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Thread: Grass to Mud - Help

  1. #1

    Default Grass to Mud - Help

    Hi there, we rescued 5 netherlands in February and all has been well until now! We have a 2m x 3m, basically aluminium hen (I think) enclosure with a wooden hen house - this all came with the rabbits. They have loads of space and are warm in their house BUT. Where it was grass it is now mud with all the wet weather we have had. From this we have had dirty crusty bottoms and ewwwww. So we are cleaning them every day - their bottoms - and putting down straw but something has to be done.

    Please can I have some advice as to the best way to floor this outside enclosure. There is a tarpaulin roof as the sunscreen fabric roof got storm and cat damaged - but of course the rain can get in.

    I am thinking paving slabs or lino but there is nothing to stick the lino too. Also if it's paving slabs will I need to put woodship down to soak up the wee? The do seem to go in one area, although droppings are all over the enclosure.

    Much advice needed, as soon as possible, as would rather take advice than spend out on one idea only to find it really doesn't work.

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Paving slabs are very popular, maybe put a litter tray somewhere to encourage them to use it, put hay in and they like to chew their hay whilst toileting. Where they toilet on the slabs is a problem this wet weather in particular. The best way would be to hose it down at the end of the day.

  3. #3
    Mama Doe
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonibun View Post
    Paving slabs are very popular, maybe put a litter tray somewhere to encourage them to use it, put hay in and they like to chew their hay whilst toileting. Where they toilet on the slabs is a problem this wet weather in particular. The best way would be to hose it down at the end of the day.
    Exactly what I was going to suggest. Concrete slabs straight on the soil and a couple of big litter / underbed plastic storage trays of hay under a sheltered area (eg something like a kid's plastic picnic table might do).

    You could leave a gap of a couple of slabs in the middle and turf it or sow grass seeds in Spring. Meanwhile. you could put some wood chip down instead - grass can be grown directly on top when the weather warms up a bit (grass won't grow at less than 5'C).

  4. #4

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    Good advice, thank you. Tried putting hay in a feeder where they seem to toilet but they ignored it - maybe a litter tray is the way to go.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmer View Post
    Exactly what I was going to suggest. Concrete slabs straight on the soil and a couple of big litter / underbed plastic storage trays of hay under a sheltered area (eg something like a kid's plastic picnic table might do).

    You could leave a gap of a couple of slabs in the middle and turf it or sow grass seeds in Spring. Meanwhile. you could put some wood chip down instead - grass can be grown directly on top when the weather warms up a bit (grass won't grow at less than 5'C).
    Wow - never thought of an underbed box for a litter tray and with hay. Love the ideas for grass growing too - although I must confess I like the idea of an old tin bath if I can get one!!. Thank you.

  6. #6
    Mama Doe
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    Stable matting is another option - it's thick rubber matting that comes in large sheets (eg 6' x 4'). It is available online or from equestrian suppliers. It's quicker than concrete slabs to put down if the ground is reasonably level, although it's usually put on concrete stable floors.

    https://www.burnhills.com/equestrian...ats-12mm-p2001

  7. #7
    Warren Scout
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    Is it poo or mud which is stuck to their bottoms? I'm curious because I have a similar setup (although my walk in run has a glass roof) - the grass is pretty much just mud now but my bunnies keep themselves clean and are very healthy. It could be because yours is completely exposed, there's nothing stopping the floor from turning into a mud bath. I agree with everyone suggesting paving slabs.

  8. #8
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beapig View Post
    Is it poo or mud which is stuck to their bottoms? I'm curious because I have a similar setup (although my walk in run has a glass roof) - the grass is pretty much just mud now but my bunnies keep themselves clean and are very healthy. It could be because yours is completely exposed, there's nothing stopping the floor from turning into a mud bath. I agree with everyone suggesting paving slabs.
    Good point Beapig! Normally they just get their hocks muddy.

  9. #9
    Wise Old Thumper tulsi's Avatar
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    Mine have a shed (lino on the floor and three underbed storage boxes as litter trays) and a muddy run. They are never dirty at all.

    They also have free range time for an hour or two in the garden and love going on the flower beds (in the mud). Mind you our soil is very sandy which probably helps.

    Hope you find a solution for your group of nethies.

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