I am wondering if i should start moving my rabbits inside

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Should i try moving my rabbits to being indoor rabbits?

  • yes

    Votes: 5 71.4%
  • no

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • you should at least try, but if it gets too hard you should maybe take a break

    Votes: 2 28.6%

  • Total voters
    7

raven123

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my two rabbits are currently outside in the minnesotan winter and i feel really bad for them out there. i know my parents would let me try having indoor bunnies but they would have to stay in the garage at first. should i keep them outside or try moving them inside. If you think i should start moving them inside by putting them in the garage please give me some tips because i have been having trouble with litter training and i want some ways to keep the environment clean and without nasty smells (my dad hates smells). I would like tips on litter training and just cleaning up on them in general also for cages and free roam and if i should make a little hut or what i should do.
 

Catlyn

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First of all, are your bunnies neutered and how cold is the winter? How would you hold your buns enclosed in the garage?Are there no strong smells in the garage? If not and you have plenty of room and the temperature change won't be too sudden, you could start bringing them in. I also brought my bun inside just recently before our true winter, the change was about 20°C.Gave him loads of stuff to cool on and he was fine after a couple days. I brought him in with hutch and everything, but his litterbox is just an open grid place with a big pan underneath, which is lined with a garbage bag, then some litter pellets. We didn't have to teach him to go there. They shouldn't free roam in the garage, i think, just in an ex pen or something until they get used to the inside. If you litter train them down there, then bring them up, they will need litter training again. Just bring their old litterbox or something, and when you see them about to do their thing, scoop them up into the right place. That should do the trick.
 
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I spent two winters in Minneapolis. I remember walking to the grocery store in -50 with wind chill weather. I know people say that Rabbits can handle cold weather, but in nature rabbits dig holes and holes are insulated.
 

Hermelin

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How cold do it get in Minneapolis, how are the bunny caged built?

I wouldn’t recommend taking in bunny with winter fur, if you can’t slowly trap up the temp from outdoors to indoors. They have already gotten their thick winter fur and can only handle 30 min indoors, they will get hot ears and start breathing fast. They easily overheat, which can be deadly for bunnies.

Now I go after my own temperature in sweden, which is -5 C. So it’s warmer than the Northen part of sweden ^^

So if you can slowly take the temp up during 2 weeks and brush them daily, I wouldn’t recommend taking them indoors.

Bunnies can handle -20 C with a lot of straw and off the ground. Colder they will have an isolated part of the cage with a heating source in it. So they can warm up if they are freezing.

At least they are 2 so they can warm each other up with curling up together.
 

Catlyn

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Heh, Sewden and Estonia are not so much apart in winter, it seems. How cold is your average cold winter, @Hermelin ?
Our average cold-cold is around -20 to -25.
Glad i moved Musti in before temps went lower than -5. Currently it is -5 and our first lasting snow came in.
 

Hermelin

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Heh, Sewden and Estonia are not so much apart in winter, it seems. How cold is your average cold winter, @Hermelin ?
Our average cold-cold is around -20 to -25.
Glad i moved Musti in before temps went lower than -5. Currently it is -5 and our first lasting snow came in.

I’m more to the southern part of sweden, so it only gets around -10 to -15 C during winter when it starts. Often snow will come in january and stay to april/march.

Still haven’t gotten snow yet but it will rain today because the temperature will go up during the day and freeze during night again. So it’s more ice than snow at my place xD
 

Slerpflerf

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If you have a garage it's likely still colder than the rest of the house, but just not as cold as outside, correct?

As long as they arent going from one temperature to another extreme they should be okay. BUT it is harder to put them back out. So once you take them in they will be in for the winter , and if its "not working" because they smell bad, you wont have the option to put them back outside.

Rabbits do well in moderate cold, but their wild counterparts also live in burrows that never reach freezing temperatures and are well insulated, are draft free and dry.
So if you are leaving yours outside, you need to ensure that those requirements are all met.
You will also need to be sure their water doesnt freeze.

Where I am its considered good practice to take rabbits indoors for the winter months, as long as they are not in a part of the house that is heated (the garage for most homes) and it means that they will be ready to go back out after the last Spring frost.
I think it makes caring for them easier, as you are not going out into the rain or snow to check on them (which is not an enjoyable task)
We also get predators which become desperately hungry in winter so it is for safety too.

