Keeping your rabbits safe in the cold

Here in the south we are experiencing unseasonably cold spells.  Most of our rabbitries are not designed for temperatures below freezing since our biggest climate troubles usually come during the heat of summer.  A healthy angora rabbit can easily handle freezing temperatures as long as it is sheltered from the wind (rabbits sheared recently will require additional protection).  Tarps make a good temporary wind break as long as they are attached to a sturdy frame.  I like to use tarps around cages because I can control the airflow – tarps are rolled down during cold or rainy days and rolled up in the heat of the summer to allow a cooling breeze. If your rabbit has a nice spot to get out of the wind then the next most important thing is to keep water available.  In these temperatures water can freeze in less then an hour.  You need to provide fresh water several times a day.  Provide warm water if possible to encourage them to drink more.  If they do not drink enough, their digestive system will not work properly and they are more likely to get wool block. Watch any rabbit in full coat carefully for wool block in the weeks following a cold snap.