Odour Control in the Rabbitry

Lots of things a person can do about odour in the rabbitry

  1. apple cider vinegar in the water (1 tbsp/gallon) helps to reduce the smell of the urine
  2. cleanliness!
  3. peat moss
  4. lime
  5. baking soda
  6. horse stall bedding – which is compressed sawdust.  works really well.
  7. products such as abate xp : these words from a user of it

There’s a product called ABATE XP which is really outstanding at all odor  control/neutralization. Worst case, when I had to scrape the entire rabbit  area down to black STINKY gunk, a pound of this stuff, sprinkled dry, then  lightly watered, on a 40×40 foot area….totally eliminated ALL odor within  2 hours. That’s pretty darn impressive!

http://www.agritectx.com/catalog1.html

More detailed info:
Home use: http://agritectx.com/abatehom.html
Farm use: http://agritectx.com/abatefrm.html

Advertisements

Fly Traps

Keeping flies away is imporant in a rabbitry.  Helps to prevent fly strike!  (you just don’t want to go there …not a fun place to be).

Numerous things can be done to keep flies populations down.

  1. keep things clean!  Can’t stress that enough, the cleaner and drier your rabbitry is, and the cleaner and drier your rabbits are, the less flies you’ll have around.
  2. keep your compost and/or manure pile away from the rabbits by at least 10 feet.
  3. hang small  ziploc bags filled with water and 5-6 pennies – not sure why it works, but it does.
  4. hang wasp traps to catch the persistent ones.     what works for me is to use three different traps, each filled differently
  • a wee bit of meat suspended in water – catches meat bees and flies
  • pickle juice – catches those icky pickle bugs and the fruit flies
  • lemonade – catches almost everything

If you do get fly strike time is of the essence as the toxins released by the growing maggots will kill a rabbit swiftly.

Remove all maggots, give a flush to the area with peroxide, and just hope that you got them all.  REMOVE the rabbit to someplace with zero fly population and just hope that she makes it.

I’ve used ivermectin before which acts quickly, but you’re still just hoping that the rabbit will want to live.

Here are some other methods that people have used.  I can’t vouch for them, but if they work for you YEAH!!!

  1. There is an old fly trap I use to make every year for the cow barn, and in between the barn and the house for flys. I catchs wasps too. Take a plastic milk jug, clean, and stuff in a whole banana peel. On the stove, boil the sugar and vinagar until all sugar is desolved. Pour inside the jug, over the peel. Swirl around the mixture so the peel is covered. There you go. Now sit the jug outside. The flys crawl in the opening and head for the sugar. But something in the banana will kill them. They died in layers. At the end of the summer, you could have 8″ of dead flys, and it doesnt smell. We just take the jugs down andthrow the whole thing away. I have made these for years, and they never fail…1 cup water,1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 vinegar   OR  2 cups sugar, 2 cups vinegar and 1 banana peel
  2. I make a similar fly trap using a glass jar..
    I poke holes in the top of the metal lid..big enough for flies to crawl through.
    I mix 1/4c white vinegar,1/4c sugar ,1c water
    Mix and put in jar and it fills up with flies in no time.

Hay Racks for Bunnies

Bunnies like and need hay.  It gives them something to munch on without getting fat, and gives them fiber to keep things moving along.  Both are important for rabbits.

Given a chance though…rabbits will sit in their food to eat it.  This results in a fair amount of spoilage.

Hay racks help prevent spoilage.

Here are some pages on either hay racks to purchase or that can be made.

Rabbitweb: how to make a hay rack

Using a Suet Holder

Guinea Pig hay rack(works for rabbits too)

ZooPlus has this idea for a hay rack

Other ideas that I have heard.

  • Use a toilet paper roll, or any roll that is paper and stuff it full of hay.
  • PVC piping…either leave it whole and cram the hay in, or cut it in half and mount up high on the cage
  • place hay on the top of the cage so they need to pull it through
  • use leftover cage wire to make a basket
  • use soup or mushroom cans…carefully filing down sharp edges – put hay in them fairly tightly
  • wrapping the hay around itself and suspending it from the cage roof
  • using hay balls that you can get at pet stores

Rabbit Safe Foods

NOTE: use your brain when giving foods to rabbits. start tiny, monitor health, and then increase portions. Too much of any one thing is never a good idea.

NOTE: I am NOT vouching for the safety of this list, as you will see from my personal notes that I don’t have a problem with some things that she says are a problem, and other things are cautionary that she doesn’t comment on. I saw it, thought hmm….this might give some ideas. Why not keep an reference to it.

The following comes from here.

Bunny Forage

I

‘ve been looking for a list of plants and such that are OK to feed to rabbits, as well as those that are big no-nos. I stumbled across this list while researching as to whether it is safe to feed pigweed to chickens (it seems to grow very well in spots where I have had my mobile chicken pen…)

I call this method of research where I find answers to one question while searching for the answers to another “Planned Serendipity”

The rest of what follows is from http://www.carlaemery.com/newsletter03.htm

Home-fed Rabbits–Rabbits are a little picker than chickens. They are, of course, herbivores. They like to eat at night. In the daytime when I’m working in the garden, I stuff their cages with stuff I know they like: sunflower stalks, Jerusalem artichoke stalks, Bermuda grass, celery and celery root, carrots, prunings from fruit trees. In the morning, there’ll be much less, as they eat their way through the jungle. A rabbit in a cage crammed with food is a happy rabbit! I grow wheat and snip off green tops for them. They love that too. Here’s more info on what rabbits can and can’t eat…