In terms of litter training, are they neutered? And do they have litter trays ? If your rabbits are on substrate bedding (like wood shavings, yesterdays news etc) it makes it much harder to train them and keep the area clean. I barely had any work to do when I took my rescue in and provided him with fleece flooring (which washes and dries very fast) and wood stove pellets in his litter tray. If you are worried they will pee on the fleece and it will soak through, you can lay puppy pads under the fleece, or a water proof table cloth(which should make keeping everything clean and fresh easy )
 

JenGibs

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First, you guys are all crazy! LOL!!!! How do you handle that freaking cold! Geeeeeezzzz!

In all seriousness, I’ve wanted to ask this many....many....times but I know the types of responses I will get. I’m going to put this out there but please know that I am genuinely wondering and do not mean to be bashing anyone- there is just no nice way to ask this.
Why do people get bunnies as pets and leave them outside in a hutch? Cold or hot. Even with going out daily to feed and care for them is nothing compared to the companionship they get as an indoor bunny should. Sure you can keep them warm and dry but they aren’t “pets” out there all alone. Sure, you can have a bonded pair and they are literally not “alone” but why get a second pet so the first pet isn’t alone outside in the first place? I know some people have that set up because they are breeders (whole different issue) but I read a lot about bun parents who have them as pets housed outside. I am genuinely curious as to how your thoughts are made this way. Maybe it will help me not to be judge-mental... I don’t know. I like to think that everyone has their own reason for why they do certain things. Keeping family pets outside all the time has just been one of those things I have never understood or been okay with.
I have always taught my daughters growing up with animals that if YOU wouldn’t want to do it, live it, eat it, drink it, sleep that way, deal with that temperature 24/7, or anything else, don’t expect them to. You wouldn’t drink dirty water, so don’t expect them to...sort of thing.
I dunno. Maybe working in rescue, foster and so on for so many years has resulted in the fact that I have seen the worst of the worst and maybe overcompensate my feelings because of it. I have just never understood why a pet, any pet, is brought into a family only to be left outside in a crate or cage or locked in a small space (even indoors). My pets are like my kids and even though they are extra work, I wouldn’t have gotten them if I didn’t have the time, energy or resources to care for them like a part of the family.
When I read the post, my first thought (literally) was the concrete floor of the garage. That is what we have here in the US (Georgia). Wouldn’t the concrete floor be colder than the bottom of the hutch? I had a foster kitty once that was FIV+ and could not be around my other kitties. He stayed in the garage until I found him a home but I put those foam tile things on the floor as a barrier from the concrete. He was a cat and I know that’s different but that’s just what came to mind first. My daughters and I would literally rotate being out in the garage with him. I had so much guilt that he was out there- even though it was attached to the house, right on the side of the kitchen. Just knowing he was alone broke my heart.
I had a co-worker from Sweden and she was so neat! I loved hearing about her country. So. Many. Holidays. . I also learned bunnies are a big thing there and “stray” animals are NOT as big of a thing as they are here. She was shocked to see the quantity of shelters, rescues and stuff.
 
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Hermelin

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First, you guys are all crazy! LOL!!!! How do you handle that freaking cold! Geeeeeezzzz!

