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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Moving rabbits outdoors

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    • radiatorbunny12
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      So rabbit had always been an indoor bunny but after bonding with her friend we moved them outdoors to an insulated (however did pretty much stay same temp as outdoors), weather-proofed, roomy shed with run attached (blankets and straw beds etc to keep warm). She coped absolutely fine. Anyway, long story short, her friend died  (unrelated) and we brought her indoors for a while incase there was anything wrong with the shed and to keep her company. Now we have bonded her with another friend but are unsure if can put her outside again considering its January and for reference we live Northern UK. She is a very fluffy rabbit but has obviously moved a few times now. Her friend is short-haired. 

      Advice would be great, ideally we’d like to put them outside next weekend. If not, any ideas how long we should wait?


    • kirstyol
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      To be honest I wouldn’t keep rabbits outside, especially not in these temperatures (I am in the UK too) is there no way to keep the buns indoors? If you must move them outside, I definitely don’t think this time of year is the right time to do it


    • radiatorbunny12
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      Thanks. Yes we can, just not ideal for the bunnies themselves. Not much space for them but it’ll have to do. Thanks for the reply. When would you reckon the earliest would be we could move them outside safely? 


    • Azerane
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      I think spring temperatures are probably best for moving a rabbit outside who is unused to outdoor climate. When you’re getting nice days and mild nights


    • vanessa
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      What did the other bunny die of?


    • sarahthegemini
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      I don’t think it’s a good idea to put them outdoors anyway but you said even after insulating, the shed remained as cold as outside? Is that right?


    • Mikey
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      If your insulation isnt keeping it any warmer in the colder seasons, you shouldnt put a bun in there until you fix your insulation


    • kirstyol
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      Posted By forgotmylastone on 1/24/2017 4:29 PM

      Thanks. Yes we can, just not ideal for the bunnies themselves. Not much space for them but it’ll have to do. Thanks for the reply. When would you reckon the earliest would be we could move them outside safely? 

      Rabbits are almost always better off inside to be honest. What space to they have inside? I am sure its better for them than being out in the cold


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Outdoor buns that remain always outside can cope with winter températures (thick winter layered fur grows) as long as the rules are adhered too, which is that shelter is provided from wind, rain (check which way the rain falls), snow, off the ground, plenty of food (calories = warmth) and water (unfrozen in the winter) and plenty of straw to nestle down into if necessary.

      When it is cold like now, it is recommended that buns do not go from outdoor to indoor if more than 10° difference (thermic shock). (I have friends Sth UK who keep their bonded buns outside at night in a big double manion hutch too big for the house, but they are in the (human’s) house most of the day – but at the moment they are only outside as the difference in temp would be too much coming into a heated home)

      Buns can cope with cold much better than overheating in the summer.

      So based on all this info, your buns are indoors now, they should stay in until the weather gets up to 13-15°in the spring time as they won’t have their winter coats.

      Get the insulation of the shed sorted and they should be able to stay out there next winter if really necessary

      But of course a house is a happier home with the buns indoors all the time


    • radiatorbunny12
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      Thanks Will wait until late March then. 


    • radiatorbunny12
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      Other bunny died of a heart condition 8 months old. Vet said they are now amazed he made it through being neutered.


    • radiatorbunny12
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      Thanks very much for typing all that! Such a detailed answer. Yes our shelter is rule-abiding for permanent outside bunny dwellers but we will be waiting until spring now since our bunnies won’t have the proper winter coats and of course don’t want them to go into thermic shock. 

      Also, to all that asked, will definitely be looking into the insulation. Doesn’t stay exactly the same as the outdoor temp that was a bit of a miscalculation, but still doesn’t seem warm enough to me. Any ideas what temp we should try and aim for for next winter? 

      Really do wish we could keep the buns indoors but have two probably not-bunny-friendly dogs so they are cramped into about forty (? could be wrong) square feet with not much space to exercise as we keep them well away from the dogs. Outside they would not come into contact with the dogs at all (don’t worry we are very careful about this and there are multiple measures to ensure they never meet) but would have safe space to exercise as well as their spacious shed. 

      Andddd if anybody is still around, can I ask why the idea of keeping the buns outside is frowned upon? Do pet rabbits not cope with weather as well as wild rabbits or is it just because one of my bunnies was an indoor bunny for a few years before she became outdoor?

