Rabbits, despite their small size and fragility, are remarkably well-adapted to cold temperatures. A healthy adult rabbit can be comfortable in temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit with proper husbandry, and can withstand even lower temperatures if required. Temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit can be too cold for rabbits, so take special care to keep your rabbit warm outside in these conditions.

Nutrition During Winter

In the winter months, rabbits are more active. They will need to use more energy to generate and maintain body heat. Extra food, such as pelleted diets and timothy hay, can ensure that your rabbit gets enough calories to get through the winter. Throughout the winter, keep an eye on your rabbit’s weight and health. 

If you notice he’s losing weight, you may want to consider increasing his daily food intake. Maintaining your rabbit’s proximity to freshwater is another major problem in the winter. Use heated water bowls or bottles to keep the water from freezing, and check them regularly.

Outdoor Temperature

Healthy adult rabbits who have become accustomed to living outside will tolerate temperatures below freezing if given proper nutrition and housing. Wet conditions will easily lower a rabbit’s body temperature, so keep an eye on your hutch to make sure it’s clean and dry.

Rabbits that are used to living indoors should not be left outdoors during the winter. It’s best to bring your rabbit outside in the early fall if you want him to spend the winter outside so he can gradually adapt as the temperatures drop.

Even with changes to their hutches and diets, very young or elderly rabbits, as well as those with medical problems, should be kept indoors because they may not be able to withstand cold temperatures. Even for healthy adult rabbits, temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit can be too cold. Keep in mind that the temperature inside the hutch might be warmer due to your rabbit’s body heat, so measure both the ambient and environmental temperatures.

Just To Be Safe

Keeping rabbits outside poses a variety of problems, the majority of which are directly related to the weather. Rabbits are susceptible to heatstroke in hot weather, and they are at risk of freezing or contracting cold-related illnesses during the winter months.

We will go through some tips for keeping a rabbit warm and happy throughout the winter, when temperatures can drop far below freezing depending on where you live, and biting wind and snow are constant concerns. To keep these animals healthy, precautions must be taken before the onset of winter, particularly in northern climates.

The Housing

The location and construction of your cage or hutch are the most important considerations. The cage should be placed in a sheltered area where it will be protected from the wind, especially from the north. It should have some kind of roof (many rabbit owners choose roofing tin because it can’t be chewed) and, depending on the type of shelter, protection on the sides.

Wooden hutches with wire bottoms and fronts are ideal for cold weather because they have a cover on the top and three sides, but they also risk being chewed by a bored rabbit. A thick canvas cover for the front of the cage can be made for optimum security, which can be rolled up during nice weather but placed in place during wind, storms, and at night.

How to Keep The Rabbits Dry

Keeping your pet rabbit dry is the most important consideration during cold weather. Most rabbit breeds have dense coats that act as excellent weather insulators, but if water gets to their skin, they will be unable to remain warm. The majority of these dangers can be avoided by keeping the animal away from precipitation, but there are still others.

Water dishes should be firmly secured to the cage’s side to prevent the rabbit from knocking them over. This dish should ideally be elevated above the cage floor so that the rabbit does not accidentally step in it.

Staying clean and dry is easy with wire-bottomed cages that keep waste, spilled food, and water out of the rabbit’s reach. This causes any material to fall through the bars and out of the cage entirely. Many cages come with waste trays, which should be positioned far enough below the cage itself so that it does not fill up to the point where the rabbit’s feet are exposed. This tray will need to be checked on a regular basis depending on how the cage is set up to ensure that it does not fill up with snow.

Water Storage

In freezing temperatures, it can be difficult to keep your rabbit hydrated. Rabbits suffer from severe dehydration quickly, particularly in the cold, and they must have constant access to water. 

While most rabbit owners choose water bottles with a ball-activated tube so that their rabbits have access to clean water at all times, these can be dangerous in the winter. Since the thin metal tube freezes much faster than the water in the container, caretakers may mistakenly assume that their rabbit still has drinkable water when the tube is actually solidly frozen.

A simple dish, or one that is supplied by a 20-ounce or 1-liter plastic bottle, is preferable. The wide-mouthed bottles do not freeze as quickly as the others. If heated dishes are available that the rabbit cannot chew, the water can be prevented from freezing completely. 

Place the water dish inside the enclosure, high enough off the ground to prevent it from being stepped on or spilled. Fill the water container every day and check it many times during the day, particularly if the weather is extremely cold. The heat from the rabbit’s body inside a well-protected cage will sometimes be enough to prevent the water from freezing or at least slow it down.

Final Thought

To conclude, rabbits are mammals that are very adapted to cold weather through years of evolutions, not too cold, however. It is important to be highlighted that whether you are keeping your rabbits indoor or outdoor, you must take precautions and have the knowledge while keeping the rabbit’s best interest and well-being in mind to ensure that any unwanted ‘accidents’ can occur.

https://www.rabbitproducersassociation.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/How-Cold-Can-Rabbits-Tolerate.gifhttps://www.rabbitproducersassociation.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/How-Cold-Can-Rabbits-Tolerate-150x150.gifNetherland Dwarf RabbitUncategorizedRabbits, despite their small size and fragility, are remarkably well-adapted to cold temperatures. A healthy adult rabbit can be comfortable in temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit with proper husbandry, and can withstand even lower temperatures if required. Temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit can be too cold for...All you need to know about Netherland Dwarf Rabbit