Rabbits do not adapt well in extreme weather, during the hot summer months a lot of them succumb to the heat. In winter, they are susceptible to being frozen to death or suffer from cold related illnesses. You need to prepare them for the cold months long before its onset. There are several things that you can do to keep them warm and comfortable even during the cold months.
The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that the rabbit hutch is located in a well protected and sheltered place preferably away from where the wind blows. It should be made of strong and sturdy materials and should have tin roofing. If you have a wooden hutch with wire sidings and flooring for your rabbits, you can cover the sides with canvas that can be rolled up during fair weather and rolled down at night and in extreme cold or on a windy day.
Keeping your rabbits dry should be a priority. Even if they are protected by their thick fur against the cold, once their skin gets wet, they will have a hard time keeping warm. Make sure that their water containers are securely in place to avoid getting it knocked over and getting the rabbits wet. This is why a hutch with a wire mesh floor is good, if water is spilled, it falls directly down on the ground. This is also true for other waste matters and spilled food. A tray is usually placed under the hutch to hold the spilled matters. Just ensure that the tray is always emptied to keep the hutch clean.
Providing your rabbits with water can be a challenge during the cold months. Water freezes easily during winter and it is better to put their drinking water in a container that has a large opening like a dish rather than in a bottle or tube. Heat the dish before giving water to your rabbits to keep water from freezing longer. Fill the dish with fresh clean water everyday to ensure a constant supply of water for your rabbits to keep them from getting dehydrated.
Lastly, you need to provide your rabbits with a nesting box where they can fit well. Line the box with straw for insulation to give your rabbits warmth during winter and keep their feet from freezing as they sleep.
Extreme weather can really harm your rabbits and it is up to you to provide them with a safe and comfortable hutch especially during cold and windy days.
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