      Anyway, thanks everybody for the help!!


    • sarahthegemini
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      Posted By forgotmylastone on 1/25/2017 3:14 PM

      Andddd if anybody is still around, can I ask why the idea of keeping the buns outside is frowned upon? Do pet rabbits not cope with weather as well as wild rabbits or is it just because one of my bunnies was an indoor bunny for a few years before she became outdoor?

      Anyway, thanks everybody for the help!!

      Rabbits that are kept indoors form better relationships with us humans, especially if they’re free roaming. Not only that, any little change in behaviour can be more easily spotted so if a bun is poorly, they usually are able to get checked out quicker. They also don’t have to worry about predators  (yes I know they might be safe but if there are predatory animals around, they can still smell them and feel scared) I also personally don’t see the point in getting an animal just to keep it outside. I think it’s especially cruel for a rabbit to be put outside when they are used to being indoor bunnies.


    • radiatorbunny12
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      Okay. Well thankyou for replying


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Times have certainly moved on a lot since I was a young girl and kept our rabbits in tiny hutches hardly letting them out at all compared to now where they watch tele with us on the sofa, laying next to the feline and canine members of the family….

      However this is a house bunny forum LOL. you’ll get pro pro pro house bunnies here which is a great great thing.
      I am a rare member here as mine are 50 in and 50 out (well 100% at mo… long story! Lol) and I don’t feel guilty leaving them outside one bit as they are on my patio free roam (no predators) just the other size of a glass door, and closer to me than if they were in another room in the house.

      I am working towards getting them indoors, just because… why not?

      Anyhoo…. as long as a room is bunnysafe there is no reason why they shouldn’t have pride of place in a home.

      You could look at it like keeping a cat in a hutch/shed…. which none of us animal lovers would do nowadays.

      A photo of your set up would be great once its finished (and of course your furry friends…)


    • radiatorbunny12
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      Posted By Vienna Blue in France on 1/25/2017 3:59 PM

      Times have certainly moved on a lot since I was a young girl and kept our rabbits in tiny hutches hardly letting them out at home however this is a house bunny for room seven you’re always liked to get pro pro pro house but it’s on here which is a great great thing mine are 50-50 and I don’t feel guilty in leaving them outside one bit I have no credit

      hah yes my mother kept a rabbit outdoors in a tiny hutch when she was a kid too yes i’m sure my bunnies fine when they’re put out in the spring, they receive masses of love, affection and money i don’t consider that cruel 


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Sorry last post escaped before i finished it. It was dictated, so it made no sense at all…. lol ?


    • kirstyol
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      I think because most of us have our bunnies indoors on this forum thats what we will advocate for because thats what we believe is the right thing to do but everyones situations and beliefs are different. Personally i always think that most people wouldnt keep a dog outside full time because they are members of the family and they wouldnt see that as the right thing to do so why are rabbits any different? I also agree that you are more likely to spot the often minor behaviour changes in behaviour when your rabbits are unwell.


    • vanessa
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      I started with outdoor bunnies, and had them outdooWhere I live, winters get down to 5F (-15C). Summers get into the low 100’s F (high 30’s C). During winter, my bunnies nedded no help stayign warm. They didn’t use the heat lamps so I took them away. They dug and played int he snow. I kept them out of the wind and rain, and they were just fine, with un-frozen water, and twice the amount of food as I fed them in summer. BUT… one of them was determined to escape. I had chased her around the neighborhood at least 3 or 4 times. I DEFINITELY didn’t give hem as much attention as I can now that they are indoors. I did see them for probably 3 hours a day since I spend a great deal of time outside, no matter what the weather – but they didn’t get ht epersonal attention they do now. So checking on their health wasn’t as good as it is now. Parasites and diseases are easier to come across outside. Ticks, mosquitos – I couldn’t keep them off the bunnies in summer. And the flies… flystrike… I could tellyou horror stories.I worried about them al summer each year. I gave them frozen bottles of water, but they didn’t use them. They did like to lie on concrete paving stones, and they dug shallow “cold pits” to cool off in. But I was always worried about heat stroke. After bringing them indoors, they are way more confortable, they get so much more atention, and I know I will be able to spot health problems sooner. Rabbits hide their illnesses. While I absolutely did the best I courl for my outdoor bunnies, I soon came to realise that I couldn’t keep them safe from parasites and heat. So I brought them in, and I am very glad I did.


