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To anyone with either rabbits/guinea pigs/both ....

(40 Posts)
earlgrey Sat 07-Jul-07 06:27:56

How on earth do you manage those fortnightly bin collections. I was told to clean them out every day and it takes a whole flippin' bin liner to get rid of all that sawdust/hay/straw/poo.

How do you manage it? We can't put it in the green garden bags because as we live next to allotments we have problems with rats.

And how, when you're cleaning them out and get covered in sawdust, do you stop your living room looking like a hutch?

jaynehater Sat 07-Jul-07 06:47:11

Bullet points moment here:

1: Buy the Sunday papers.
2: Line the base of the cage with a couple of supplements worth.
3: Don't use sawdust, it only sticks to them, and the sofa. Straws not much better, but at least you can pick it up easier.
4: Replace the supplements only - replace the straw a little at a time, as needed.
5: Put the hay in a mini hay rick (you can get them at the pet shop, it keeps it off the floor, much more hygenic.
6: Get a cat instead.

Elvis and Dave, our previous long-haired piggies, thrived indoors on this system.

jaynehater Sat 07-Jul-07 06:48:53

When I said replace supplements, i did mean daily! And if straw's getting you down, they bed down happily in shredded paper (but not waxy magazine style paper) xx

earlgrey Sat 07-Jul-07 06:59:24

God, can you really get away without sawdust [amazed emoticon] That would make life sooooooooo much easier. I can cope with the straw. Does it have to be supplements to line the bottom of the cage, or will ordinary newspaper do?

I can see I'm going to be picking your brains on these creatures for a while ..... [evil cackle]

jaynehater Sat 07-Jul-07 07:02:45

I only said supplements coz I read them first (I get to the main paper by about .... ooh .... Wednesday two weeks later. Yes, any paper that fits will do! We used sawdust exactly once, and I lost the plot entirely. Manky stuff.

snowwonder Sat 07-Jul-07 07:09:49

are these indoor rabbits?

earlgrey Sat 07-Jul-07 07:13:15

No, outdoor floppy rabbit, got bullied by the pet shop into getting two guinea pigs in case one gets lonely. Also outdoors.

This rabbit is only 10 weeks old and is already effing enormous ....

snowwonder Sat 07-Jul-07 07:22:45

and they told you to clean them out every day? i think that is a bit ott, to clean them out fully every day.....

i got my 2 from a lady who shows rabbits, and she told me once a week to do a full clean out (which i do the night before bin collection which is weekly here) then on other days i just tidy up the corners which they tend to use as there toilet....

maybe i am not doing it enough but it seems fine to me to be honest, my friend has 1 rabbit and 2 gp's she cleans out once a week at the weekend...

earlgrey Sat 07-Jul-07 07:28:51

snowwonder, they do seem to c**p an awful lot, and all over the place, not just in one corner. And we had a Government Health Warning imposed on us at the pet shop about something called fly strike, where apparently flies get in and lay eggs in their, erm, bottoms. If you don't clean them out every day, they said.

Mindles Sat 07-Jul-07 07:32:33

DISCLAIMER: I do not advocate guinea pig neglect.

Having said that, I had a guinea pig when I was 13 which I cleaned out roughly every two weeks, sometimes less frequently. He never ever got flies up his bum.

Obviously I would recommend cleaning more often than that, but I suspect some scaremongering going on at your pet shop.

snowwonder Sat 07-Jul-07 07:42:37

i think fly strike is caused if the poo gets stuck to there bottom, ie runny poo then the flies are attracted to there bottoms then lay egss and cause fly strike....

might be an idea to check on the rspca website they do care sheets on there

slowreader Sat 07-Jul-07 07:44:46

We use newspaper, hay (which we buy a bale at a time ) and fullers earth cat litter for the loo corner. (Your rabbit will decide which is the loo corner). Clean out properly once a week.
Have been cleaning out rodents for 12 years now having unfortunatly bought immortal rabbits. Guineas had the decency to die in the end.
Never had fly strike but do have to clean rabbits' bums if they have stuffed too many dandelions.
I am definitely not going to get empty nest syndrome when the final rodent shuffles off to uni.

barney2 Sat 07-Jul-07 07:46:08

I don't use sawdust - its expensive to buy and really mess to put in hutch and clean out...and difficult to get rid of cos it takes up too much room in the bin.

I only give my gp's a handful of hay per day - they don't need either hay or sawdust as bedding - just give hay as food.

I shred newspapers through a shredder - it makes lovely warm bedding and they love to burrow into it - it is also very good at soaking up wee and apart from the cost of the newspaper initially it is free. It also compresses down really well to go into the bin - I use carrier bags to fill up and push it down into a small ball when putting into the bin.

