RO Member Threads http://rabbitsonline.net/view_topic.php?id=1964&forum_id=1&jump_to=229634 Excerpt: First post, courtesy of Carolyn: Just some tips that might be helpful before the chill comes. - Rabbits generally are most comfortable between the temperatures of 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, rabbits need some help in keeping warm because when temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, they are more prone to illness. That said, as long as it is well protected from drafts and has a constant supply of liquid water a rabbit (and even newborn kits in a well-made nest) it is said that they can withstand temperatures to -20F without additional heat, but they should be provided with more hay and food. - Black Oil Sunflower Seeds act as a hot food for rabbits and generate more body heat. Hay can do this too. Not a bad idea to have some handy for those bitterly cold nights. - A wet rabbit is prone to getting illnesses especially if there are drafts. Keep your rabbit protected from the moisture in the air. A little wetness on the outside of the coat isn't going to harm your rabbit, but if it gets to the underlayer of the coat, it could make the rabbit very sick. Some folks keep blankets handy to wipe off wet fur when they check on their bunnies throughout the day. - Make sure the cage is free of leaks, has a sturdy roof and sides, small mesh wire without any sharp areas, wood without splinters, and a sturdy lock. - It's very important to protect your rabbit from the wind and drafty areas. If you have outside hutches, plastic tarps can go a long way in helping protect your rabbits. Be sure that the wind isn't able to blow through the underneath the cage, but do keep a space for the rabbit to get fresh air. Don't close the rabbit off too tight. That could cause respiratory problems and/or colds. They do need some air ventilation. Fresh air is extremely important, just not drafts as that creates stress and illness. - If you can, provide him a box inside his cage stuffed with lots of straw or hay in which to burrow and keep warm. Blankets aren't advised as they can hold bacteria if soiled and some rabbits will chew on them and ingest them causing intestinal blockage. - The amount of feed should be slightly increased during colder temperatures. Don't overfeed your rabbit, but know that it takes calories for rabbits to maintain its body heat. - Provide your rabbit with hay for them to eat as well as dig into as it will help them keep warm. - Rabbit bedding must remain clean and dry as it could freeze. - Be sure to keep your hay and other greenery you give to your rabbits at room temperature and don't feed or allow them to eat it if it is frozen. It could be a fatal error. - Predators can get pretty hungry when the food supply is low in the winter. Be sure your rabbits are protected. - Rabbits will starve to death without water. Be sure they have fresh water at all times. Many people with outside rabbits use crocks instead of water bottles as the bottles can freeze up. You also want to make sure the crocks don't ice over as that is not enough of water for the rabbit to take in. If you are using crocks, be sure to change them at least twice a day as they could freeze over. You also have the option of using a heated bowl if you wish to go that route. If you wish to see what one looks like, check out:http://www.countrysidepet.com/level.itml/icOid/317 - Some folks leave a light on inside the rabbit's cage for some extra heat on very chilly nights. Others provide a space heater for their rabbits if a light won't work. Don't put it too close to your rabbit as you don't want them to overheat either. Because heat and hay are such a safety issue, some breeders use box heaters that are made for reptiles. - If you must bring your rabbit inside, put him in the coolest room so that when you take him back outside, the drastic change in temperature won't shock his system.