Don’t Let Your Rabbits Freeze
If you own a rabbit or two and your furry friends stay outdoors throughout the year, you have to do your best to ensure that they are comfortable even during the coldest months of the year. Remember that even wild rabbits live underground in insulated warrens. This helps in preventing their body temperature from dropping below freezing.
Remember that exposure to cold weather can result in health issues like colds as well as respiratory infections. Since rabbit hutches are above the ground, you may have to make some adjustments so that your rabbits can stay warm throughout winter. The good thing is that you won’t even have to do much to help these furry buddies of yours to stay warm.
What You Should do to Keep Your Rabbits Warm
Make Adjustments to The Rabbit Hutch
You want to ensure that the rabbit’s hutch is as warm as possible. Some of the best adjustments you can make to ensure this include the following:
o Move the hutch to a warmer place
o Identify any unnecessary gaps and repair them
o Cover the mesh doors, if any, with clear wrap while leaving enough gaps towards the bottom for ventilation.
Insulate Your Rabbit Hutch
To insulate the roof of the hutch, you should use some sheets of newspaper as well as a warm blanket. Place these on the roof and then cover in an outdoor tarp. This helps to trap heat, so as to keep the hutch warm. It’s also an effective way of preventing snow or rain from falling on the rabbits.
Give Your Rabbits a Warm Bed
Rabbits generally require a warm bed throughout the year, especially during the winter. You can make your own rabbit bed or buy one online or from a pet store. You should never use blankets as bedding material as rabbits can chew on them, resulting in an intestinal blockage. Instead, consider using things such as dust-free hay as bedding.
Fill The Rabbit Hutch With Straw
Straw is generally warmer compared to hay. For this reason, you should stack your rabbit’s hutch full of straw. The straw should be nice and dry, and should also be mixed with hay so that your rabbits have some food at all times.
Keep them active
Rabbits should be allowed time out of the hutch in the winter just like during any other season. This helps in keeping them active and warm, as compared to when they are confined in their hutch. While in their hutch, you can keep them active by hiding their pellet food in treat balls. As they roll the ball to dispense the food, they will stay active and doing so will raise their internal body temperature, making them feel warmer.
Ensure Water Bottles And Bowls Are Not Frozen
Rabbits require water even in the winter. You should check the water bottle and bowls regularly during different times of the day and replace them as required. Insulating any water bottles is a good way to try and keep the water in them from freezing.
Remember to check the spout as well to ensure that it’s not frozen. You should also ensure that you always have a spare bottle to replace any bottle that might have broken from freezing.
Dry the rabbits
If you have allowed your pets to play in the snow, you should ensure that they are dry before allowing them back into their hutch. You can dry them using a towel, and if they are still wet, invite them indoors to dry fully. Just be sure to let them dry naturally, and not by placing them by a heater.
Invite Bunnies Indoors
It’s almost impossible to keep a bunny warm during winter. In such a case, you should consider keeping them indoors for their comfort and safety. If your rabbit has, by any chance had babies in the winter months, you should keep the mother and her babies inside your home so that the babies get much-needed warmth.
Feed Your Rabbits More
Rabbits lose more heat during winter, and this heat has to be replaced by them eating more. You should get food that gives your rabbits the energy they need to remain active and warm throughout the winter period. Always ensure that your pets have adequate food, as they will get some of the warmth they need from what they eat.
Provide Them Heat
If it gets unbearably cold during winter, you can always provide a heat pad for your rabbits. Just be sure to get non-chewable heat pads. You can also use heated blankets to keep your rabbit warm. However, the electric blanket should not be used without supervision.
It’s possible to keep your rabbit warm even during winter. All you have to do is make a few adjustments as well as provide the right products and food. Be sure to pay close attention to the rabbit, so as to identify any signs of health issues early enough. If you notice any health-related problems, get the rabbit indoors and seeks the services of a vet as soon as you can.
Thank you for reading Eggshells blog post. If you would like to find out more about our Rabbit Hutches and how they can help get your rabbits through the winter months, then visit our website or contact us on 01903 756121. Alternatively, you can send a message by visiting our contact page.