We spent a good three hours this morning giving the Rabbitry a real scrub down. We do monthly cage maintenence, but we like to pull everything out to really clean it at least three times a year. It’s a real pain… but it is necessary for good health.
First we pull out everyone’s cage and set them in the shade. Luckily our gravel driveway is on a slight hill so they have drainage incase they need a “bathroom break” while we’re working. We have to keep a pretty close eye on the rabbits even while in their cages because of our stray dog problem. In fact, a wandering black lab decided to come investigate, but he was quickly shoo’ed off with my handy-dandy pellet gun. Now I realize the true value of guardian dogs on farms –to keep away intruders and predators.
Once all the cages are out of the Rabbitry shed, I set to work scrubbing the PVC cage rack with hot soapy water and a heavy duty scrub brush. Eww. It’s easy to see why we clean the cage rack so often once everything is pulled out and the urine stains are exposed. Eww! This time while all the cages were out, I took the opportunity to put up some plastic sheeting on the wall behind the cages to make our next cleaning overhaul even easier (and also because somehow Dandelion pees up the wall higher than her cage is tall… don’t ask me how).
While I scrub the cage rack, Trevor puts a rabbit in the play area (one at a time) and cleans its cage. He uses a little propane blow torch to burn off the hair since if we tried to scrub off the hair, it would felt. Don’t ask me how we learned this lesson. Once the wool is burned off and the cage sprayed off, we put the cage and the rabbit back on the rack.
We have a whole system now that works pretty well. I scrub, rake, and clean rabbit dishes and water bottles while Trevor torches wool and hoses the cages down. Even though it took us three hours, our process is pretty efficient. The bonus is that each rabbit also gets some play time in the pen while their cage is being cleaned. They love that.
A newly cleaned Rabbitry makes for some pretty happy rabbits –and humans. Hopefully this will last until the end of spring.