If you decided to get a new lionhead rabbit into your home, it does not necessarily have to mean that you plan to keep it inside. Indeed, some owners prefer constructing some nice outdoor areas for their rabbits. This can often ensure more fun space for such pets, but can lionhead rabbits stay outside in the first place?
Generally speaking, rabbits require a lot of space to move and jump around, so keeping them outdoor can be a good idea. However, there are several risks which such environment can bring as opposed to indoor enclosures.
Every potential rabbit owner should be well informed of such risks, in order to being able of minimizing them.
Keeping Lionhead Rabbits Outdoor
There are several factors which one needs to be attentive about when the decision of keeping rabbits outside is made.
1. Hutch & Runway
The first amazing advantage of keeping your rabbits outdoor is being able to provide them great space. This includes both a hutch and a runway.
These can be either purchased or constructed, and sizes may vary a lot, depending on the space you are willing to dedicate to your pets. The hutch is best when made out of wood and it should offer enough space to move around. Ideally, each rabbit should get enough space to cover their body length at least five times.
Runways are a great addition to outdoor enclosures. Some owners like to keep them separately from the hutch, but it is more and more popular to connect them these days. That way, your rabbit can choose itself when it is time to play and when it is time to rest.
Providing high-quality materials and lots of space when constructing their enclosures can make a huge difference to their overall well-being.
Offering safety and protection to your pet is essential, and such importance doubles when keeping it outside.
Lionhead rabbits are extremely sensitive to external factors such as weather conditions. They can easily get pneumonia when getting wet, so covering them from rain is a must. Also, they should be well protected both from wind (not to get too cold) and from sun (because of their heavy fur).
Covering at least two sides of their enclosures is highly suggestable, as well as offering some sort of partial roof. It is important to provide them protection but also to offer them the possibility of spending time under the open sky when they want to. Metal materials are good to be avoided, as they can get extremely hot or cold, which can ultimately harm your pet.
During cold winter days, it is recommendable to place a heat lamp in one corner, so rabbits do not freeze. On the other side, providing them enough shade during hot summer days is also super-important.
That said, providing your pets protection from all sorts of predators is also crucial. This does not only include surrounding their enclosures with a fence (from above, too) but also placing appropriate flooring. This can ultimately avoid either rabbits getting out or predators getting inside.
Bedding is necessary for outdoor rabbit enclosures, as this is the only way to offer them insulation during colder times.
Hay, straw, and aspen wood shavings are all good insulators and are completely safe for pets.
Feeding outdoor rabbits does not vary a lot from feeding indoor rabbits. Hay is their primarily feeding source, and some commercial pellets can be added in small amounts. They love getting tasty treats such as greens or fruits, too.
Keep an eye on their water sources during cold days, as these tend to freeze often. It is essential for your pet having fresh water available at all times.
When it comes to enclosure maintenance, this is surely easier with outdoor ones. With such enclosures being usually larger, and located under fresh air, cleaning is not required that often.
Problems with Keeping Lionhead Rabbits Outside
Even if you put a lot of effort and love into keeping your rabbit outside, there are still several problems which can occur, and the most common are listed below.
- Sickness: Outdoor rabbits tend to get sick easier if compared to those kept inside. They can get large temperature shocks, but also dangerous insect bites or various bacterias.
- Extreme Temperature (hot or cold): Lionhead rabbits are sensitive to weather conditions, both hot and cold extremes. And, even when providing them great shelter options, there is still a high chance of them being affected.
- Freezing Water: As mentioned above, water can easily freeze during wintertime, depriving rabbits of drinking options.
- Predators: Constructing a high-quality fence and roof is no guarantee that predators will not find their way in eventually.
- Loneliness: Rabbits are really sociable and tend to get lonely often. Even if you keep them in pairs, they will be around people less often when living outside, which means they can ultimately feel disregarded.
- Lifespan: Life expectancy of rabbits can become much shortened due to higher stress levels and all the above listed factors.
What is the Minimum Temperature for Lionhead Rabbits?
All temperature levels which go below 50-degrees Fahrenheit or 10-degrees Celsius can harm the overall health of any lionhead rabbit. This is especially valid if they are not protected well from wind or rain. Or even air humidity.
Can Lionhead Rabbits Freeze to Death?
Yes, lionhead rabbits can certainly freeze to death if spending time in the cold. Even if they do not freeze, they can still get several cold-related illnesses.
Can Lionhead Rabbits Get a Heat Stroke?
Yes, lionhead rabbits can get a heat stroke. Actually, this happens quite often, due to their extreme sensibility to weather conditions and heavy fur.
Lionhead rabbits are happiest when kept inside. However, living outside can bring to several advantages, such as having lots of space for moving around and playing with their mates.
Depending on the area where you live and the usual weather conditions, constructing an outside enclosure for your pets can be a great idea, but it does bring several risks, and we find it important for you to know them all.