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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...