Caring for my bunny when I'm gone

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Lily4

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This summer I will be a summer camp counselor for 7 weeks. I'll be gone 9 hours a day for those weeks. I've had Lily for almost 3 years and she has never been left alone this long. We recently moved her cage into my room so I'm the only one who interacts with her now. Her cage is 4 ft by 8ft with a 2 story 2 ft by 4 ft hutch so she has a decent amount of space. Her area has wood flooring but the rest of my room is carpet. I need a way to make sure she has enough hay and things to do while I'm gone. I just got her a water bowl that automatically refills so I'm not concerned about that. I need a way to ensure she has plenty of hay without it making a mess. I wanted to attach a hay rack to the side of her cage but we have had issues with the hay just ending up on the carpet outside her cage or all over the floor in her cage because she moves her litterbox. What can I do to fix this? She doesn't have very much interest in most toys so I'm struggling to find ways to keep her entertained while I'm away. I've tried so many diy toys but she doesn't care about them. The only toys she likes are the ones involving food. What can I do? My first day is June first so I need to find solutions by then. Getting a second bunny to keep her company while I'm gone is out of the question, my parents don't want any more pets. I also need a way to minimize the dust from the hay in my room but that's not my main focus right now. I'm allergic to either Lily or timothy hay, don't know which, so if anyone has any suggestions for that, it would be appreciated.
 

Allen Wrider

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I freakin' feel you on the hay allergy. I have to wear a face mask when I'm feeding my bunnies. A bottle of over the counter 24 hour allergy pills should help, but it's never going to really go away while she's in your room, because bunnies dig hay, kick it about, and shed everywhere. My recommendation? Get a trashcan to store your hay in, outside your room, and then get a smaller, airtight feeding container that can hold a few days' worth of hay in it at a time, so you're not constantly dragging hay through the house to feed her. Other than that, just make sure you're picking excess hay up often and cleaning her litter box every 3 days (4 days AT MOST). That can really mess with allergies too. Vacuum when you're done picking hay out of your carpet! Get those dust molecules up. If the hay on your floor is excessive, you can buy a shower liner/tarp from a hardware store to put under her area and catch excess hay.

If she's moving her box, see where she's trying to put it. Some rabbits do this because they're listless, but she may be trying to tell you that she actually doesn't like that location and would rather her box be elsewhere. Rabbits are sensitive and kinda picky lol.

As for the boredom, I would recommend Timothy hay cubes. They're hard cubes of hay that help a bunny cut their teeth down while still eating something safe and healthy. My buns don't like toys either, so this is, aside from the occasional cardboard hide, pretty much the only thing they will use to keep entertained. Cardboard hides can be good too, but you want to be careful because if your rabbit is anything like my babies, they will EAT IT, and eat ALL OF IT.

Is it 9 hours a day Monday-Friday, or Monday-Sunday? Either way, you should try to take her out as often as possible when you get home, even if it's just a cuddle for a few minutes. These interactions are crucial to staving off backward progress. I work 8-9 hours a day 4 days a week so my bunnies get really antsy when im gone. Sometimes I'm up late to accommodate for them, but it's worth it seeing them binky around the living room because they missed being out.

Overall, it's a bit much, but it IS doable! Hope some of these suggestions helped!
 

Lily4

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I have enough time set aside to spend two hours with her in the evenings and half an hour in the mornings. It's Monday to Friday. I clean her litterbox everyday and vacuum every other day. I do need to get a bin to store her hay in. She doesn't move the litterbox to a specific place, just randomly. She likes to rearrange her cage at 3 am when I'm sleeping, the litterbox is her favorite item to move. I will look into the timothy hay cubes. I just need a way for her to have plenty of hay while I'm gone without wasting half of it. If I give her too much she will just pee on it.
 

Eve84

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Hi,
So you won’t come home at all at evenings during the week?

Puh if that’s the case you need to be careful they need loads of loads of hay specially for 5 whole days.

You need to take care it’s enough hay, also that the bunny can’t jump up to sit on it and pees on it otherwise it will turn bad in no time.

You could get a hay net and hang it down from the ceiling or from the wall.

Good luck

Ps. What’s about your neighbours can’t they feed your bunny once a day or every second day?
 

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Lily4

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Hi,
So you won’t come home at all at evenings during the week?

Puh if that’s the case you need to be careful they need loads of loads of hay specially for 5 whole days.

You need to take care it’s enough hay, also that the bunny can’t jump up to sit on it and pees on it otherwise it will turn bad in no time.

You could get a hay net and hang it down from the ceiling or from the wall.

Good luck

Ps. What’s about your neighbours can’t they feed your bunny once a day or every second day?
No, I'm home in the evenings. I'm only gone from 7 am to 4 pm Monday-Friday. I will be home for at least 2 hours in the evenings every day. I would never leave her alone for more than 12 hours. I can't use anything for hay that attaches to the wall or ceiling. She needs enough hay for about 10 hours. Her cage is an xpen so I could attach something to that but I need a way to give her enough hay for about 10 hours without making a huge mess.
 

Eve84

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Ah I see! But then you can just use something like that, I always find it important it has a top, so they can’t pee on it.
Good luck
 

Sam_

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I made my feeder out of cardboard. I hung up a box and cut holes in the sides.
 

Lily4

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I just ordered one of the hay racks so that should arrive in the next few days. What toys can I give her while I'm gone?
 

osgoodmg

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With the hay racks, just make sure the rungs are close enough together that the bunny can't get her or his head stuck.
 

Allen Wrider

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With the hay racks, just make sure the rungs are close enough together that the bunny can't get her or his head stuck.
To add to this, the ideal rack is one in which they can easily fit their nose and mouth through, but not their whole head, and big enough to hold more than a serving or two of hay (enough to graze freely throughout the day and not run out).
 

Lily4

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Thank you. I checked out the article but most of the toys on there she won't play with. It's really difficult to find things she actually likes.
 
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