Is there any lazy way to clean up piles of hay?

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serabeth

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I know I shouldn't be having piles of hay everywhere and we are going to test out better set ups lol, but I am just wondering if there is anything at all I can use that will just suck up large piles of hay so all I have to do is empty out the bag and clean the filter.

Right now, we're just using a large metal rectangular box as a litter box for two of our rabbits. Sometimes, they get a bit rambunctious when playing, and one of them especially will just run to the litter box and literally start flinging hay everywhere, digging and digging until there are piles all around the pen. This drives me nuts because then the other rabbit decides since there is a pile of hay that he can now pee on it. I've tried using a shop vac to suck up the piles of hay right after she flings it everywhere before the other rabbit gets the hay wet, but the shop vac clogs like every 10 seconds. And yes, I have one with the larger 2 1/2" hose. Usually I end up giving up and by the time I decide to just go in there and clean it all out, it's been piling up for days and is wet and nasty and I gag from the smell and just pick it up with my hands and shove it into a trash bag :(.

I know, I know, it's disgusting and I need to clean out the pen every day, not just every few days. I'm working on it. But I'm just wondering if there is some magical device that I can stick in there and have it suck up all the hay so that I can continue being lazy. Or do I have to get in there with a broom and dustpan each day? I've tried googling this and there doesn't seem to be all that much out there. I don't care if it's expensive; I just want something that will let me be lazy and suck up piles of hay lol. As long as it's good quality and will last as long as I take care of it.
 

John Wick

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The only thing I can think of is an actual shop vac-- so one of the large vacuums that are used to even suck up water in floods, haha.

If you keep the shop vac clean, you could probably actually open it up and salvage some hay that isn't soiled, if you find some in there.
 

serabeth

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The only thing I can think of is an actual shop vac-- so one of the large vacuums that are used to even suck up water in floods, haha.

If you keep the shop vac clean, you could probably actually open it up and salvage some hay that isn't soiled, if you find some in there.
Yeah, I'll have to see if we can find one that's larger than the ones they sell for home use. We're going to try these rabbit combination hay feeder/litter boxes we found on Etsy. We ordered one for our solo rabbit that hangs out with us all day and once we get it and it's put together, we'll try it and if it seems to work well, we'll get the larger one for our two bonded rabbits. I think that'll help a lot with less hay waste.
 

odyssey~

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Maybe a deeper litterbox with higher sides? This probably won't do much if they take the hay out with their mouths but it'll help the flinging out of the box. Something such as this Redirect Notice with an enterance cut out on one side could work. Investing in a hay feeder might help but I find my bun is inclined to dig all the hay out of her hay feeder and then make a mess...
 

JBun

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Also a litter screen might be helpful. It will prevent them from being able to dig out the litter box. I prefer the soft screens. It's worked for 5+ years with my rabbits.
 

TreasuredFriend

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Oh the playful buns we welcome into our homes. Yes, I agree with @JBun about the litter pan screen.

We have some ambitious, playful diggers in our home and screens helped immensely. Love to see energetic buns deciding hay can be a digging toy, too! Well, sorta like that idea....

Hub specially made bent up corners on an NIC cube to fit in somebun's cat litter box. Also you can look for a metal cooling rack that is used for cooling cookies - if that will fit your bun's litter box? (over the years a couple kids tried to relocate the metal screen with their teeth!)

In our home we have used the cordless rechargeable sweeper vacs. They don't make 'em like they used to, uggh. However I can try to find a similar link to a cordless rechargeable sweeper that has a pullout tray. Meanwhile...

Have you tried a plastic leaf rake? I like the ones that are smaller to rake the scattered hay strands into a pile, then I easily gather up any scattered fragments and place in a bag. Urine soilage doesn't uspset me b/c we've had several incontinent special needs' buns in the past, and currently have elders who may soil when munching misplaced hay strands. Right now I keep cotton bath mats underneath a specialty placed hay handout so two elder, n/males can munch together -- and munching initiates the "go potty" response.

Hope this helps! Perhaps a plastic leaf rake, and the litter screen? I'm always grateful for marbles and urine output to know our "fur-kids" GI tracts are working well.
 

serabeth

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Oh the playful buns we welcome into our homes. Yes, I agree with @JBun about the litter pan screen.

We have some ambitious, playful diggers in our home and screens helped immensely. Love to see energetic buns deciding hay can be a digging toy, too! Well, sorta like that idea....

Hub specially made bent up corners on an NIC cube to fit in somebun's cat litter box. Also you can look for a metal cooling rack that is used for cooling cookies - if that will fit your bun's litter box? (over the years a couple kids tried to relocate the metal screen with their teeth!)

In our home we have used the cordless rechargeable sweeper vacs. They don't make 'em like they used to, uggh. However I can try to find a similar link to a cordless rechargeable sweeper that has a pullout tray. Meanwhile...

Have you tried a plastic leaf rake? I like the ones that are smaller to rake the scattered hay strands into a pile, then I easily gather up any scattered fragments and place in a bag. Urine soilage doesn't uspset me b/c we've had several incontinent special needs' buns in the past, and currently have elders who may soil when munching misplaced hay strands. Right now I keep cotton bath mats underneath a specialty placed hay handout so two elder, n/males can munch together -- and munching initiates the "go potty" response.

Hope this helps! Perhaps a plastic leaf rake, and the litter screen? I'm always grateful for marbles and urine output to know our "fur-kids" GI tracts are working well.
Thank you! I bought a litter grid thing off Etsy that claims it’s soft enough for their paws but wide enough for the waste to fall through, so maybe that in combination with a hay box will help keep the hay more contained. In the meantime, I think I will try a rake. A broom works okay, but the piles are big enough that a rake might work better lol. Of course it doesn’t help that I’m often chucking more hay on top before I go to bed XD. My husband says I’m wasting hay, but I get worried that too much of the hay is soiled, and I don’t want them to get sick eating it.
 

John Wick

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Most rabbits are really good at not eating soiled hay/bad food, so I wouldn't be overly concerned about that. You do want to make sure that you clean things regularly in general since moisture and hay are a bad mix (but again, leaving it for a day will not cause toxic mold or anything to appear). Their noses are very sharp. I see my rabbits spit out the "gross" pieces of lettuce from slightly old spring mix, and it's almost magic how precise they are.
 

serabeth

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Most rabbits are really good at not eating soiled hay/bad food, so I wouldn't be overly concerned about that. You do want to make sure that you clean things regularly in general since moisture and hay are a bad mix (but again, leaving it for a day will not cause toxic mold or anything to appear). Their noses are very sharp. I see my rabbits spit out the "gross" pieces of lettuce from slightly old spring mix, and it's almost magic how precise they are.
That's good to know! I don't think I've ever seen my rabbits spit out vegetables, but I do notice sometimes there are specific areas of hay in their litter box that they avoid and that just gets left there for a while until I clean out the whole thing.
 

TreasuredFriend

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@John Wick , along those lines of spitting out, several crew members (over the years) will sort thru their salad bowls soon as I place them, and flip aside, toss off, the romaine and leafy veggies to zero in on the apple or carrot morsel at the bottom. Creates a smle wrt sharp noses - or remembering where the "fruit/sugar" is.
 

#SirThumpsAlot

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Honestly if you can invest in a Roomba it will be your best friend... we can set schedules for it and it keeps our bun's play area clean day in and day out!
 
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