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Burrowing

A place to post bits of news, ideas, musings and other things that don't really fit into the other forums.
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Burrowing

Post Number:#1  Unread postby BunnyAuntie » Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:37 am


I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this, I wasn't sure where to put it. :oops: Roo will make himself a little nest in the hay and snuggle in but he doesn't seem to want to cover his ears. Do all rabbits burrow in their hay when it's very cold? Should I worry about his ears? What do your outdoor rabbits do? Any advice and stories will help,please. Thank you in advance. :)

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Re: Burrowing

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Rainey » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:55 am


Cold mostly isn't a problem for rabbits as long as they can stay dry and out of drafts. (kits before they have their fur are an exception--they do need to stay warm) I think that rabbits use their ears to cool themselves in hot weather but not sure why your bun is keeping ears out when burrowing into hay.
And ramblings is a good place to post anything when you're not sure where it goes. I used to fret about which forum to post in and that I was asking too many questions when I first joined but everyone here on RT was very kind and patient. And then it is fun to get to where I can answer a few questions myself.

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Re: Burrowing

Post Number:#3  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:36 pm


Just a guess, but I think Roo may be keeping his ears out so he can hear what's going on. Rabbits, being prey animals, stay alert even when there is no actual danger. All those blood vessels in the ears should help to keep them warm, but if the weather gets really frigid, consider giving him a closed cardboard box stuffed with hay or straw and a rabbit-sized entry hole in one end. It will keep him cozy during an unusually cold spell, but have a spare or two on hand because rabbits also love destroying them.

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Re: Burrowing

Post Number:#4  Unread postby BunnyAuntie » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:46 am


Well, I gave him the box full of hay on Sunday, and he's done nothing but give it the stink eye since. Not even a nibble. Today I rememebered that when I first got him he acted afraid of large boxes... I don't know what the people who had him before did to/with him. I took the box out and he was thrilled. I guess I'll try something else...

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Re: Burrowing

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Rainey » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:05 pm


I notice our rabbits often spend more time in their bunny buckets when it is cold. If your rabbit has a bucket it is used to, perhaps you could put some hay in there.

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Re: Burrowing

Post Number:#6  Unread postby WVForestGirl » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:17 pm


MaggieJ wrote:but if the weather gets really frigid


Hey Maggie and other Northerners, I was wondering what you guys would consider 'really frigid' to warrant a hay box. I used to live in Alberta but my own cold tolerance has changed a bit since I transplanted to the coast and then south. :oops: Thanks!

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Re: Burrowing

Post Number:#7  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:36 pm


Good question, WVForestGirl, but these things are highly subjective.

For my own peace of mind, any rabbit of mine that wasn't in a shed or greenhouse would have to have some kind of shelter box, regardless of temperature. I don't like the idea of any animal of mine not being as comfortable as possible. Would they survive without it? Probably yes, but it would worry me.

I'd give a hay box at anything lower than zero Fahrenheit: about -18 Celsius. And even at milder temperatures, shelter from the wind and snow are needed.

Opinions on this are going to vary quite a bit. The wild rabbits here go under our sheds or dig snow caves when the weather is very bad. Our rabbits don't have the freedom to seek a warmer spot, so it is up to each owner to decide what they need and provide it.

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Re: Burrowing

Post Number:#8  Unread postby WVForestGirl » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:17 am


Thank you, it helps to put an actual value on it, though I understand the subjectivity. I have an outdoor rabbitry with everyone in structures that protect from wind and precipitation. I try to do my best to observe behavior and so far I haven't noticed any discomfort at all, that's why I was wondering.
I have a couple litters recently out of the nest box, I gave them a cardboard flat full of hay to help keep the heat in when they huddle and they seem to like it to sleep on, but still spend plenty of time running around.

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Re: Burrowing

Post Number:#9  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:37 am


If your rabbits are doing well with what you providing, WVForestGirl, there is no need to change things. This is Bunny-Auntie's first winter with a rabbit and she wants to know what she needs to do to make sure he is okay. Lacking experience, she is better to err on the side of caution.

It went down to -20 F. here last night. As far as I'm concerned, that is too cold . . . but the cottontails were out this morning, none the worse for it.

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