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LEADERS: Bam BinkyBunny JerseyGirl LBJ10 LittlePuffyTail LongEaredLions RabbitPam
So this weekend the boy and I are flying up to St. Louis for his roller derby tournament (yes, boys play derby too!). They're 4th in the nation and slated to win the entire thing so everyone keep their fingers crossed!
Anyway, we fly out Friday night and won't be back until late Monday. I've hired a pet sitter to pop in twice a day to check on things, feed my zoo, clean up, etc. for saturday, sunday, and monday.
I'm wondering if I should attach the x-pen to Finn's cage and let him have run of the entire thing or keep him caged up except when she's here for the 5 minutes to check on things? Finn isn't the best at litter training so I was thinking of putting down a plastic sheet with a sheet on top to keep his messes from seeping into the carpet while we're away. I hate the idea of him being stuck in his cage all weekend with only 5 minutes of run time. He's still timid so chances are he won't even come out of his cage while she's here.
Other than that I left her instructions to feed him pellets and greens once a day, make sure his hay rack is full, and clean up any messes in his cage. Is there anything else I should tell her to look out for?
I hate to say something that would worry you but if you haven't had him on a plastic with a sheet over it for a long period of time before - I wouldn't risk it being away for a long weekend. My Lola who rarely chews things DESTROYED a sheet of plastic that we had lining the bottom of an x-pen when we first introduced gave it to her. I've also had similar situations with a few foster buns... So I'd just be careful if it's not something he's had before especially if just in case he does tear at it or ingest it you won't be there to monitor him for signs of trouble and the sitter might just think he is acting normal.
Also - if you do lay a plastic sheet down - as a tip I'd recommend that it lays COMPLETELY flat and taut so there are no tiny edges or folds that he can grip and get his teefers on. The tiny wrinkles and folds seems to be what has triggered the chewing with the buns I've had. I think buying a cheapy area carpet at Walmart that has that plastic rubbery-plastic coated bottom (they are $13 I just bought one last month!) would be a better investment than the plastic sheet - and if you are still concerned about the carpets then you could even put the plastic sheet under the area rug so they can't get to it.
When we first got Lola and didn't completely trust her yet - my bf's mom watched her for a week and she had to stay in her store bought cage for most of the day. I knew it wouldn't be her favorite thing in the world but I also knew it would be the safest. So, while I think Finn would prefer the xpen, I personally would be unsure of giving him that much free reign if you are feeling uneasy about his behaviors still. Maybe you can ask the pet sitter to let him out to run around a little bit?
ETA: I agree with the above statement about the checklist. It can be found here on the BB webpage http://www.binkybunny.com/BUNNYINFO...fault.aspx .
I think the plastic is a great idea to see if that's what is triggering his accidents. Have you also tried putting his pen xpen out on the patio with the concrete for awhile when you're home? I think I saw that space when you showed the pumpkin carving pictures...that might be a good test too if you put all of his stuff out there for a little bit and see what he does as far as his potty box goes. Just a random thought.
As far as the area rug thing, it REALLY saves my carpet when I have fosters because the rubber backing doesn't let anything seep through to my carpet.