Rabbits’ beautiful silky and thick fur protects them from any weather condition. However, our favorite little bunnies need extra warmth during winter. We prepared these 4 Efficient Tips on How to Keep Your Rabbits Warm in Winter to protect them.
How to Keep Rabbits Warm in Winter?
Rabbits can naturally endure cold weather conditions because of their thick fur. They can still function well even if the temperature is around 50 to 70-degree Fahrenheit.
They can even go as low as 20-degree Fahrenheit, granting their fur is dry. Otherwise, if they are wet, they might die from hypothermia.
Suppose the temperature drops to around 15-degree Fahrenheit or the rabbit’s body temperature drops to below 100-degree Fahrenheit (37.77-degree Celsius). In that case, they may need an extra hand to keep them warm.
You need to be cautious during winter. You need to make sure that your rabbits are not sick and have normal body temperature to help them keep going during the winter months.
You need to consider their living condition, too. Are they living inside the house or outside? What type of hutch do they have? You need to evaluate and consider these things.
You must prepare the rabbit and its living environment for winter. This will help your rabbit to keep themselves warm during the winter season.
How to Keep Rabbits Warm in Winter: 4 Efficient Tips You Must Keep in Mind
Assuming that the rabbits’ body temperature during winter is normal. You may follow the following steps to help your rabbits maintain their body temperature and fight off the coldness of winter.
Tip 1. Make your rabbit’s hutch cold-proof
Though this step is best applied to rabbit hutches outside your house, you must also ensure that your rabbits inside your home endure the coldness of winter weather.
In this how-to keep rabbits warm in winter, you must do the following:
Check for holes
Ensure that the rabbits’ hutch doesn’t have holes or openings where snow or water can get in. Over time, snow melts, and the water from the melting snow should not get inside the hutch. Otherwise, your rabbits will get wet.
Unfortunately, they might have difficulty drying themselves if they get wet during winter. If this happens, they will get hypothermic, which may be fatal and cause them to die.
Cover the hutch
Whether the hutch does or doesn’t have a hole, you must cover it to protect it from the winter and melting snow.
Depending on the type and the design of the hutch, you must cover it to keep the wind out but at the same time leave something for the air to pass through. The cage must still have proper ventilation since your rabbits need fresh air, too.
You can find several YouTube videos online for a DIY hutch cover. You can take inspiration from it and make your hutch cover that will withstand the cold season.
Provide proper insulation
After securing the outer part of the hutch, you must now put insulation to keep the rabbits warm during winter. You may use old and unused blankets and cardboard boxes as a DIY insulator.
You may also use a heating pad for your rabbits to feel warm during the winter season. You can buy this at Amazon or the nearest veterinary clinic.
When choosing a thermal pad, select the ones that are thermostatically controlled warming mat and chew-resistant. Your rabbits will indeed like this.
Elevate the hutch
This step might not be necessary. Most hutches are already built a couple of feet away from the ground. But if your rabbits’ cage is not made this way, you may need to elevate it enough for the snow not to cover it. Or for the melted snow to get into the hutch.
Or, if you don’t have a hutch for your rabbit yet, you may follow the ideal rabbit hutch size according to the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund. The rabbit’s hutch size must be at least 6 ft long and 2 ft tall.
This space is also enough for your rabbits to have some physical activities inside the hutch. The space will allow them to run and hop around the cage.
Keep a warm and comfortable bed for your rabbits
Rabbits do need a comfortable bed too. Some owners put just hay for their bed depending on your rabbit, while others buy a rabbit bed.
Regardless of which one you choose, you must keep in mind that you are buying it for your rabbit, and you are giving an extra hand on how to keep rabbits warm in winter.
Tip 2. Move the hutch to a warmer place
Another tip you must consider is moving the hutch to a warmer place. You can put them on your patio or in your heated garage.
