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Concerns with 5 week old bunnies

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Our bunnies, Allie and Lollah, are 6 weeks now and have been with us for one week

The thing is we are changing the cage every day, in the morning the whole cage is filled with poo pellets. We have tried to set up a pooping corner (we have put hay, urine soaked hay) in an attempt to train them but no avail- they do everywhere even where they sleep

Therefore we are changing the sawdust every day and even then come evening it’s filled with poo

The rabbits also seem to be eating all the time - we have food pellets and hay and this special grass with nutrients ( recommended by the pet shop) and they seem to get through it - we allow them out to play in the garden every day and groom them and play with them- but they poo then too and i am
worried they are eating too much - we are new rabbit keepers so it’s a learning experience

We clean the rabbits with wet wipes every day, even their paws however the white bunny especially is getting stained paws- an off yellow colour- this is distressing as we are wipin her paws and cleaning it

Any advice will be welcome thank you so much
 

Apollo’s Slave

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They are quite young. Did you breed them yourself?
They might not be using the litter tray because they are confused as to where to go. If you use sawdust or wood shavings, it will likely confuse them. I’d change the bedding to a towel or old sheets.
Rabbits do eat a lot. My rabbit poops at least 100 droppings a day. Rabbits are very clean animals, they shouldn’t need to have their paws cleaned. My rabbit loves to dig but he’ll always clean himself in a few days. I’ve never used any cleaners on him. Do you have a picture of your set-up?
 

zuppa

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Hi, I still can't believe that you got 4-5 week rabbits from a petstore in the UK, it is simply illegal babies stay with their mother until 8 weeks and that's the minimum age you can buy them legally.

You are asking for advice what you feed 5 week babies but they should still be with their mother and their main food would be mother's milk. They would eat a little hay and her food but milk is their main menu.
So if they are really 5 week old you should feed them with milk replacement until they are 8 weeks.

So I think they are older than 8 weeks, if you have them one week they are min 9 week old now.
9 week old rabbits should be getting unlimited grass hay (timothy, meadow, orchard or other but not alfalfa) and Junior pellets (high protein 16%) (up to 200 g daily per head), fresh water must be available unlimited as well.

Can you post the name of pellets you feed them and maybe a few photo of them and their cage and bedding etc?

Their feet are getting stained because they are not toilet trained, also if you use sawdust it gets soaked really quickly and their feet are always wet.

If you train them to use toilet box cleaning will be much easier you just need to set up it properly.
You need a high-sided litter box big enough so they can lay in there and fill it with wood pellets (some people use back2nature recycled paper pellets but wood pellets are most popular as they absorb urine very well and neutralise smell because they are made of pine), add some hay on top so they can eat and poop same time. If they drink from bottle, hang it also over the toilet so they can drink and pee in there.
When you toilet train them the rest of the cage must be clean, only in their toilet you have wood pellets and the rest of cage just hard floor, clean it with 5% white vinegar if they pee&poo outside their toilet, put all poos into it and if they pee outside toilet soak a paper towel with urine and put also into their toilet, wipe any urine stains with white vinegar to remove odour. That's because they like to pee in the same spot where they can smell it, so only their toilet should smell like toilet.

Here's an excellent website with many tips for new rabbit people you will find all information on toilet training, feeding etc Litter Training

You can buy wood pellets from pet store or from tesco just make sure there's WOOD written on them as other cat litters can be toxic to rabbits, wood pellets are safe.

Only you need to find out what age are your rabbits and you need to sex them as soon as possible because if they are male and female they need to be separated at 10-12 weeks otherwise she can get pregnant really quickly.
 
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Thank you so much for your advice

Please see pictures of their cage- we clean it daily, as there is usually
more poo than sawdust when we come down in the mornings. On the far right there is a place where we have put hay and some urine soaked sawdust as a means to draw them towards that spot to poop. This is not the case however and they poo everywhere when where they sleep- in the cave bit

please also see pictures of what they are eating- the Natures Touch started to give Alice soft poo so we have discounted it but the rabbits got through it very quickly
i have brought some rabbit shampoo and thinking of using that to wash the rabbits feet.

I will follow guidance on potty training them ....but they don’t seem interested in running around in the garden but eating and sleeping
 

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Hi i didn’t breed them but they were gifts- we were told they were 4 weeks but i am disputing this - waiting to take them to the vets to verify this

as u can see they are most probably not 4-5 weeks but i am new to rabbits and i have to go by what the seller tells me - and no one i know has rabbits so haven’t got much to compare but the way these rabbits eat i doubt they are still weaning to be honest but then i probably wouldn’t know any different :(
 

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JessicaAnne

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Hi i didn’t breed them but they were gifts- we were told they were 4 weeks but i am disputing this - waiting to take them to the vets to verify this

as u can see they are most probably not 4-5 weeks but i am new to rabbits and i have to go by what the seller tells me - and no one i know has rabbits so haven’t got much to compare but the way these rabbits eat i doubt they are still weaning to be honest but then i probably wouldn’t know any different :(
They are beautiful little bunnies! Congrats!
You have gotten a lot of helpful advice here. I would add- that I bet they would LOVE some Alfalfa Hay. It has extra protein and such for growing babes. Maybe hold off on the other hay until they are 6 -12 months. Even then I would highly recommend Timothy hay-it should be pretty green and smell nice and fresh. <3
There are also lots of helpful youtube videos on litter training rabbits that helped me. Good luck! Feel free to reach out with any questions.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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i would use a different bedding rather than sawdust. Old towels or sheets will work as they can just be chucked in the washing machine and won’t confuse them. They also don’t have a litterbox so it is expected that they poop everywhere. If they are 4 week old you will need to be bottle feeding them: Caring for Newborn Baby Rabbits - Zooh Corner Rabbit Rescue
I’m not a big fan of petsathome hay, but it is affordable. I personally buy my hay from HayBoxClub.
 

