CowboyBunnies

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So I've had 6 bunnies for a while, and over the last few months, the area where their hutches are has accumulated a pretty strong smell. The poo is dug out and spread over the garden regularly, but the smell remains. Any ideas as to how to get rid of it? I thought covering the area in sand might help. And I was going to try and clean the ammonia buildup off the hutch as well. I have two other hutches like this.
Rabbit_Hutch[1].jpg
 

animalmom

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Well.... for the immediate use I suggest using vinegar. White vinegar, like you get at the grocery store, will cut a lot of the buildup you have... that white/yellowish stuff on the wood. My rabbits don't mind the vinegar smell and that doesn't last long at all. Poor it over the wood, let it sit for a few minutes and then scrub it with a brush, rinse and splash more vinegar on it. You don't need to rinse off the last splash of vinegar. I use the vinegar full strength.

Spalding Labs has a product that I use in my rabbitry that kills odors. I use this with the rabbits and goats. It really works well.

Bye Bye Odor is what it is called. It is a concentrate you mix with water and then spray. I've used it with new chicks in the house with great success.

www.spalding-labs.com/products/odor_control_products/default.aspx

Unfortunately your choice of wood may make this odor problem ongoing... I won't fault you for using wood, as one must work within one's budget and you want the best for your animals based on what you can afford/do. So some ideas on how to keep the urine from soaking into the wood would be using a sealant on any wood that the rabbits could not gnaw on. Maybe a gloss enamel in a light color would work well for you. Get as much of the build up off the walls as you can, dry out the hutch, and put down a couple coats of enamel or paint... something scrub-able. That way next time you do a deep clean the buildup, which will still happen, will come off much easier since the urine can't get to the wood.

Your set-up looks good, you are providing your rabbits with air, shade and it looks like you tack up plastic to keep the winter off of them. Bravo for using their droppings in the garden. The odor problem can be fixed but it will take some work to do so. There isn't a magic potion. Believe me, I've searched for one for a long, long time.

What kind of rabbits are you raising? I have Cali/NZ crosses for meat.

Please keep us posted on your progress, welcome to BYH. We are glad you found us and ticked pink to have you contribute to our combined knowledge. There are a bunch of rabbit folk here. Oh, and we love pictures... please and thank you.
 

Tale of Tails Rabbitry

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Yep. I second @animalmom. Wood and spraying bucks, in particular.....not a good partnership. With your set up, I think I would paint or line the wood inside with plastic or that coated board used in bathrooms works well that I have no idea what they call it.
 

CowboyBunnies

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Well.... for the immediate use I suggest using vinegar. White vinegar, like you get at the grocery store, will cut a lot of the buildup you have... that white/yellowish stuff on the wood. My rabbits don't mind the vinegar smell and that doesn't last long at all. Poor it over the wood, let it sit for a few minutes and then scrub it with a brush, rinse and splash more vinegar on it. You don't need to rinse off the last splash of vinegar. I use the vinegar full strength.

Spalding Labs has a product that I use in my rabbitry that kills odors. I use this with the rabbits and goats. It really works well.

Bye Bye Odor is what it is called. It is a concentrate you mix with water and then spray. I've used it with new chicks in the house with great success.

www.spalding-labs.com/products/odor_control_products/default.aspx

Unfortunately your choice of wood may make this odor problem ongoing... I won't fault you for using wood, as one must work within one's budget and you want the best for your animals based on what you can afford/do. So some ideas on how to keep the urine from soaking into the wood would be using a sealant on any wood that the rabbits could not gnaw on. Maybe a gloss enamel in a light color would work well for you. Get as much of the build up off the walls as you can, dry out the hutch, and put down a couple coats of enamel or paint... something scrub-able. That way next time you do a deep clean the buildup, which will still happen, will come off much easier since the urine can't get to the wood.

Your set-up looks good, you are providing your rabbits with air, shade and it looks like you tack up plastic to keep the winter off of them. Bravo for using their droppings in the garden. The odor problem can be fixed but it will take some work to do so. There isn't a magic potion. Believe me, I've searched for one for a long, long time.

What kind of rabbits are you raising? I have Cali/NZ crosses for meat.

