Rabbit hates new hutch

Help Support RabbitsOnline:

fluffy_lop

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
3
Location
Australia
A friend gave us two rabbits. One died, unfortunately, but the other is going really well. It lives inside, but I really want it to move outside. I purchased a hutch, but it hates it. It just sulks in the corner, won't go into the house part if it's cold and windy and won't eat or drink unless you sit with it and hand feed it.
I think it might be lonely (it's a desexed male) and I am considering buying it a new friend.
I have three questions:
1) How can I get it to adapt to spending time outdoors in the hutch (it's had months now, and no luck)
2) If I buy it a new friend, will it get on with the friend, or will I end up with two rabbits, housed separately - twice the work, twice the expense...
3) Would a new friend help it adapt to life outdoors?
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
10,261
Reaction score
5,484
Location
Utah, , USA
Your rabbit is depressed, at being alone and isolated by itself. He obviously enjoys human company and contact, and probably has bonded with you, otherwise he probably would have been ok being moved outdoors. I would suggest keeping your bun back inside so he doesn't end up going into GI stasis from lack of appetite.


Then if you continue to want to move your rabbit outdoors, find a fixed bondmate first. Yes, having a friend can help your rabbit adapt to being outdoors and away from you. Finding a bondmate is best accomplished by finding a shelter or rescue with already desexed rabbits, that allows you to bring your rabbit for dates, to find a friend with a compatible personality that your bun gets along with. Otherwise, yes, you could end up with two rabbits that won't bond.



Once bonding is accomplished and you want to move your rabbits outdoors, one thing you have to take into account is if the outdoor temps have changed and are drastically cooler than inside your home. If they are then you will need to wait until spring to move your rabbit(s) outdoors. Rabbits have to have time to grow their winter coat with gradual cooling of temperatures. Suddenly putting a rabbit outdoors in drastically colder temps when it has always been indoors, will risk your rabbit becoming ill and possibly die from hypothermia. So you need to either wait until spring to put your bonded rabbits out, or to wait until spring to find a bondmate, then bond and move them both out then.
 

fluffy_lop

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
3
Location
Australia
Thanks for your response. Have no fear, bunny is back indoors. I don't leave him outside for longer than a couple of hours, when the kids are home and they stay with him. It's winter here at the moment, and it is too cold for him to be outside at night, because we get frosts.
However, in summer some days exceed 40 degrees C, so the bunny will always have to spend some time indoors. I also want to keep it away from flies, because of the risk of fly-strike.
Unfortunately there is no animal shelter here, so I will just have to buy a bunny and take pot luck. This bunny is medium-sized, if we get a dwarf bunny, will that matter? Or should we look for a bigger one?
 
Last edited:

sabrina92

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
24
Reaction score
27
Location
California
Thanks for your response. Have no fear, bunny is back indoors. I don't leave him outside for longer than a couple of hours, when the kids are home and they stay with him. It's winter here at the moment, and it is too cold for him to be outside at night, because we get frosts.
However, in summer some days exceed 40 degrees C, so the bunny will always have to spend some time indoors. I also want to keep it away from flies, because of the risk of fly-strike.
Unfortunately there is no animal shelter here, so I will just have to buy a bunny and take pot luck. This bunny is medium-sized, if we get a dwarf bunny, will that matter? Or should we look for a bigger one?
I don’t know about sizing but when bonding the bunnies I know most people put them in separate cages next to each other to get used to one another. Litter boxes on opposite ends, food right next to each other and swap the blankets so they get used to each other scents.
 

fluffy_lop

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
3
Location
Australia
I don’t know about sizing but when bonding the bunnies I know most people put them in separate cages next to each other to get used to one another. Litter boxes on opposite ends, food right next to each other and swap the blankets so they get used to each other scents.
OK, I'll give it a go. He's very noisy in the night, and keeps me awake. I would like him to eventually live outside with his friend...
They are quite complicated to own.
 

Blue eyes

Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
8,344
Reaction score
5,489
Location
Arizona, USA
With the extreme temps you get, it would be better to house indoors. I would suggest housing them in a part of the home where no one is sleeping. I kept mine in the main living area of the home.

There are tips for housing rabbits indoors. My website is dedicated to just this topic. Perhaps some browsing through there will help with tips and suggestions to make indoor living easier.

Having rabbits as household pets is the best way to socialize with them and enjoy them. Outdoor rabbits tend to get less social (human) interaction. When you think about it, many with outdoor rabbits may only be actively interacting with (or even being nearby) the rabbits for an hour or two each day (being generous, I think). That leaves 22 hours per day isolated from that.

Here's the website (it is easier to view, I think, on a laptop or desktop. The mobile version I find less user friendly):
 

fluffy_lop

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
3
Location
Australia
With the extreme temps you get, it would be better to house indoors. I would suggest housing them in a part of the home where no one is sleeping. I kept mine in the main living area of the home.

There are tips for housing rabbits indoors. My website is dedicated to just this topic. Perhaps some browsing through there will help with tips and suggestions to make indoor living easier.

Having rabbits as household pets is the best way to socialize with them and enjoy them. Outdoor rabbits tend to get less social (human) interaction. When you think about it, many with outdoor rabbits may only be actively interacting with (or even being nearby) the rabbits for an hour or two each day (being generous, I think). That leaves 22 hours per day isolated from that.

Here's the website (it is easier to view, I think, on a laptop or desktop. The mobile version I find less user friendly):
Thanks for your help. This forum is great.
The bunny is at the opposite end of the house from me, but I am a light sleeper.
The bunny is my daughter's, not mine, and I would love it to spend at least some time outdoors, but you are right, it cannot be expected to stay outside in 40 degree heat (the summer before last we had 21 days in a row when it was between 38 and 42 degrees, and about a dust storm per week, as well as thick smoke from the fires), and also not in frost, like we're having now. You are probably wondering why I live here! I would only ever put it out with a friend, it's clearly so unhappy on its own, and it's so tame, they brush it and stroke it and play with it, but people are not bunnies, and I feel it needs a bunny to be with all the time.
I'll have a look at your site, and we'll gradually introduce changes.
 

Latest posts

Top