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Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Josh, Oct 26, 2008.
Other Than Bringing Them Indoors , How Do You Keep Your Rabbit Warm In Winter ?
Lots of straw/extra bedding, cover the hutch with blanket/tarp/winter cover etc, you can buy special ones for rabbits hutches, but they are expensive, so i just use ones from the hardware stores, you can buy them for £1, keeps the frost of the hutch, and the rain/wind out!! Put them under a shelter/roof etc, to protect them from the full force of winter!! Hope that helps!
I have to agree...extra bedding will keep them cozy. Also if they are living together they will keep each other warm I also use clear plastic tarp that I pull down over the front of the hutch to keep the wind and rain out....there is gaps down the sides so they get some air though! Also mine get more grass and veggies in the summer and more hard feed (Chudley Rabbit Royale) in the winter when they need it more for their bodies to generate heat. They do get offered the dry food all year round but really only start digging as the weather gets colder. I also feed them Supaforage Excel as an substitute for grass as it doesn't have a lot of nutritional value in the winter time and stops growing.
REMEMBER IF YOUR RABBIT WAS BORN IN THE AUTUMN (before the winter) THEY WILL NOT HAVE A WINTER COAT SO THEY SHOULD BE KEPT INDOORS!!!
Overall the best way too keep rabbits warm in winter is by bringing them inside (Warm shed or indoors).
If that is not possible :-
Ensure the water bottles do NOT freeze, great way to do this is by wrapping it in bubble wrap or tin foil, if you want to spend a fortune on a bottle warmer that is another option.
You can purchase special space blankets for the winter but if like this winter it is exceptionally cold extra precautions must e taken.
I lined the bottom of the hutch with a pet blanket (my rabbits are kept in a carpted shed and i still take precautions) Then I completely cover it in sawdust, then pile in the straw like a burrow. i also had plenty of hay and food as the rabbits eat morein the winter like us to stay warm.
I also place a fleece blanket over the front of the hutch to stop any drafts getting in.
We're currently trying to locate an indoor cage or smaller hutch to move indoors for our rabbits that we can get to. We're completely snowed in.
So in the mean time I have stuffed their hutch to the gills with straw and I have been feeding extra dry food and hay. Their hutch is covered in blankets with a water proff cover on top. I have placed to old woollen socks over their water bottle and last night I placed a well wrapped hot water bottle (not with hot water in, just warm) in their bedding area underneath the straw.
I did worry that it would freeze in the night, but it was still warm this morning when I went to change the water in it. I just wanted to give them something extra to help keep the heat in.
Hopefully once the snow has gone we'll be able to get another cage/hutch so if this happens again they can come in.
If they've already been outside all winter I really wouldn't bring them in now. They would have grown a winter coat and adjusted to the temp bringing them into a house whether heating is on or off with be too much of a shock to them and possibly cause death. Best thing you can do is give them lots of bedding and make sure they have a cover over the hutch to stop draughts. To stop water freezing wrap the bottle with a sprts sock then use a bottle snug over that or even use a folded teat towel stuffed with hay to wrap around the bottle.
Thank you so much for your advice! I was so worried that I wasn't doing enough for them. I'm glad we didn't actually bring them in now. As far as I can tell the cold weather doesn't seem to be bothering them too much, I susupect it's just me and my paranoia.
We have a large brick built shed in our garden (no heating). If we do manage to get a smaller hutch to go in the shed, would it be okay to move them in there so they're out of any cold winds?
You can move them to an unheated shed or garage as long as the temp difference isn't too much, if you do move them try to position the hutch so the opening is facing away from the shed door to give even more protection from draughts.
Is that really true??? mine were both born in September and live out in the shed. That isn't insulated either. they both seem fine to me- no ill affects with lovely thick winter coats...
baby rabbits, older or unwell should be put somewhere where the temp doesnt drop below 0.
As for keeping them warm SnuggleSafes are great, and retain the heat a lot longer than a hot water bottle. They are pricey about £15 online, but worth it.
Make sure their hutch or shed is kept somewhere out of the wind. give them plenty of straw to make a nest in and extra hay and food. Check their bottles at least twice a day.