I wouldn't suggest you use magazines/supplements - they can be sharp on the edges when being shred. Also watch out for the staples - dangerous if swallowed and dangerous for little feet.

barney2 Sat 07-Jul-07 07:48:14

Flystrike is caused by a pooey bottom - flies come along, lay their eggs, maggots then start to eat 'into' the animal - ie they eat away and cause massive problems down below. If any animal is prone to flystrike - rabbits in particular - cut out greens and just give them hay - keep their bottoms clean and their hutches clean. Rabbits do 'wet' poos and must be kept clean regularly especially during the Summer.

snowwonder Sat 07-Jul-07 07:49:36

those who dont use sawdust do you just cover the base of hutch with shredded paper, and do you shred it yourself?

justgivemeoneminute Sat 07-Jul-07 07:52:53

sorry forgot to mention - line the whole of the hutch with newspaper - not shredded - that way it keeps the base of the hutch clean - I bought a cheapie shredder and shred all our newspapers - it works a treat.

I used to use hay which I bought by the bale for many years but had an incident only a few weeks ago where one of my guineas got a sharp piece of hay stuck in his eye (where he had burrowed in to some fresh hay) - he became very ill and developed and abscess and had to be pts. The vet said that some hay contains such needle like type pieces and he suggested using newspaper as bedding because when shredded it can be so soft and very warm for them.

(I've just changed my id - was Barney2!)

justgivemeoneminute Sat 07-Jul-07 07:54:16

Also shredded newspaper can be put in your recycling bin rather than your household waste bin so easier to get rid of whereas sawdust goes into the household waste bin and fills it up very quickly and if you're anything like us with fortnightly collections for both its a bit of a nightmare!

tatt Sat 07-Jul-07 07:59:46

unless your rabbit is stuck in the hutch all day ( and then you should find it a new home) it doesn't need to be totally cleaned out daily unless it has the runs. Remove any poop and wet areas and do a full clean once a week.

A single rabbit will be bored and so will shred the newspaper for you. The hitch may look like a bomb has gone off in there but I just remove anything that blocks their exit and leave them to it.

We put a bit of wood chip underneath the newspaper to soak up anything that gets through. However when the rabbit has access to a run at all times they mostly use that instead of their hutch so less cleaning to do.

A healthy rabbit will normally clean itself. Some are more liable to get runs but give mainly hay and grass and they will improve.

cece Sat 07-Jul-07 08:05:36

I use newspaper flat at bottom of cage and then sawdust but my rabbit is an outdoors one. Where she sleeps is newspaper, smal amount of sawdust and straw.

The toilet corner gets cleaned out daily , the rest once a week.

However I put the whole lot onto the compost. Newspaper, sawdust... the lot. Seems OK so far, as it dries out the piles of grass in it.

canmummy Sat 07-Jul-07 08:34:43

Once I discovered which corner our rabbits used as a "toilet corner" I bought a special rabbit litter tray which is a sort of triangular plastic tray for them to poo in. I put sawdust in here and tipped it out every day as the rest of the hutch was still clean, found this worked really well

Misdee Sat 07-Jul-07 08:39:20

my rabbit has the run of the garden during the day, so his hutch is spotless. i change the bedding once a week, ut generally its dry with just a few pellets in there.

the guinea pigs seem to poop and wee more in there hutch. which means ai cl;ean it 2-3 times a week.

justgivemeoneminute Sat 07-Jul-07 10:49:35

I do clean my pigs out every other day but then they are out in their run when the weather is good - if animals are kept in hutches all day they would need cleaning out daily, especially in view of the warm weather and problem with flies etc.

cornsilk Sat 07-Jul-07 11:04:57

Rabbits are really easy to train to poo in one place. Don't know about guinea pigs tho'. You could let the rabbit run around in the house when you are in and train it to use a litter tray. We put old towels in ours and put the poo down the toilet. Then wash towels obviously! He's really good - he'll poo in it if I put him in it or he'll go by himself.
Your pet shop owner sounds scary!

justgivemeoneminute Sat 07-Jul-07 11:59:44

Guinea pigs and potty training??? Err a complete no-go area - they just poo where they're stood at the time....they've no table manners at all!

Bouquetsofdynomite Sat 07-Jul-07 16:54:48

Confused about people putting pooey shredded paper in their recycling bins, must have a very different system to ours!
I used to have a bit of lino on the bottom that could be scraped and/or washed down because big bits of newspaper take forever to compost down. Used to clean my freerange outdoor pig every couple of weeks before he died (at a happy, healthy 4yrs old I might add.)
May invest in a paper shredder when I get new GPs next month - seems a good way to eek out hay. They won't be freerange so will try harder on the old frequency.
Good tip for preventing flystrike with rabbits is to plant lavender either side of the hutch apparently.

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