In the hustle and bustle of planning, indulging and recovering from Christmas it’s easy to forget to spare a thought for your rabbits stuck outside in the cold. Winter is well and truly here with Dalwhinne in Scotland recording a temperature of -9C on the 13th. The north has had more than its fair share of snow and rain this December and the UK as a whole is suffering from some extreme weather.
We know that rabbits are quite robust in cold temperatures – they’d have to be to survive on our chilly island – but their immune systems can become suppressed by long periods spent in the cold. If water reaches their skin they can quickly become very ill, fatally so. Therefore, it is vital to provide your rabbits with a safe, fully enclosed area where your rabbits can remain warm and dry whatever the weather.
Somewhere like our Rabbitopia!
Designed to ensure your rabbit’s comfort in all weather the generous enclosed space lets rabbits play safely when weather permits but, when the wind picks up or rain pours down, they can retreat up the SkyBurrow to their SkyDen to remain warm and dry!
The what? Their where?
The SkyBurrow has been designed by Alex Murphy, its creator, as an above ground burrow. It is a tower that contains a system of shelves that enables your rabbit to climb. Shelves? Yes, shelves, because rabbits move around by hopping. Meaning their entire skeletal and muscle system is not suited to the ramps commonly found in commercial rabbit homes. By using shelves instead of ramps, we make sure your rabbits stretch their legs as they hop from level to level stopping cramp and muscle wastage. Another perk of using shelves instead of ramps is it prevents accidents. We know how quickly limbs can become clumsy in the cold and you don’t want your rabbits sliding to the bottom of the ramp or struggling to get up it.
The SkyBurrow is protected on three sides by solid 12.5mm thick timber to protect it from the elements whereas the Vantage Point, located just above the multi level shelves, is enclosed with galvanised mesh giving your curious bunnies a 360 view of their surroundings. Then, when it gets a bit nippy for your bunnies, off they hop up into the SkyDen.
The SkyDen? What’s that?
The SkyDen is a specially insulated system at the top of the SkyBurrow tower. It’s insulated with polyurethane, the material that NASA uses to insulate the external fuel tank of their space shuttles. The entry point to the SkyDen is located underneath. In contrast to hutches that require side entry. It helps keep the SkyDen warm and cosy whatever the weather outside. The location of the SkyDen also plays a major factor in the heat insulation. Being located 2m off the ground helps the SkyDen retain hot air as it rises. Thus it means it’s not exposed to the damp, cold or frozen ground!
Of course, even the best home for your rabbits isn’t a safe winter home without the owner’s effort. Make sure they have plenty of hay. Check that their water hasn’t frozen. Lastly make sure that you change their bedding regularly. Yes, even on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day when it is minus two out there.
Think of the rabbits!