Preparing for first winter with bunny

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Hi All

I’m looking to prep for the wet weather followed by cold winter in the U.K. as this will be my first one having Daisy Mae and her first winter too.

she’s currently outside in a double hutch with a run on the grass and I’m planning on converting a spare shed into her autumn/ winter home. Happy with boarding it and putting lino flooring etc. Im also going to cut and add another window into it with winter being less sunny. I’ll also make a daytime “door” made of wooden frame and chicken wire and a protective covering for rain / wind but plenty of ventilation

I’m looking for advice of if you’d add any other lighting inside and any heating? If so what type / volt etc
Daisy will have the full run of the secure shed and I’m worried she won’t know to take herself into the hutch if she’s cold. (I do pamper her ridiculously 🤣)
Would you also put her in the hutch at night to help with this? I can then cover with blankets etc
Thank you in afvance

Lucie
 

JBun

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I've never kept a rabbit outdoors in cold weather, but here's some info on it that may be helpful in answering your questions.


 

Preitler

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I have some outdoor rabbits, they are more hardy than you would think. What they need is a dry place sheltered from the wind and rain but enough ventilation - shed sounds good -, otherwise they are perfectly fine outside down to -10°. Also, a water source is important, I use crocks with 10W 12V silicon heating pads under them with an adjustable power supply, worth the effort, scraping out ice of bowls was the worst chore in winter.

No heating. They need to adjust to the cold, grow a proper winter coat - heating can mess with that. Mine get garden time all year long (always able to get back into the hutch if they want). They like a dry resting place outside, like a small pallet with 2 walls and a roof. They get used to snow quickly.
 

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Joined
May 14, 2021
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Nottingham U.K.
I've never kept a rabbit outdoors in cold weather, but here's some info on it that may be helpful in answering your questions.


Thank you that’s really kind of you to share. Given me some good ideas 👍🏼
 
Joined
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I have some outdoor rabbits, they are more hardy than you would think. What they need is a dry place sheltered from the wind and rain but enough ventilation - shed sounds good -, otherwise they are perfectly fine outside down to -10°. Also, a water source is important, I use crocks with 10W 12V silicon heating pads under them with an adjustable power supply, worth the effort, scraping out ice of bowls was the worst chore in winter.

No heating. They need to adjust to the cold, grow a proper winter coat - heating can mess with that. Mine get garden time all year long (always able to get back into the hutch if they want). They like a dry resting place outside, like a small pallet with 2 walls and a roof. They get used to snow quickly.
Wow I can’t believe they love the snow, that looks so cute! Thank you for those tips, I didn’t think about the water so great shout. I’ll sort out how to give garden run a winter makeover. Thank you again, Lucie
 

Apollo’s Slave

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One thing I don’t think has been mentioned is that chicken wire can be easily bitten through, and foxes can get inside. I don’t know exactly what is a better wire, but there’s probably a few recommendations on the forum search.

you could add lighting in there if you wanted to - I think it’s personal preference, and heating, as mentioned, isn’t needed. My bun lived the first years of his life outside {in an enclosure with no heating or lights or real walls} while he was at the rescue, and he was very happy. He went through two winters before I got them and I actually adopted him in the middle of winter, he was so happy in the freezing cold. Running and zooming, while I was shivering in my coat lol.

I would let her have access to the shed all day, and just fill the hutch with lots of hay and straw in case she gets cold x
 
Joined
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Nottingham U.K.
One thing I don’t think has been mentioned is that chicken wire can be easily bitten through, and foxes can get inside. I don’t know exactly what is a better wire, but there’s probably a few recommendations on the forum search.

you could add lighting in there if you wanted to - I think it’s personal preference, and heating, as mentioned, isn’t needed. My bun lived the first years of his life outside {in an enclosure with no heating or lights or real walls} while he was at the rescue, and he was very happy. He went through two winters before I got them and I actually adopted him in the middle of winter, he was so happy in the freezing cold. Running and zooming, while I was shivering in my coat lol.

I would let her have access to the shed all day, and just fill the hutch with lots of hay and straw in case she gets cold x
Thank you, I’ll look into what’s best for the mesh part.
You’ve made me laugh about shivering in your coat because I’m already picturing this being me lol

thank you for your help
 

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