View Full Version : Worried about the cold for our new bunny

06-01-2009, 08:34 PM
Hi there, Just looking for a bit of advice regarding our first ever rabbit. He is about 10-12 weeks old and is outside in a brand new two tiered rabbit hutch with run. My worry is that given the very cold weather at the minute is he too young to be outside?

He sleeps in the top half of the hutch which is lined with newspaper and has lots of hay. From early evening onwards we cover the whole of the hutch with a 9mm underlay and then a tarpaulin cover, which we then peg across the top but remains well ventilated at the bottom.

I have considered buying a snugglesafe pack today but unsure if these are a bit gimmicky?????

All/any advice greatly received

Thanks in advance

06-01-2009, 08:39 PM

Where did you get him from? Was he kept inside? (pet shop etc)
He will not have a winter coat as he is too young I would keep him inside until
the spring as he is not going to be able to stand it this cold.

You seem to have take good precautions but I still feel it would be best to bring him in as our weather is very bad at the moment.


06-01-2009, 08:41 PM
I agree with the above. Good luck with your new bun!!

BB Mommy
06-01-2009, 08:42 PM
I agree with all that has been said above - I'd keep him indoors - particularly as he is on his own and hasn't a partner to snuggle with.

06-01-2009, 09:24 PM
thanks for the advice, by bringing him indoors to you mean in the house or would he be ok in the garage - we have a glazed window at the top of the door but no open windows??? as the hutch is far to big to bring inside the house.

Also the floor of the garage is dusty so would not be happy with him having access to the run but this would then affect the amount of exercise he would get as we work during the day.

Any suggestions greatly received........ we do have a pet carrier that we bought when we got him but surely this would be too small for him to be in overnight????

06-01-2009, 09:25 PM
Just to add that that means bring him in permanently til the spring really (ie, not indoors at night and then out during the day - the changes in temperature would be too much for him). And he'll be lonely too outdoors, I cant imagine in this horrible weather you get to spend much time with him, brrrrr.

They're fun indoors anyway :D Though I am of course biased... Get searching for threads on litter-training and bunny-proofing!! :lol:

By the way, many people on here use snugglesafes for their outdoor rabbits (even ones with partners and winter coats ;)), so they arent too gimmicky. Some people have them for indoor rabbits too, but more in case they're poorly as it doesnt really get that cold indoors.

06-01-2009, 09:32 PM
thanks for the advice, by bringing him indoors to you mean in the house or would he be ok in the garage - we have a glazed window at the top of the door but no open windows??? as the hutch is far to big to bring inside the house.

If you cant bring him into the house (minus hutch, you could house him in other ways) then your garage with the hutch with all the insulation you've already done (and maybe a snugglesafe).

The dust does sound a problem though because he'd be inhaling it. Time for a garage spring clean?

we do have a pet carrier that we bought when we got him but surely this would be too small for him to be in overnight????
'Fraid so. For indoor rabbits, many people have small cages as a base for the rabbit but with either a pen attached or free range within a room (or the whole house).

06-01-2009, 09:40 PM
hi there muppet2, i am now really worried as the rabbit is actually our daughters first pet and even though she has only had him a few weeks she has become really attached to him.

if we kept him indoors until spring would he then be ok to go outside in a hutch and be fine for the subsequent winters???

Also our garden is not bunny proof....nor can we make it so so free reign of the garden is a no no....... so how do i tackle him getting freshair and exercise as i cannot leave him outside in a run all day can i?

by the way he was born and kept on an allotment before we got him so he has been used to being outside - i have just contacted the previous owner to find out if he was outside or kept in a shed.

06-01-2009, 09:59 PM
Rabbits are lovely, cant say I blame her :D

I *think* the issue currently is his age: if he's only a couple of months old then he wont have had time to grow a winter coat, even though he's been kept outside before. And with this cold as it is this winter, you'd need all the winter coat you could get!

Once the weather warms up in the spring, he can go back outside and then as next winter approaches, he'll have acclimatised and grown his winter coat. And if he's very lucky, you'll have had him neutered and got him a neutered lady friend to snuggle up to and keep him company when you're not around... ;) (Big HINT there! It would be the fairest and kindest thing to do, if he's an outside rabbit: they're on their own too much otherwise and it can be very lonely for such a social animal.) Once he's an outdoor rabbit, then yes he can stay in a run all day so long as (a) it's predator proof (foxes come by day as well as night) and (b) it does also have proper shelter (from sun, rain, wind).

In the meantime what to do... I would say first thing is bring the hutch into the garage - it has to be an improvement on being outside. Then look at whether he could be a house rabbit for the next 3 or 4 months. They really can be free range you know! And if that's really impossible, do what you can to make the garage a warm enough healthy environment. I'm worried about the dust and how dark it might be in there: access to sunlight is important to rabbits as well as humans.

06-01-2009, 10:07 PM
And found this tip from another thread:

Make sure you have a dry waterproof hutch with lots of straw(not hay most people dont know the difference: hay is dried grass used to feed animals , staw is stalks of corn or other cereals and is best for insulating as it is tubular and hollow)

06-01-2009, 10:11 PM
But if you use straw make sure to top it off with loads of soft hay ;) Sometimes hay can be a bit spikey so be careful with little bunnies.
Snugglesafe pads are good and lots of people use them :D They stay warm for the whole night and are safe for rabbits.
If the rabbit has been outside all the time since it wasn;t so cold, then he should have grown a thick winter coat. With lots of hay and a cover over the hutch he should be OK providing he is well. Normally rabbits are best kept in neutered pairs and this helps with the cold aswell. But if he's o his own at the moment then a snuggle safe would be a good substitute for a warm body.
If you bring him indoors then he will need to stay there util spring. Maybe you could get an indoor cage as a temporary home and give him free run in a safe room like the kitchen perhaps?

06-01-2009, 10:18 PM
thanks muppet2....the guilt and worry became too much and the thought of having to explain to our 7 year old daughter if anything happend was the final straw so the hubby and i have just spent the last half an hour bringing the hutch inside.... Smokey has now upgraded to our dining room!!!!!

We were planning on getting two rabbits but thought we would get one first, get him neutered and then get another to avoid lots of baby bunnies........

06-01-2009, 10:31 PM
Forgot to add earlier, any tips on house training rabbits? We have a rabbit toilet in the corner of his hutch and keep putting his droppings in there, but he still persists on pooing everywhere else!!!

07-01-2009, 08:07 PM
Bet your daughter didnt want to go to school this morning then :D And what dining room doesnt look more elegant with a bloody great hutch in it. (Just to be difficult, you might want to see if it's not too warm inside for him. Generally speaking i have the radiator off in my dining room - though not lately - so it's cooler there (although well warmed from the lounge which adjoins).)

I hope you enjoy having him inside, you'll get to learn so much about him. Mine has just come in from the dining room to sleep on a floor cushion next to me :D

With litter training, just persist. He's young and it's early days yet, he'll get the hang of it. There are quite a few threads to search on. Dont forget, pooing is also about marking territory so he may continue to do that for awhile until he feels thoroughly at home. (I think with Muppet it took a few weeks although he wee-ed in his litter tray right from the start, apart from a couple of goes on the sofa.) If he's wee-ing in his litter tray, then you're sorted really. Thankfully rabbit droppings arent half as offensive as other animals'!!