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Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by chickschool, Jan 31, 2013.
Weird…this happened the last time I tried to post a question. I typed it out and when I hit submit…it came up blank. Anybody else have that problem? I'll try it again.
We have a rabbit that no matter what kind of food dish we install he finds a way to tear it off and dump it out. The latest dish is a trough style (the kind you get at TS) and I decided to mount higher so he would have to "reach" in to eat. Well…he has now decided it's his littler box? So that being said I cleaned it out and tore up paper towel for "litter" then mounted a small mouthed dish for food, this time with a screw and bolt! The food dish seems to be holding up and for what ever reason he's continuing to use the other dish as his litter box but now he's begun to eat the soiled paper towel! YUCK. He has food, water, hay and fresh veggies. He gets a lot of free time outside his cage so I'm not sure what's going on. Any ideas?
Does he have any toys? He could be bored and looking for something to play with. You could give him like a toilet or paper towel roll or a paper cup for him to chew up and throw around
He has many toys. The weird thing is that we've tried to "litter" train him many times. This is the first time we've ever seen him an any interest at all. My question is why would he choose his "food dish".
Fairly common amongst rabbits. Theories range, but often is said to be rabbits marking high value items in a territorial way. Regardless, wherever rabbits eat, they like to poop, so I would suggest the following set up for your bunny:
-A solid bottomed cage with no bedding on the floor. All bedding should be limited to the litter box.
-High sided cat litter tray placed in his favored corner. You can even put his old soiled dish in a back corner of his litter box for encouragement if need be.
-Compacted pine pellets as litter (not pine or cedar shavings as both can come with health risks), either Feline Pine or get compacted pine pellets from a feed store in the form of horse bedding. The horse bedding option is much cheaper.
-Hay rack or hay bag mounted over an edge of the litter box containing Timothy hay (this is doubly handy as any hay that spills falls into the litter box)
-A J-feeder also mounted over an edge of the litter box, or the small bowl that is currently still working for you.
-A water bottle that can also be in reach from the litter box.
I've never had a rabbit not train to a litter box when using the above method. It should also eliminate the issue of any poop in the feed or water, and the paper towel eating.
Thank you so much. That is great advise. I will be setting him the weekend.
No problem at all. I'll try to take a photo of my rabbit cages tomorrow as pictures might help clarify the above.
Best of luck getting your little guy to clean up his act.
That would be awesome! I have been looking at cages online because I think he needs a bigger cage until he can go back outside. He has a huge 20x16 enclosure in our backyard but it's to cold outside and full of snow right now He's aloud out to roam around the house in the evening when we are home he does have to be in his cage during the day.
Hey Chickschool, on caging, I made my own because I could make a much larger cage fit to my needs for much cheaper than I could buy. The top part is the storage cubes you can buy at places like Target:
cable tied together. This makes the cage easy to collapse and put back together again when needed. Extra panels can be cable-tied on and covered to make platforms. For the base, I went to Lowe's and had them cut some cheap wood down to size for me (the cage base should extend at least an inch past the panels so the rabbits can't chew on the base edges). I painted it, then covered the top with the linoleum panels that are adhesive. The whole base was then covered in shellac, and wheels were mouted to the bottom so I can easily move my cages. The top storage cube panels were cable tied together, and then I attached the top to the base by putting staples into the base with a staple gun (I kept them from going in to deep by stapling over a cable tie to maintain the spacing) and placed cable ties through the staples that could then be secured to the top. I made my cages long and thin so I can place them against a wall without tripping on them or having them get in the way.
This is the set-up I described above:
It keeps things very tidy! At most, there will sometimes be four to five stray rabbit poops if my rabbits are feeling particularly territorial or unsure. The colored bag with a key pattern on it is a home-made hay bag. I tried ten other hay rack and holder designs, and this was the only one that actually kept the hay from making a mess everywhere while still allowing my rabbits to easily access all the hay in it. The cage itself is kind of hard to see, and I haven't gotten the platforms back in yet as I just moved states and had completely collaped both cages. This cage has a door located on the top of the cage. You can see that I haven't cut off the excess cable tie ends off yet.
The set-up is not the one I described above. This set-up encourages messiness, but these photos give a better idea on what the cages looks like. This cage has a side-opening door:
That was a newly cleaned cage. Hay got everywhere, and having water and food (and stray hay) away from the litter box meant my rabbit pooped and peed everywhere. Plus, leaky water bottles made the whole mess nastier. Now I position water bottles over the litter box, so that if they do drip, it just goes into the box.