Question We have a 4 year old male mini lop. Before we got him, he was mostly an indoor rabbit. We tried for 3 or 4 months to keep him inside, but the cleaning of his pen every day or else the whole house would smell, was too much. We built him a super nice HUGE hutch outside. Outdoor play area, ramps to go up and down the two story rabbit condo and we also included a box for him to snuggle into when its cold. He LOVES the ability to run and jump and play, my kids can go into the hutch (its that big!) and hold and pet him, without worries of letting him go and something getting him. Now that this is his first winter outside, he just sits in the corner of the play area in the snow. He will go up and inside the condo area, and he is eating and drinking normal. Why in the world is he not going inside when its so cold? Two nights ago, it FINALLY got really cold where we live, so I had my husband place a heat lamp on a timer inside the main hutch - I would think the lil guy would rather be in there on occasion than sitting in the play area in the snow? Any idea why he might be doing this?
Thank you soo much in advance for your help!
Answer Dear Andrea,
Since we can't get inside his head to know why he's avoiding the hutch, I think you're wise to take precautions to make sure he doesn't freeze to death out there. If it gets really cold, I think you should bring him back inside.
This would be a good time for you to have him neutered so that his litterbox habits will improve, and he can go back to being a member of the family, instead of a lonely bunny outside. It's possible he's sitting outside in the hope that someone will come outside and "rescue" him from the cold, and that he'd welcome the chance to run inside where it's safe and warm.
It really is not safe for him to be outside in Wyoming in the winter. Neutering will help you resolve the litterbox problems. You can read more here:
I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:
RULE #1: THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.
If your rabbits is LETHARGIC
If your rabbit is NOT EATING
If your rabbit is PHYSICALLY INJURED (including broken bones)
I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years.
I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM.
I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.
Organizations Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president
National House Rabbit Society (Board member)
Publications Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide
Education/Credentials Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English
Awards and Honors Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology