Pets are such a wonderful addition to the family. They can bring so much joy. I have always had pets, but when my rabbit died a few years ago, I decided not to get anymore. But as the months went by my longing for another furry creature around the home grew and grew, and in the end I succumbed and bought four guinea pigs. My four guinea pigs bring me a lot of happiness, but they also bring a lot of work. Guinea pigs and other small animals like rabbits, rats, hamsters, mice, etc, need to be cleaned out at least once a week. And if their hutch is outside like mine is, then in the winter they will need extra cleanings during the winter to top up their bedding and keep them warm. Here is a how to on cleaning out your pets' hutch.
Time: 15-45 minutes (depending on how many pets you have and the size of the cage)
Newspaper (I pick up large wads of free newspapers from the train station; it's a great way of saving money as long as you don't mind getting funny looks from commuters.)
Cardboard (I rip up cardboard boxes from delivered parcels.)
There should be two sections to your pet's hutch. One for sleeping, and one for eating.
When you open the lid of your pet's hutch, you will be faced with messy bedding littered with food and droppings. The easiest way to clean out the living quarters this out is to roll the newspapers up with all the mess inside. You can then put this in a rubbish bag.
There will still be some debris left over and this can be swept up with a dustpan and brush.
For the 'bedroom', your dust ban can still come in useful, but you'll need to be more hands on. Shovel up the dirty hay with the pan, holding it in place with your hand. You can then scoop it out into a rubbish bag. Continue to do this until all the dirty hay is removed, then take your brush, and start scooping up the soiled wood shavings.
By this point you should be left with an under layer of newspaper and cardboard, which acts as an extra absorbent. If you are lucky, you should not have dispose of the newspaper every clean out as it will remain fresh and unsoiled for longer. If it is damp, however, throw this out too.
Now that the hutch has been cleaned, it is now time to put all the new bedding down. For their living quarters, take three newspapers, open them up in the centre, and layer them on top of one another. How many news papers you'll need depends on the length of your hutch. I need three rows, so that is nine newspapers. You may also need more for the bedding section.
Once the newspaper have been put down, you can give them fresh water and put the food bowl back.
If the bedroom needs more newspaper, then lay that down in the same way, then pour in a bag wood shavings at least deep enough to submerge your fingernail into. Top this with a generous layer of hay. It might look like you are putting a lot in, but your pets will quickly flatten it down, gobble it up, or a mixture of the two.
Most dustmen won't take 'garden rubbish' and this sort, so you can either take it to the dump, or put it in your compost heap to decompose.