Cleaning Rabbit Pans

United States
January 7, 2007 12:24am CST
Does anyone have a good, less strenuous way of keeping rabbit pans clean? I know, a dirty subject, but with over 100 pans to clean and being 50 and diabetic I need to find an easier way of doing it. It takes me 3 hours to do them and I am exhausted afterwards. We use wood pellets and they have been a real help as I don't have to clean them totally everytime only once a week. Some of our cages are hanging so that easy to clean up but the stacking cages (6 to a set) are the problem. I would love any helpful suggestions.
12 responses
• United States
7 Jan 07
We raise show rabbits and have around 50 or 60 rabbits @ this time (we have cut back for the winter), my husband and I can totally clean our whole barn in about an hour, we have all stackable cages (yes they have plenty of room, each cage is 24 x 24, some are 36 x 36), so we pull the tray out, spray them off, use some Vanodin on them and them use pine shavings in each tray. Once a mth each cage is sprayed with Vanodin and twice a year everything is taken out of the barn and thoroughly cleaned.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 07
I am kinda confused...you don't clean out your pans throughly each week? Add new pine shavings? How does it ever dry out? Maybe I am missing something in your response. I wash pan, fill with pine pellets. Each day I take out the hard matter and the very wet matter. I then add small amount of new pellets. Once a week I dump it all and start over.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
7 Jan 07
You call 4 square feet plenty of room per rabbit? I hope you let them out for exercise! 9 square feet is a little bit better, but still very small if the rabbits are never allowed out to stretch their legs and jump and play.
• United States
12 Jan 07
Yes we completely dump every tray once a wk, spray it with Vanodin and put clean pine shavings in it. We dont keep the old ones in there. And yes the cages we have our rabbits in are more then the recommended size by the American Rabbits Breeders Association. The one breed we raise is only 3 lbs full grown. And my english spots since they are a running breed, are out on the running table almost daily. There is a difference in how show rabbits are raised and how pets are raised.
1 person likes this
@Kscott (634)
• United States
8 Jan 07
When I was younger we had three rabbits we got at the Portage County Fair, my father built a rabbit cage for them....the middle part pulled out and the rabbit "poop" would slide off the metal sheeting onto plastic trash bags we had layed open on the concrete, and then we would roll up the trash (after cleaning out all the straw and other stuff first) bags and throw them away....we would then spray a hose of water on the whole cage and let it dry....where were the rabbits during this?....in one of those playpens for kids (the big kind that looks like a fence) in the yard getting fresh air....it took about an hour for the cage to dry, and then we refilled the bowls, straw and the rabbits and done....it took us about 3 hours, and we did this every other day, for 6 months, then we couldn't handle it anymore! And that was because my grandmothers neighbors kid had a rabbit that he trained to go on a "rabbit potty", a hole cut in the middle of the wood cage with a steel pipe (like for the back of your dryer) and attached to that was a black plastic trash bag...the rabbit we adopted named "Herbie", would go in the "bathroom" part of the cage and do his business, and all we had to do was wait till the trash bag looked filled and then change it....we rinsed the steel tube out most of the time, and mom would sprinkle baking soda in the trash bag and a little underneath the straw that we laid around the potty, and that made it have no smell at all. We changed to white trash bags, shortly after, then you could see the crap in the bag and could monitor when to change it easier. Our rabbit Herbie's little cage was really decked out....he had a bedroom, a little sun room, a bathroom, and his kitchen....he kept them pretty neat! This is a true childhood story of mine, and this rabbit really was "potty trained". This is the only advice I have for you....hope you can use it...Good luck and have a nice day!
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
8 Jan 07
Interesting idea. I had a similar idea for my 10 year old rabbit's pen. Sometimes if he gets about 6 feet away from the litterbox or so, he will be lazy and poop elsewhere. I use a linoleum and puppy pen setup. I was thinking of building a wooden frame, and having a removable center in the pen to just sweep everything down and under and into a trash bag. But then I got too lazy to build that, and the sweeping doesn't bother me anyway. I think litterbox training rabbits is the easiest way to go. Gives you only minutes of work cleaning. And then the rabbits don't have to have any wire flooring either. Rabbits are very smart, I don't know why more people don't realize they can be trained to just go in one part of the pen.
