Anyone with outdoor rabbits?

posted 2 years ago in Pets
Member
694 posts
Busy bee

Please do not keep your rabbits outdoors. They are social creatures and very delicate, they need adequate shelter and heating/AC depending on the time of year. If your water bottles are freezing I can guarantee you your rabbits are absolutely FROZEN themselves! I really hope you’ll reconsider their living situation, or if you absolutely can’t keep them inside no matter what then finding them another home would be suitable because domestic rabbits are not meant to be kept outside. Just because they are still alive does not mean they are thriving or happy. Consider joining the Binky Bunny website, it is a really wonderful resource for rabbit owners where everyone is friendly and helpful. The members there will be able to help you create a better living area for your bunnies!

Member
1002 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@ShiftedLobster:  +1

 

You should not be keeping your rabbits outside! Jeez if the water is freezing in their water bottle, I can’t imagine how cold those poor little things are. If you can’t keep them inside, it’s time to find them a new home. 

Member
694 posts
Busy bee

@ChocolateLime:  Thanks for updating! I’m curious, did you consult with a regular veterinarian or an exotic vet? I’m surprised that an exotic vet (rabbits are considered an exotic species, believe it or not!) would recommend they continue living outdoors during the winter, but I do agree that going from cold weather to a heated house quickly would probably cause an upper respiratory issue. Rabbits are so sensitive and they need easy transitions – slowly easing them from outside to a garage or screened in porch area and then indoors would be best.

With that said, while I wish you could keep them indoors and it hurts my heart to hear they will continue to live outside, I am glad you have checked with a vet of some sort and it seems you have adequate shelter for them to stay out of the rain and wind. Hopefully you don’t live anyplace where it gets too cold out? I haven’t had any rabbits live to be 12 years old which is unfortunate but both of mine have been rescues with unknown or limited care when they were younger, so that probably played into things it as well.

I’m interested to see pictures inside the little huts on the top level of their house. Do you happen to have any shots of that? How do you clean the enclosure? My rabbit lives in a condo like this:

This is not my actual rabbit’s condo but it is very similar to the one I built. It does take up an enormous amount of room in the house and he doesn’t even spend that much time in there! When I’m home he is out and about, free to hop around wherever. He’s litterbox trained and gets on very well with my cat and German shepherd dogs.

Since yours live outside, how much time do you actually spend with your rabbits? I’ve never understood the point of having an outside pet, to me my pets are family and I love seeing them for hours at a time. I’d be grateful for your perspective on this. Come visit Binky Bunny sometime and share pics of your bunnies with us!

Member
519 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@ShiftedLobster:  +100

 

I can’t imagine keeping my rabbit outdoors and away from the family.  It makes me think of the super sad “A Hutch is Not Enough” campaign. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4z_Mrg-lpc

Our rabbit is an indoor rabbit that has full run of the apartment, gets along amazingly with our grumpy old housecat and is fully litterbox trained.  Rabbits are super social and thrive when they’re part of your “pack”, just like dogs. 

Member
519 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@ShiftedLobster:  I didn’t read through your second post – I’ve never ran across a fellow BinkyBunny on another forum :D

Member
694 posts
Busy bee

@DrTeeth:  I didn’t know you had a house rabbit too! Here is mine, enjoying a fall evening with his partner in crime:

Member
519 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Yup.  He’s quite smug:

 

Member
4698 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@DrTeeth:  Can you litter train a rabbit? Do they not chew everything in your house to pieces? I’m so curious… I used to want one but I didn’t think you could give them the run of the place, and cages seem too small.

Member
519 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Bebealways:  Yup, rabbits can be litertrained!  Here’s a good information source: http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/litter.html

Different rabbits chew different.  You definitly have to bunny proof your house!  My current rabbit doesn’t chew much of anything – he’s a big chewer of cords though so we have to tape them up or wrap them in protectors or block him off.  That’s pretty much his only thing, though.  I’ve had rabbits in the past who chew the legs on couches or like to dig up carpets.  You can train them against most of those behaviors or just avoid them from occuring, just like with any other animal.

Member
738 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

This caught my attention because I raised rabbits for 10 years for 4-H. Show Holland Lops, not meat rabbits. They were the only pets I had growing up and I loved them dearly. But rabbits are just fine outdoors. They have a high body temperature and a fur coat to keep them warm. So it’s fine to keep them in a hutch as long as they are out of the wind and elements. The summer is actually the dangerous season for rabbits. They easily be killed by the heat. 

It’s a big common misconception that winter is so terrible for rabbits. You can definitely litter box train them, but some do better than others so it really depends on the rabbit. They unfortunately chew on things like cords and furniture, so it’s not for every rabbit. 

Member
6 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2013

We don’t have rabbits, but we do have chickens. Obviously we keep them outside too, and encountered a similar problem with freezing water bottles in the Michigan winters.  We now use a heated dog bowl to prevent the water from freezing.  I know this probably wont help much for the rabbits type of bottle, but maybe you could reconfigure the heater to wrap around the bottle and heat from the outside of the bottle instead of underneath like the bowl does.  It doesnt warm the water but just prevents freezing. Its safe for outdoor use at least.

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