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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Concern About a Rabbit
Last Post by BeccaLovesMichy at 11/20/2012 9:07 AM (132 Replies)
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User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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15797 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 4:15 AM
I will say that I know ADULTS who put the "shiny bling" in front of, not only their pets, but oftentimes their HUMAN children: "Yes, you have two kids in diapers, but you should go get a mani/pedi. That's a good use of $60." *rolls eyes*

As far as hay, the cheapest option you'll find will be farm, horse-quality hay. You can typically get a bale for under $10. The issue is storage. This is a BALE of hay, and bales expand once opened. Or if you have feed stores nearby, you might be able to buy a smaller, more manageable quantity.

It is entirely possible/likely that his pooping and peeing is territorial marking. They mark their space, especially when unaltered. This is the next issue. Litter-training can be difficult when rabbits are not neutered. This is not something that most people are aware of, but when we are all talking about our "free-roam house rabbits", in 95% of cases, these rabbits are spay/neutered.

The other issue, especially with males, is that their urine can be pungent, very musky and stinky, when not neutered. I don't doubt that the mom thinks the rabbit smells bad. I have smelled unneutered male bunnies and they do smell bad.

BUT, I am not thinking that neutering is something she is willing to have done, and you don't have the means (or the right/responsibility) to do this yourself. So the bun is going to be stinky and may not have perfect litter habits. You've reached sort of an impasse.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Theresa
64 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 4:40 AM

BeccaLovesMichy -

First, let me say that I think its AWESOME that you have stepped up to help out this bunny/family combo - I think they will be surprised at how much personality a bunny has when he's in an optimum environment!

As for a cheap alternative for a litter pan - if you (or the mom) could come up with about $15, they could have a very nice set up (as shown below) that would really cut down on the odor and help immensely with the bun's litter habits....

I don't know where you are located, or if you even have access to these items, but if you can find a place to get these. The prices I list are particular to the Midwest, so that depends on where you are located.....

Plastic dish pan - $1 at a dollar store
Plastic canvas - $2 at a craft store - and can be cut with regular scissors to fit inside the plastic dish pan
40-lb bag of wood fuel pellets at a Tractor Supply store - $5
Small square bale of hay, horse quality - approx $5

Take the dish pan, pour in a 1/2-inch layer of wood pellets. Cut the plastic canvas to fit inside, and put that in on top of the pellets. Then put a handful of hay spread out on top of the plastic canvas.

The bunny will love to go into the litter pan to eat the hay, and will poo and pee in there while he's in there. Each day, you can lift out the plastic grade and dump the hay/poo. Then use a plastic cup of some kind to scoop out the peed-on pellets - you will be able to tell where he peed, cuz the pellets break down to sawdust and absorb the pee. Once you have all the sawdust clumps scooped out, add some more pellets to have an even layer, put the plastic canvas back down over it, and put in another handful of hay. Repeat the next day.

Some people will say that the wood fuel pellets are bad because they are chemically treated - but since the rabbit never touches the pellets, you should be okay. Before my Roscoe was neutered, I had to change the box every day, but now that he's neutered, the smell isn't as bad, so I can usually change the box every other day.

I don't know if it's an option or if the $15 is something either of you can come up with, but just thought I'd describe what has worked in our household.....

 

EDITED TO ADD:  Also wanted to add that an unaltered rabbit will still probably have "accidents" or marking episodes, and will most likely still leave poo pellets around to mark territory, but you might get lucky (like I was) and at least have a bunny that would pee only in the litter box.  Ya never know!


User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 5:02 AM

actually you'd be surprised.  there's clearly a reason this person has filed for bankruptcy, and it's because she's been spending beyond her means...i feel to a certain extent for them, but getting all these pets (recently too.  i don't know if it was a tall tale but B told me her mom got her cat chloe for her as a .......valentine's gift.  what the heck?!  my mom got us a card and a tiny snoopy box of chocolates!  and i thought that was a lot for a greeting card holiday )  the cat is also unfixed, though is always indoors praise the lord, and now that i know this it makes sense because she's always going nuts.  they, of course, seem to cut spending in the oddest places.  there were several different instances where a dictionary, gluestick, and calculator were needed for homework/learning and there weren't any.  yet she has a nintendo DS, cable (not basic), and a kindle.  now what is a child who exhibits extreme resistance towards reading going to do with a kindle on her own?  i've never seen her touch it.  we have a perfectly huge library in this town that is nearby - as to beka's advice, i'd probably have to get a library card for/with her.

 

 

there is one area he/she chooses to go to the bathroom in.  i got him to go on the paper once, but for some reason though he'll use the cardboard "litter box" in his living space, but won't get in it in the house.  thanks for the advice on the free newspaper, i think that's a great idea!  (as per the sex of the rabbit, i honestly don't notice any testicles there...but the urine does stink to high heaven, though the rabbit itself smells fine! )

 

ps. thank you to you and everyone else for listening to me rant about this situation (not just the rabbit part.)  it seems lame, but that's a big reason i came on here, to let loose and commiserate about how strange and unpleasant this whole living situation is for this family...


