In principle, keeping rabbits outdoors is not a problem at all, even in the depths of winter. But to be well protected against the icy cold, rabbits need one thing above all: a thick, well-insulating winter coat. And unfortunately, they don’t get that overnight.
This means that rabbits that are to remain outdoors throughout the winter should ideally live outdoors as early as summer – or even better, as early as spring.
However, for rabbits that have lived indoors until now, there should be no more night frosts. So it is best to wait until May and then put the rabbit outside. It is also important that the outside temperature is as similar as possible to that inside the house, to avoid too great a difference in temperature.
In the first few weeks, however, rabbits should not yet be placed in the enclosure during rain or morning dew when there is grass. This is because rabbits that are used to being kept indoors have a somewhat more sensitive digestive system and could have problems eating the wet grass. That is, then a gradual habituation is best. By August, however, the animals should really be accustomed to the outdoors around the clock and then even the first ground frost in the fall will not harm them.
Rabbits that do not yet have a sufficiently thick coat and are put outside in frosty temperatures could otherwise catch colds or other respiratory diseases.
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