How to Calculate How Much Bedding is Needed to Fill Your Cage
It can be hard to estimate how much bedding you need to fill your cage based on looks alone - oftentimes you end up overestimating and buying more bedding than you need to, or you end up underestimating and having to take one more trip to the shop than you planned. That's where this blog post is going to help you, in calculating exactly just how much bedding you should buy to fill your cage.
To calculate how much bedding you need to fill your hamsters enclosure, you measure the length & width of the cage in addition to how deep substrate you wish to provide. Once you have your measurements, you plug them into this very simple formula: length x width x bedding height = cm3 of bedding you need. To get the answer in litres, you simply divide your answer by 1,000.
Tip: Mixing hay in between layers help with burrow stability, acting
similarly to how roots would in the wild.
If I have a 100cm x 50cm enclosure and want to fill it with 30cm of bedding:
100cm (length) x 50cm (width) x 30cm (bedding height) = 150,000cm3
If I want this answer in litres:
150,000/1,000 = 150 litres of bedding would be required.
It is important to note that when filling a cage with bedding, in order to make it stable enough to hold burrows the substrate must be compacted by pressing it down. As such, if you buy a bag of bedding that claims to expand to 50litres for example, compacting it down in the cage may only fill it to an average of 30l capacity (or less). For this reason it is advisable to buy an extra bag of bedding than the amount you need. i.e; if you need 100litres of bedding buy at least three or four 50 litre bags.
Bedding is often tightly compacted when you buy it and the expansion volume is calculated assuming the bedding has been fluffed up. For example, the bedding shown above claims to expand to 27litres however when compacted to hold burrows, this bag may only fill an average of 12-15 litres (if even that).
Don't know what depth of bedding to provide your hamster? Your question will be answered over here.