Rabbit pooping in it's house(box)

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by chicken farmer, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. chicken farmer

    chicken farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,505
    74
    174
    Feb 7, 2012
    Southern,Ohio
    I have a new zealand white buck(my first rabbit) and we got a hutch off a friend but were gonna build another one and were gonna build it with 2 compartments with the cage in the front and build a enclosed box on the back attacked to the hutch with a hole on it so the rabbits can go in and out kinda like a little dog house. Anyway for right now I put a cardboard box in his hutch a little bigger than him filled with straw and he loves it and likes to stay in there and dig through the straw and eat it,but I hate that he poops and pees in there so I'm worried about him doing it in the new hutch were gonna build and I don't want him to because thats where he will sleep or stay warm...what can I do to stop this? I know they can be litter trained but there outside and I'm gonna breed and sell them for 4-h.
     
  2. mammat

    mammat Chillin' With My Peeps

    473
    11
    143
    Mar 29, 2009
    columbus ohio
    You cant stop it. I have 20 new zealands- they either do it or they dont. Most of mine do. I have 3 that will just sit in the box and not poop and pee in there but most of them do :(
     
  3. justoldbobo2

    justoldbobo2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    360
    63
    138
    Jun 10, 2013
    Jena , Louisiana
    I always heard to keep a poop board in rabbit cage because their pellets that are still green are only partially digested and they will eat them again. Lol
     
  4. cheep cheep

    cheep cheep Out Of The Brooder

    26
    2
    24
    Mar 2, 2014
    Hi. I've been keeping rabbits for a couple of decades both indoors and outdoors. If they are indoors it is easy enough to train them to use a litter tray just as you would a cat. Its a bit more difficult if they live in a relatively small house outdoors because of the way the training is done. I still have litter trays in the outdoor house, which is actually a fair size (5ft x 3ft x 2 levels) one upstairs and one downstairs. Most of my rabbits over the years have been very clean and have only ever used the litter tray but I have one at the moment who not only refuses to use them and poos everywhere, but also tips them upside down and spills the wet and soiled litter all over the place - she does however only use one area of the garden as her toilet! The way to train indoor rabbits is with scent. Place a litter tray where you want them to 'go' and as soon as they poo anywhere put the droppings into the tray. If they pee, using a sheet of kitchen paper towel mop it up and place that in the tray also. They tend to go back to where their scent is to 'go to the toilet' next time. Sometimes they will also just sit in it because their scent makes them feel secure. When they 'go to the toilet' elsewhere you need to clean it up and then apply a stronger scent to the area such as carpet freshner or perfume and they won't go there again. It really doesn't seem to take them long to learn. You might have difficulties with multiple rabbits though especially if it includes an unneutered male and with an outdoor house it might not work because they wouldn't be able to get away from the scent you spray and it could just make them mark by weeing absolutely everywhere. You may well find that once you have built a bigger house for him that he will define his own areas anyway. The most important thing though (and I can't stress this enough) is to clean the hutch frequently, especially in the summer, and by that I mean everyday. A rabbit can get fly strike as soon as its poos and wee attract flies so if your rabbit likes to sit in his mess you must be very vigilant. The fly lays tiny eggs in the rabbit's fur around its bottom and very quickly they hatch into maggots that then burrow into the rabbits flesh. They literally eat the rabbit. It sends them mad and more often then not it kills them even if you notice it relatively soon. There is a characteristic smell about it too, even if you have never smelt it before you will notice straight away that there is a different smell around. This is caused by a fluid that the maggots secret to help breakdown the flesh so they can digest it more easily. You should regularly check your rabbit's rear end to make sure it is dry and clean and if not you must clean and dry it and make sure the hutch is cleaned too. It is true that rabbits eat some of their poo it is called cecotrophing. These are soft round poos which stick together like a little bunch of grapes. They are quite normal and contain a lot of nutrients that the rabbit didn't manage to digest the first time round and need to be eaten. This usually happens at night but you might see them eating them during the day too. It is these soft poos that can get stuck on the rabbits fur and attract the flies. If your rabbit is old and stiff or over weight he might not be able to reach round to eat them and clean himself so you need to remove them for him. If these poos are more of one big blob or runny then his diet is too rich and you need to feed more hay.
    Rabbits are very social animals and shouldn't be kept on their own, there is always the exception to the rule, and they need to be able to run around and let off steam and build up their strength which sitting in a small house and run can not offer. If kept in a run it needs to be high enough that a rabbit can sit on its hind legs and fully stretch up its back and head - this is as an absolutely minimum. Rabbits love to jump and perform summersaults, especially in the spring or if trying to attract a mate so space is very important and they just can't do this in a run. My rabbits have free range in a securely fenced garden that they can not dig or jump out of. I also have a run which i use if ever I need to isolate one of them. I also use it as shelter for them against wind, rain and sun by stapling covers to it. They love to use it for playing with as a tunnel and for jumping on top of too, its a worth while piece of kit to have. Rabbits can be very entertaining so its good to place them somewhere where you can watch them from the house rather than sadly doing what most people do by placing them in a small hutch at the bottom of a garden where they are sadly neglected poor things. I hope you have as much enjoyment from your bunny as I have had from mine. I'm sure he will be well loved and looked after and live a long and happy life. Good luck.
     
  5. mammat

    mammat Chillin' With My Peeps

    473
    11
    143
    Mar 29, 2009
    columbus ohio
    I'm sorry I should have clarified. My rabbits are meat rabbits. We eat them. They are not houspets.They live outside in hutches. They will poop in a corner but will also poop in their boxes as well. It is not for lack of space it is just a preference for each rabbit. They do well outside as long as they have cover from the wind. We use lots of straw when it is cold and have never lost any to the cold :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  6. cheep cheep

    cheep cheep Out Of The Brooder

    26
    2
    24
    Mar 2, 2014
    Oh goodness. Well same rules apply. I'm sure you want and will give them a happy life even if its not for long. I think so long as you have a good hygiene routine it won't really matter.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by