    • radiatorbunny12
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      Hiya, Thankyou both for the information. I totally do see why keeping bunnies inside is preferable but as I say just isn’t possible for now. My point was merely that although keeping bunnies inside all time with tons of space and constant affection would be ideal – putting them outside isn’t cruel. I will make sure to check my bunnies all the time for fly strike etc and heat related issues. Thanks again


    • radiatorbunny12
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      Posted By Vienna Blue in France on 1/25/2017 3:59 PM
      Times have certainly moved on a lot since I was a young girl and kept our rabbits in tiny hutches hardly letting them out at all compared to now where they watch tele with us on the sofa, laying next to the feline and canine members of the family….

      However this is a house bunny forum LOL. you’ll get pro pro pro house bunnies here which is a great great thing.
      I am a rare member here as mine are 50 in and 50 out (well 100% at mo… long story! Lol) and I don’t feel guilty leaving them outside one bit as they are on my patio free roam (no predators) just the other size of a glass door, and closer to me than if they were in another room in the house.

      I am working towards getting them indoors, just because… why not?

      Anyhoo…. as long as a room is bunnysafe there is no reason why they shouldn’t have pride of place in a home.

      You could look at it like keeping a cat in a hutch/shed…. which none of us animal lovers would do nowadays.

      A photo of your set up would be great once its finished (and of course your furry friends…)

      Yeah totally get your point. My rabbits are very close to house in garden and would be getting spent time with 3+ times a day. Overarching plan is to move house and have more space for them separate from dogs and large enough, but this may take a while and don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world to have hem outside together. Will put a post up of setup when I put them out in spring thanks


    • sarahthegemini
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      Posted By forgotmylastone on 1/26/2017 10:49 AM

      Hiya, Thankyou both for the information. I totally do see why keeping bunnies inside is preferable but as I say just isn’t possible for now. My point was merely that although keeping bunnies inside all time with tons of space and constant affection would be ideal – putting them outside isn’t cruel. I will make sure to check my bunnies all the time for fly strike etc and heat related issues. Thanks again

      In your opinion. This is a forum specifically aimed at those that keep indoor bunnies. Hence a lot of us do not share that thought.


    • vanessa
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      Not trying to criticize you in any way…These are just things I didn’t fully understand untill I experienced them.

      I want to add something about flystrike – since I’ve seen it more than once. Checking your bunnies for flystrike – means feeling them all over every single day for lumps. You can’t afford to skip a day. Once you find the lump and see the breathig hold in it, get the bunny to the vet ASAP. Also checking their fur very closely for pinholes, which are tell-tale signs of maggots that have eaten their way into the skin through the fur. Keeping their litter boxes and butts clean is important, but even clean bunnies can get flystrike, because the flies are attracted to the rabbit itself – not necessarily the poop. Although poop/pee will most definitely alert the flies to the bunnie’s presence. They know they are there regardless. They can lay eggs on or in the vicinity of rabbits. The maggots look for the rabbits, crawl their way over, and eat into their flesh. It is a painful condition as the growing maggot feeds off the bunny untill it is fully grown, almost an inch long, and it lays eggs inside the rabbit. The eggs hatch, and the maggots continue their life. It is disgusting and painful. It is considered an emergency condition. Rabbits can go into shock and die quickly. The wound site typically gets infected, so the rabbit would need antibiotics. I thought I could just keep an eye out for it. I checked my rabbits a few times a week, (not enough), used all sorts of natural flie repellants, used Beaphar, but once you have experienced it – you won’t want to just watch out for it. You’t want it to never happen again. There is no way to prevent it with outdoor bunnies. Only luck if your rabbits don’t get it, and then treating it if your rabbits do get it.

      No criticism. Just things I wish I had understood myself. I also don’t think it is neccesarily cruel to keep rabbits outdoors. My rabbits had their hutches, and the entire front yard to run around in. They weren’t cramped or dirty, and they ran and binkied. So they were happy. But I couldn’t keep them healthy and safe outside. So I think it is dangerous to keep rabbits outside. Not trying to get a debate going here either – just my 2 cents, having been on both sides. You obviousely care about your rabbits, or you wouldn’t have asked about the best temp to move them outside.