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
15797 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 5:08 AM
It's not lame at all. You have a big heart but limited resources and rights to this rabbit. You're doing a great job at least doing something. Maybe just do what you can for a year and see what's different in their life and yours.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 5:13 AM
thank you very much, littlepuffy!  i have a great deal of concern for animals in general.  i have already tried to plant good things in this girl's head (pet stores/puppy mills are evil, it's bad to breed your pets, you should not disturb nature - she wanted to bring a woolly caterpillar in as a pet.)  she impishly admitted she had thoughts of "getting a boy cat for chloe."  this kind of mentality needs to be squelched immediately!!!

User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 5:15 AM
thank you, isabellarobyn!  it's nice to know people are supporting!  it's so funny to find out that binkies are a "thing" with rabbits lol i thought he was just being silly on his own

User is Offline bullrider76543
Joplin MO
1291 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 5:28 AM
wow I am sorry I am just catching up on this post. but WOW!! there is a lot going on, all I can say keep caring like you do!!! I respect your drive!!
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User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 6:30 AM
thank you thank you! this site has been of much help and affirmation for me that i'm doing the right things. as far as i can see it there are two options for this lady and neither one will end well for her. option 1: force her child to give away her rabbit, after purchasing it for her in the first place and then taking it away. result: child is sad and angry at mom, but rabbit is (hopefully) safer and happier. plus they don't have the responsibility anymore. option 2: mom forces child to keep rabbit outside during freezing cold temperatures. result: rabbit drops dead or catches ill and, without vet care, dies. child is sad (possibly traumatized) and mad at mom for forcing rabbit outside only to die. the only difference between these scenarios is that rabbit is alive and well in one and sick and dying/dead in the other. i can talk to them and try to help them out, but the most frustrating thing is that i can't make them CARE.

now i have one more question for now: is my assumption accurate that bun will get sick and die if left out in a closet on the porch with no other heat during the entire winter? or do you guys think he might pull through in a worst case scenario such as that?

User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 6:40 AM
wow theresa, that is a great idea, thank you.  you do end up with poopy hay though, right?  that you just throw away?  and how does the plastic stay clean from the pee (how does the pee get to the pellet part with the plastic in between?)...do you need to rinse it off when you change the box???  i wasn't sure if we were supposed to say where we live according to the site rules, but i live in upstate new york.  it gets COLD here!  but i'm sure i could find all those things.

User is Offline Theresa
64 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 6:56 AM

Becca -

The "plastic canvas" is actually a plastic grid with small square holes, so the pee goes right through. And yeah, you do end up with poop and hay mixed together, so you have to throw it away. But it's just a handful a day, so cost effective. If the thought of the two grosses you out, you can just put the hay at one end of the box or hang a hay rack over it. I've just found that my bun prefers to sit on top of his hay in his litter box. Some say it protects their feet from getting sore standing on the grid. I don't rinse off the plastic every day unless it's really soiled, but I do soak both the box and the plastic grid in hot water/white vinegar once a week.

If you're in upstate NY, it might cost you a bit more than the prices I've shown. My sis lives in upstate NY on a farm/ranch, I will ask her what hay costs up there right now and get back to you.

There is a great video on Youtube that shows the whole litter set up and cleaning set up that I just described. Bet you could search for "bunny litter box cleaning" or something like that and find it....

My bun is a Flemmie - a really big rabbit - so the dish pan was too small. I had to get an under-bed box at Walmart instead, which cost me $4....

 

EDITED TO ADD:  Sis says small bale of hay in upstate NY (north of Saratoga) is about $4 a bale right now - if that helps at all.


User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 7:09 AM

ah, holes in the plastic makes sense!  no haha it does not gross me out at all.  i've been touching his poop with my bare hands at some points lol (i wash them of course!!!!) i was just thinking it's sad to have to throw some of it away when he needs to eat it so badly and has none at the moment...thanks for finding that info out for me, i could def spare four bucks...only probably is of course it is short term - the actual owners would have to start buying it at some point, but maybe if they knew how affordable it could be they'd be more apt to do so.

 

i'll have to look up farms nearby - can you just go to a local farm?  there sure are plenty around upstate, and i do live about 20-25 minutes from saratoga, so that's close.

 

ps. i don't know what kind of rabbit bun bun is...he's about medium sized, black, with hanging ears!  and possibly a girl, i don't know!


User is Offline Theresa
64 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 7:40 AM
Look in the local paper in the classfieds for ads regarding "hay for sale" etc - or if you have a Tractor Supply store nearby, they can probably tell you where to buy some. Or if you know anyone who has a farm? They would probably sell you some or even give you some. I'm lucky, my boss has a small hobby farm, and he keeps me supplied with hay at no charge. He gave me a small square bale about a month ago, and I'm only half way through it - though that may change as my bun gets older and eats less pellets and more hay....

I do supplement with Timothy hay that I bought at our Theisens, which is our version of Tractor Supply... I hope it works out, Rebecca, for this bun and the family. It's a big responsibility for a child that age if the mom isn't that involved in the process. I had a guinea pig when I was her age, and I know NOW that there were things I should have done differently that would have made his life a lot better.

