Moving the rabbits outdoors - how much acclimatizing do they need?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by MaggieJ, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I need to move my rabbits back into their three-seasons rabbitry a little sooner than I had expected. They have been in a semi-heated porch (50 -70 degrees, depending on the weather and sunshine) since November.

    The nightime outdoor temperatures here vary from about 25 - 35 degrees Fahrenheit at this time of year. Daytimes should mostly be above freezing and the tendency this year seems to be toward an early spring. Our last frost date is around May 24.

    Will my rabbits need to be acclimatized in order to cope with the temperature change when I put them outdoors? Their cages will be off the ground in a chain-link structure covered with a tarp to protect them from rain. Smaller tarps are used strategically on the walls when the the wind is high. They did great there last summer and fall, but I moved them into the porch to make caring for them easier in winter and to avoid losing kits to the cold. Last fall, the temperatures were every bit as variiable as spring temperatures would be now, but I am concerned about them getting sick. Or am I worrying needlessly?
     
  2. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    it wont hurt to aclimate them, just slowly back the temp down in their porch area till its down almost to what it would be out side, that way they are brought slowly into the cooler weather, and its not as much of a shock, but it will take a few days to a week or more to accomplish this i would think,
     

  3. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks, KSALguy, for the suggestions. Its a bit difficult to acclimatize them in the porch, unfortunately. The porch has no direct heating (I closed the register there) but since we are renovating, there is an open doorway between it and the next room. If I open the porch windows I'll be heating all of Canada. With the price of fuel oil, I don't want to be doing that. Maybe I can close off the doorway temporarily with vapour barrier and then open the porch windows.

    Anyone have any other ideas or opinions?
     
  4. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Maggie, we're right across the lake from each other, and I know there is some cold predicted for the end of this week, but we're into April already and I don't think you're rabbits would have problems if they went outside as long as they have protection from the wind during this last cold. Can't imagine being too bad from this point on for a rabbit that's been indoors. After all, they are rabbits and they like cool weather better than warm weather, anyway. I have some in my garage that I have to get outside, too.

    Jennifer
     
  5. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks Jennifer... It's reassuring to hear from someone who knows the conditions here. I opened the window in the porch today (even at risk of heating the whole country) to start getting them used to the sounds and coolness. I'll likely wait until Thursday to move them out.... the long range forcast sounds not too bad. And I'll put up extra tarps to cut the wind and give them each a carton with hay to start off with... By the time they destroy it, they should have acclimatized. I hope so anyway. This is my first spring with rabbits so I am probably agonizing needlessly. I do so like my critters to have the best care that I can give them.