Like many animals, rabbits love to frolic in the grass and breathe the fresh air. The temptation is great to install your mammal outside but you fear for her health and its security. Our advice to guarantee your move in peace.
Can the domestic rabbit live outside?
Yes, a domestic rabbit can live outdoors all year. Moreover, even if you live in an apartment, you can take it out on your balcony on condition of course, to secure the site. If you have a garden, your rabbit will be delighted to discover it but there again, it will be necessary to take the precautions to ensure its good health (with regard to weather hazards) and its security against possible predators. Life in the great outdoors will awaken his senses and bring him incomparable well-being both in terms of physical that mental.
Can a rabbit stand the cold and heat?
You should know that the rabbit suffers more from heat than cold because, nature being well made, it eats more to store fat and its coat expands at the dawn of winter. However, this process only starts if a acclimatization progressive has been achieved. Therefore, there is no question of installing the animal outside in a brutal way in October. It must be taken out as soon as spring so that his body gets used to the temperature variations that accompany the seasons. Although apparently fragile, the rabbit is resistant but an old, young individual (less than 6 months), sick or pregnant should preferably stay indoors.
What habitat for a rabbit outdoors?
If your rabbit is moving outside, theenclosure remains the best option for you to avoid having to constantly monitor it. Ideally, it takes 6 m2 for two individuals. Some hiding places will delight them because they will feel there security. The store offers enclosures in metal or wood. A tiled, cement or plywood roof works well as long as it withstands weathering. rain. On the other hand, it will be necessary to avoid the sheet metal which turns out to be too cold in winter and which heats too much in summer. It will then be a question of completing the house of the rabbit with a hutch that you will connect in the enclosure to let the animal live as it pleases. Don’t forget to cover it with protective net to avoid the intrusion of nocturnal predators: foxes, martens and other weasels.
How to protect your rabbit all year round?
The location and layout of its enclosure will have to adapt to the rhythm of seasons.
- In hot weather, place your rabbit’s habitat in a place shady or use a roof to create shade (keep in mind that the sunny area moves throughout the day). Make sure his home stays well airy. In the event of a heat wave, a trick is to freeze water bottles and bury them in straw on the ground. The rabbit will be able to cool off. Also make sure to renew his water bowl daily;
- When autumn arrives, it is strongly advised not to leave the ground without substrate. It will be necessary to think about protecting its enclosure with, for example, an addition of litter to promote the isolation (layer of straw and / or alfalfa…). You can also line the floor and walls with newspaper;
- In winter, it will be wise to fill your house with Straw in which he can burrow to keep warm. The night, you can cover his refuge with a tarp or blanket. The aim is to reduce Air Currents and retain heat while providing good ventilation;
- Extreme temperature can cause stress and respiratory problems in rabbits. To help it pass this course, there are mini radiators to be installed near its cage, making sure that no electric cable is accessible. There are also heating mats, but you can also place hot water bottles filled with lukewarm water and tightly closed. Also, check that its water is not frozen and feed it more to provide it with the energy it needs to withstand the cold;
- To face bad weather, it is imperative to fix a awning and place the opening of the hutch back to the prevailing winds. Thehumidity soil being the vector of disease, also check that the water bowl has not been overturned. As a reminder, a domestic rabbit can die of fear. Thus, during violent episodes of thunderstorms (but also in the event of heavy rain or snow), do not hesitate to repatriate your animal to a place sheltered veranda, garage or basement type.
Can we release our rabbit in the garden?
To completely satisfy his thirst for freedom, you can suggest to your rabbit to frolic happily in the grass of your garden. This happiness will be possible on condition only that your land is perfectly fencing walls, preventing it from escaping. Another danger lies in the presence of plants which may turn out to be toxic. Among the most common are ivy, wisteria, boxwood, holly, yew, rhododendron, oleander, lily of the valley, daffodil, lily, tulip, peony, carnation, the poppy… According to the quantity ingested, these plants can cause more or less severe poisoning ranging from sudden death to transient diarrhea. Freedom, yes, but supervised.