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Thread: Looking for an outdoor Snugglesafe routine suggestions for winter

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    Warren Scout HouseOfRabbit's Avatar
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    Default Looking for an outdoor Snugglesafe routine suggestions for winter

    Unfortunately last night I lost one of my bunnies due to stasis. This leaves his mate now as a currently solo outdoor bunny who will now be in need of Snugglesafe pods on a regular basis to help keep her warm starting from now. I will obviously be considering what to do for her going forwards and am already working on insulating the hutch even more but I need to solve the initial keeping her warm problem that snuggling with her mate would normally done first.

    What I'm thinking is to give her two a night, one early and one a bit later but I'm having trouble on deciding timings both when to give the first one and then how long to the next one to maximize the time she has with the pods staying as warm as possible with the weather as it is now plus with it getting colder. I know there's a time that they'll stay warm for but what I'm not sure of is when the warmth they provide really starts dropping off or if there is even a drop off point. I do have more than one pod btw if that makes a difference to suggestions.

    Does anyone have a routine, experience or suggestions for this at all please?

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    I've heard stacking two of them wrapped in newspaper lasts longer but I'm not sure it would go all night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarelessSquid07 View Post
    I've heard stacking two of them wrapped in newspaper lasts longer but I'm not sure it would go all night.

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    That's what I do for the guinea pigs during winter. Put them in near the bottom of a pile of hay later in the nest area in the evening. They will probably be still lukewarm by morning.
    I use a couple of sheets of newspaper to wrap them in as it keeps them clean and easier to handle when they have been microwaved. The fleece covers tend to just get covered in hay, wee & poo...so I take them off. If it's really cold (consistently at -2'C or lower), the rabbits get them at night as well. I don't tend to use them during the day unless it's very cold. It depends on wherabouts you are in the UK, and on the rabbit (age, health, etc).

    The sleeping areas of mine have extra hay now, and the outside of the hutches are covered in 2 layers of ribbed entrance matting, with the rubberised backing facing out. It's quite effective at keeping the interior frost-free. Its also important to make sure the bedding area etc is dry - so extra spot-cleaning may be needed.

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    Warren Scout HouseOfRabbit's Avatar
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    Sounds like I need to add a bit more background. I'm in the West of England and Logan is about 8 years old. The hutch set up is a lino floor with fleece as bedding (generally ignored) and an underbed storage box as combined litter tray and hay supply. Have added flattened congregated cardboard boxes as a double layer against the walls with the ceiling to be done possibly with the reflector radiator insulation or more flattened cardboard boxes depending on how she reacts to the walls.

    Judging from the last couple of nights she's choosing to sleep in the litter tray so it looks like that's where the Snugglesafes will be going. Slight drawback is that she can be a bit of a destructo-bun or persistent re-arranger if something is not where she wants it so using newspaper might not be a good idea hence my thought of perhaps 6pm for the first Snugglesafe and perhaps replacing it at 10 or 11 pm.

    One thought I did have was to cut some of the radiator reflector insulation to size and put it under the litter tray in addition to adding it to the ceiling. Not sure if that would work to reflect heat if it's under the tray effectively enough or a good idea given she does occasionally move the litter tray.

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    Snugglesafe heat pads will stay warm for longer than 4 hours. Opening up a warm space later at night will also let all the accumulated heat out - so I would be inclined to put two in and leave them. They are reasonably heavy, so if they are in a litter tray, you may get away with a couple of layers of corrugated card under the tray as additional insulation. Or can you glue / velcro some of the radiator insulation to the undermeath of the tray?

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    I am sorry for your loss.

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    Warren Scout HouseOfRabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmer View Post
    Snugglesafe heat pads will stay warm for longer than 4 hours. Opening up a warm space later at night will also let all the accumulated heat out - so I would be inclined to put two in and leave them. They are reasonably heavy, so if they are in a litter tray, you may get away with a couple of layers of corrugated card under the tray as additional insulation. Or can you glue / velcro some of the radiator insulation to the undermeath of the tray?
    That's a good point about releasing all the heat when putting a second pod in. Will scratch that idea then.

    I do like the idea of velcroing the radiator insulation to the bottom of the litter tray. I might start with cardboard underneath and see how she reacts to that first seeing as I've got some spare boxes on hand I can try with tonight.

    Currently debating whether to bring her in over the winter. She's got cataracts with increasing vision loss and is a very independent outdoor bun so I'm not sure how well she'd adapt or where she could safely go.

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    You could insulate under the hutch too, radiator stuff perhaps, or a slab of polystyrene. Is there a reason she has fleece as bedding rather than anything else? Fleece gets very cold when damp and cold so might be a disadvantage on a cold floor. Straw is more insulating than hay (it's hollow) so maybe fill her hutch with straw or give her a box filled with straw to snuggle right into if she wants to? Makes me wonder if she is sleeping in the litter tray because it's warmer than a fleece covered lino floor rather than because she wants to, so would be good to give her the choice.

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    So sorry for your loss xxx

    I'm having similar thoughts about Chibbs: she was hypothermic last cold spell in February (we caught it VERY early), and now she's not got Lopsy she needs a bit more care, although she's a healthy 7yo. I'm just a bit more paranoid since she got so cold once! She gets a snugglesafe on teh sam,e regime ad they both did while they were both well enough, when it gets to 5C minima overnight. She's got an insulated box (cardboard box with plastic bottle foam rammed in the folds) but tthat doesn't have a floor, so I've made a normal box with a radiator reflector floor covered in an old teatowel, although I might update that to include a bit of insulation over to prevent claw holes (she's got claws like a cat, they're so sharp!) and then insulation over, which I can pack with the straw-y hay she really likes. Especially as it's forecast so cold here during the days Saturday-Monday. Whether she uses it or not is a different matter!

    I do find they like to sit in a hay-filled litter tray, keeping their bums warm! I pack in extra hay this time of year for them
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    The fleece is there as I've tried hay/straw on the floor before and it just turned into a massive litter tray. Might try cardboard under the fleece though seeing as she seems to have ignored the rest of the cardboard insulation so far.

    I was debating next whether to switch her upstairs underbed storage box/litter tray for a higher sided one with a lid and put a hole in the side. That way I could add more insulation on top and around the sides. Has anyone else tried this at all? I'm just wondering how she'll react to another change right now though.

    I'm also currently trying to figure out how to insulate the downstairs section of the hutch as she seems to have decided to sleep in the downstairs litter tray for at least part of last night. That section is a bit more difficult though as a while back the ramp was replaced by a runaround tube which takes up a fair amount of room. It set up to run in a gradually inclining semi circle starting on the floor and is rather awkward to insulate around both for the walls and roof. The door is also open most of the time during the day.

    My only real alternative to her staying in the hutch is that she comes inside and lives on the landing but that's a lot less room and choice of where she goes and does than what she has she has right now.

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