The underground burrows that wild rabbits live in only vary in temperature a few degrees between winter and summer. So, the bunnies we keep in our gardens need extra help to keep warm in the winter, here are some helpful tips:
Bring hutches and runs into sheds or unused garages (with windows) for extra protection, or cover with a purpose made hutch cover. If you cant get your hands on one, then a tarpaulin can cover the hutch and run, and keep their hutch area dry.
Its important that rabbits don’t get left in their hutches for long periods of time, even in winter weather they need their exercise. You can put logs or shelters in their runs, so that they can keep themselves off the cold or wet ground (or snow!)
Water bottles are likely to freeze, so keep a spare to change during the day and last thing at night, and invest in a bottle cover to keep them insulated.
Add extra bedding and make sure the hutch is kept clean and dry, or it won’t be warm.
A cardboard box filled with straw and placed in the hutch provides extra insulation and warmth. And products like ‘snuggle safe‘ are best used over night when the temperatures really plummet.
Don’t bring bunnies in a warm house to play, and then put them back out into very cold temperatures.
And don’t forget to stock up on their supplies – food, bedding and hay. We have checked with Santa Paws and he said that he won’t be carrying extra rabbit supplies this year!
Argos hutch – 77 cms long the story so far.
Argos are selling a hutch, 77cms long that they describe as allowing the rabbit to stretch and run freely. We all know that that can’t possibly be the case, and that these hutches are cruel, and would not be suitable under any circumstances. Trading Standards have been contacted and are not able to help unfortunately. Argos have chosen to ignore our advice, so we have been sending press releases for the last few months to build awareness of our campaign and gain support. The most recent press release last week gained some good coverage, notably with The Guardian’s website picking it up, but also local press, local radio sations and specialist magazines.
So far, Argos have added text to the description of every hutch that says they should be used in conjunction with a run, and that they will offer a discount to anyone buying a hutch and run together. It is progress, but we would like to see them review their whole range, stop selling the really tiny hutches like this, and offer something more suitable.