As a responsible bunny mom or dad, you should keep your bunny warm in winter to avoid unwanted situations. If you don’t take the effective measure, your bunny may become ill and even die.
If you raise your bunnies in an outdoor hutch, You could keep rabbits warm in winter by transferring them into the indoor cages or repairing and insulated the hutch, providing a heating pad, heater, or heat lamp, warm bedding, and comfortable cage flooring.
On the other hand, if you keep your bunnies inside your house or apartment, where the temperature is not as low as outside, then the warm, cozy bedding and heating pads are enough to keep them warm and cozy.
In the wild, bunnies make burrows to live. Their living place is known to warren. During the cold and rough weather, a few of them take shelter inside the same warren. Consequently, they remain warm as the warren is cold-proof.
In the case of the pet rabbits, the scenario is entirely different. They have no choice to lead their life wildly. That’s why you have to ensure a warm, comfortable, and cozy dwelling place for your beloved bunnies.
In this article, I have tried to cover all the crucial points on keeping rabbits warm in winter in the outside hutch as well as the indoor cage.
Before going to the main points, I want to clear you some basic views for rabbits. So, keep forwarding.
What Is The Ideal Temperature For Rabbits?
Rabbits are warm-blooded animals. So, sudden temperature change puts a substantial challenging impact on every animal, including rabbits. The ability to survive depends mostly on quality food, water, and surroundings.
According to most of the scientific research, 50- 70 °F (10 – 22 °C) is the ideal temperature for rabbits. Rabbit can tolerate from 40 °F (5 °C) to 80 °F (26 °c). This is the ideal temperature for rabbits.
Without proper shelter, it is impossible to survive for rabbits in severely cold weather.
Now, you may think, then how the wild rabbit survives during the snowfall?
It’s possible for the rabbit’s genetics, lifestyle, and food habit. Moreover, wild rabbit makes underground shelters, as I mentioned earlier in this article.
How to Keep Rabbits Warm In Winter in the Outdoor Hutch?
Well, it’s not a hard job to keep warm your bunny warm and cozy during the rough winter in the outdoor hutch. If you are sincere enough, you can do it by following the points I have covered here.
1. Transfer your bunnies into an Insulated Hutch
No doubt, this the best solution to keep warm your bunnies during the winter outdoor.
Most of the people who keep their rabbit outdoor, use DIY rabbit hutch. But unfortunately, all of the DIY rabbit hutches are not winter-proof and insulated.
So, if you don’t have a winter-proof and insulated hutch, you should get it.
You could consider the following hutch for your bunny to keep them warm outdoor.
Aivituvin [Upgrade Version] Rabbit Hutch
- Multi-level rabbit hutch
- Perfect for winter and summer
- Waterproof and Predator proof rabbit hutch
- Very sturdy and long-lasting
- Super easy to clean as it includes 2 deeper no leak tray
- 3 access of door opening
- A bit expensive
2. Repair the Rabbit Hutch
Well, if you think your DIY Hutch or the existing rabbit hutch is perfect till now, you just need some maintenance work, then you could do it.
First of all, check the roof of your rabbit hutch.
If you don’t check the roof of the hutch regularly, you will probably find it damaged most of the time.
You know how playful the rabbits are! The roof of the hutch is usually made of wood. And rabbits have the nature to cavort and chew everything.
So, damaging the roof is not an unusual occurrence.
That is why you should Repair the roof of the hutch immediately before the winter season. Use slop wood to make it water and snowproof.
Also, you may use wire mesh cover to protect the surrounding of the hutch.
You could read this article to get the perfect wire mesh for a rabbit hutch. I have discussed the best wire cloth based on the size here.
Repair the sidebars of the hutch
Usually, except the front side, the other sides of the rabbit hutch are covered with wood elements. So, there is a high chance of chewing here.
So, recheck the sides of the hutch also. And make it cold-proof.
Insulating the hutch by hutch cover
To insulate the rabbit hutch from the inner end, you can cover it with tarpaulin, polythene, carpet, or an old blanket. An old blanket or carpet is better than tarpaulin or polythene.