    • radiatorbunny12
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      Okay, will be very careful about this now I know more about it and will clean them out as much as possible. Thanks for the information. I care about them very much. 


    • radiatorbunny12
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      Posted By sarahthegemini on 1/26/2017 1:04 PM

      Posted By forgotmylastone on 1/26/2017 10:49 AM

      Hiya, Thankyou both for the information. I totally do see why keeping bunnies inside is preferable but as I say just isn’t possible for now. My point was merely that although keeping bunnies inside all time with tons of space and constant affection would be ideal – putting them outside isn’t cruel. I will make sure to check my bunnies all the time for fly strike etc and heat related issues. Thanks again

      In your opinion. This is a forum specifically aimed at those that keep indoor bunnies. Hence a lot of us do not share that thought.

      I apologise for putting my post in the wrong forum. 


    • vanessa
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      Don’t go away! This is a great forum. I’ve learned a lot here. Indoors or outdoors. I do keep my contraversial experiences/beliefs to myself, but I appreciate all the experience and knowledge available on this forum. I got to a point where I really needed it. There are forum rules about what we may or may not discuss, and about our behavior/communication/attitudes in our posts. So people can’t make offensive posts. The discussions I see here are a lot more pleasant than what I’ve seen on other forums!
      When I joined the forum, I had 2 bunnies indoors, and 2 bunnies outside.
      The general rule is – no more than 10-15 degrees temperature change. However – where I live – the outside temperature can change that much daily all on it’s own. So I do believe that rabbits are a lot more resilient to temperature changes, but for safety sake, 10-15 degrees is the rule of thumb. Healthy rabits can handle temperature change a lot better than sick/weak rabbits. I would still wait untill the temps are within that range. I do the same for my birds when I move them outdoors for the summer. I wait untill late spring, so they don’t have too much of a temperature difference to cope with.


    • sarahthegemini
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      I agree with Vanessa – don’t leave or feel you have to leave. This forum is for house rabbits but of course you can still gather a wealth of information on here regardless of where you keep your bunnies. I apologise if I came across as harsh, I just feel very passionately about rabbit care and unfortunately a lot of people do just plonk their bun outdoors and leave it. Obviously that’s not the case with you, so I apologise 


    • Bam
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      I agree too, absolutely don’t feel you have to leave. We advocate the keeping of rabbits indoors, but that’s not always possibl. There are still lots of aspects about rabbit care that are the same for indoors and outdoors bunnies. It’s great that your bunnies are bonded. One big problem with housing a single bun outside is that it gets very lonely.

      Bunnies housed outside might need deworming once or twice a year, if they graze on the ground, and in the UK, they definitely need to be vaccinated against myxo and the RVHDs. These deadly diseases are spread by mosquitos and ticks, so rabbits can get them even if they have no direct contact with wild rabbits.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Forgotmylastone – of course we want you here – you’ll learn loads and you’ll contribute loads too to the discussions.

      Outdoors a bit / indoors 100%, it’s the rabbit welfare that we care about (and cute photos!) – or else I wouldn’t be here tapping away at breakfast with one hand and chomping my Shredded Wheats with the other hand (a full bowl for me, one tiny knitted square for each of the buns!)

      Where my buns were bonded, the lady had a shed bigger (almost) bigger than my house – so I don’t judge on the word ‘shed’.

      There’s an on-off member-debate about keeping CATS inside 100% versus letting them outdoors – (oh DON’T get us started Vienna – LOL !!!!!!) so everyone has different opinions – and I certainly feel on BB that we can get our opinions across in an extremely civilised manner, (usually) without offending

      We’re a great bunch (with international humours!) – stay and find out

      So please stay and keep us updated on your cosy home for the buns

      We LOVE piccies for doggies too


    • radiatorbunny12
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      Posted By vanessa on 1/27/2017 10:55 PM

