Go Back   Pet forum for dogs cats and humans - Pets.ca > Other pet critters - Birds, fish, rabbits, reptiles, rodents and exotics > Amphibians - rabbits - reptiles - rodents - exotics

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 07:47 PM
Crestfallen's Avatar
Crestfallen Crestfallen is offline
Bunnicula
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 106
Rabbits in a Hutch Outside during Winter

Hi,

I've had rabbits my whole life, but I've never had any rabbits in a hutch outside. My current rabbits are in a hutch in my backyard, (they love it!, the fresh air and all).

I've never had rabbits in a hutch outside ever, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to anything extra to do.

The hutch is on legs, so its not right on the ground. We were thinking of putting the hutch on a warm side of the house that does not get a lot of wind/snow.

But I was wondering if I should take any other precautions, like getting a heater. I am going to get some hay (not alfalfa/timothy that they have already), but bedding like that.

Thanks!
__________________
Pebbles (Puggle)
Atticus (Puggle)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old September 3rd, 2008, 07:04 AM
Melinda's Avatar
Melinda Melinda is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,248
you can put a low watt light bulb in the enclosed part of the hutch with wire screening around it (so they won't get burnt), a tarp thrown over the hutch will also help, but they would do best brought inside
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old September 3rd, 2008, 07:09 PM
Crestfallen's Avatar
Crestfallen Crestfallen is offline
Bunnicula
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 106
Thanks for the info.

I don't really have the option to bring them inside right now. I have a roommate who is severely allergic to them, and the buns were around before the roommate was here, kinda sucks, but I had to help her out.

I'll try the low watt bulb tho. I was planning on doing the tarp though.

We don't tend to have crazy cold winters here though. They're pretty mild, which is nice. The wind just sucks!
__________________
Pebbles (Puggle)
Atticus (Puggle)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old September 3rd, 2008, 07:12 PM
aslan aslan is offline
-
Asteroids Champion, Starship Legend Champion, Rabbit Hunter Champion, Magic Ball Champion, Candy Tetris Champion, Bounce Back Champion, Breakout Champion
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: toronto, on
Posts: 15,600
You can also go to home depot and get a sheet of 2" thick stryrofoam attach it to any part of the hutch that is just wood, like i assume the bottom is. get a tube of contractors adhesive( in a tube like caulking) If your hutch is like any i have seen 2 or 3 sides are wood. the styrofoam works as an insulation.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old September 3rd, 2008, 07:36 PM
erykah1310's Avatar
erykah1310 erykah1310 is offline
Blue eyed funny farm
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 5,595
Straw... thats all I have to offer besides what has already been said.
Straw makes a far warmer bedding than any hay as straw is hollow in the middle and doesnt go "flat" as hay does.
My rabbits stay out in the winter as bringing over a dozen rabbits in the house is just a little too intimidating for my liking.
Make sure its not drafty, or atleast that there is a good "den" spot that is well insulated. We put yard sale coolers with no lids in the rabbit shed come winter, inverted and with a hole cut out of it so they can hop in and lay in the warm straw.
Outdoor life for rabbits isnt really complicated so long as they dont get too much drafts, and the water situation is difficult to stay on top of but it's not impossible.
Good luck
__________________
Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyways. ~John Wayne
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old September 4th, 2008, 07:59 AM
Lise's Avatar
Lise Lise is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ontario
Posts: 517
Our bunnies have lived outside for the last five years.In the summer they can go in and out all day in the winter it is closed in.Their house is insulated inside they have wood chips and straw.Their windows are thermo pane and it stays warm enough in there that there water doesn't freeze.We don't use a heat lamp for them.They do get fuzzier for winter,so you can't bring them in as they adapt to being outside.Also make sure they are closed in at night and check for digging around their pen outside.This is our house we open half the roof as well if it really hot.
Attached Images
   
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old September 6th, 2008, 05:16 PM
Crestfallen's Avatar
Crestfallen Crestfallen is offline
Bunnicula
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 106
What sweet looking bunnies!!!! Our hutch isnt quite so well equipped though. It's approximately the same size of the house you have, but a bit longer. It's on legs though, so it doesnt sit right on the ground.

Such cute lil guys ! <3
__________________
Pebbles (Puggle)
Atticus (Puggle)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old September 6th, 2008, 05:16 PM
Crestfallen's Avatar
Crestfallen Crestfallen is offline
Bunnicula
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 106
Thanks for the tips on that!! I am making sure to get some straw!
__________________
Pebbles (Puggle)
Atticus (Puggle)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old September 7th, 2008, 06:44 AM
Lise's Avatar
Lise Lise is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ontario
Posts: 517
ours is raised as well it's about four or five inches off the ground.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old September 10th, 2008, 11:29 AM
Dog Dancer's Avatar
Dog Dancer Dog Dancer is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 6,535
Styrofoam is good insulation. Good suggestion, I use that on my bee hives in the winter. If possible you could also build a little lean-to kind of cover to keep snow and wind from hitting the hutch directly. The lightbulb (if properly protected from bunny access) should be enough heat to keep the water from freezing. A heater as such could be dangerous. A friend of mine put one in her dog house (which was beside her house) and dog house and human house burned down! Be very careful about anything electric around the bunnies - mine would chew wires like crazy.
Lise - very cute bunnies you have there.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old October 17th, 2008, 10:00 AM
Crestfallen's Avatar
Crestfallen Crestfallen is offline
Bunnicula
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 106
Thanks for the tips you guys. We decided to bring them inside. Mostly to do with cleaning. Turning the water off in the winter and trudging in the snow to clean their cages I dreaded, and I figured they'd get neglected as I hate going outside in the winters in our city.