Please keep us posted on your progress, welcome to BYH. We are glad you found us and ticked pink to have you contribute to our combined knowledge. There are a bunch of rabbit folk here. Oh, and we love pictures... please and thank you.
Thank you for the info. That window in the picture there is to my bedroom, so any ideas you have are worth a shot. And I'm raising, currently, 5 Californians and a Silver Fox. The black rabbit is a cross between the two.
 

CowboyBunnies

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Yep. I second @animalmom. Wood and spraying bucks, in particular.....not a good partnership. With your set up, I think I would paint or line the wood inside with plastic or that coated board used in bathrooms works well that I have no idea what they call it.
Plastic, huh? I'll keep that in mind. My hutches are too short for having the double-decker cage system, so I was thinking of rebuilding them... maybe.
 

mystang89

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I run a wood set up as well and I don't notice am overwhelming smell. That might be because I'm used to it or it's not there. Only reason I say that is so you don't lose hope in the smell front.

Next, and this is what works for me in my situation, I make sure to have losel dirt. In other words, the dirt doesn't get wet and packed down which allows the dirt to soak in pee which helps to eliminate the amonia smell to. Every so often you'll need to either replace the dirt or turn the dirt. If you have chickens the work miracles on that dirt and you don't really have to do a thing.

As for the cage smells and where the rabbits choose to pee you've been given some good info already. Another thing you can do is to take a propane torch to the pre area and burn it off. No you won't burn down your wood hutch unless you feel like keeping it there longer than needed.

Nice choice on rabbits. Same as myself
Love the solver foxes.
 

Pastor Dave

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I haven't used it, but 1/2" pvc can accomplish abt anything a wooden frame can. Elbows and T's at various joints and fairly no penetration of urine or smell. Not sure abt price comparables, but a one time expense.
 

CowboyBunnies

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I run a wood set up as well and I don't notice am overwhelming smell. That might be because I'm used to it or it's not there. Only reason I say that is so you don't lose hope in the smell front.

Next, and this is what works for me in my situation, I make sure to have losel dirt. In other words, the dirt doesn't get wet and packed down which allows the dirt to soak in pee which helps to eliminate the amonia smell to. Every so often you'll need to either replace the dirt or turn the dirt. If you have chickens the work miracles on that dirt and you don't really have to do a thing.

As for the cage smells and where the rabbits choose to pee you've been given some good info already. Another thing you can do is to take a propane torch to the pre area and burn it off. No you won't burn down your wood hutch unless you feel like keeping it there longer than needed.

Nice choice on rabbits. Same as myself
Love the solver foxes.
I don't think I've touched that dirt (besides digging the poo) since I got the rabbits! I'll try that. Thank you
 

CowboyBunnies

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I haven't used it, but 1/2" pvc can accomplish abt anything a wooden frame can. Elbows and T's at various joints and fairly no penetration of urine or smell. Not sure abt price comparables, but a one time expense.
I've used PVC as a small frame for a cage for pregnant rabbits inside the house, but I'm worried our Wyoming wind will blow the PVC away if it is outside. I suppose the round shape of the pipe might mitigate that, but you never can be sure with the wind 'round here.
 

Rezchamp

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So I've had 6 bunnies for a while, and over the last few months, the area where their hutches are has accumulated a pretty strong smell. The poo is dug out and spread over the garden regularly, but the smell remains. Any ideas as to how to get rid of it? I thought covering the area in sand might help. And I was going to try and clean the ammonia buildup off the hutch as well. I have two other hutches like this.
View attachment 48970
j built a hitch 7ft long, 30"front-back and 24high in front and 17" at back(single pitch roof).
It has a removable devidor at half the length(L-R).
I've used it for about 12 years.
I scrape it atleast twice a month and "semi"pressure wash it with my finger over the hose.
Once a year I take the rabbits out and pressure wash it.
I use a scrub brush and hot water with Pinesol original and use the hose to rinse it out good.
I prop it and leave it in the sun(roof up) and let it dry for a good day.
I move the hutch to different location so the smell doesn't get to strong.
I actually do not mind the smell so very much but my wife is a city girl... and of course my daughters being teens....."eeeeewwww".
The smell is actualy more from the pee and poop being together. Or, st least to my experience. The poop alone has almost no smell. It's also good to go for the garden as fertilizer/mulch.
 
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