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Pooping outside of box

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ldoerr

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Sorry that I have not been around for awhile I have been busy with college and other things. I am having a problem with my rabbits. They have been pooping outside of the litter box in the top part of the cage (4x2x4 NIC cage that my 2 girls share). They have 2 big litter boxes in the cage. I have been using yesterdays news for a few months, but switched to wood stove pellets to test them out 3 days ago (I have a 1/2 full bag already). They were doing well with they YN for about 1 month without accedents. I have been having to sweep out the cage every morning and sometimes in the afternoon because they poop outside of the box. The litter boxes are in the back corner of the cage and have hay in the box in the front part of the box (close to where there accedents are). I feed pellets in the morning and at night they get oat hay and veggies (when I have them). Their dinner is fed on the floor of the cage close to the box (everything in the cage is close to the box because of the layout of the cage [complicated to explain, if you want pictures I can try to get some]). Any advice would be much appreciated.
 

whitelop

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They might not like the wood stove pellets, they could smell weird to them. If they're pooping near where the hay is, then they're probably not getting in the box to eat the hay and just sitting in the cage eating hay and poop. I would try to switch back to the yesterday's news and see if they start going in the litter box again.
 

ldoerr

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They have been pooping in the same place for a couple of months and I have only been using the wood pellets for 3 days. They were doing the same thing with the yesterdays news.
 

agnesthelion

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I think 3 days is too short of a switch period. I took 2 weeks to switch mine so it was VERY gradual.

I also think 2 buns, and especially with your two's recent dominance struggles, will poop more outside the box in their cage to continue to mark what is theirs. I consider buns litter trained if they pee in boxes, expecting perfection with poop is asking too much ;)

I think sweeping out the cage every morning is needed with rabbits. I can't see how going more than a day is possible so i don't think that's out of the norm. My two have very good litter habits (except with poop at night, they still leave mark droppings when locked in) but even if they leave a small amount of droppings I pick them up daily or twice a day.

I've never liked or had success with the hay in or near the box theory. I know people do have success with that but IMO it "trains" them to poop while eating. Rabbits do that naturally, I think it's a good tool for babies to associate going in their boxes, but I've always kept eating and litterbox separate. And in fact, my twos hay rack is on a completely seperate floor where their box is. They *never* pee or even poop at ALL by their hay. I think combining confuses them sometimes (again my personal theory for my two) maybe try separating the two areas.
 

ldoerr

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The reason the hay is in the box is because that is the only way they will eat the hay (I have tried LOTS of hay racks). It would not bother me if most of the poops were in the box, but there are about 50 poops outside of the box each time. My girls used to be just about perfect with both pee and poop. Now they pee outside of the box every so often and poop WAY to much out of the box.
 
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