Cleaning out the rabbit hutch is a job that can quickly become a major chore. Children are keen to help and even take charge but within weeks many parents find that the task has passed over to them. This is one of the reasons why it is important to really spend time thinking about whether a rabbit is the right pet for you. Do you have the additional time to care for a new pet if your children fail to stick to their new responsibility? If you’re all certain that a rabbit is the right pet it is important that everyone in the home is aware of how to keep the hutch clean and what is involved.
- Rabbit hutches need to be fully cleaned out once a week and have spot cleans daily.
- Droppings and any wet areas need to be cleaned daily.
- Old uneaten food (such as vegetables and leaves) need to be removed every couple of days to prevent them from going mouldy.
- The bedding and hay needs to be replaced once a week.
- Water bottles need to be cleaned inside and out. You can use white vinegar and hot water to disinfect the bottle.
- Change the water in the bottle at least once a day (more on very hot or cold days) to prevent algae from building up. Once the bottle has algae inside it needs to be replaced.
- Line the hutch with newspaper to help absorb any wetness or damp.
- Use hay, dust free wood chipping or barley straw to cover the paper and to provide your rabbit with comfortable bedding.
- Rabbits use scent markings and over cleaning will remove these scents, often causing stress. To help avoid removing the scents we recommend leaving some hay or bedding in one corner each time you clean.
- The rabbit hutch needs to have a separate area to use as the bathroom, one for sleeping and one for play and stretching, in addition to a rabbit run for safe exercise, grazing.
Remember to check for any leaks or sign of damage inside and outside the hutch. Place the hutch in a spot that is protected from the sun and from wet or cold weather and raise the hutch off the ground.