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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » cold bunnies (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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My wife is driving me nuts with this. I have several rabbits in my unheated garage. Normally they are just fine but this week, the temperature in my area is dropping to 0 or less for a few days. She wants me to move the bunnies inside the house so they don't freeze. Question is, how cold is too cold for the rabbits? They are not in any kind of draft, it's just the cold weather. They have little houses inside their cages for protection and security. I know I have to keep an eye on the water since it does freeze.

Thanks for the help, guys.
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omnibozo
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Boulder, CO
150 Posts

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Check with your pet store and ask for an exotic bird warming sheet. This is like an electric blanket affair that hangs in the back of the bird cage and radiates just a little heat. This should be enough to keep the rabbits warm... just be sure to keep it out of range of their teeth!
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Dave,

I've had bunnies for over 8 years, and they were always outdoors. I stuff their box with hay ($5.00 a bale). Not only does it keep them warm, they will not mess on the area they like. The hay acts as food if they so desire and it is a great insulator.

The biggest problem is frozen water, which means they either lick the ice or drink the fresh water I put into their bowl every day in the winter (Bottles break.)

None has ever died from exposure. Dogs got to them once and killed them so, now I've taken care of that problem, so that it will never happen again.

Tell your wife they'll be fine! They are night time animals and they do like the snow, and feed at night in the wild.
Dennis Michael
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Thanks Dennis. I never thought about the hay. I'll give it a try.
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Dabek
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United Kingdom
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I live in the U.K. and my rabbits are housed outdoors. Temperatures drop below 0 but they still prefer to be in the run. I have two sets of water bottles as I change them each morning if they are frozen.

Regards Paul
Smile
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Thanks guys. Right now, it's too cold for me to go out and put the little guys back in their hutches. I think I've convinced my wife that the bunnies like it outside and she can stop worrying about them.
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p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Hi Dave,
Here in the UK my bunnies like to play in the snow (when we get it) you should have no problems.
Phillip
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Dave have you ever put a "fur" coat on and live indoors at 70 plus degrees.

I have been checking on the bunnies daily and I notice a little warp on the hutch lid and it's enough that the wind can whip inside. Well the bunny stuffed that crack with hay and now when I check on them each one has made a bird's nest out of the hay. If it gets to hot they eat the hay, or push it out of their hutch.
Dennis Michael
martinjmac
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Georgia
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Also the bunnies eat some hay to keep themselves warm.
We use Bermuda Hay.
It has been below zero here and they are fine.
-Martin-
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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I use to use Bermuda Hay but one wise gentleman said for the price of a small bag of Bermuda Hay, you can get a full bale of hay at a feed store that will last a season for my 3 bunnies. They don't know the difference or whether they are in Bermuda or in Atco, NJ.
Dennis Michael
martinjmac
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Georgia
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If you want to save a few bucks give them the cheap stuff.
Sometimes if it is cold enough we give the bunnies Alfalfa.
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Isn't Alfalfa, hay? I am not a farmer so I really am not sure.
Dennis Michael
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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I've tried giving my rabbits Alfalfa and they won't touch it. They kick it out of the hutch. I've been using Timothy hay and they seem to enjoy that.
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kingsnqueens
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Oklahoma
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Hello Dave,

I thought I'd add my two cents.

I always enjoy your comments, and your devotion for your doves.

My sweet wife, and I live on a small farm in Oklahoma.

I'm pretty much retired, but I still raise, and train dove's, and rabbits.

The small rabbits I raise are pure blood Polish Rabbits (no joke). These little troopers stay about 2 1/4 pounds, and are very anxious to please.

I had one named Houdini that was very good at finding selected cards, and turning them over.

He recently died at nine years old, but he left many offspring to continue the name.

By the way I really recommend using male rabbits for magic. They are much calmer to work with, and they stay smaller then the doe's.

I also recommend neutering the bucks you use for performing bunnies. They get along better with the other rabbits in the show, and they're more open to being handled by strange tots. Important stuff!

My breeding stock are always outside, and are always happy & healthy. We keep them away from drafts. Make sure they have clean water, and extra food in the cold months.

I feel diet is really important for the winter bunny. I've never had a problem feeding Alfalfa Hay, but not often as it can be hard on their kidneys. Timothy is a better all around choice.

Timothy isn't grown in our area, but here's a good tip - find a good horse breeder. They usally have no problem selling you a bale of premium hay. Believe me those high dollar nag's only get the best.

Also, it's getting harder to get square bales. Most farmers are baling round bales, and rabbits don't need a 1,000 pound bale of hay. They just think they do.

I hope this helps, and thank you. It's alway a pleasure meeting someone who loves their little co-stars like you do.

Best of Luck & Good Magic! .... Manyfingers
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Thanks for the nice words. We have quite a few horse breeders around my area. I'll check that out. I did move the little guys back out to the garage. They're fine. I filled their boxes with hay and they just burrowed into it. Our temperature has dropped to minus 10 lately but it doesn't seem to bother them at all. Both of mine are males. I'm not sure of the breed though. The smallest is all grey, weighs about 1 lb and almost fits in a dove pan. The other is black and white, about 2 lbs and is just a little bigger than the other.
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p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Hi,
While on the subject of hay, if you are allowing your bunny to use hay for bedding like Den, please insure that it is short cut hay. Long cut can easily tangle around bunnies limbs like a tourniquet and lead to amputation/death
Phillip
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
4983 Posts

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Well, my bunnies are alive and well. Thanks for all the suggestions. Phillip, normally I use small wood chips for bedding. I usually just let them eat the Timothy hay. I get it in small bags for a couple dollars and it lasts them about a month. It's already cut small so no danger of becoming a tourniquet. They did seem to like the hay in their boxes though when it was really cold.
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p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Hi,
I have a bunny with a couple of toes missing from a hay tangle. The rabbit was about nine weeks old and suddenly developed a case of tilt (with a rocking motion), we put him in a dark carrier and treated him for normal tilt caused by an inner ear infection.
Because the tilt bunny went round in circles.

I came down in the morning to find a swollen foot and hay tangled around. We cured the tilt within a week or so but the foot problem was not so easy. We thought it might mean amputation of his whole foot but fortunately just a couple of toes dropped off! When the fur grew back you could hardly notice, but when bunny sits on my open palm, I can feel that he is missing some toes.

Phillip
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