      Don’t go away! This is a great forum. I’ve learned a lot here. Indoors or outdoors. I do keep my contraversial experiences/beliefs to myself, but I appreciate all the experience and knowledge available on this forum. I got to a point where I really needed it. There are forum rules about what we may or may not discuss, and about our behavior/communication/attitudes in our posts. So people can’t make offensive posts. The discussions I see here are a lot more pleasant than what I’ve seen on other forums!
      When I joined the forum, I had 2 bunnies indoors, and 2 bunnies outside.
      The general rule is – no more than 10-15 degrees temperature change. However – where I live – the outside temperature can change that much daily all on it’s own. So I do believe that rabbits are a lot more resilient to temperature changes, but for safety sake, 10-15 degrees is the rule of thumb. Healthy rabits can handle temperature change a lot better than sick/weak rabbits. I would still wait untill the temps are within that range. I do the same for my birds when I move them outdoors for the summer. I wait untill late spring, so they don’t have too much of a temperature difference to cope with.

      Okay I won’t, this forum does seem to have some great information on bunny care. I’ll definitely wait until late March until I move them when it, according to weather averages, should be less than a 15 degree change in temp. I’m not even factoring in that they already live in a cold part of the house so think this’ll be fine. Thankyou  


    • radiatorbunny12
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      Posted By sarahthegemini on 1/28/2017 2:48 AM

      I agree with Vanessa – don’t leave or feel you have to leave. This forum is for house rabbits but of course you can still gather a wealth of information on here regardless of where you keep your bunnies. I apologise if I came across as harsh, I just feel very passionately about rabbit care and unfortunately a lot of people do just plonk their bun outdoors and leave it. Obviously that’s not the case with you, so I apologise 

      It’s okay. Suppose I’m a little sensitive about it as it’s my only option for the moment! But yes they will have a lot of space out there and attention and will check daily that they don’t have wet fur or wet bums or anything which apparently is what normally leads to fly strike.. correct me if I’m wrong 


    • radiatorbunny12
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      Posted By bam on 1/28/2017 3:07 AM

      I agree too, absolutely don’t feel you have to leave. We advocate the keeping of rabbits indoors, but that’s not always possibl. There are still lots of aspects about rabbit care that are the same for indoors and outdoors bunnies. It’s great that your bunnies are bonded. One big problem with housing a single bun outside is that it gets very lonely.

      Bunnies housed outside might need deworming once or twice a year, if they graze on the ground, and in the UK, they definitely need to be vaccinated against myxo and the RVHDs. These deadly diseases are spread by mosquitos and ticks, so rabbits can get them even if they have no direct contact with wild rabbits.

      Yes that’s why I’ve brought my bunnies inside temporarily whilst bonding, just couldn’t bear to see my first bun alone out there. They’re both vaccinated against myxo and VHD1 and VHD2 and I’ll look into deworming thanks  


    • radiatorbunny12
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      Posted By Vienna Blue in France on 1/28/2017 3:41 AM

      Forgotmylastone – of course we want you here – you’ll learn loads and you’ll contribute loads too to the discussions.

      Outdoors a bit / indoors 100%, it’s the rabbit welfare that we care about (and cute photos!) – or else I wouldn’t be here tapping away at breakfast with one hand and chomping my Shredded Wheats with the other hand (a full bowl for me, one tiny knitted square for each of the buns!)

      Where my buns were bonded, the lady had a shed bigger (almost) bigger than my house – so I don’t judge on the word ‘shed’.

      There’s an on-off member-debate about keeping CATS inside 100% versus letting them outdoors – (oh DON’T get us started Vienna – LOL !!!!!!) so everyone has different opinions – and I certainly feel on BB that we can get our opinions across in an extremely civilised manner, (usually) without offending

      We’re a great bunch (with international humours!) – stay and find out

      So please stay and keep us updated on your cosy home for the buns

      We LOVE piccies for doggies too

      The image of those bowls for the bunnies is adorable  Well I can’t say the shed is bigger than my house haha (though that is awesome) but it’s wayyy more spacious than what they could have indoors and that’s excluding the large run that’s attached. 

      I do think it’s great that people all over the world are here talking about their bunnies. I will post some pics of their home when they’re all settled in and it’s looking a bit brighter outside. Haha I’m glad, my dogs are a bit crazy but definitely very cute. 


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Yay – you’re staying

      My bunnies don’t have tiny little bowls (lol) I just hand them one Shreddie each when I have a bowl (sorry, not Shredded Wheat)

      We look forward to seeing the piccies.

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Moving rabbits outdoors