View Full Version : Advice for my bunny's first winter

Roly Poly
11-11-2009, 10:00 PM
Hello, this is my first post.

I have a gorgeous mini lop who is almost 8 months old so this will be his first full winter. He has an outdoor hutch which is on our patio which is reasonably sheltered. We have just bought a hutch snuggle which we've fitted today and have covered it with a waterproof covering but it still leaves the front of the hutch unprotected. I've read loads of info which says that rabbits can cope with the cold but I'm getting concerned as the weather gets colder.

Can anyone give me any suggestions, have thought about putting blankets in the hutch but he's quite a chewer so I really don't know how long they'd last!

Any advice would be appreciated, thank you.

11-11-2009, 10:44 PM
Some people put duvets over the hutch with tarpauline on top, or old carpet etc.

I have layers of tarpauline and lots of hay to snuggle in and my bunnies seem to be fine. They snuggle up together if its really cold. Does yours have a friend to snuggle up with?

11-11-2009, 11:29 PM
The important thing is that there is part of the hutch that is fully weather proof they can shelter in. So it needs to be waterproof and windproof too. You can use tarpaulins or you can buy clear plastic from DIY shops. Or corrugated plastic to go on top of runs. Remember to provide lots and lots of hay to make it snuggly :)

12-11-2009, 12:47 PM
Have you thought of getting him a friend? Bunnies love company of their own kind and said friend comes with the added bonus of being a living hot water bottle. :D

Make sure your hutch isn't draughty. You may want to consider a Snugglesafe heatpad (you can get them off Amazon for about 18.00).

Roly Poly
12-11-2009, 06:16 PM
Thank you for your suggestions - I think I might look at getting one of the heatpads for him.

His sleeping area is completely sheltered but the hutch snuggle doesn't cover the door - do you think he will be warm enough as the snuggle covers the top and sides of the hutch and is waterproof? He always has loads of straw in the sleeping area. Would you put a heat pad in with the straw?

I'm so worried about him - I can't believe how much I've grown to love the little fellow? I just wish I had somewhere indoors he could live.

12-11-2009, 09:25 PM
I think hutch snuggles don't cover the door to allow for ventilation.

I know what you mean about getting attached to bunnies; I had mine at the beginning of this year and now adore them both.

12-11-2009, 10:34 PM
I have a piece of perspex screwed over the mesh part of my nethies hutch, there is a small air gap at the top so it gives enough circulation but reduces draughts. Personally I'm not a fan of using duvets/carpet etc, as when they get damp (which they will, even if you cover them well) they have the opposite effect and end up drawing heat out of the hutch instead of insulating it.

The key thing with outdoor bunnies over winter is to make sure they stay outdoors - it seems as if bringing them indoors to play/exercise etc would be a good thing but actually it's not, as they only have one coat so it's important they stay outdoors so that their coat gets to the right thickness to cope with winter temperatures :)

12-11-2009, 11:04 PM
Hiya :wave: it's my buns' first winter too! To be honest, no matter how bad the weather seems, they never seem in the slightest bit bothered! I have a hutch snuggle too and a tarpaulin sheet which goes over the front of the hutch and top of the run to protect agaianst the rain and wind. I also line the bottom of the hutch and the bit upstairs where they sit with fleecy blankets and towels.

I've seen some the foil backed insulation material in homebase quite cheap, so I might get some of that to put around the hutch under the snuggle, but it's really for my piece of mind!