How to keep my rabbits warm in the winter

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ajohal

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Hi guys,
I've got 2 beautiful rabbits, both netherland dwarfs, male and a female called Rabby and Nemo.
In the summer they live in my garden and in the winter they live in the garage.
When I first bought them they were house rabbits but I had to move back home and so my mum would prefer if they were outdoors. She doesn't mind me bringing them into the house and running around though.
Last year in the winter we had a heater for them but the gas bills were really high. So I was wondering if anyone had good ways of keeping them warm.
The hutches are next to each other and I have arranged the pens around the hutches (they don't have access to the pens at night). I have put carpet where the pens are and one of the hutches doesn't have flooring at the bottom, so there is carpet there.
They are living in separate hutches as I am bonding them. They spend the most time sitting where the hutches are closest to each other.
I also bought a pet pad thing to keep them warm and blankets. The problem is Rabby will pee on the pet pad and they will both just scrunch the blankets into balls and so I'm guessing they aren't using them. I had arranged them in the corners where they sat the most.
When the temp reaches 3 degrees or lower I will use a heater at night.
They also have a lot of hay in their hutches too.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!:D
 

ldoerr

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When I had my rabbtry I kept my rabbits outside year round. Our winters do not get much below 20*F at the lowest ever and even in the 20s is rare. But what I would do was to stuff their cages FULL of hay and shut the barn doors. They were always good with this. My bottles would freeze at night though so would have to thaw them and replace 2x per day. You could get around this with a water bottle/bowl heater. You could also put a blanket and then a tarp over the blanket on the sides of their cage. This will keep it warmer in the cage and prevent drafts.
 

iLuvMyLilBuns

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Here's what I do for my bunnies in the winter :) It gets really cold here below zero but everything seems to go alright :)

I have this hutch:

http://www.amazon.com/Ware-01516-Premium-Hutch-Large/dp/B000HG7384/ref=sr_1_21?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1351308891&sr=1-21&keywords=large+hutch


And this cover:

http://www.amazon.com/Ware-Manufacturing-Premium-Hutch-Cover/dp/B000HGB934/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351308871&sr=8-1&keywords=hutch+cover

The cover protects them from wind, rain, snow, and drafts. The hutch has a box and I put a bunch of Kaytee Granule Bedding at the bottom and a ton of hay on top for them to burrow in. Underneath all of that I put this snuggle safe heatpad:

http://www.amazon.com/Pet-Supply-Imports-SnuggleSafe-Heating/dp/B00008AJH9/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1351308754&sr=1-1&keywords=snuggle+safe+heatpad

It works great and stays pretty warm. I also use this heated waterbottle:

http://www.amazon.com/Farm-Innovators-Heated-Bottle-Animals/dp/B000TZ7496/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1351308782&sr=1-1&keywords=heated+waterbottle

The waterbottleworks great and it evenheats in below zero temps. Waay easier than thawing out the water bottle every hour ;) On the wire part of the cage I put a thick blanket for them to lay on because the wire can get cold. My bunnies live outside all winter and do fine but if there is a snowstorm or it is unbearibly cold I will put them inmy garage.

Hope I helped!
 
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ajohal

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Thanks so much for the advice guys :biggrin:

I've combined all of your answers and I've got some blankets in the hutches, and some cardboard boxes full of hay for them to snuggle in.

I'm thinking of putting some sort of insulation, sort of what people use for walls and stuff...will have to hunt in some diy shops!

Thanks so much for the advice though!
 

ajohal

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Luv-bunniz

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My outdoor rabbits live in aviary-style outdoor pens all year round without issues (not tooo far from you). They have large bed boxes which I stuff with straw (better for warmth than hay) and at night I cover them all with a roll of carpet scrap on the outside walls, covered further with plastic sheeting to keep everything dry. Carpet helps to insulate and, more importantly, keep out the wind.

I don't pander to mine much as rabbits really aren't delicate little China dolls. Generally speaking, they deal well with the cold as long as they're protected from the wind/drafts and rain, and given a little extra food through the colder months. I do have heaters (tubular greenhouse heaters, cheap to run and they can be set to a thermostat) installed, but they've only ever switched themselves on once when it was a really rough night.
 

Bunnylova4eva

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How long do you all think the snugglesafe works for? I've been wondering about this for my buns as they both live outdoors in hutches.


As for warmth, Ripley's hutch is alot like Kylie's, except bigger as we were able to custom build it ourselves. Then in the winder, we buy plastic from a roll at the hardware store and stable on each wire side of the hutches. Then I cover it with several layers of heavy blankets and 2 tarps. In the wooden side of the hutch I have carpet, a fleece blanket and stuff it full of hay. Then we have a light we turn on if its super cold. On the wire side it thick carpet with layered fleece blankeys and we have heated water bottles as well.

I'd like to bring the buns in but we'll see. Trying to work out some out somethings.
 

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