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Any one use Rice Hulls as a substrate?

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  • [Substrate] Any one use Rice Hulls as a substrate?

    So my supplier of aspen shavings and shredded aspen, NEPCO, is no longer making these products. Their website still lists them, but they haven't had any since October, which coincidentally was the last month I bought bedding in.

    Most aspen shavings is a by-product of the housing industry. Since not that many houses are being built (or haven't been for 2 years), NEPCO can't make bedding. I can't get Harlan Teklad aspend bedding, the nearest distributor for me is in SoCal.

    Therefore, I'm thinking of using rice hull bedding. There are a few suppliers in my area. Has anyone used this for snakes or even rodents? I'll certainly be putting my rat colony on this. I don't use pine (don't want to take a risk in the snakes ingesting resins), but was forced to buy a few bales to tie me over until I can get an account set up with some one else for some other type of bedding. Snakes are on newspaper and paper towels at the moment. What would your opinions/thoughts/questions/concerns be?

    Here are the pros:

    * Inexpensive. Much cheaper than aspen bedding. 8 cf. will cost me $8.34 instead of $12.05. This will save me $20 a month.

    * Snakes can burrow in it, gravid boas can easily move it to make a suitable spot to give birth in.

    * Very soft and fluffy (provides cushion for the animal). Rice hulls are often used for horses that need soft bedding. Great for gravid boas trying to get comfy (seeing as how my boas are mating right now, this is something to consider).

    * Clumps around solid waste, can scoop poop out of the cage.

    * low dust

    * Doesn't catch on fire easily (apparently this is a selling point in the livestock industry).


    * Does not absorb urine (or any other liquid) well, but drains it and keeps it away from the animal.

    Only one con, but it could potentially be an issue. Rice hulls provide excellent drainage but they don't absorb liquid well. [Edit] I can put some newspaper down to absorb any liquid that drains through before I lay down the rice hull bedding.

  • #2
    Re: Any one use Rice Hulls as a substrate?

    I know of several people (online) that use rice hulls for bedding for horses and like it but I also am interested to see what the general consensus is for using it for snakes. Personally, I haven't used it....

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