In all seriousness, I’ve wanted to ask this many....many....times but I know the types of responses I will get. I’m going to put this out there but please know that I am genuinely wondering and do not mean to be bashing anyone- there is just no nice way to ask this.
Why do people get bunnies as pets and leave them outside in a hutch? Cold or hot. Even with going out daily to feed and care for them is nothing compared to the companionship they get as an indoor bunny should. Sure you can keep them warm and dry but they aren’t “pets” out there all alone. Sure, you can have a bonded pair and they are literally not “alone” but why get a second pet so the first pet isn’t alone outside in the first place? I know some people have that set up because they are breeders (whole different issue) but I read a lot about bun parents who have them as pets housed outside. I am genuinely curious as to how your thoughts are made this way. Maybe it will help me not to be judge-mental... I don’t know. I like to think that everyone has their own reason for why they do certain things. Keeping family pets outside all the time has just been one of those things I have never understood or been okay with.
I have always taught my daughters growing up with animals that if YOU wouldn’t want to do it, live it, eat it, drink it, sleep that way, deal with that temperature 24/7, or anything else, don’t expect them to. You wouldn’t drink dirty water, so don’t expect them to...sort of thing.
I dunno. Maybe working in rescue, foster and so on for so many years has resulted in the fact that I have seen the worst of the worst and maybe overcompensate my feelings because of it. I have just never understood why a pet, any pet, is brought into a family only to be left outside in a crate or cage or locked in a small space (even indoors). My pets are like my kids and even though they are extra work, I wouldn’t have gotten them if I didn’t have the time, energy or resources to care for them like a part of the family.
When I read the post, my first thought (literally) was the concrete floor of the garage. That is what we have here in the US (Georgia). Wouldn’t the concrete floor be colder than the bottom of the hutch? I had a foster kitty once that was FIV+ and could not be around my other kitties. He stayed in the garage until I found him a home but I put those foam tile things on the floor as a barrier from the concrete. He was a cat and I know that’s different but that’s just what came to mind first. My daughters and I would literally rotate being out in the garage with him. I had so much guilt that he was out there- even though it was attached to the house, right on the side of the kitchen. Just knowing he was alone broke my heart.
I had a co-worker from Sweden and she was so neat! I loved hearing about her country. So. Many. Holidays. . I also learned bunnies are a big thing there and “stray” animals are NOT as big of a thing as they are here. She was shocked to see the quantity of shelters, rescues and stuff.

Why I keep my bunnies in hutch are that my doe get super stressed living indoors. I tried for 3 months, she scratched the doors, tipped the litter box, peed everywhere and kept everyone awake.

She would stomp through the night while grunting/growling as soon it got dark. She had the whole house as her place but she was not happy. Myself even let the radio be on and all the lights in the kitchen for her.

When she moved outdoors, she stopped with the stomping and I could see her binky and dig huge holes in the pen. The other bunny that live outdoors was to keep her company but the main part was to slowly build up his trust towards humans.

Had no place in the house where he could be away from humans and he would be up on guard 24/7 ready to attack and run. He ran often into walls and got stuck under stuff. Moving out made it so he could slowly build up trust and confident towards humans and during summer he moves back in and live with us and my other indoor bunny.

So outdoor aren’t bad, you make it more natural for the bunny. They have a larger space that’s just for them, they can dig how much they want and I can just throw in fresh branches. When I have time and not a lot of study, I spend 1-4 hours with them outdoors. Like letting my doe run free up in the woods while I walk behind her or take my buck on a walk, learn them tricks and just snuggle with them.

I prefer they live indoors free roaming as my indoor bunny, because all my bunnies are couch potatoes that love to snuggle up. But my doe can’t handle it and she need at least have a bunny friend she can see and sniff on. Didn’t work bonding them, but I can see her sleep next to him or just sit near his hutch.

Also during the winter my doe prefer sleeping in the snow than up in the hutch, she often look like a dark gray fluffy ball all covered with snow. So I have to lock her up in the hutch if it’s going to rain or it’s wet snow, just to make sure she dosen’t get all wet and cold ^^

I feel bad for my buck outdoors a bit because the hutch are on the smaller side, but he spends 9 hours connected to the run that’s 15 sq m while my doe have a 3 sq m hutch and get to be in the run 8 hours. I have split up the time between when they are active the most.
 

Lala7

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First, you guys are all crazy! LOL!!!! How do you handle that freaking cold! Geeeeeezzzz!