• United States
10 Jan 07
Can't you just have the rabbits on a tight hole cage bottom? Then you could keep a lined trash barrel under each cage. You would not have to clean up, and they would not have to have the mess in their cage. It would go right down though the holes of the wire. But small, so their feet don't get stuck. Do you raise or breed rabbits? Why so many? What about a large pen outside with all of them in it together. One for males, and one for females. Then you could rake up the mess.
• United States
11 Jan 07
Thanks for the suggestion, but our cages are stacked 3 high and 2 wide to save space in our rabbitry. We have to use pans under them. Also, you cannot keep rabbits together. Unless they were brought up together at the same time or same litter, they will fight. Now, I do know some get along fine but on the whole they will not.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
11 Jan 07
That is ridiculous! Of course you can keep rabbits together, they are social animals. And no, they do not need to be bonded since birth, that's a myth. You are just using small cages. Of course two rabbits will fight when they don't have enough space. If you don't have that kind of space, in my opinion you should not have so many rabbits. But please don't spread myths about rabbits being antisocial creatures!
• United States
11 Jan 07
First, I did NOT say that rabbits were anti-social to people, quite the contrary...I meant that they are not an animal that lives in a social community. They are solitary by nature. They do not live together and DO NOT get along together naturally. I have been breeding, raising and showing rabbits for 13 years. I do know what I am talking about. Just research any rabbit site and you can read about their nature. I have seen rabbits put together for playtime and they fought until one is left. Please ask any breeder or vet for more info. I do however have many litters that have grown up together until 4 months old get along fine. However, after they mature, they should be separated. Does will fight for territory and males will fight for dominance. True in most nature. I will say that I have seen the opposite in some cases where people have several rabbits and they get along fine. Rabbits DO have their own personalities just like people. Some live fine right along with others, some don't. My rabbits come out to run around separately not together unless it is a mom and her babies. Perhaps you should read up on rabbits more fully before you use such strong words against someone else. All my rabbits are kept separately and each have a 24x24in cage. That IS the recommended cage size for a rabbit. Some dwarf are kept in smaller cages but not mine. And for your information, my rabbits are housed in a specially built barn, 36 foot X 12 foot that is heated in winter and cooled in summer for them. I have a separate area for my moms and their babies. So, please don't tell me my babies aren't cared for properly and that I should not have my sweet babies. Perhaps you should know the facts before you say such nasty things.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
7 Jan 07
I use a nice little setup that is very easy to clean: I use a puppy pen (roughly 16 square feet), over a sheet of linoleum. This can be swept off to keep old hay off the floor. Then I put a litterbox in and just change that daily. In a hurry, it can just be dumped and refilled with litter rather than completely cleaned out. Wood pellets or recycled paper works well, or I use shavings (make sure to use aspen, or kiln dried pine, not cedar). I think you probably have too many rabbits if you have to use stacked and hanging cages. Rabbits need to have plenty of space to run around in.
• United States
7 Jan 07
First of all, I am a rabbit breeder for 13 years who breeds pedigreed show rabbits. This is not only a hobby but my business. Getting rid of my rabbits would not be an option personally (my rabbits are a large part of my life) or financially. And as for the stew, at $50-$200 a rabbit it would be more economical to use beef instead!
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
7 Jan 07
I know someone who uses the same setup I do, and has 60 rescued rabbits. Maybe it's your setup? I noticed from some photos that your rabbits are on wire floor. Do they have space to get off the wire somewhere?
• United States
12 Jan 07
Of course! They have a sea grss mat in the back of their cages to lay on.
