when can rabbits be put outside?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by kylen2007, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. kylen2007

    kylen2007 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello! We are talking about getting my daughter a bunny for Christmas. She has been begging for one for months and now she keeps telling us she will just ask Santa. Anyways we have no objection to having a bunny but we want it to be an outdoors one. We have a barn that our chickens are in and can easily keep the rabbit out there with them. We can even put the hutch in the barn during cold months. After speaking to a lady at the local farm store she said that the bunny's they have are too young to be placed outside and wouldn't make it through the winter and we would have to keep it inside until spring. I was curious if this was true or not? I have no electric in my coop so I can't heat it. I could put the hutch in my garage temporarily and use a heat lamp (not sure if that is a good idea or if there is a better way). My dad suggested waiting and getting her one for Easter. I don't mind waiting 'til spring but she has been begging and I would really like to surprise her with one Christmas morning. She even has a named picked out already for when "Santa" brings it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Chickens I can handle, bunnies are new territory for us. Thanks!
     
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It would be best to give your daughter a stuffed bunny with a cute note for Christmas telling her she will get a real one for Easter. The lady at the farm store told you right; nice to know some people are not just out for the money.
     
  3. kylen2007

    kylen2007 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The people at our local store are wonderful. They all have livestock of some sort or another and all are very knowledgeable or at least know who to ask to get us the answers we need. My husband and I have discussed getting meat rabbits to breed. I know we have to cage them separately until we are ready for them to breed, but is there any particular breed we should get? Also any suggestions where I can order them?
     
  4. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    Are there any breeders around you that might already have rabbits outdoors that you can purchase from? I will say that most rabbits, if kept out of drafts in a hutch with an area that has a solid floor, do quite well in the cold. I find it is the heat people need to worry about more often!

    How young are the rabbits at the farm store?

    It might be nice to give her a stuffed rabbit (like another poster mentioned) and maybe a note that explains that it was too cold for Santa to bring a rabbit from the North Pole, but he spoke with you (as her parents) and you decided to let her choose one (at a date that works for you guys). You could even have Santa being her the hutch and then get the rabbit later. I'm sure there are a million ways to make something work out!
     
  5. kylen2007

    kylen2007 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The ones from the farm store are currently 7-10 weeks. Sorry I can not remember exactly. Obviously I would not be getting one until closer to Christmas. I have no where to hide it for this long. I wanted to do my research before jumping into it. I really do not want to bring the rabbit in the house even if it is only for a few months. There is no guarantee they will have the same ones closer to Christmas. They may get another batch in between now and then. I have searched for breeders and even checked on craigslist with no luck. Maybe we will have to just give her a hutch and tell her we will get he a bunny for it once it gets warmer. We planned on building a hutch ourselves. We built our chicken coop so I am sure we can handle a rabbit hutch. I planned on doing one with an open area and part enclosed. I wanted a wire bottom but a tray that i can slide in and out for easy cleaning. I appreciated any suggestions. :) This is all knew to me and I am the type of person to research everything before diving into something.
     
  6. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you asked the farm store if they can order what you want. Our local pet store is great at getting me this or that when it is not something they stock. Check with your local feed stores/mills; they may have customers that raise rabbits. There are a number of breeds that could be used for their meat, but your best bet is to find out what's available. Having your heart set on a certain breed could be disappointing if it is not available.
     
  7. MissMonty

    MissMonty Out Of The Brooder

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    Rabbits can live year round outside (in a barn in the winter to keep them out of the wind). There are a lot of breeders who keep their entire herd outside year round or in a shed or something. They don't heat it or anything. They breed year round too so there are babies outside the whole time. If you're going to buy a rabbit for her for christmas I would look into getting one from a breeder who already has them outside. Otherwise if you buy one that's not use to the outdoors you'll have to keep it inside until spring probably.
     
  8. MissMonty

    MissMonty Out Of The Brooder

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    I personally am about to get into meat rabbits but I wanted ones that had good temperaments so they could be pets too. Well I ended up deciding on Standard Rex. They have great temperaments and they're super soft but they still make good meat rabbits :)

    Just make sure you get Standard rex not mini.
     
  9. kylen2007

    kylen2007 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found a breeder near us. Took me hours of researching to finally find one! They have a great reputation and their pedigrees are amazing. Lots of awards from fairs. They said if we keep it in the barn then it will be fine that heat is more a concern with rabbits than cold. So I think we will build a shelf in the chicken coop for her. There are more windows in that part to let the sun on and it stays about 5 degrees warmer than outside bc of all the birds. We will build a hutch in the spring for outside. Any advice on bedding, feed, hygiene, or anything else I may not think of would be grestky appreciated! :)
     
  10. Jackschicks

    Jackschicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello all, I have raised meat rabbits in the past and my daughter raised show rabbits when she was in high school. As long as they are protected from the wind they should be fine outdoors in winter, in summertime they will need shade. Granted, I live in the southern U.S. but rabbits actually have a much harder time with the heat than they do the cold. I raised New Zealand Whites & California Giants for meat, my daughter raised Mini Rex and Mini Lops for 4H.
    I've been thinking of getting rabbits again for meat and for the fertilizer. Rabbit poop is the best for your garden - it doesn't need to be composted and it comes in those great little time release pellets.
    Good luck!!
     

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