One of the most common questions we get asked is "how can I keep my rabbits warm in winter when they live outdoors?"
Keeping our bunnies warm and sheltered in the colder months is very important as, unlike their wild relatives, they are unable to live in underground burrows where the temperature changes aren't so extreme. The most important thing to remember is to avoid damps and draughts - both of these can be deadly to rabbits.
Here are some hot tips on keeping your bunnies cool... - Keep rabbits in pairs/groups so they have warm bodies to snuggle up with. - Check their enclosure is dry and the roof isn't leaking. - Wrap water bottles in thermal socks or bubble wrap to prevent freezing. - Use a hutch cover, tarpaulin, duvet, horse rug or combination of the above to place over the hutch - just ensure there is still enough ventilation! - Use a microwaveable SnuggleSafe heat pad (easily bought online) overnight. - Place the enclosure in the most sheltered spot possible - perhaps even in a shed or garage. - Add perspex sheets to the front of the hutch, but ensure there is enough ventilation. - Fill a cardboard box with hay and straw and place in the "bedroom" area with more hay and straw around the outside of the box for insulation. - Use lots of straw as well as hay as it is warmer and make sure the bunnies have a deep bed. - Add a tarpaulin over the run to ensure rabbits can still exercise every day!
PLEASE NOTE: Rabbits should not be brought inside for short periods "to warm up" and then put outside again in the winter. They need time to acclimatise to new conditions so the extreme changes in temperature should shock them. If you intend to bring your rabbits inside over the winter, please don't put them in a hot, heated room straight away - gradually let them acclimatise to the warmer environment of a house. Also, please don't put them back outside until spring when it gets warmer again!