How To Keep Your Rabbit Safe And Warm This Winter
Just like any warm-blooded mammal (yes, like us humans too) it is very important to keep your rabbits warm and cosy during the cold, winter months This becomes especially important for those who keep their rabbits in outdoor hutches and runs – where Jack Frost and his other wintry weather conditions can come to play!
In the wild, Rabbits have the freedom and ability to take care of themselves and tend to burrow into the ground (making Rabbit Warrens) to keep themselves warm and snug and out of the way of the harsh winter conditions on the surface. Also, don’t forget – Rabbit’s have quite thick fur which also helps protect them from low temperatures. Rabbits like any mammal will suffer from hypothermia if left to get too cold and this can of course be fatal.
At home – in a hutch, they don’t have the freedom to protect themselves from the elements, so as your pet – you need to look after them and take care of all of this for them.
But what should you do specifically?
It doesn’t take much to realise that a rabbit hutch above ground will not offer the same level of protection as deeper rabbit burrows in the wild! They can be quite exposed and vulnerable to elements like wind and rain as well as cold temperatures, so there are things you need to do to protect against these.
Making The Rabbit Hutch Winter Proof!
Whilst rabbits need protecting, they are quite well equipped for winter (much better than we are in fact) so as long as you have a well-insulated, weatherproof rabbit hutch then your furry one will be just fine.
- Make sure the roof of the hutch is 100% waterproof. Take the time to make sure the material is just that and that there are no gaps, leaks or tears. You should also check inside the hutch too – especially around the roof joints where the wood should remain totally dry after heavy rain and have no evidence of mold or water stains! If there are, get them fixed immediately. In fact, there is a range of hutch covers and insulators that will do the job just nicely!
- Also check the back and sides of the rabbit hutch to make sure they are in good condition and not degrading at all. Varnish/weatherproof paint them for further protection from the harsh elements. This is great for further helping to stop moisture from creeping into the hutch through small gaps and crevices.
- As most hutches are close to (if not on) the floor/ground – this can further aid the degradation of the wood of the hutch by moisture. It’s always, always best to raise the hutch off the ground – even if only by a couple of centimetres as this gap between hutch base and wet ground will pay dividends for not only the life of the hutch, but your rabbits well-being overall. It’s also much safer from predators!
- Finally, keep your rabbits warm by having a sleeping room that is free from draughts, ensuring to keep it well ventilated though (don’t just block it all off from the outside world). Giving your rabbits a nice cosy bed of hay and straw with an underlying layer of newspaper will work wonders (plus the newspaper layer is great for soaking up and wayward liquids!)
So there you go. This might seem fairly basic and common sense – but if you make sure you apply all of the above, you should have no problems keeping your furry little one safe and warm winter after winter.