Reduce Ammonia and Odors in the Rabbitry

by Laurie Stroupe

The Sweet Smell of Success

Rabbit washing its face with its paws
"Oh it smells sooo bad!!!"

When you are into rabbits, the sweet smell of success is likely to be covered with the acrid smell of urine and manure. What can we do to reduce rabbit odor?

(Certainly my rabbits don’t smell bad and I’m sure that yours don’t either. We’ll be talking about how other people can reduce the odor from their rabbits, of course.)

We’ll mention the obvious for purposes of being thorough. Remove urine and manure frequently. It really is important.

You, I mean those other people, can spread lime on the ground around outdoor and barn rabbits, and in containers or in trays. The pelletized lime is less dusty and I think healthier to use around rabbits. I like Sweet PDZ much better though. It is also available in pellets.

Feed that contains yucca reduces odor. I really didn’t think much of it until we had a pet rabbit return to us when the owner was moving into a “no pets” living arrangement. He was quarantined in the house and the odor was much stronger than what we were use to (think about, I am REALLY use to rabbit smells). But after just three days on a feed with yucca, the odor was dramatically reduced. It was an amazing difference.

You can also put odor-reducing products in your rabbits’ drinking water. This choice may be affordable mostly for pet rabbit owners. And since pet rabbits typically live in closer quarters to people, it can be well worth the effort. One such product, Marshall’s Small Animal Bi-Odor, is available through my website.

Zeolite is a mineral that naturally absorbs odors. It is safe to add directly to pet bedding and place in trays under your pet rabbit cage. S.A.M Zer-Odor Reducer, also available through my website, is one of the several zeolite-based odor reducers available.

I do not recommend using air fresheners that add fragrance to the air in an attempt to cover up odors. For one thing, roses and poo add up to one funky smell. Rabbits tend to be fairly sensitive to chemicals so I avoid using anything artificial around them. Perfume gives a lot of people headaches and allergy symptoms. I wouldn’t want to risk that around my rabbits.

But there are several spray deodorizers that eliminate odors rather than just covering them up. One can be sprayed directly on pets, if needed. Check out S.A.M. Zer-Odor Spray and Odor Eliminator by Petrotech.

My favorite method of eliminating odors of any kind is through the use of an ionizer. I am still looking for the perfect ionizer for my barn. I have two rabbits in the house right now and I am using an air filter with ionizer near them. I want the car ionizer for Christmas.

Ionizers don’t just make the air smell better, but they actually eliminate contaminants from the air by joining particles together. Air with a high ion count makes you feel better. Think of how you feel after an electrical storm when you breathe in the fresh air. That air has a high ion count. Or remember the air near a large waterfall. That air has a high ion count, too.

Well, I can tell those other people’s rabbits are starting to smell better already.

Next Article: The Magnet System of management

Next Article: Keeping track of who’s who in the barn.  My cage tag system.