Preitler

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Hi,

do not wash the rabbits. Yellow feet are no problem. Getting them wet and soaked in chemicals can be one. Especially with very young ones. I would not use wet wipes, that tensides stay in the fur and on the skin, a slightly damp cloth is enough. Don't believe what marketing says, rabbit shampoo imho is pretty much nonsense. Pet shops are not the best source for information, they sell a lot of stuff that does more harm than good.
Young rabbits eat a lot, as much as they can, they grow fast. Normal. Any food change at this age can be problematic, as long as there are no problems stick to what you feed for the next 1-2 months before introducing something new. Lots of hay, more than they eat, and replace it regularily. This small bags look expensive, you might want to buy in bulk.
And they poop a lot, welcome to owning rabbits.

That soft poop didn't coincide with being in the garden recently? Did they have access to any greens they might not have been used to? (If there aren't any problems now they got used to it and are fine)

Litter training will not work now, it's a misnomer anyway, what we do is taking advantage of a natural behaviour to use common toilet spots that emerges when they mature, we just try to nugde them to use the spots we like them to use.

Don't forget to sex them when they are about 8 weeks old, and then again every week, even if you think you know who's boy or girl. Even vets can err. If not sure, take pictures and post them here.
 
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JenGibs

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Please remove the sawdust. That is not good for them. They do not have a litter box therefore they do not know where to pee/poo so of course theya re going everywhere.
They will also need a larger space and not a cage. What is your long-term plan for them as far as indoor/outdoor? Bunnies need 4 hours of free raom exercise per day.
Please have them sexed- if not, you may have a young bunny having babies- not good.
 

zuppa

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Thank you so much for your advice

Please see pictures of their cage- we clean it daily, as there is usually
more poo than sawdust when we come down in the mornings. On the far right there is a place where we have put hay and some urine soaked sawdust as a means to draw them towards that spot to poop. This is not the case however and they poo everywhere when where they sleep- in the cave bit

please also see pictures of what they are eating- the Natures Touch started to give Alice soft poo so we have discounted it but the rabbits got through it very quickly
i have brought some rabbit shampoo and thinking of using that to wash the rabbits feet.

I will follow guidance on potty training them ....but they don’t seem interested in running around in the garden but eating and sleeping
They definitely look like 9 week rabbits, not 5 weeks, it was definitely just misunderstanding.

If your cage is 120 cm it will be enough for the next month or two and after you can use it as their base for food/toilet, you can attach a playpen to it so they can have more room for activities and you can lock them in for the night.

As said above, if you will keep sawdust in the cage they will never learn to use toilet, they will just poo&pee everywhere, they like to pee on soft.

When I train babies I put a litterbox into corner where you made pee-spot, there are also corner toilets in petshops but best would be to get a larger box like if your cage is 120 x 55 cm it should fit firmly so they can't move it, I use size 50x38cm for this size cage.
This one fits nicely and it's good flexible plastic I use it without rim as no need for it

You can also place another corner toilet into opposite corner under bottle, I have this one you see in my avatar it's yellow, I would prefer it to be a bit larger but as an extra toilet it's fine

Also I have corner toilets like this but a bit bigger https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trixie-6255-Corner-Toilet-Small/dp/B0009586OS/ref=alp_dpwidget_a_w_?th=1&psc=1&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

You can also remove the platform for now, i know it's very handy but they most likely just pee under it and it will stay because it's more difficult to clean in there as I said you will need to have the whole floor empty except of wood pellets in litter box and wipe any pee from the floor and poos put them all into their box so they get idea where is their spot. They will have soaked feet a the beginning but they will learn in a few days or weeks. Just be patient and keep it very clean rabbits are very smart creatures and they should learn soon.
 
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zuppa

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No shampoo, you can use unscented baby wipes to clean their feet and dry with paper towel, when they will learn to use their toilet they will clean themselves better rabbits are very clean animals

Here's my Fred :)
He uses his toilet very well and grooms himself also well you can see his feet I never cleaned him




And here's how his toilet looks after about 4-5 days as you can see he only pees in one spot only in his toilet, the rest of his cage is all clean and dry, I only wipe it every other week, I change his toilet once or twice a week.

 
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No shampoo, you can use unscented baby wipes to clean their feet and dry with paper towel, when they will learn to use their toilet they will clean themselves better rabbits are very clean animals

Here's my Fred :)
He uses his toilet very well and grooms himself also well you can see his feet I never cleaned him




And here's how his toilet looks after about 4-5 days as you can see he only pees in one spot only in his toilet, the rest of his cage is all clean and dry, I only wipe it every other week, I change his toilet once or twice a week.

wow what a beautiful rabbit, you must be so proud :)

see below- that’s a run i made up for the afternoon- as u can see the rabbits have done a lot of pooing in the space of a few hours
 

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zuppa

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Well done, only I think that rug will be very difficult to keep clean and remove urine from it, I would just remove it and leave bare floor would be easy to clean until they will start using their toilet properly.
There's also lots of mess from sawdust with wood pellets you wouldn't have it. Anyway, if you could sweep the poos and put them all into their toilet and also get urine smell into toilet so they can smell urine spot only in their toilet, everywhere else if they pee you need to remove and clean with vinegar to remove smell. Nice size run and I like cardboard walls as well :)
 
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