Generally, rabbits require a lot of care and very specific living conditions to stay healthy and happy. Hence, keeping them outdoors becomes a little tricky. But can rabbits live outside in winter?
Yes, they can. There’s this adaptation they possess that helps them survive the cold. This adaptation includes their thick fur coats and fur pads on their feet.
However, there are other conditions that rabbits need in order for them to survive outside in winter. Let’s quickly look at how can rabbits live outside in winter!
How Can Rabbits Live Outside In Winter?
This is one of the most constant questions that we often get, especially from new rabbit owners. How to get their rabbits to survive the winter.
That has moved us into putting together some information to enable them to choose whether bringing the rabbit inside or keeping them outside is the best alternative for these owners.
Can rabbits live outside in winter? If yes, how can they survive outside in winter?
Rabbits can live and survive outside in winter as long as you build a hutch for them that will keep them warm and dry.
All rabbits, be it wild or pet, cope somewhat well with colder temperatures as much as there is a dry, sheltered place available for them to hide when the weather is freezing.
Their shelter is their underground warrens for the wild rabbits, whereas, for your bet rabbits, you need to build a well-constructed hutch and run.
If you already built a hutch for them and are damaged, it’s essential to either fix it or build a completely new one for them before it becomes too cold.
Again, always ensure your rabbit hutch is safe from rain, wind, and draughts. You can insulate the outside cage of your rabbit by using jute or cardboard in order to ensure its safety.
Also, ensure there’s sufficient straw in the cage to enable it to build a warm nest when it gets frigid.
2. Good Feeding & Treats
Pet rabbits need more food to stay healthy if they live outside during the winter. Feeding them with digesting food will cause heat in their bodies, hence, keeping them warm.
Therefore, we recommend you gradually feed your rabbits as the atmosphere becomes colder. Ensure you give them good treats like good vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, chew treats that will help to wear down their teeth.
Again, often ensure they are sufficient hays in their hutch or accommodation because hays help to compliment a more considerable amount of their diet.
Inspect their drinking bottle always to ensure it contains fresh and unfreezes water. It’s advisable to provide them with drinking bottles for easy replacement during your inspections.
More so, rabbits often prefer dry food, hay, green fodder, and water. But they need it more during the winter season than in the summer. They can also use an extra layer of fat against the cold.
Rabbits that live outside regularly deserve an excellent level of activeness, which can be done by exercising them.
Your rabbit will be warm and lovely and equally more critical for proper digestion and circulation through this. Staying at a place makes them feel cold.
It is also advisable to get them a toy that they can get busy with. However, whenever you notice any dull moment in your rabbit, you should check up on it because it might be suffering from hypothermia or other kinds of illness.
Then get a veterinarian immediately for a proper checkup on it.
This is another factor that can enable your rabbit to comfortably live outside in the winter.
The provision of sufficient and surplus bedding in the hutch will help them during this period, especially when you provide an additional layer of newspaper and straw at the base of the hutch.
This will further erase further concerns of any possible moisture and cold air that might find itself in the hutch.
Make it a point of duty to always inspect the hutch and ensure your rabbit has an abundance of dry, warming bedding.
There’s no need for blankets or hot water bottles, as there’s the possibility that the rabbits might munch on them, but installing a microwavable heat pad in with the hay is recommended, as it helps to give additional warmth to your rabbit.
Rabbits like to work or do things in a group. In other words, they are social animals; hence, they do not like isolating or being alone.
Therefore, you must have two or more pets that can stay with them. This factor is most essential during the winter because it makes them feel warm.
Most rabbits are actually lovers of snow. Therefore, you must give them the freedom to locate the white winter carpet while watching them play and walk about with fun.
Conclusion | Can Rabbits Live Outside In Winter?
As we mentioned earlier, your rabbit can live outside in winter as long as you follow the instructions highlighted above to ensure its warmth and safety.
Also, note that domesticated rabbits aren’t as efficient at keeping themselves warm as their wild counterparts. Therefore, you have a significant role in ensuring they are well and fine outside in winter.