It would be best if you opened the hutch during the day. But it is mandatory to cover the hutch during the night in winter.
But you have to Keep some ventilation parts for supplying oxygen while covering the hutch.
It would be better if you can transfer your bunny hutch to the garage in the evening. It helps a comfortable night for your beloved bunny during the rough cold weather.
You could consider the following hutch cover if you do have not any other options.
Bunny Business Hutch Cover
- Dimension: 48″ L x 20″ D x 41″ H inches
- Perfect for Double-decker hutch
- Rain, Water, Wind and Low-temperature proof
- Not a super durable one
Raise the height of the hutch
You may add legs to raise the height of the hutch. It is necessary to increase the height of the hutch to protect it from dumping and rotting.
If you don’t have the flexibility to add bamboo or wood legs, you can use bricks. Place the blocks under the four corners of the hutch and raise them as more you can.
3. Provide Unlimited Hay in the Hutch
Dry and clean hay works as a natural blanket. Just ensure that your provided hay is dry enough.
Place enough hay in the sleeping area of the rabbit. It keeps your rabbit warm and cozy.
You should change the hay regularly during the winter season to keep your bunnies clean and disease-free. Don’t provide straw for bedding purposes.
Straw is sharp enough for the bunny. It may be the reason for the injury to your bunny.
4. Provide Rabbit Bedding
There are different types of rabbit bedding is available like:
- Fleece bedding
- Hemp bedding
- Aspen bedding
- Paper bedding
- Pelleted bedding
I prefer paper-based bedding for rabbits in winter. Paper-based bedding is completely safe for the bunny.
Most importantly, they are biodegradable.
Vitakraft Fresh World Paper Bedding & Litter
- 100% recycled paper-based bedding
- 99.5% dust-free
- 14 days Odor control
- Free from baking soda
- Super easy to clean
- Biodegradable and Compostable
- It doesn’t completely absorb the pee odor
5. Providing heating pad
Providing a heating pad during the winter is a better option to keep your rabbits well. The heat pad is easy to use and safe for rabbits.
You need to keep the pads in the microwave and warm it at your desired level. Then place it in the rabbit hutch. You will find this type of padding on the market.
Make sure your food bowls and food bottles preventing from freezing
During the cold months, it is widespread that the water bottles become freeze.
Usually, your rabbits need more food and water during the winter. More nutrient-rich food allows our bunny to keep hot and warm. So, provide more food during the winter.
6. Allow Some Exercise Time
Exercising of the rabbit is necessary all over the year. But during the winter, it is mandatory.
In the wild, rabbits are jumping and running from one place to another place. It helps to increase the blood circulation of the rabbit. Ultimately, she becomes hot.
Similarly, let your rabbit playing and exercise outside of the hutch or cage. You can attach a rabbit playpen to their hutch. To make the runway rabbit-friendly, you can follow these pro tips.
Ensure that the runway is dry and clean.
Place some hiding place inside the runway. So that your rabbit can hide in the hiding place if they become feared.
You can keep some toys for your rabbit. It makes them busy and they will not feel bored.
Also, you can keep the food bowl and water bowl inside the runway.
7. Keep the baby rabbits in the Indoor
Though the young and adult rabbit can cope with the cold weather in a favorable condition, this theory is not applicable for the baby rabbits.
If you want to keep your baby rabbits alive during the severe weather, there is no alternative to keep them inside your house. And you must ensure a suitable cage for your baby bunny. Besides, you must carefully observe them regularly.
Long story short, keeping your pet rabbit warm during the winter is not rocket science indeed. Transferring them indoors is the best solution. If you do have not the flexibility to move them, then you could insulate their outdoor hutch.
As a conscious rabbit parent, you are serious about the care and health of your loving pet. I have tried to cover everything on how to keep rabbits warm in winter.
If you see any aberration to your bunny, don’t feel hesitate to take action. And always keep in contact with other experienced rabbit owners and vets. If you are new and have confused about taking care of your bunny, you may read the detailed guide on bunny care at home.