As far as looks go, it is big, shiny, white and medical lab looking (a bit out of place in my old garage), but I love my Rabbitech system. It is very professional looking and sure beats dumping drop pans. There is still work involved maintenance wise though(contrary to popular belief lol)...just different work. Instead of running around dumping pans, I stand and wipe down things. I pull down and replace panels. I spray waste down a trough. I dump the manure/urine collector and hose it down. It's not too bad, but some areas are a bit tricky to get into. I often scrape my knuckles on wire, but I have rabbits. Everyone does that.
I have not had a problem with clogging hay as I saw on some reviews of these types of systems, but hay does slow down the spraying down of troughs. Overall, I think it is very well designed. The back panels and side trays do a very good job of keeping urine inside the system and not on the walls/floors. I can easily scrub cages (floor tops and bottoms) when the back panels are removed. The finish is very durable. I have had no issues with rust or chipping. There was definitely thought put into it.
If I were to make improvements, I'd suggest the following:
- a quicker/easier way to take off back panels for cleaning (arthritis-y hands). Otherwise, I love, love, love the back panels...such a simple, but functional feature.
- slightly more space between cage front bottom edge and trough top edge. I could get cleaning tools in there easier without scraping hands.
- The PVC spray-down troughs are great, but finding tools to clean it at first was a challenge since you must use nonabrasive tools. After several other tries, I now use a stoneware pan scraper from Pampered Chef...probably not what PC originally intended. This helps keep the trough smooth so pellets roll down the trough as intended. An automatic rinse system for the trough would probably be helpful (less chance for urine to dry), but I haven't tried this yet. I worry about damp wool on my Angoras. I do
- a better set of instructions for non-laboratory maintenance department professionals. Instructions were sketchy. In their defense, though...the system is probably sold to a smaller percentage of regular folks with rabbitries. We did eventually get everything together without calling customer service...and I admit that I may be challenged in this area.
This is not a design issue, but something to be aware of. We purchased the manure separator bin (an accessory). We attached our garden hose as designed, but the lay of our land meant flow was so slow to render it useless. I have to hand-carry and dump liquid waste...blah. The manure separator seems like a wonderful thing when the system is higher than the surrounding ground though.
Also, I put my one-sided system together as the directions indicated. Once it was all balanced and silicone-ed in place, I realized I had to move my system out from the wall about 18 inches to get behind and clean it. In talking to others, someone much smarter than me told me they turned their troughs where the manure slid to the front of the cage instead of the back. This doesn't look as pretty in my opinion, but it does save space in a smaller rabbitry. I'm probably just jealous that I didn't think of it myself.