- Remove all items, including litter pan*, from cage
- If messy (wet and/or lots of poop):
- Bundle up paper on bottom of cage and put in dirty litter pan
- Put single layer of fresh newspaper on bottom of cage
- Don’t use shiny ad inserts – throw them away
- Use labeled hand brush & dustpan (each bunny has their own) OR your gloved hands to remove remaining poop & hay from bottom of cage
- Spray litter pan with vinegar spray bottle & wipe with paper towel
- Line bottom of litter pan with newspaper
- Fill the litter pan with hay and fluff it up so that it’s not packed together. After fluffing, the hay should reach the brim.
- Dump water bowl, rinse out all hay & fur, and fill to ¾ full with cold tap water*
- Put all of the bunny’s items back in its cage
* = Check Important Notes below for more details
- NEVER leave a cage door open and walk away. Any time you walk away from a cage, you need to lock the door.
- Always check the litter pan to make sure the bunny pooped, peed, and that there is no blood – See #3 under “You Are Our Eyes” in the next section.
- Always check signs on the cage for special cases, e.g.
- A bunny that just got spayed/neutered will not use a litter pan and will need a blanket
- A bunny that has been diagnosed with coccidia will require changing of gloves and washing hands after cleaning the cage (so as not to spread to other buns)
Note: Coccidia won’t spread to humans
- Certain bunnies require bottled water, instead of water from the tap
- Look out for unusual bunny behavior – See #1 under “You Are Our Eyes” in the next section.
- Bunnies do not share items in cages, in order to avoid cross-contamination. Please put the same bowls, boxes, etc back in the cage. Litter pans have the bun’s name written on them in permanent marker.
- X-Pens: These are special pens for bunnies that need more room (usually pairs). Follow the same steps as a cage, but also replace blanket on floor if dirty.
- Nesting: Sometimes female bunnies will create a nest of fur, usually inside a carrier or box. DO NOT DISTURB THE BUNNY’S NEST. Just leave it as-is.
- Visitors: Never let visitors bring bunnies inside the building, due to RHD. Have them wait outside and let the Team Lead know so that they can tend to the visitor.
- Picking up Bunnies: Bunnies are not to be picked up or taken out of the cage except by a member of the med team.
End of shift tasks
These may need done during the shift, but also should be done at end of shift (if needed)
- Sweeping the floor – After all cages are cleaned, floors need to be swept
- Stocking up newspapers – Grab new papers from front porch, and fill box
- Taking out the trash – If half full or more, put in dumpster out front, put new black bag in trash can
- Stocking up hay – New boxes of hay are in shed behind big building
- Fill vinegar spray bottles – Half vinegar, half water
YOU ARE OUR EYES
As a cleaner, you have an important job – you are our “eyes” when it comes to first recognizing when a bunny may need the special attention of the medical team. By the time a bunny shows signs of illness, immediate action is required.
There are 3 main indicators that a bunny is not feeling well.
- Bunny Behavior
Some bunnies are shy while some are active. Some are clowns while some are cuddlers. As you come in and clean the cages repeatedly, you’ll get to know the unique personality of each bunny. Here are some problematic behaviors to look for:
- Sits/hides in back of cage, box, or litter pan
- Sits in one place and won’t exercise
- Doesn’t run for romain, pellets, or approved treat
- Eating Habits
EARS bunnies’ diet consists mainly of Timothy hay, Oxbow pellets, romaine lettuce, and Oxbow treats. Any other bunny treats must first be approved.
- Most bunnies will run for the pellets and romaine after being fed. If a bunny is not showing interest in their food, this is an issue.
- If a bunny has not eaten their pellets from the morning or the night before, this is an issue.
- Poop & Pee
Don’t laugh! Poop and pee is one of the most important indicators of a bunny’s health!Bunny Poop ● ● ●
When cleaning, check for good quality poop:
- Poop should be round and hard – looks like Cocoa Puffs cereal
- If there is NO or VERY LITTLE poop, that is an issue that indicates digestive problems
- Mushy or runny poop is also an issue – save the sample to give to med teamBunny Pee
- Can be any color from clear to red/brown
- Sandy/gritty looking pee is sludge, and that is an issue. Save the sample to give to med team.
- Other signs / observations to report
- Dirty bottom, white flakes
- Excessive scratching, scratching ears, or shaking head
- Drooling or wet chin
- Blood, sores, or bites
- Head tilt
IF YOU FIND ISSUES
Alert the med staff which is usually in the pink building in the office. Don’t be shy – even if you are unsure, let the med staff know, and they will decide whether it is an issue or not!