Cleaning... Dirt

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RobH

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Hi. This might be a dumb question. I have a dedicated outdoor open-top, fenced in area for one of our rabbits, maybe 90 SQ ft. It's on my lawn (typical wire grass) and a 2 level wooden hutch. The bottom of the hutch is floorless, just raw dirt and straw at this point. We don't have other pets, just typical neighborhood wildlife (Virginia, US).

Aside from usual lawn maintenance and replacing straw, including removing all old straw even from the dirt as much as possible, is there anything I should do more to clean this area? Or the wooden hutch? How does you best maintain an outdoor play area to keep it as sanitary as possible, being outdoors? Currently I do this simple cleaning routine of trimming and cleaning straw about once a week. If it's rained, and the straw is moist, I'll replace it. I worry about parasites. I had a dog that had parvo a long time ago and had to spray my yard with something, I can't remember what though.

Indoors I just use vinegar, and sometimes f10 to sanitize.

Thanks for any feedback.
 

Blue eyes

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Is this an area where the rabbit is permanently housed? Have you seen piles of poo anywhere inside the hutch or is he going out in the yard area?

If I'm understanding your description correctly, an open-top enclosure risks any number of predators (ground dwelling or birds of prey) from getting to your rabbit. It is not recommended.

If this rabbit is outdoors, not sure what you're meaning for indoor sanitation. But you also mention having more than one rabbit?
 

RobH

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Hi. The outside area is for the rabbit to exercise and play. She does not live out there. She enjoys that area. I have another but they don't get along and that one runs in a bedroom, not outside.

I wasn't referring to indoor sanitation, and mentioned I had that covered. I was specifically asking about outdoors but it's ok. Thanks anyway
 

Blue eyes

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So normally both rabbits are housed indoors, just not together. Is that right? And the one is allowed outside to play... all day, every day...? How much time the rabbit spends in there will determine whether or not any more cleaning needs to be done (than what you are already doing).
 

JBun

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If your rabbit is litter boxed trained, providing a litter box outdoors can help keep the run pretty clean, if your rabbit uses it consistently. You may need to sweep up poops, but if the urine isn't going into the dirt, that will help keep it more sanitary. Otherwise with no litter box, like Blue Eyes mentioned it will depend on how often and how long your rabbit spends out there, as to how dirty the ground could get. Other factors will be the size of your rabbit(larger rabbits produce more urine) and if your rabbit is peeing out there consistently or waits to come back inside to use the litter box, if your bun is litter box trained.

Parasite risk will depend on the amount of exposure the run gets to other little critters(eg. mice), as well as the insect activity in your area. You may find your rabbit needs to be occassionally dewormed, like would be done for other outdoor pets. Maybe at the end of summer and fall, after you're done letting outdoors for the season, or at any indications seen in the rabbits poop or a positive fecal float test.

Another risk that we have now in the US is RHDV, which can be high or low, depending if your rabbit is vaccinated or not, and if there are any immediate outbreaks in your area, which according to the map doesn't seem to be presently(but always check reports frequently to be safe).

 

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