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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Nest box bedding?
Last Post by BB at 6/09/2006 1:34 PM (5 Replies)
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User is Offline Anita Stark
Ontario, Canada
200 posts Send Private Message
6/07/2006 1:09 PM
Hi!

We got ourselves a really smart bunny a few days ago.  He's the cutest little dwarf rabbit, and he was already good at using the litterbox in the cage at the pet store.  Now, he's home in a new cage with one of those attachable nest boxes.  He didn't have one of those in the store and he seems to have decided that it's the place to pee and even poo tho he still seems to be using the litter box as well. 

I was wondering, is there something I can do to discourage this?  We initially had hay in the nest box for bedding but it was really messy when I looked in the box the next day so we put some Care Fresh litter in instead.  He still used it, now I'm thinking maybe a different material in there might be better?  I took the bottom insert out of the box and gave it a good scrub to get rid of the pee and I put a little cotton blanket in but I've kept the entrance closed for now.

Should I just keep the nest box inaccessible for a few days till he gets back to using the litterbox every time?

Also, we set up a play pen for him out of some of those cubes that I already had in the house (thanks for that idea BinkyBunny!)  The first couple of days he was good at going in the same spot in there too, but now he's just letting the poop fly... seems he still uses the box for his pee, guess I should be grateful for that.  He's only about 8 weeks old, are we expecting too much?

Thanks!


Sable's Mom

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8643 posts Send Private Message
6/07/2006 2:26 PM
You can try soaking the tray in vinegar for 24 hours, then wash out.   Vinegar is a great neutralizer.   Bunnies love to eat while they poop so maybe that why he ended up going poo in there. (that's why putting hay in the litterbox is a good idea)

Try buying a few small soft mini-blankets.  I usually go  to a fabric store and buy couple of yards of soft  fleesy fabric, and cut it into a lots of squares.   That way, when he does pee or poo in there you can quickly change it to help him get the idea.   He will most likely pee and/or poop on it for a while.   Many times it's just to claim it as his own.   IF you find that he likes to eat it instead, then take it away.  It won't be good for him to actually eat it.

Regarding his litter box habits: The fact that he's a baby and using his litterbox at all is wonderful!

Babies and any unaltered bunnies can be more challenging.  Babies are especially messy.  However, keep training him because though it will take time, he should improve.

The poops that he's leaving in the bigger penned in area, are they in piles or just scattered everywhere?    If he just seems to pile them up in many corners, then get a few litterboxes and put them in the corners.   Put poop in them so he gets the idea where to go.  You won't' have to have a ton of litterboxes forever. You'll begin taking them out one by one.

If the poops are just scattered, then he's feeling like it's his place and he's claiming it.  It's a rabbit's way of putting a "white picket fence"  around his place, so everyone knows that this is his yard, his house.   This will decrease in time as he becomes secure that he has thoroughly made himself clear.

One way to make him feel secure that it's his place is to only clean up in there when he's not in there.  Since at this age he doesn't mind being held, maybe someone else can hold him while you clean.   In the future picking him up and and putting him back in may make him mark as he may feel like he's not safe and secure, and hands can reach in and get him.  (hence marking, to relay the message, don't mess with me and my place.)

Don't be surprised if his habits get worse in a month or so.   That's when the hormones kick in.   That will improve once he's neutered.

I wish there was one simple answer, that if you do it one way, it will all be better.     but each bunny really is different and what works for one, may not work for another.  We just discover what will work for each bunny through trial and error.   So if you don't see improvement in a couple of weeks, come back and we'll keep trying until a solution is found.

Keep us updated!

User is Offline Anita Stark
Ontario, Canada
200 posts Send Private Message
6/08/2006 2:24 AM
Hi
Thanks for all the great advice!  I was thinking of grabbing a yard of fabric next time I'm out for lining his carrier when we take him to the vet.  I'll try putting it in his nest box too.

I think you're right about the poop in his pen.  It's scattered all around.  We were picking up as he did it so that was likely just encouraging him to keep going.  I'll wait till he's back in his cage and give it a clean up. 

At what age should he be neutered?  It'll probably be a month or two before his testicles drop, how long after that do we wait to take him for neutering?


Sable's Mom

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8643 posts Send Private Message
6/08/2006 1:46 PM
Actually, it's the oppposite, once the testicles have dropped, that usually is the time when you neuter.   Usually around 3 1/2 months, but some vets prefer to wait a couple of month longer.   Just be sure to get a rabbit savvy vet.   The House Rabbit Society offers a great questionare to ask your vet,  as well as a list of vets .
First question to ask is if they fast a rabbit before surgery.  If they say yes, then steer clear of them. It is dangerous to fast a bunny prior to surgery.

Here are the HRS links.

http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/...-questions
http://www.rabbit.org/care/vets.html

User is Offline Anita Stark
Ontario, Canada
200 posts Send Private Message
6/09/2006 12:55 PM
Thanks for the info.  Actually, I wasn't expecting that he could be neutered before the testicles drop, it's that I'm not expecting them to drop  for another month or two (he's just 9 weeks old now).

I'm going to give our vet a call and see how they feel about bunnies, they were great with our cat and we'd like to stick with them if possible.


Sable's Mom

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8643 posts Send Private Message
6/09/2006 1:34 PM
Oh got it, now I understand. 
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