Always make sure their is at least an inch gap for ventilation if covering with tarpaulin. and wet blankets will only make the hutch colder so make sure these stay dry
Its just cost me over £100 in p@h for a insulated cover a bottle hugger straw and hay.OH said can you put another rabbit in with him if so we can get one so they can keep each other warm. Damn i wish i had had mine neutered in summer as i know he would love a friend and its not very often i actually here him say get another pet lol.He is not an animal lover. So tomorrow will be spent cleaning the hutch and getting all the covers on as its too dark to disturb him now.He has got a plastic sheet over him to protect him from snow going in and socks on his bottles
If I keep my rabbit in an outdoor barn/shed; does that mean bringing him in and out of the house during the winter is not feasible? I dont want him to get sick but he is quite non-skittish from all the handling he experiences and I dont want to lose that repore from him being isolated most of the time but keeping him indoors is not an option. I like to take him on outings with us also. If i keep his environment in the shed partially heated with a light and heat pads under the carpets will that enable me to bring him in and out so that he can continue to be a pet that we interact with a lot without jeopardizing :crying: his health or winter coat? We live in Michigan so the winters can be very cold. Im trying toget my husband to build him a home that will help him stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Neither of us has experience with rabbits.
I would say that it really is not a good idea at all to bring him in, then put him out, then in again etc etc as they can end up really over heating if only indoors for a short time as their body is used to the cold by that point. Also will have a thick winter coat.
Is there any way you could have bunny indoors all the time? Maybe you could get a large dog crate to have as his little bed area but leave his door open to give him access to the house too. Or maybe you have a spare room he could have as his play den?
Does he have a friend or is he on his own? Rabbits are very sociable animals and crave company. You really must try to get him some company. He needs to be neutered and the best thing would be to find him a spayed female to bond with. This would also help with keeping him warm if he was to remain outside. Two bunnies snuggled up would be much cosier.
I hope you find some solution.
Out of interest, what do you mean when you say taking him on trips?
Exactly as Jo-pop has said. Its a really bad idea to bring bunny in then put him out again during the winter.
Remember too that rabbits prefer their own company so having a friend for him will keep him happy. He'll have a friend to communicate with in the only language rabbits truely understand also help to keep warm in winter. Its an amazing sight watching two or more rabbits playing together and cuddling up together for a nap.
plenty of bedding mainly straw as is a naturel heat sause and a wind breaker on the front of your hutch
That is so true. I find clean dust free soft straw is soooo warm. You try sitting on a balefor yen mins, you soon get a warm bottom
He goes to the beach with the family or fishing down at the pere... A man at the pere commented on on well behaved he was. I may have to sneak him in the for the winter because I really do not want to have to only play with him outdoors in the cold months in Michigan. Its just that I am trying to do an indoor hobby business and my husband commented that its not very professional to smell the rabbit when clients come over to get their portraits done. Im not sure what Ill do... I need an area in which it will be easy to clean up his pen. I have a room above the garage but its very cold out there in the winter also as the garage is not heated.
Rabbits don't really smell though, they are very clean animals and very eaily litter trained
The room above the garage would still be warmer than ourside though wouldn't it. Maybe you could get little (safe) heater. As long as there are no fumes from the car below it may be a good option for him.
And a friend? Please please get him a pal.
I'm new. Hoping that someone can help.
I'm in the UK and it's getting cold - temps going to drop a lot so thinking about my bunnies.
I feel so sad as I have two bunnies, the youngest one was bought as a friend for the oldest. We've tried many times to bond them but they really just don't like each other They are both bucks - we bought the youngest thinking it was a little girl so had a bit of a shock when two little things appeared on her!!!
Anyways - they used to be house bunnies but after we moved house they were moved to the garden. This was in the summer time last year and they LOVE it outside. I feel really bad after reading this thread as last year we bought them inside thinking we were doing the right thing but definitely won't this year.
They are both in separate two tier hutches which both have covers on them. They have free range of our garden but at separate times as they don't get on.
I just want to know what I can do to make sure that they are warm enough. I will give them more food and hay. Thinking about these snugglesafe thingys but I am quite poor at present and would need to buy two.
If you really highly recommend buying them as they don't have each other for warmth then I will go without food and buy them as I love them to bits.
And to reassure you, I do spend a lot of time with them outside - I find it so sad that they don't get on as they would have a companion.
Any advice would be ace thanks.