Winterize Your Hutch
Outdoor rabbits need protection against wind, rain and cold. Here are some things that will make your bunny more comfortable.
A new plastic tarp over the roof, sides and front of a hutch can protect from rain and wind. At night the tarp can fully cover the hutch. During the day, it can be folded back to the roof line. On rainy days, the tarp can be folded to extend out and parallel to the roof to keep rain from the hutch.
Rigid foam board insulation can be cut to shape and nested in the wood frame on one or both sides of the hutch. The board can be inserted and removed easily as the weather changes. Rigid foam board will also improve wind protection.
Quilted moving blankets can be used alone or under a tarp to add some insulation to the hutch during cold weather. If you use moving blankets under a tarp, check the blanket after a rain. Tarps leak. Dry the blanket out as needed.
Inside the hutch: A plastic litter pan heaped full of hay will protect the rabbit from wind and provide some insulation. A wooden or cardboard box placed over the litter box will provide extra protection. It is especially important that hay be clean and dry if it is to provide warmth.
If an electric outlet is available, nest box warmers offer a safe source of heat during the winter. A nest box warmer is a heating pad. Made of metal with a maximum heat of 96 degrees, a spring style chew guard protects the cord from sharp teeth. Nest box warmers can be placed under a litter box, or wrapped in a towel. The rabbit then has a warm spot available when cold. They are available from Stromberg's Chicks & Gamebirds Unlimited Another alternative is a small animal heating pad from Cozy Winters. Nine by twelve inches, the pads are weather proof for outdoor or indoor use. The 5’6” cord is “chew resistant.” Be sure to keep electric cords away from the rabbit.