User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 8:42 AM
i had a guinea too, and let me tell you, my parents did A LOT of work cleaning his cage every week. i played with him a lot and fed him, but they did all the truly hard work (which was probably a mistake my dad admits.)

so sorry to keep blabbing and bugging you guys, but i was just chopping a watermelon and was about to throw away the rind, when it crossed my mind to give it to bun to chew...? watermelon/rind is not on the good or bad fruit/veg list... would that be a good idea? or a very bad one?

User is Offline tanlover14
3449 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 3:01 PM
Becca -- YOU LIVE IN UPSTATE NY?! I'm from Upstate NY! I'm sure you can find some good quality hay being from around Saratoga! Horses, horses, galore!

I'm so happy you are attempting to give this bunbun a better life!! As for the watermelon, correct me if I'm wrong guys, but I THINK watermelon is safe but isn't one of those things you really want to give them much at all of because it's considered a "treat". I haven't really heard much concerning watermelon though so I could possibly be wrong? What do the rest of you think? I wouldn't really advise giving it to him since you're not there really to supervise whether he reacts poorly or fine to treats. I also worry that if the little girl sees you giving the bun watermelon, she may decide she should do it too... and all I can imagine is her giving him too much and his poor tummy not being able to handle it and god forbid, if you're not there to help him!

I would suggest only giving him veggies that have some nutritional value for him -- like herbs or cheap lettuce. Kale should be pretty cheap also, even if you only have a dollar to spend! I can get it for $87/pound for a whole head and I know the prices in Upstate NY aren't that different from Pittsburgh (where I live now).
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User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
3627 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 3:43 PM
Hi Beca, If you give him lettuce make sure it is not iceberg or any of the pale leafe lettuces.... Also do you have a garden, check out the BB diet list as you may have plants on hand that are approved and free, like Nasturtiums, Parsley and mint. Always introduce new foods slowly and one at a time as diarrhea is a problem for bunnies and can lead to dehydration, stasis and death. Bok choy is also good for them and usually very cheap to buy, lush grass is free if you have it in your garden just make sure it is washed really well first like all vege's. Rose petals and some other flowers also make a nice treat. Do not feed potato, avocado or pale lettuce its really bad for them.
When you say Winter cold are we talking snow or just really low temps ?
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User is Offline tanlover14
3449 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 3:56 PM
Roberta -- Upstate NY has really low temps -- ranging from 30's to around 0 and lots of snow!
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User is Offline tanlover14
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10/09/2012 3:56 PM
Being from Upstate, I definitely do not think it's safe for the bun to be left outside all winter. It gets really cold and windy.
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User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
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10/09/2012 4:09 PM
Thanks TL, Makes it easier to understand.... I have the Gibson desert to the East of me here so Winters whilst wet and chilly are general pretty moderate. (I still wouldn't leave a bun out in it though.)
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User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/09/2012 4:49 PM

haha yep, lived here my whole life!  i went to college at suny geneseo and darn guys, tanlover's not joking, it gets COLD here... my boyfriend's pal went to college in pittsburgh!

 

in terms of watermelon i was planning on not feeding him the fruit but allowing him something to gnaw on with the rind.  the only issue is...how do you prevent an animal like that from swallowing something??  i don't know rabbits or this particular animal well, but i imagine they might bite you if you forcibly tried to remove something from their mouths.  my dog/cats will let me do that, but even then it's hard.  especially if he chewed it for awhile!  i'd have to keep reaching in his mouth. another problem we had today was that he snuck behind the couch and was digging up the carpet attempting to burrow...  anyone have ideas on a makeshift burrowing apparatus?  like a box o' dirt or something?   he also got startled whilst urinating on his paper and jumped, unfortunately causing the urine to splatter on the wall... the little girl kept wanting to put a harness on him and i was like "nooooooooooooo leave him alone."  the rabbit is easier than the child, for sure !

 

even if winter here wouldn't make him sick, it's pretty effective in rousing the kid into action i'd say.  it's really ultimatum time.  the other day i told her it was not good that he didn't have a bed and she said "why does he need a bed?"  of course i responded "why do YOU need a bed"  jeesh, some people.


User is Offline tanlover14
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10/09/2012 6:12 PM
Really? I went to SUNY Brockport!

I would find some good untreated wood for him to gnaw on -- it'll help him keep his teeth trimmed so he (hopefully) doesn't develop any dental issues. Watermelon rind won't really do anything for him and I think he'd just end up eating it anyways. Could you find an old or new phone book to give him? It does wonders for allowing them to burrow and they LOVE tearing them to shreds. I haven't seen a bun that didn't love it! Also, I've had this same issue with my buns and I solved the problem by simply giving him an old towel to dig the crap out of. All 3 of mine go BONKERS over towels to dig into!

Goodness, I really wish this mother would do something! Ugh -- her child is going to grow up to be just as irresponsible and ignorant with animals as her! Drives me insane!
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