Do I need substrate???

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turtlelover666
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Do I need substrate???

Post by turtlelover666 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:35 am

As the title says basically, I have a Explorer with 3 males. They have a corner litter tray with chinchilla sand in it which they use as their toilet, and the shelves are lined with fleece. I find it easier with no substrate as it just ends up on the floor and I find it easier to wipe down daily with no substrate. So is it ok to have no substrate?
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Re: Do I need substrate???

Post by shibby69 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:51 am

Personally, I like substrate as it encourages natural behaviours of digging and foraging for food if you scatter feed. However if you're using fleece perhaps you could provide them with a digging box or something so they can still dig about and such?
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NickyE
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Re: Do I need substrate???

Post by NickyE » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:27 am

I'm not 100% sure but I think chinchilla sand is not good for them as it's so fine and can cause respiratory problems. Hopefully someone else will be able to confirm or say it's ok
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Re: Do I need substrate???

Post by kizzie123 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:06 pm

Im also pretty sure that chinchilla sand is a big no no aswell..
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Re: Do I need substrate???

Post by turtlelover666 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:34 pm

Ohhh I thought it was ok, cause they don't go in it, they just lean their bottoms over the side to do their business. They don't dig in it. I will look into this, maybe I will get a dig box, the Explorer cage is useless at holding substrate
Explorer - occupied by my 6 male rats, Harry (hooded) Ron (hooded) Albus (hooded) Casper (russian blue) Remi (Russian blue) & Shadow (black self)

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Re: Do I need substrate???

Post by turtlelover666 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:37 pm

Is there anything else similar to sand that I can use for litter, as everything else they take from the litter tray or throw it all over the place.
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Re: Do I need substrate???

Post by kizzie123 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:43 pm

im not too sure really...im sure someone will know though...

Anything that is fine like sand or sawdust etc etc cant be used, would have to be someone cardboard based...
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Re: Do I need substrate???

Post by turtlelover666 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:28 pm

Going to use bed excel :) thanks guys
Explorer - occupied by my 6 male rats, Harry (hooded) Ron (hooded) Albus (hooded) Casper (russian blue) Remi (Russian blue) & Shadow (black self)

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Re: Do I need substrate???

Post by princesslea » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:11 pm

turtlelover666 wrote:the Explorer cage is useless at holding substrate
I modified my cage, cost me about £20 but it's miles better at holding the substrate in now. I got some mdf (cut to size from B&Q) and this is placed under the plastic trays, It's a perfect fit and litter cannot get down the sides or undernearh, I also covered it in a lino to make it washable. I also fitted 6 inches of perspex round the top and bottom cage, and around the cage doors (hope this makes sense) which is cabled tied on. These adjustments have made the world of difference and keeps the litter in the cage!!
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Re: Do I need substrate???

Post by emma10 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:35 pm

I have an explorer and i have the same problem.

I newspaper both the trays (getting some fleece next week) but have a massive digging box on the bottom floor which takes up half the floor space. Its just one of those old boring plastic containers that I fill with cardboard squares, shredded newspaper and tissue and green mile substrate. I also hide pumpkin seeds and cheerios in there for them to rummage for :)

Allows the boys to be able to dig, allows me to easily change the newspaper every other day and stops ye carpet being filthy!


I use finacard litter in their trays, but most natural non perfumed cat litters are fine (loads of threads about it on here)
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Re: Do I need substrate???

Post by lechien » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:51 pm

the use of substrate didn't stick in my "household", because Zazie always just pushed everything to the side and liked to hang out in the middle, on the bare floor... now i put some fleece remnants which she can still push to the side ( :lol: ), and they have the access to a dig box filled with paper and fleece and other things they collect most of the day. Zazie still likes to push toilette substrate out of the litter tray. she's a pushy one... :roll:

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Re: Do I need substrate???

Post by RetroLemons » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:46 pm

princesslea wrote:
turtlelover666 wrote:the Explorer cage is useless at holding substrate
I modified my cage, cost me about £20 but it's miles better at holding the substrate in now. I got some mdf (cut to size from B&Q) and this is placed under the plastic trays, It's a perfect fit and litter cannot get down the sides or undernearh, I also covered it in a lino to make it washable. I also fitted 6 inches of perspex round the top and bottom cage, and around the cage doors (hope this makes sense) which is cabled tied on. These adjustments have made the world of difference and keeps the litter in the cage!!
Easily sorted! and I did it the cheap way :lol:

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To the original poster, you don't need substrate as it is a personal opinion. I believe that rats should have some sort of digging oppotunity and have always given it even when I used fleece, but it is up to you. From personal experience my rats have seemed more active and happier with more digging oppotunities :luck:
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Re: Do I need substrate???

Post by turtlelover666 » Wed May 04, 2011 5:45 pm

Now got bed excel for substrate and megazorb for litter. Just wondering is an Explorer ok to hold 6 male rats, as I have had to split then up and have 3 in the top and 3 in the bottom
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Re: Do I need substrate???

Post by emma10 » Wed May 04, 2011 5:57 pm

that should be fine, when my group was split because of ones aggression we had 3 up and 1 down. i do prefer it open though :P
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Re: Do I need substrate???

Post by petrify » Wed May 04, 2011 6:10 pm

I use a clay based cat litter (its slightly grittier than the sand and as such heavier) because I found they ate the paper pellets, I'm not using wood pellets, and a lighter substrate leads to the litter tray being tipped over. Never had a problem with dust from that.

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