A lot of questions

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Ameays

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We got pickles a few days ago, and she seems pretty happy. She is my first bunny and only 6 weeks old...
Here are my questions
1- Potty training when and how to start
2- How to clean up poop
3- We have aspen shavings in her cage.. Is that okay? is there something other then that that I should use?
4- Can I let her out of her cage to roam around supervised?
5- She likes to come out of her cage, but when i put her back in she squirms a bit is this normal?
6- Should I put toys in her cage?
7- How often should we handle her? So far it's been twice a day at least

Sorry about all the questions!! LOL I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed!
 

Buttercup n Charlie

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1) Usually they tend to "get it" around 9 weeks. You should ideally notice that she has picked a spot for herself in a corner of her cage. Put a litter box in that corner in a couple more weeks and she should start using it. Search the forum for "litter training" to find more info on how to help her along if she doesn't pick it up.

2) Pre litterbox days are pretty tough. They poo and pee all over the cage. We used to clean the poo once a day, just pick up the pieces and toss em! And since she's peeing also, we used to clean out her whole cage every few days. Once she's litter trained, I use a normal cat litter pan and put pellets covered with a screen (aka "plastic canvas") so that her poos stay on top of the screen and her pee goes through. Then you can just empty the screen daily and its very easy. And redo the whole litter every few days.

3) Aspen is ok in general. Whether you should use it depends on whether your bun likes it or not. Ours likes it in her litter, but not as bedding. She likes to be on the bare cage bottom.

4) Yes - supervised. When she knows her way back and learns not to potty outside, you can increase play time, and multitask more instead of just watching her.

5) This is normal. Try putting her in feet first (instead of her back to the cage). If that also doesn't work, try putting her in a little sideways so that she can SEE where she's going. That tends to help.

6) Sure!

7) At the initial stages, especially at an early age, minimal handling is good while they settle in. Twice a day for less than 10 mins is what we did for the first few days. Then increased it to a little more over the next week. Once she settles in though, maximize handling at a young age so she's used to it.

Hope that helps!
 

Nancy McClelland

Larry
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We use kiln dried pine in their litter pans--kiln drying rids it of phenols. Also, some use wood pellets or shredded newspaper. Never use any that contains cedar. Now, some pics!
 

LakeCondo

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Just relax; things will be fine. A lot of toys all at once can be overwhelming. Try a couple at a time & see which ones are used & which aren't. The simplest things often are the best, like toilet paper rolls.
 

lapaki

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1- Potty training, when and how to start

ASAP. Bunnies will usually choose a particular corner to "go" in, and use that spot as their toilet. Once that is established, put a litter box there, and put some of their poop, and maybe even pee soaked paper (or whatever is lining the cage) in there. That will help them learn to use the box. Once a litter box habbit seems to be established you can try moving the box and see if they follow it.

2- How to clean up poop

Rabbit droppings are (or should be) hard, dry and relatively odorless. For stray poops that end up outside the litter box, I just pick them up and toss them in the box. For a larger mess (or if you don't want to handle it) I use a whisk broom and dust pan. For the litter box itself, I just change the litter when it gets too messy.

3- We have aspen shavings in her cage.. Is that okay? is there something other then that that I should use?


I use litter made from recycled paper (Yesterdays News, or similar).

For bedding I use an old bathmat and carpet remnants (he's not a chewer).

After some training Zoom-zoom was allowed to be a free roaming house bunn, so he sleeps wherever he wants to now. At night he often sleeps in bed with me. During the day he usually sleeps on the old bathmat in the kitchen closet. It's usually quite warm here in the tropics, so I put a 1.5L frozen water bottle (inside a cotton tube sock) in the closet for him, and he'll lean against it when he gets hot. I do lock him in the kitchen when I leave the house, mainly so I don't have to worry about hitting him with the door, or him darting out the door when I come home (he's quite the bold explorer bunn).

4- Can I let her out of her cage to roam around supervised?

Absolutely! Out time is important for bunnies. They are very curious creatures that love to explore their surroundings. They have a fondness for chewing wires, so some bunny proofing is a good idea, even for supervised out time. They can also squeeze into very tiny spaces, like under furniture or behind appliances or the entertainment center, so some bunny proofing there is a good idea as well.

For bunny proofing a lot of people use wire cube (NIC) panels. But beware of the ones sold at Target, about half their panels have larger holes that a smaller bunn could squeeze through (or a larger bunn could get stuck in). I got mine from K-Mart, and they all have 1.5" holes.

Here's a barrier I made from NIC panels to keep the Zoomer out from under my computer desk. The side pieces are for support, so it's self standing.



You can also get "cage wire" by the roll from most hardware stores.

5- She likes to come out of her cage, but when i put her back in she squirms a bit is this normal?

Only have her food and water in the cage, so she'll have a reason to want to be there. An extra litter box outside is a good idea, though.

One trick you can use to get her back in the cage is to lure her with treats. If you get a treat bowl that makes some noise when you drop treats in (like stainless steel), that will become a "signal" to call her into the cage. The Zoomer loves Grape Nuts cereal, and that makes a nice pinging sound when I sprinkle a little into his SS bowl. I also get carrot horse chews from a local feed store, and those make a nice, loud clang when dropped into the bowl.

I originally used plastic bowls, then ceramic, and now stainless steel, but he learned the "treat sound" for each pretty quickly.

6- Should I put toys in her cage?

Sure. Why not?

7- How often should we handle her? So far it's been twice a day at least

That varies from bunn to bunn. Some like to be handled, others do not. I'd say handle them as much as you can while they are young, so they get used to it. And make it a positive experience with petting/grooming and a treat or two as a reward.

Zoom-zoom is quite moody when it comes to handling. He loves to be petted pretty much any time. But some days he wants nothing to do with being picked up and carried, and other days he's fine.

Aloha, Tim
 

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