If anyone knows lethbridge, you know what I mean. The wind is insane!

We're going to build a better hutch that is all seasons friendly for next year though!
__________________
Pebbles (Puggle)
Atticus (Puggle)
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old October 17th, 2008, 10:12 AM
babymomma's Avatar
babymomma babymomma is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,171
Im glad you brought them inside, Just in case they got too cold, because most of canada is supposed to have a bad winter this year... Yikes
__________________
Keely - Yorkie
Haley - German Shepherd
Casey - version 2.0 - Black lab
Jasper - White cat

R.I.P Casey #1.
Gone but never ever forgotten.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old October 17th, 2008, 11:08 AM
krdahmer's Avatar
krdahmer krdahmer is offline
~Cat Servent~
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario
Posts: 5,229
When I had my rabbits as a child, we had a summer condo in the back yard, it was up on legs about 3.5' off the ground, so they were only out when we could watch them (most of the day a lot of the time)... then my dad made another condo in one of the shelves of the garage for their winter condo. They always had straw, and we made sure the cars were pulled in and turned off very quickly so they didn't get too many fumes. We would let them hop around the garage on days where the cars were out, and I always went in to hold and sing to Thumper (he'd fall asleep in my arms if I sang Silent Night). We had to give the female away (mainly due to ignorance, and kind of not knowing much about bunnies, she ate some of her babies and then got kind of nasty) but my Thumper lived to be just over 11!

Glad you could bring them in!
Attached Images
 
__________________
Windy~Smoke~Buddy~Palomine~Fagan~Asker~Mickey Blue Eyes Venus

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” -Mahatma Gandhi

"We're the renegades, we're the people; With our own philosophies; We change the course of history; Everyday people like you and me"- R A T M
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old October 17th, 2008, 08:13 PM
Bina's Avatar
Bina Bina is offline
Skylar's Farm
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: East Ontario, west Que.
Posts: 509
Years ago I had a mini Rabbit Rescue with 6 rabbits.
We converted a garden shed....insulated it, made separate cages, and put in a 500 watt red light bulb for the very very frigid nights. Each rabbit had a sleeping box with straw. Water was checked twice a day. Summers were so nice with a fan and wired windows.
__________________
Bina
Please have pets spayed and neutered,
and wearing a collar with an ID tag.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old October 20th, 2008, 12:55 AM
Gail P's Avatar
Gail P Gail P is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 1,301
We have an outside rabbit that does just fine in the winter. We used to have 3 but age has taken it's toll and we're now down to just the one old doe. She's got a hutch that sits directly on the ground, it's about 4 x 8, fully roofed over and the ends are closed in (one with a door). Sides are mostly screen but part of one side is solid and part of the other side has another attached hutch where our buck used to live. In the winter I lean a sliding glass door along the side of the hutch that gets the most wind. The door blocks the wind but lets the sun in. Inside the hutch our bunny has two little wooden boxes with small openings that I fill with shavings and hay or straw for her to go in and keep warm. Also, in one corner of the hutch the wire screening on the bottom has rotted and they (this bunny and her friend that used to live with her) dug a tunnel down into the ground that they liked to shelter in. It's quite an extensive tunnel from what I can tell, every now and then it begins to collapse a bit with the dogs running over it and I have to fill that part in but she re-digs it. She can't escape from the tunnel though, even if it does open up outside of her hutch she's still contained to the backyard. The tunnel also goes under the other attached hutch which has a wooden floor that now feels hollow underneath. When we first got our rabbits I did a lot of reading about them and something I came across said that rabbits deal much better with cold weather than hot weather. For water I just use a rubber dish that is easy to bang the ice out of daily.

I'm sure that some breeds may not be as hardy and as tolerant of extreme weather, but mine seems to do well like this. And native rabbits are quite active all winter long and don't hibernate or anything. I often see rabbit tracks in the snow all over the back of my property around the bush and crossing the trails I maintain.
__________________
Beware of Mushers...They will suck you into their addiction!

If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion!

http://www.racingrescues.com
http://www.goodbyegoose.com

Last edited by Gail P; October 20th, 2008 at 01:01 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Terms of Use

  • All Bulletin Board Posts are for personal/non-commercial use only.
  • Self-promotion and/or promotion in general is prohibited.
  • Debate is healthy but profane and deliberately rude posts will be deleted.
  • Posters not following the rules will be banned at the Admins' discretion.
  • Read the Full Forum Rules

Forum Details

  • Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
    vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise (Reduced on this page: MySQL 7.69%).
  • All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:36 AM.