Soil as an alternative bedding?

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Soil as an alternative bedding?

Post by bethmccallister on Wed May 16, 2012 8:05 pm

So I'm dirt poor right now. Literally lol!

I need to come up with a temporary adjustment to the bedding situation for my mouse hoards. I've only got 5 months of training to go till I can start my externship and sit for my vet tech license. Until then my schedule doesn't allow for me to work and even though my boyfriend Jim is being very supportive at the moment I have to come up with a way to cut costs and still be able to enjoy my mouse keeping hobby.

Which leads me to thinking...I have 80 acres of dirt outside. Can't I shovel it in a huge baking dish and cook it to kill microbes in the oven, then use it as the main bedding for the mice cages? I have hay that I can use too but I think dirt could work...thoughts?
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Re: Soil as an alternative bedding?

Post by Stina on Wed May 16, 2012 8:18 pm

Yes you can Happy I would bake the CRAP out of it though...lol Are you sure there haven't been any pesticides or fertilizers or anything used in it? If you are, then you're good to go Happy Dirt makes a great bedding, FANTASTIC odor control, VERY absorbant....it is dusty, so it can be a good to lightly mist it every day or two just to help keep the dust down.

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Re: Soil as an alternative bedding?

Post by bethmccallister on Wed May 16, 2012 8:25 pm

Cool, I did a little research just now. I found an article on soil as bedding and it says:

"bake it at 140*F for 30 minutes (do not allow the bedding to come
into contact with any sort of open flame as it will catch fire)"

I was thinking more along the line of 300* F for an hour but sounds like I might get a call from the fire department if I did that tongue

I now know that to sterilize something it can be autoclaved at 270* so perhaps 300* is a bit high.
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Re: Soil as an alternative bedding?

Post by Stina on Wed May 16, 2012 8:34 pm

300 isn't high enough to start anything on fire...even paper wouldn't burn at that temperature....and I'd do it for at least an hour....if not maybe 2 just to make sure the very center gets hot enough

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Re: Soil as an alternative bedding?

Post by bethmccallister on Wed May 16, 2012 8:36 pm

Thanks Stina!
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Re: Soil as an alternative bedding?

Post by Laigaie on Wed May 16, 2012 9:32 pm

Spread thinner, it will heat faster, or you could put a meat thermometer in the center to check internal temp.
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Re: Soil as an alternative bedding?

Post by Love2read on Wed May 16, 2012 10:06 pm

Out of curiosity, how much do you pay for your Aspen bedding? I ask because the other day I was at Tractor Supply and they sell their HUGE bags of bedding(4cu ft, I believe) for just $9.99. Happy I normally pay around $15 for the same size at the pet store.

Every little penny counts!
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Re: Soil as an alternative bedding?

Post by Stina on Wed May 16, 2012 10:08 pm

If I recall correctly the aspen at tractor supply here was $12 or 13. It varies around the country

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Re: Soil as an alternative bedding?

Post by bethmccallister on Wed May 16, 2012 10:55 pm

Yep, I usually do get the Aspen from Tractor Supply. The nearest store to me is 20 minutes away though so I tend to buy 3 or 4 bags at once.

The last time I went a stupid cop pulled me over for not having a license plate on the front of my car and then proceeded to give me a ticket for not having a seat belt on. I was only going across the road to the next store so I didn't bother putting it on. I still haven't put the stupid plate on the front because there isn't any holes or anything to attach it to. Every other car I see doesn't have a front plate so he was just picking on me. That trip to get mouse chips ended up costing $83 so I only bought one bag. I used the money from my sale of mice at RF to pay for it Sad I told the cop I didn't have a job right now...they don't care. When I called the court to get a fine amount they told me tough luck and if I didn't pay it within 30 days they would suspend my license. I paid $35,000 for this 18 month college program and if I couldn't drive there they would ruin my entire life...because they needed to meet their stupid traffic quota for the month (it was the end of the month) I couldn't believe it how unfair it was.

Yeah, sorry for the rant, lol!
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Re: Soil as an alternative bedding?

Post by Stina on Wed May 16, 2012 11:00 pm

Sad

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Re: Soil as an alternative bedding?

Post by Rhasputin on Thu May 17, 2012 12:48 am

I used wood stove pellets that I got from Walmart for $3 for 50lbs of pellets and they worked well. Happy

I'd be using them still if they didn't sell out! Sad
They pretty much turn into dirt as they absorb pee.
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Re: Soil as an alternative bedding?

Post by Stina on Thu May 17, 2012 12:51 am

Wood pellets make a LOT of dust....that's why I switched to alfalfa pellets...slightly more expensive...a lot less dusty.

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Re: Soil as an alternative bedding?

Post by Love2read on Thu May 17, 2012 9:31 am

Beth, check your email. Wink
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Re: Soil as an alternative bedding?

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Thu May 17, 2012 3:32 pm

The giant bag of aspen I got from Petsmart says 2 cu ft, and it's pretty huge...

I think the dirt might be interesting, I've also found caches of free newspaper at my college, I'm often found raiding the recycle box and looking foolish carrying three foot tall stacks of newspaper away. I tell everyone i have a way big paper mache project.
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