Keeping rabbits outside - need advise - new rabbit owner

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Sunflower, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Sunflower

    Sunflower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2007
    Berryton, KS
    Hi everyone! I recently inherited about a 9 month old small rabbit. The former owner couldn't keep him any longer and was going to take it to the animal shelter. I thought I'd give it a try. We put his cage first in the garage, thought it was too cold so we moved him inside. The former owner was told he was female. I thought the same until we came home from work and found he had sprayed urine around the entire perimeter of his cage!! YUCK!!!!!!!! It was everywhere.
    We had him checked out by a vet and neutered. We then put him in "our first attempt of a chicken coop", which is inside our garden shed. He is out of the wind and rain, however it's not insulted and stays just a few degrees above the outside temp. We put in a heat light but he loves it so much that he just sits in front of it and bakes himself. Consiquently, he lost all his winter coat already. He totally shedded. = ( I feel horrible b/c it's still cold outside and now he is dependent on some sort of heat. (I didn't really realize he already had a winter coat on.)
    My questions are: 1. What is the best way to keep him warm? (looking ahead to next winter) 2. Should we get Astro a female friend? Do two rabbits enoy the company or will they just fight?
    I don't really want to keep Astro in the house, it's not set up for a rabbit and the indoor cage is so small compared to his "chicken coop". Any advise rabbit owners?[​IMG]
     
  2. RabbitMage

    RabbitMage Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
    How cold is cold in your garage? Rabbits actually thrive in colder weather. It's the summer heat you gotta watch out for! As long as he is kept dry and draft free, he should weather the cold just fine.

    Rabbit 'friends' are a topic of debate. It's my opinion that rabbits do just fine by themselves, and don't need friends. But I've also seen plenty of situations where they have friends and do just fine. It's best to keep them separate but close to each other for a while, introduce them in 'neutral' territory, and keep a close eye on them at first. Having Astro's buddy fixed might also help the process.
     
  3. Sunflower

    Sunflower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2007
    Berryton, KS
    HI Rabbitmage!! We live in NE Kansas, so it can get as low as -10 degrees, but that might only be one or two days...normally the coldest it gets is around 15 degree outside, probably 20 in the shed. That's good to know that they like the cold.
    We'll probably move him to his inside cage when it gets super hot, like above 95.
    How many rabbits do you have?
    Thanks again!!
     
  4. agnes_day

    agnes_day Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2008
    oklahoma
    my rabbits live outside and they are fine! i do however bring them inside every day for some playtime and interaction. my boy seems to like being left to his own devices.
     
  5. RabbitMage

    RabbitMage Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Something to keep his water from freezing is probably a good idea then, and maybe a box stuffed with hay that he can burrow into. He should be okay otherwise!

    Moving him inside when it gets above 85 would probably be better, though. That's a little hot for them, but not too bad. Once you start getting above that, you start moving into 'potential stress and heat stroke' territory! They can be so, so sensitive to heat. There are a lot of good solutions to help keep them cool if he has to stay outside, though.

    Right now we have about 40 rabbits. We've been breeding and showing for nine years. Our buns are all outside in a cinder-block barn that does a pretty good job of insulating itself! We rarely have freezing temps here, but our 110+ degree summer days are an issue! We have swamp coolers set up on timers and even on the hottest days manage to keep the rabbitry in that 80-85 zone. We also bought a gas generator in case the power goes out!

    Our buns may be slightly spoiled.
     
  6. mamato3

    mamato3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2008
    SWMissouri
    My rabbitry is an uninsulated and unheated barn you have to worry about the heat they love the cold. If you want put a box wood or cardboard in there put some hay in there and he will be fine. Just during the summer make sure to put frozen water bottles in there or put a fan on him when it gets real hot
     
  7. dfunnyfarm

    dfunnyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2008
    ks
    Quote:HI Sunflower! I live in Scentral Kansas. I keep my rabbits outside also. I have spare bottles that in the colder temps we swich out and bring in the others to thaw. In the hot months we freeze pop 1 litter pop bottles full of water and put in for them when it gets hot. We have spares of those too so we can switch out with out having to wait. HTH
     
  8. Sunflower

    Sunflower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2007
    Berryton, KS
    Thanks for all your posts. I really appreciate the helpful advise. Astro is a great guy. When we bring him inside, he seems to get mad at us & kind of pouts. I think he likes his big hutch in the garden shed. On nice days I let him in our dog run (less the dog) and it just loves it.
    I never realized how much I would love having a pet rabbit.
     
  9. Sunflower

    Sunflower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2007
    Berryton, KS
    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture of Astro!!
     

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