In all seriousness, I’ve wanted to ask this many....many....times but I know the types of responses I will get. I’m going to put this out there but please know that I am genuinely wondering and do not mean to be bashing anyone- there is just no nice way to ask this.
Why do people get bunnies as pets and leave them outside in a hutch? Cold or hot. Even with going out daily to feed and care for them is nothing compared to the companionship they get as an indoor bunny should. Sure you can keep them warm and dry but they aren’t “pets” out there all alone. Sure, you can have a bonded pair and they are literally not “alone” but why get a second pet so the first pet isn’t alone outside in the first place? I know some people have that set up because they are breeders (whole different issue) but I read a lot about bun parents who have them as pets housed outside. I am genuinely curious as to how your thoughts are made this way. Maybe it will help me not to be judge-mental... I don’t know. I like to think that everyone has their own reason for why they do certain things. Keeping family pets outside all the time has just been one of those things I have never understood or been okay with.
I have always taught my daughters growing up with animals that if YOU wouldn’t want to do it, live it, eat it, drink it, sleep that way, deal with that temperature 24/7, or anything else, don’t expect them to. You wouldn’t drink dirty water, so don’t expect them to...sort of thing.
I dunno. Maybe working in rescue, foster and so on for so many years has resulted in the fact that I have seen the worst of the worst and maybe overcompensate my feelings because of it. I have just never understood why a pet, any pet, is brought into a family only to be left outside in a crate or cage or locked in a small space (even indoors). My pets are like my kids and even though they are extra work, I wouldn’t have gotten them if I didn’t have the time, energy or resources to care for them like a part of the family.
When I read the post, my first thought (literally) was the concrete floor of the garage. That is what we have here in the US (Georgia). Wouldn’t the concrete floor be colder than the bottom of the hutch? I had a foster kitty once that was FIV+ and could not be around my other kitties. He stayed in the garage until I found him a home but I put those foam tile things on the floor as a barrier from the concrete. He was a cat and I know that’s different but that’s just what came to mind first. My daughters and I would literally rotate being out in the garage with him. I had so much guilt that he was out there- even though it was attached to the house, right on the side of the kitchen. Just knowing he was alone broke my heart.
I had a co-worker from Sweden and she was so neat! I loved hearing about her country. So. Many. Holidays. . I also learned bunnies are a big thing there and “stray” animals are NOT as big of a thing as they are here. She was shocked to see the quantity of shelters, rescues and stuff.



My rabbits live outside because when I first got them, that was the only way I could have any sort of pet. I begged my dad for a dog or cat for years and he never let. Eventually he got rabbits, originally with the intention of breeding and eating them. Well, the ones he ate was absolutely heartbreaking because they were each pets to me and people would make fun of me when they were served at the table. But after my dad stopped eating them, we kept them as pets. That was the only sort of pet I could have, and the only way possible. I spent a lot of time with them. I formed bonds with some (they'd run around me in circles, learn tricks, etc.). In the winter I would put them in my coat and sit outside for hours with them. In the summer id lay on the trampoline and pet them while 'napping' (not really, that wouldn't be safe). I spend a lot of time with them, and the rabbits loved it outside. They got to eat grass all day, dig in the garden, make a mess and not care. Some would have free reign of the entire backyard, others had runs, others I'd train on a leash. I could go on and on. It was easy to feed them and maintain because I didnt have to worry about ruining furniture or making a mess or smell. We all loved it really, and it was a great way to get me outside as a kid. But time has passed, I have a busier schedule now and hate the cold. So its become really difficult to maintain them outside. I only have two left now, but with my change in lifestyle would 100% bring them inside if it was a possibility. Since then I have gotten parrots and I can say without a doubt that when you're not a kid anymore with all the time in the world, it is much more enjoyable to have your pets living inside and be a part of your everyday life.

My personal opinion is that it comes down to your personal life and rabbit on what is better. It used to be better for my rabbits to live outside, but now id say it would be better to have them inside. I think that for most people, it would be better to have them indoors. I got lucky as a kid because I am a huge animal lover and actually loved being outside with them. Not a lot of kids are like that anymore.
 
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zuppa

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I felt so sorry reading about your dad eating your rabbits, i can imagine how heartbreaking it was to you and especially when other people had no mercy with their jokes. When I was a little girl my grandpa kept a few rabbits in a hutch, for me and it was intended that for food as well, but it came out they had no belly to kill them, same was with chickens they had fresh eggs every morning but bought chickens on Saturday market for food, killed by somebody else. My grandparents lived in a small town built a nice little house with a beautiful garden and well and all, my grandpa was a very hard-working man, he kept bees and everything was very well managed, his garage was like a museum to me everything in its place. He grew up on a farm and I remember his sister's family kept animals for food and feather etc so I think as a practical man he thought keeping rabbits will be a win-win for them. Didn't work, I don't think they ever had a rabbit meat once. So I see your father stopped eating them as well :)
 

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