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Thread: Indoor Bunnies - Time out in the Garden

  1. #1
    Warren Scout Natalie's Avatar
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    Default Indoor Bunnies - Time out in the Garden

    I've just got our rescue bunny used to living indoors - she has the full use of a big converted loft room - and I'm wondering what people do about garden time for their indoor bunnies. We have a hutch in a large run outside, which is where she was housed before we brought her in. Should I put her in there during the daytime whatever the weather, or should I only choose the slightly milder days to have her outside for a while during the day? She will always be brought back inside before it gets dark and over night.

    The converted loft room she's in has no heating in it, but does seem to remain warmish, I think because of the very warm airing cupboard on the floor below, plus I do like to keep our house warm, I can't cope with the cold due to very bad circulation, my fingers go blue and numb if I get cold

    So I think what I'm worried about is the difference in temperature between inside and out, whether going from one to the other will cause problems, especially as she is an older bunny, possibly about 10 years old.

    Thanks for any advice anyone is able to offer - Natalie

  2. #2
    Alpha Buck
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    During the late autumn, winter and early spring our indoor buns stay indoors due to the difference in temperature

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  3. #3
    Warren Veteran DemiS's Avatar
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    I was always worried about letting mine out in winter because our house is usually very warm. Even when it's cold, wet and rainy they'll chew at the door frame to go out and I can only tempt them back inside with food. Also if they do ever want to come inside, they'll come up to the french doors, stand on their back legs and kind of tap on the glass They actually do this more in summer though probably because the daylight hours are longer and they're bored, they definitely aren't bothered about coming inside in the winter so i put them out almost every day.

    If it's raining heavily or very very windy I'd bring them in regardless of if they want to come inside or not. In your case with an older single bunny I probably wouldn't let her out if its freezing temperatures. In my case it's quite easy because their cage is in front of the french doors and the garden is fully bunnyproof so all i have to do is open them to see if the bunnies want to come in or out. In your case with her living in your loft this won't be as easy, but what you could do is give her a shelter (e.g. the hutch) and put lots of hay and straw in it and maybe even a snugglesafe. If she's spending most of her time in there rather than playing in the garden, she's probably not enjoying the outdoors very much

    Just to make it clear to any other forum readers I definitely would not recommend such a temperature change if the situation was reversed (e.g. letting a rabbit play inside in the warmth all day then putting them out at night when it's the coldest and you can't keep an eye on them to see if they want to come in)
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  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper
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    I think personally she would rather stay in one place. Would you have to carry her outside?

  5. #5
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    During this time of the year I would always give them the choice and not carry them outside.

    One of my rabbits goes out the back door and the other goes out the window (I built a ramp to make this easy). I just open them up and go outside myself. Sometimes they side by the backdoor looking out and don't bother coming out. Sometimes they come all the way out, even when it's cold.
    I wouldn't let them out if it's below 5C, whether they wanted to or not.

    Do you have a room with a door to the outside where you can keep them during exercise time, so they can make their own mind up?
    Or do you always have to carry them?

    Are there any other indoor areas you can let them get exercise if it's too cold outside? One of mine likes to come upstairs and have a nose around my bedroom when it's too cold outside.
    Tim

  6. #6
    Warren Veteran daphnephoebe's Avatar
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    Our girls get the choice between indoors or outdoors. I have to stay outside with then while they're out there but the door stays open so they can get back inside anytime they want.

    If bun is unable to have the choice I'd keep her just indoors over winter to reduce the risk of any health problems.

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  7. #7
    Warren Scout Natalie's Avatar
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    So the room she’s in is big, about 5m x 4m and she has access to all of it all the time, she has a small double storey hutch up there too, but it’s always open, it was because she was used to a hutch and run in the garden and always slept in the top section of the hutch that I wanted to put similar in her indoor space. She’s also got tunnels and hideaways, toys and chews and her litter tray. When the velux windows are open, even if just a little, she can hear all the usual sounds she hears when she’s in the garden.

    She has a double storey hutch and tunnels and a single hideaway in her outdoor run as well, but the outdoor hutch has an open lower section ie just the grass at the bottom there, and there’s hay in the top.

    To get her to the garden she goes in the carrier, she needs to be safe and secure because of the dogs.

    If I don’t take her out to the garden, I bring grass in for her cos she does like a good munch. Plus I mix ReadiGrass in with her pellets. And she’s always got loads of Timothy Hay.

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