CAN EAT:

Acacia: no food value, but twigs can be entertainment
Alfalfa: fresh or hay
Apples: all parts
Barley
Beans and bean vines (not soybean)
Beets: both top and root of regular, sugar, or mangel
Bermuda grass
Blackberry bush leaves
Bluegrasses, including Canadian
Bread: dry, or soaked in milk
Buckwheat
Cabbage: some is okay, too much may cause goiter
Carpet grass
Carrot: root and tops.
Cereals (if fat-free and fresh)
Cheeseweed (malva)
Chicories
Clovers: any but sweet clover
Coltsfoot
Corn: fresh or dried ears, fresh or dried stalks.
Cow Parsnip
Crabgrass
Dandelion
Dogwood
Fescue: red, etc.
Filaree (stork’s bill)
Grains: all types, unless dirty, damp, or moldy
Grapefruit: all parts (don’t feed too much)
Grass: Lawn clippings, grass grains, as long as they carry no
insecticides & are fresh
Hazelnut leave
Jerusalem artichokes: tops, stems, or roots
Kale
Kentucky bluegrass
Knotgrass
Kohlrabi: all parts of plant okay
Kudzu
Lettuce: all kinds – personal note: be aware that iceberg lettuce can cause problems. Feed VERY limited amounts.
Lespedeza
Malva (cheeseweed)
Meadow fescue
Milk: fresh or sour, as well as milk products
Millet: foxtail and Japanese
Milo
Napier grass
Oats
Oranges: all parts (don’t feed too much)
Orchard grass
Panicgrass
Parsnips
Peas and pea vines
Plantain
Poplar
Potato: but, not peelings, sprouts or leaves!
Prairie grass
Redtop grass
Rhodes grass
Root vegetables
Rye, rye grass, and Italian rye grass
Sheep sorrel
Sorghum grains
Spinach: in limited amount
Sprouted grains
Sudan grass
Sumac
Sunflower: leaves, stalks, or seeds
Sweet potatoes: vines or tubers
Swiss chard: in limited amount
Timothy
Turkey mullein
Turnips: all parts of plant
Vetch
Wheat
Willow

BAD FOR BUNNY:

Some greens are high in oxalic acid in the uncooked state: pigweed, amaranth greens, spinach, comfrey, and Swiss chard. To a small-weight rabbit, especially a young one, these can be a problem. I do feed some spinach and chard to mine because they like it, but I don’t give them a whole lot. The plants listed below range from deadly poisonous, to hard-on-a-bunny, to no nutritional value.

Amaranth
Arrowgrass
Bracken fern
Bromweed
Buckeye
Burdock
Castor beans
Cherry leaves
Chinaberry
Chokecherry leaves or pits
Comfrey — Personal note: some folks feed this with no problems.
Fireweed
Foxglove
Goldenrod
Hemlock, poison/water
Horehound
Jimson weed
Johnson grass
Larkspur
Laurel
Lupine
Mesquite
Milkweed — personal note: yet wild bunnies have been known to eat this no probs.
Miner’s lettuce
Moldy bread, moldy anything
Oak
Oleander
Pigweed – personal note: mine will eat the young leaves, they leave the stalk and older leaves
Poppy
Potato leaves, sprouts, or peels
Rhubarb leaves
Soybeans or soybean vines
Sweet clover – personal note — what’s wrong with clover?
Tarweed
Tomato leaves

Other personal notes: mine will eat melon rinds of all sorts … plus any flesh I leave on them. I make a point of only feeding one slice per week. Don’t want to overdo this wet food at all. Mine do not do well on cabbage itself, they can handle limited amounts of broccoli stalks. I am VERY careful with this family of plants.

For other ideas check out carla’s page here.

Rabbit housing

Okay… as you might or might not know, we raise rabbits. We keep them outside because … well…it works for us. 🙂 They are safe, relatively easy to care for and no smell.

We have some babies that need to be tamed so I thought I’d look into some options for keeping them in the house for a bit in a easy to contain manner that would limit odours as well. This is important to me.

So this is what I came up with…..an x-pen.

rabbits-in-xpen.jpg

I found this picture here. Looks nice doesn’t it?

That same page gave me this information as well:

Housing your rabbit in an exercise pen (commonly known as an x-pen) can be a big improvement over the idea of a cage. With a cage your rabbit’s space can be limited and he can become frustrated at being in a smaller space when you are away or asleep at night. X-pen living gives bunny more space, while still keeping him safely contained, during those times when you are not at home or need to keep bunny enclosed. Even for “jumpers” x-pens can be a good choice, simply by attaching some shade cloth (found in garden centers) or special-made wire tops made by pen manufacturers.

Bunny’s x-pen not only holds his litter box, water and food dishes, but it can also hold a Cottontail Cottage, toys, and most anything he desires. What really makes them great is:
1) You’re getting more space for your money (x-pens cost the same or less than most rabbit cages).

2) Bunny has more room to roam and feels “freer” while still in a safe place.

3) Pens are flexible and can be configured in any shape to suit your available space.

4) They are easy to clean and portable, too.

If you want to know more about the advantages and see more variations in how to set up x-pens check out these links.

There are other ways to house rabbits as well

Building them an outdoor hutch.

Building them a home out of office storage cubes.

More on Rabbit housing here.

The biggest thing is to give them as much space as you possibly can.

Makes for a happier and better behaved rabbit in the long run.