@villageanne (8554)
• United States
13 Jan 07
We raise Dwarf Noreign Bunnies. We use the Amish method. We have raised beds for our garden. We simply put the bunny pens over the raised beds. We move them often and the rabbit poop goes directly into the garden. The great thing about rabbit poop is that it is useable immediately in gardens. It is not like cow or goat poop, it does not need to sit for a year before use. The pen automaticly cleans itself and the garden is fertilized at the same time. We move the pen down the garden bed on a regualar basis. My sister in law built a shoot of sorts. She just scoops the poop directly down the shoot and it is them deposited into a compost pile of sorts. No bending or lifting.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
14 Jan 07
That's a rather interesting idea. Reminded me of something else. For people who don't have gardens, there are actually some groups on Yahoo where you can give away your rabbit poop. Or even charge people for it. I wish I had known about them when I used to rescue a lot of rabbits, because we have small trash cans here in the city, and I'd end up having to pay someone to use their dumpster. As would a lot of rabbit rescuers. I sometimes revive dying plants by dumping the rabbit litterboxes near them and digging the poop into the soil (mixed with aspen shavings and orchard grass hay, doesn't seem to hurt the plants). We have over 50 rose bushes, so technically I could easily use all the poop for the plants. But since California yards are small, it's too close to the house and wouldn't smell so nice after awhile. The plants near the back fence get this treatment the most. I don't really have a way to separate out the aspen shavings though, and if not dug into the ground a bit, they'll blow all over the yard in the wind.
• United States
14 Jan 07
Actually when we raised them in GA. I had all my cages over worm beds. Rabbit poop is a great growing medium for them. My husband would tend the worms and sell them to the local fishermen and bait shops, as we lived near a lake. We don't have that kind of room here. The beds took up a lot of floor space and I was always hitting my shins on them.
• United States
7 Jan 07
I actually had my rabbit litter box trained. I'm assuming you have your rabbit in a cage (mine just roamed like a cat). What you need to do is go buy a rabbit litter box from petco/petsmart. Theyre made for rabbits, but you can also use a small cat one. Put it in the cage and fill it with they hay. Rabbits should ALWAYS have accessable hay. They like to 'graze' while going to the bathroom so you just put it in the litter box. They like to go in one spot so they pretty much come trained already. Hope that helps!
• United States
7 Jan 07
You have to be very careful doing this, if the rabbit eats hay that it has gone to the bathroom on it can become sick.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
7 Jan 07
Make sure to fill the litterbox with bedding before adding the hay. Otherwise, wet hay becomes quite stinky. The idea in this is that rabbits eat and use the restroom at the same time, like you said. Cleaning daily and putting in a large enough litterbox with enough hay that they'll have fresh hay all day, will ensure your rabbit doesn't starve and have to eat dirty hay (in response to the comment). The main part of a rabbit's diet is hay, so you have to make sure they have it at all times.
@cognigen (121)
• Mexico
7 Jan 07
How about a fire hose? :D
@Reviver (339)
• Romania
7 Jan 07
:)
• United States
15 Jan 07
Well I use to raise rabbits and after I ended up with over 1000 of them I gave up this processing plants closed and I had so many rabbits I did not know what to do with them all. But my cages had wire floors and they were stacked two high and I used metal roofing for slides under the 2nd level then everything was in th back of the cages and easy to scoop up with a shovel ones a month or so. They always go in the same place so it was easy setting up a slide even if it was in a different place on each cage.
• India
8 Jan 07
100 pans to clean and being 50 and diabetic I need to find an easier way of doing it. It takes me 3 hours to do them and I am exhausted afterwards. We use wood pellets and they have been a real help as I don't have to clean them totally everytime only once a week. Some of our cages are hanging so that easy to clean up but the stacking cages (6 to a set) are the problem.
@Brandi06 (2227)
• United States
8 Jan 07
they are hard to clean that is all i know
@dravid (1050)
• India
8 Jan 07
i have a dog....sorry no rabbits
• United States
7 Jan 07
Is there any way that you can get more of the pens to hang? This would help in the clean up process. Also, is there a way that you can have the pens stacked along a wall of the outbuilding/garage so that there might be only 3 pens high, with room between each, so that cleanup is less of a chore for you. What about hiring a neighborhood child to clean the pens for you, this might be another option for you. This way, you are less drained, and you help someone earn money, that might need it.