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How cold is too cold?

Advice on purchasing or constructing cages and hutches for your rabbitry.
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How cold is too cold?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby MidwestMatthew » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:48 pm


Our rabbits are pretty well protected from wind, snow, and rain, but their wire cages obviously don't offer any insulation at all. It's getting into the low teens in our area the next few nights and I'm wondering if they'll be OK out there. Do we need to give them anything to keep warm with? Or should they be good to go just in their fur?

We have New Zealands and one Silver Fox.

Thanks for any advice!

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Re: How cold is too cold?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Rainey » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:25 pm


My rabbits are mixes started from NZW and SF. They are in wire cages in an unheated barn--so no wind or rain or snow but also no insulation. They all have buckets hung in their cages and I notice they get in them more when it is really cold. Here our winter nights can easily go down to zero Fahrenheit or colder, so I don't think you need to worry. We don't feed pellets but they get more calories (roots and some BOSS) when it is really cold.

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Re: How cold is too cold?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:45 pm


I agree with Rainey that they should be fine, but if you want to be sure, give each one a cardboard box, rabbit sized, maybe with some hay or straw in it. Some rabbits will use it as a litter box, but it is a comfort for the ones who recognize it as a cozy bed that helps them keep their body heat.

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Re: How cold is too cold?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:49 am


MaggieJ wrote:I agree with Rainey that they should be fine, but if you want to be sure, give each one a cardboard box, rabbit sized, maybe with some hay or straw in it. Some rabbits will use it as a litter box, but it is a comfort for the ones who recognize it as a cozy bed that helps them keep their body heat.


It will make you feel better if you give them a box... if they use it to stay warm.???? who knows...
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Re: How cold is too cold?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Ferra » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:33 am


I think my rabbits are in a bit of a state of shock about the rapid cold snap here. (This is their first winter) I did give them boxes and they are ALL using them. But then it is between -22 and -28c (-8 and -18F) here. They do not look unhappy so far. Even my tiny doe is still active at this temperature. But they do seem to share with me a bit of hesitancy to get out of the nice warm 'bed' in the morning. My buck has been craning his neck when I feed and water in the morning, trying to reach for things without leaving the box.

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Re: How cold is too cold?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Homer » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:02 am


I have a friend that keeps theirs in a loafing shed in -20f weather. They just pack lots of straw in the hutches and they do fine. Mine on the other hand are in my wood stove heated shop (Rabbit Ramada Inn) :lol:. More for me than them I think. ;)
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Re: How cold is too cold?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:46 pm


Ferra wrote:I think my rabbits are in a bit of a state of shock about the rapid cold snap here. (This is their first winter) I did give them boxes and they are ALL using them. But then it is between -22 and -28c (-8 and -18F) here. They do not look unhappy so far. Even my tiny doe is still active at this temperature. But they do seem to share with me a bit of hesitancy to get out of the nice warm 'bed' in the morning. My buck has been craning his neck when I feed and water in the morning, trying to reach for things without leaving the box.


bURRRRR .... -8 and -18F !!!!
I will officially stop whining about the 31F we had thismorning....... Southern Canadians don't like the cold...
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Re: How cold is too cold?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Nymphadora » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:04 pm


SarniaTricia wrote:bURRRRR .... -8 and -18F !!!!
I will officially stop whining about the 31F we had thismorning....... Southern Canadians don't like the cold...


:rotfl:

Bwahaha! I'm so glad I'll never have to worry about our temperatures getting too low out here! We live in Southern California, and the lowest I think I've ever seen our temperatures around here is about 35F! :P

Y'all stay warm and cozy up there!

(But seriously, too bad rabbits seem to handle extreme cold better than extreme heat) :tumbleweed2:

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Re: How cold is too cold?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Homer » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:51 am


Nymphadora wrote:We live in Southern California, and the lowest I think I've ever seen our temperatures around here is about 35F! :P


I have a friend in the LA area that gives me a hard time too. He keeps saying you should move here and never see ice again. He grew up in Michigan! I keep telling him I'm not about to move all this stuff again. I'd burn it to the ground first...too old for another move but he could move it. He's older than we are. :lol:

The real reason mine were moved in is our extreme heat in the summer. When we started with Flemish Giants they were dropping like flies from heat stroke. They were moved into my insulated shop were I could keep them cooler. I just decided they could stay in the shop all year. (again, not moving all the hutches) I open the big door during the day for fresh air and sunlight then close up at night to keep fox, coons etc. away from them at night.

On yea, our high today is only going to be 21f so don't really want to hear about 35.

:nana:

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Re: How cold is too cold?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby SoDak Thriver » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:42 am


Due to a disaster that left me without an outbuilding, I literally have cages on blocks of wood about 1 foot off bare ground that I tarp up at night (and during the day with when there are high winds). They have lots of hay to work with, but rather than burrow into it, they tramp it all down flat, spread evenly across the cage. Last few nights have been single digits Fahrenheit with winds in the high 20mph range gusting to low 40mph. While this is a temporary situation, the rabbits are great! Happy to see me every morning, they rush to their feeders because they know there's going to be a pinch of rolled oats on the way.

As long as you keep wind/rain/snow off them, they'll be fine.
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Re: How cold is too cold?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby akane » Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:52 pm


Pretty dang cold. Mine just flattened their ears more in -30f
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Re: How cold is too cold?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby ButtonsPalace » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:25 pm


I have no hay to give or straw only hay cubes.. Will trashbags hammered up keep them warm enough in -18F windchill tonight?
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Re: How cold is too cold?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby AnnClaire » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:54 pm


As long as they have a wind break, they should be good to go. Remember, the buns are wearing FUR COATS and are well insulated against simple cold LOL
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Re: How cold is too cold?

Post Number:#14  Unread postby bigfoot_158 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:25 pm


We in ohio dont dip to negative very often but lately been having low in around 5 f. So I give just them a 12 by 12 piece of wood to sit on. Any thing bigger and they make a mess on it. Keep out of their favorite spot to pee and poop area. If you have to drill the wood and zip tie it to bottom of cage. I have 3 week old babies out there. I just keep it loaded with hay and they are still using it at night. :)
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Re: How cold is too cold?

Post Number:#15  Unread postby FourRingCircus » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:57 pm


How timely of a thread - we are hitting single digits and will be below freezing for multiple days in a row which just doesn't happen here :x . Trying to keep pipes thawed, and animals as well! I put a thick layer of hay down for the rabbits and they actually didn't eat it all over night :lol: :roll: They only have the front of the hutches open now, and are sheltered a bit so I figured they should be OK. Did the same for the chickens with the hay (heavy wire bottom), then stapled up a tarp over the open front of the coop. I don't think they left the coop at all today which is rare for them - I have seen them out tromping around in a hurricane before :roll: . Guineas were out running amok - watched one slip on the ice :lol: . Short haired dog is in a crate in the basement, long haired dog has a big fluffy bed in a dog house under the porch and out of the wind (the bed is so big it somewhat closes off the entrance as well)... not sure where the cat has hunkered down, I think I saw him curled up in a blanket in a crate by the basement.

Brrrr!

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