You are here:

Rabbits/Outdoor Rabbit Care in Winter



I just got an 8 month old Flemish Giant rabbit a couple months ago.  We have a spacious new hutch for her outside with a solid wood bottom and 2 front doors, one of which is wire for the food dish and water bottle.

I am concerned that she is getting cold as the temperature is dropping close to freezing at night and the wind can come through the wire door, although the hutch is in an area where it is protected from general rain and wind.  I was considering getting this heated mini house for cats that has a heating pad which is only activated when the rabbit sits on it:

Do rabbits need heated shelters in the winter?

She is also pretty tame and spends about 5-6 hours indoors everyday with our family socializing, so she is not 100% outdoor all the time. When she is outside during the day, she gets total run of the yard. I just want to know the right way to care for her and have seen conflicting info on line, I need an expert to advise me.



It's definitely preferred to bring them indoors, at the very least in the winter time, but if possible as a full-time thing to regulate temperature all the time.

If you absolutely must house her outside, then ensuring she has adequate shelter from the cold is essential as bunnies become increasingly intolerant of temperatures as they fall below 60 or so.
Is she a chewer? If not, then you're in luck! The bed you have shared here would be a nice option. If I might suggest, a slightly better option is one that you can keep on all the time to keep an entire area warm for her. That way she can walk into the burrow and warm up as needed.
If I'm imagining your setup correctly, she has one side of her hutch with a solid door that will be her "warm up" area? Before putting anything in there for a bed/heater, insulate the area with hay to keep the heat in.

Best of luck!



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Christine Whetstone


I am not an expert on wild rabbits, only domesticated rabbits. I can answer questions regarding habitats, behavior, diet, health, pairing/bonding - pretty much anything having to do with owning a rabbit.


I've owned indoor rabbits for the last 10 years. During that time I've gained experience in areas like bonding exercises, understanding behavior, warning signs of sick bunnies, how to handle more serious illnesses (GI stasis, abscesses, eye problems, etc.) and more. It's rare that I come across an inquiry that I do not already know the answer to.

House Rabbit Society, supporter of local rabbit rescues


Personal experience beats the pants off of a degree, in my opinion.

©2016 All rights reserved.