Getting Rabbits Ready for Winter

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The days are getting shorter and shorter….winter is right around the corner!  Now is the time to make your winter preparations so your rabbits can stay cozy & dry all winter long.  Every rabbit set up is different, but this is what we are doing to get ready!

First, we bought a hallway runner rug at a discount store.  Our hutch is 2 x 7 and we were able to find one that was 2 x 6 that fits perfectly!  The area that the rug doesn’t cover has their litter box so it worked out perfect.  The lower level floor of our hutch is covered with ceramic tiles.  The tiles are great in the summer to help keep our wooly friends cool, but no one wants to hop around on freezing cold tiles in the middle of February!

 I know what you are thinking…a rug, isn’t that just going to get ruined or be hard to clean?  Our rabbits are “mostly” litter box trained.  Rabbits are naturally clean animals and many rabbit keepers provide litter boxes for their bunnies.  Click here to learn about litter training rabbits.  Now I say “mostly” litter box trained because they aren’t perfect about it, but I’d say 95% of their poop is in the box.  I am already in the habit of taking my tiny hand broom & dust pan and sweeping up the “accidents” off the tiles every morning, so now I just do the same with the rug.  It’s a tight weave rug and their little cocoa puff poops just sweep right off.  Just look how cozy their house looks!

Getting rabbits ready for winter

Next, in the upper level “bedroom” we put a ton of hay for them to snuggle into at night.  It also serves as a great midnight snack.  Every couple days I add a little more hay to replace what has been eaten and fluff up what is already in there.

Getting rabbits ready for winter

We replaced their standard water bottle with a heated water bottle.  Rabbits have to have constant access to fresh water.  If you don’t buy a heated water bottle, you need to be committed to going out to change the water out several times a day as it freezes.  The one we purchased is designed for rabbits with a metal covered cord to prevent them from chewing through it.

Getting rabbits ready for winter

Finally, we covered the open wire “windows” with plastic window insulation.  We covered all the windows except the two in the back that face our house, we left those open for ventilation.  It will help keep their body heat in somewhat, but mostly it is to block the winds.  Fluffy Angora rabbits are just fine in even below zero temperatures (the cold is actually much easier for them to handle than the heat).  They should be kept from blowing winds, and you don’t want snow blowing into the hutch.  The solution is to set up wind blocks, you could use wood boards or tarps.  We went with the window insulation because it is clear allowing light in and making it easier to check on the rabbits.  It is also super easy to install.

Make sure you get one designed for OUTDOOR USE – this pack was more than enough for our whole hutch with plenty left over to do the hutch again next winter.

Getting rabbits ready for winter

Stick the double sided tape around all open wire parts

Getting rabbits ready for winter

Remove the tape backing, cut plastic sheeting to fit and press to seal around all edges

Getting rabbits ready for winter

That’s it!  Easy peasy and super affordable.  PLEASE NOTE!  Make sure the plastic sheeting is not somewhere the rabbits could access and nibble on. Remember, your rabbits still need fresh pellets & vegetables along with unlimited hay all winter long.  They also still need your companionship so don’t leave them alone all winter!  Bring them inside to hop around and play with you at least once a week (more if you can!)

Our buns are ready for whatever Mother Nature can dish out this winter!  Let it snow 🙂   What preparations do you make for winter?


5 comments

  1. Jennifer A says:

    We are still wondering if the cold is going to come here, we’ve been running the AC today because the house got so hot. I have gotten our animals ready for winter, but we’ll see if they need it. Your rabbits are so cute and fluffy! Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop!

  2. Jillian says:

    Do you have any suggestions for flies and mosquitoes? Last summer I ended up taking my buns inside when I saw them covered by mosquitos!

    • Liz says:

      Oh no! I haven’t had problems with mosquitoes yet, but we definitely battle flies. We usually hang up bags like these in both our rabbit & chicken runs: http://amzn.to/2lwKhYZ they smell pretty awful, but they really do work. We usually change them out once a month in the summer months. I know there are also several herbs that repel both flies & mosquitoes like lavender, citronella, marigold, basil and lemon balm.

  3. Hailey says:

    If i have an indoor playpen set up for the rabbit could i have it stay in there all winter long instead of leaving my bun outdoors

    • Liz says:

      Hi Hailey, you could definitely do that as long as your bunny is safe there from other animals you might have in the house (cats or dogs). Give her a little cardboard box to hide & sleep in and she will be quite happy 🙂

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