hedgie skin problems especially during winter as i noticed that happens a lot with American keepers), absorbs all odors, kills escapee feeder bugs, dries poop quickly, helps keep the nails trimmed (due to increased digging behavior), discourages pests like ants, prevents fungal and mold growths.

    I have a male hedgehog on that substrate for a year now. Had to reiterate 'male' as having an external copulatory organ exposed to said substrate had caused no problems so far.

    Disclaimer: use at your own risk. I do not recommend this for everyone due to climate restraints, local petkeeping laws, etc.

    *P.S. also using same mix for my hermit crabs, tarantulas, scorpions, ball pythons, bearded dragons, leopard geckos (yes, you read that right!) But for use with inverts, the diatomaceous earth and cinnamon powder should be excluded since it can harm them.

    Good day! :)
  2. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2014
    Messages:
    144
    Wow, interesting mix! Any downsides that you have seen? And a year of trials, that's great. Thanks for the ideas!
  3. Tongue Flicker

    Tongue Flicker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2014
    Messages:
    134
    The only downside is never get it fully wet. It will harden (dries for a few days but will crumble again) and depending on how red the laterite is, it may stain the foot or white fur or hedgies. Which is still safe but unsightly, i did remedy it last weekend by reducing the laterite/volcanic soil content down to 2 parts and doubled the amount of the diatomaceous earth. Will try to get a photo taken of before after :p

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