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Winterizing

Advice on purchasing or constructing cages and hutches for your rabbitry.
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Winterizing

Post Number:#1  Unread postby BunnyAuntie » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:42 am


This is the hutch I built for my niece's rabbit:
Roo's Hutch.jpg
Roo's Hutch.jpg (101.59 KiB) Viewed 86 times

I live in Vermont so winters temps can be anywhere from 60F(or more) to -10F on any given day. We can have rain, sleet, ice, and/or snow, sometimes all 4 at the same time. He will get sun if there is any. He's spent all of his life outside but I've never 'wintered' a rabbit. I think him being out in the cold will be harder on me than it will him. Any suggestions on winterizing his hutch and keeping him warm?

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Re: Winterizing

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Rainey » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:04 pm


Cold isn't a problem as long as thawed water is available a couple times a day. You need to keep wind and wet out. Haven't ever had to think about that with the type of set-up you have since our rabbits are in wire cages inside a shed or barn. And if all of that is for one rabbit, perhaps you don't need to keep all of it wind and waterproof but only to have some part the rabbit can get into to escape those things. Hope someone more familiar with that set-up will offer some advice. But I'd also be thinking of how accessible the hutch will be for the person carrying the feed and water when the wind is howling and it's cold and wet.

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Re: Winterizing

Post Number:#3  Unread postby TheChad » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:05 pm


BunnyAuntie wrote:This is the hutch I built for my niece's rabbit:
Roo's Hutch.jpg

I live in Vermont so winters temps can be anywhere from 60F(or more) to -10F on any given day. We can have rain, sleet, ice, and/or snow, sometimes all 4 at the same time. He will get sun if there is any. He's spent all of his life outside but I've never 'wintered' a rabbit. I think him being out in the cold will be harder on me than it will him. Any suggestions on winterizing his hutch and keeping him warm?


I use tarps when needed to keep the wind down. Here in Alabama you rarely need it.

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Re: Winterizing

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Random Rabbit » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:28 pm


We used to have outside runs for the rabbits. Nothing as elaborate as Yours :) But it served the purpose.
The runs had enclosed boxes that faced away from prevailing winds.
The rabbits did wonderfully well out there. Humans had to bundle up (a lot) to do chores. Even on below zero days the rabbits were bouncing around in the runs. We did add tarps or heavy plastic to use for wind breaks, in later years.
Now we have a building and it is somewhat More comfortable for the human care-givers.

I didn't see what breed of rabbit You are putting there . Some breeds... like Mini Rex might need a lot more protection. Others... such as the commercial breeds and fur bearing breeds would do very well in that.
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Re: Winterizing

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:42 pm


Really the cold does not bother rabbits very much. Just make sure he has water! If rabbits don't have water they won't eat, if they aren't eating they will get a lot colder a lot faster. Some rabbits actually like cold. I had an old Champagne D'Argent buck who normally did nothing, he was old, slow, and blind and literally did nothing. On the coldest morning of the year (it was 4°f) he was bouncing around like a 4 week old kit!
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Re: Winterizing

Post Number:#6  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:52 pm


I'd put plywood or chipboard over the side(s) exposed to the prevailing winds (easy to remove if you use screws or don't hammer the nails all the way in) and have tarps ready if the wind shifts.

The major concern I have with your hutch has nothing to do with winter. It looks to me as though you have wooden latches that turn on a screw in the centre. If this is so, it will be ridiculously easy for a raccoon to open the hutch and attack your rabbit. Raccoon "hands" are as adept as a monkey's and they are clever pests, so please install something better. Even hook and eye fasteners can be opened by some raccoons. I'd use the kind of hardware you would use for a padlock and fasten it with a heavy-duty snap. Raccoon paws will not be strong enough to work one of those.

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Re: Winterizing

Post Number:#7  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:25 pm


I agree with Maggie
I'd screw some chip board to 3 of the 4 sides and leave one side open...(put the board on the wind sides)... Your rabbit will enjoy the cool weather and make you feel cold just watching it. :lol:
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Re: Winterizing

Post Number:#8  Unread postby BunnyAuntie » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:01 am


This is Roo:
DSCI0023.JPG
DSCI0023.JPG (194.27 KiB) Viewed 36 times

DSCI0016.JPG
DSCI0016.JPG (199.16 KiB) Viewed 36 times

He's 2 years old, about 8 lbs and his nickname is "The Little Prince" :D I have no idea what breed he is, any ideas?
Thank you for the suggetions and encouragement everyone. I'm realizing him being out in the cold is more my problem than his! I've put some heavy clear plastic up to block the wind and wet so I think he's all set.
MaggieJThat was an 'old' picture, I've since upgraded the latches :)

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Re: Winterizing

Post Number:#9  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:54 am


Glad to hear you've updated the latches, BunnyAuntie. Those darned raccoons! You have to stay a step ahead of them.

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