You might be thinking that this tip on how to keep rabbits warm in winter won’t really work. Rabbits’ body temperature needs to be at their normal level, and moving the hutch to a warmer place will surely help them maintain this.
Tip 3. Keep them accompanied
This tip on how to keep rabbits warm in winter might sound funny and underrated. Read on, and you will know how important it is for them to have a pair during winter.
Rabbits are social animals. So, they must have a pair that they can snuggle to throughout the winter season. This tip will keep their sanity, stabilize their emotion, and keep them warm at the same time.
However, do not just get a new rabbit and put it inside your existing rabbit’s hutch. This will cause rabbits to fight each other.
The existing rabbit might have marked the hutch as its territory. Putting the new rabbit into the cage will make the existing rabbit think that there is an invader – a threat to his territory.
Don’t forget this. Rabbits are territorial animals. Thus, you must introduce them both in a neutral place. But you need to monitor them as there is a big possibility that they might fight in the first couple of minutes or hours probably.
Do not put the rabbits back into the cage unless they are comfortable with each other.
Tip 4. Put the rabbits inside your house
If you feel that a winter storm might come, you should bring the rabbits inside your house. This protects them from the severe weather that may kill them when things go wrong.
It is better to prevent the rabbits from getting extremely cold and hypothermia. But, do not just put the rabbits directly into your house. You need to acclimatize them first to let their body adjust to the temperature.
When putting the rabbits inside your house, you must place them where there is less to no noise. This is to avoid stressing your rabbit with noise pollution.
Putting the rabbits into your garage may not be the best option. Your garage must not have fumes that may affect your rabbit’s health.
After keeping your rabbits warm, you need to look after their basic needs for the whole winter months.
How to Keep Rabbits Warm in Winter: 7 Things You Need to Do to Take Care of Rabbits During Winter
Assuming that you have the rabbit’s hutch ready for winter, the next thing that you need to do is to ensure that they have everything that they need to survive.
Do not forget the following when checking for rabbit supplies.
1. Prepare enough hay
Without a doubt, rabbits chew a lot. Thus, you must have enough hay stocks for the whole winter season.
You may also need hay for your rabbits’ bedding. So, it is better to have hay handy.
2. Give them water
Water is another important thing you must put in your rabbits’ hutch. This will keep them hydrated throughout the winter season.
Make sure to change the water regularly, though. It is best if your rabbits have clean fresh water every day. [Read more: 4 Efficient Tips on How to Keep Rabbits Warm in Winter]
3. Stock some food
Aside from hay, your rabbit must also have vegetables and fruits in its diet. But before you start feeding rabbits with vegetables and fruits, check first their health. Do they have allergies or diabetes, or are they completely healthy?
If they are healthy, choose the fruits and vegetables that are rabbit friendly.
4. Give them toys
Your rabbits need to be active as well during winter. If they have an exercise wheel or any toys, make sure that you will put it in their hutch.
5. Regular vet visits
Once you have all the basic things you need, you must keep track of their vet visit. Check your rabbits’ health card and see when will be the next visit. Take note of their vaccination dates, too.
6. Regularly groom the rabbits
Rabbits do get sick and infected quickly. This means that we need to groom the rabbits regularly.
A dirty rabbit attracts bacteria and viruses that may cause them to get flystrike and other diseases that can be fatal to the rabbits.
7. Regularly clean their place
Rabbits are munchers. They love to munch and eat now and then. If you don’t see them playing or sleeping, you will see them eating.
Unfortunately, the more they eat, the more chances that you will droppings in their hutch or pen. You need to pick these right after they poop. Otherwise, your rabbits surrounding may get so dirty and may attract diseases.
If you do not clean their place regularly, your rabbit’s fur may get some droppings, affecting their health.
There are several ways on how to keep your rabbits warm in winter months. Ensure they are placed in a warm living environment without their coats getting wet to avoid hypothermia.
Do not forget to check their temperatures, too. Keep their body temperatures at 100-degree Fahrenheit.