How to keep outside bunnies warm?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by shelleyd2008, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I have 3 bunnies that live in the barn in cages. I was wondering if I should put a box of some sort or something in their cages to help them stay warm? I also read that they should have something soft to lay on, to get them off the wire. Any ideas as to what I could use that they wouldn't eat?
  2. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Bunnies do much better when they have a nest box/sleeping box in the cage. Line it with straw and have it enclosed on all sides with just a hole large enough for bunny cut out near one end. Bunny can get inside the box and avoid drafts that way. Straw is always a good choice because they usually do not eat much of it if you are providing foliage and greens for them.

    As you have three of them, you could move the cages close together and cover three sides with a weather barrier such as canvas or a tarp to block wind and so forth. Leave the front open so you can get into the cages and so there is airflow. Heat lamps are options too.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2008
  3. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Yes cover the top,back,and sides. Place a small board for them to get off the wire. Would not use heat lamps or heater, this will hurt them getting their winter fur. If you start use heat now . Need to keep them heated until spring.
  4. feathersgalore

    feathersgalore Songster

    Sep 4, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Most of my bunnies live in the barn. The big thing isn't the cold its drafts. If your barn is draft free there shouldn't be a problem. I don't put nestboxes in unless there is going to be babies(otherwise they just use them as litterboxes). All my cages have a plastic resting board but I don't put anything else in for the winter.
  5. arllcountrygirl

    arllcountrygirl lavender nutt

    They will actually do better in cooler weather than warmer. Just make sure there are no drafts. You can use hay/straw for them to snuggle up in if you want. You can also use the plasitc rests that lay in the bottom of the cage or even use a piece of sheetrock. Sheetrock is easier to find and you don't need a huge piece and it doesn't hurt the bunnies.
  6. NewHopePoultry

    NewHopePoultry Crowing

    Apr 9, 2007
    Rabbits usually do pretty good in the cold as long as they are out of drafts.
    Most rabbits will uses boxes as litter boxes rather then stay in them to keep warm.
    Just put something over some of the wire. I usually put a tarp over them(leaving the front open) and they do just fine. I wouldnt use a heat lamp unless you have babies or its freezing.
    When its very cold here, I just put some straw in the cages, but usually nothing is needed.
  7. EllyMae

    EllyMae Songster

    I use those plastic resting boards you can buy at petsmart for my big rabbit. But I put a piece of cardboard--like from a box that I take apart--in my holland lops cage. He will shred it, but it is also a great boredom breaker. When he shreds it to the point it is useless, I give him a fresh piece. He will take naps on the cardboard when he isn't shredding it.
  8. poultrykeeper08

    poultrykeeper08 Songster

    Feb 12, 2008
    Agawam , Ma
    Not to start a fuss or anything but i find it quite cruel to keep a rabbit in a cage with nothing but a matt or somthing for it to sit on . Wouldnt you be bored in a wire cage with nothing in it ? i know i would

    My rabbits live in hutches when they are out side with houses attached filled with hay

    and the one hutch thats doesnt have a house has a card board box wit a hole cute in it filled with hay .

    I have the same problem with puting boxes in the cage and them using it as a litter box but if you use card board boxes they are cheap and disposable . And even though its a little more work to have to keep putting new boxes in the cage daily if need be i feel we owe it to them to give them somthing they can at least go in shew on and give them somthing to do .

    Also i think a box with a hole cut in it filled with straw gives them more warmth then just sitting in a cage

    Just my thoughts
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Unless you can place the box away from where they normally urinate and defecate in the cage, they will foul this box and bedding with urine and feces. Unless you were to clean this out daily, the wet bedding would create more discomfort than sitting on a board in a cage. Having a rabbit wet and cold is far worse than merely cold. Now, if you were to have a box with a wire bottom and a sitting pad, this may block the wind somewhat and still be sanitary.

    Not to split "hares", so to speak, but keeping ANYTHING in a cage is cruel. So, if one must keep an animal in a cage, trying to compensate for this by providing lux digs is kind of silly.

    Before you get all up in arms thinking I am criticizing keeping rabbits in cages...I'm not. I used to keep meat rabbits in cages suspended in a small rabbit barn. They have fur coats, folks. They actually thrive in the winter more so than in the summer. Mine did very well with their cages butted up against each other, plenty of hay in their hay nets for nibbling, water from nipple waterers, and clean cages.

    I only used boxes for rabbits about to have young. They will line this box with so much fluff that the babies are living in a hot box!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: