Most dogs dig the winter! Jumping in piles of fluffy snow and running through forests with winter white paws is most dogs’ dream! But depending on dog breed, some find the winter season more magical than others.
While enjoying the beauty of the snowy colder months with your dog can be loads of fun, without proper care and preparation, extreme weather can also be quite treacherous for dogs and humans alike! That’s why we created this list of 5 helpful tips to keep your dog safe this winter.
Walking in a winter wonderland is a dreamy thought especially if it’s with your bestest furry four-legged friend. But as idyllic as that holiday scene may be, the truth is, some parts of the country get entirely too cold for dogs to handle being outside for extended periods of time.
So what does that mean for your dog’s treasured walks each day? Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean their walks have to stop! Instead, increase your usual 1-2 long walks per day to 3-5 short walks so the amount of time spent outside is the same, but in shorter periods of time.
This way, your dog can still enjoy the fresh air and release some energy but without getting frozen paws in the process! Don’t forget to thoroughly dry those foot pads before coming back inside – because no dog likes cold, wet feet.
While you are digging through your closet to pull out your wooly winter sweaters, feel free to fetch a dog coat (or two!) for your furry friend as well! Even though dogs are covered in coats of hair and fur, they can still get too cold in the winter months if not protected.
Your dog’s ability to handle colder temperatures is entirely dependent upon their age, breed, and size. Thicker coat breeds, such as Huskies and Akitas, may be able to handle lower temperatures, but even these “winter dogs” need to have protective gear when being outside in winter!
Make sure you have a warm, waterproof dog jacket or sweater that is not too tightly fitting for your dog to wear. If your part of the country has snow on the ground most of winter, think about getting some dog booties as well for your pup. The salt and ice can get stuck in their paws on even short intermittent walks causing irritation later if not cleaned out.
And for those last potty breaks before bed, attach a flashlight to your dog’s harness or collar so both you and your dog can avoid any icy patches!
Winter dog grooming
Making sure your dog’s fur is well-groomed is not just a hot weather activity. In fact, keeping up with your dog’s coat in the winter is almost just as important as any other time of the year!
Here’s why – a healthy coat on a dog acts like a temperature regulator. It can keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. So maintaining a regular brushing schedule of your dog’s coat is essential during winter to ensure their bodies continue to do what they naturally do which is keep them comfortable! And be sure to avoid any complete hair shavings during this time of year.
What about the paws? Don’t forget to pay closer attention to your dog’s nails this winter and keep them trimmed. Walking on snow lined pathways may seem soft and nice, but this means that your dog’s paws aren’t getting the natural manicure they are used to when walking on hard concrete.
Indoor winter fun
Frost-covered windows and snowy white drifts outside create a need for warm places to cuddle inside! And who better to enjoy a cozy snuggle with than your dog?
When weather conditions become too extreme to be outside longer than a quick puppy pee, that means it’s time to create a cozy cuddleland indoors! In order to avoid cabin fever, have lots of dog toys on hand to keep your pup physically and mentally active. This is a great time to play new games of “hide and fetch” with your dog so they can get out some energy while also engaging more with you!
And after they have a good round of tug and play, be sure your dog has a cozy spot to snuggle into for a nap or the night. Even if your house is heated, the floorboards can still be too cool for a dog to lay on, so get a bed that is elevated to allow for more warm air to flow around them. The Topology Dog Bed designed by Omlet is a great option as the toppers and mattress covers are machine washable, making it super easy to clean!
Is your dog more of a “need a retreat” kind of dog? Then get them a comfortable dog den of their own to get cozy in like the Fido Nook Dog Crate designed by Omlet. Add a super soft sheepskin blanket to their sleeping quarters and you will have your dog dreaming of sugar plum fairies in no time!
Cold weather pet care
Dogs are no different from humans when it comes to health and the dangers of extreme cold weather conditions. Have you ever noticed that small aches and pains in your joints tend to feel worse in the winter? That’s because colder temperatures increase the pressure inside your joints, causing pain receptors to be more sensitive and resulting in a greater sense of discomfort.
Well the same is true for dog’s who have any medical conditions with joint pain or arthritis. The colder winter weather decreases their circulation and increases the stiffness in their already strained muscles and joints.
So what can you do to make your dog more comfortable this winter? Several factors can account for your dog’s medical condition so it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian about your dog’s specific needs. But some best practices include keeping weight gain at a minimum, finding lots of ways to keep them warm, and being sure they have a comfortable dog bed to rest on.
Dogs who are prone to joint pain should also continue to move despite the thought that rest will make it better. Just be sure to stick to walks on cleared paths to avoid the slippery ice and snow that can make walking difficult for both you and your dog!
Winter is here! Experiencing these colder months with your dog can make this season more memorable and enjoyable for everyone as long safety measures are in place! So gather the dog blankets, heat up the hot chocolate and watch the snow as it gently falls out your window. With these 5 tips and lots of your love, your dog will be kept safe and warm all winter long!
This entry was posted in Dogs
The leaves are falling and temperatures are dropping. Fall has faded into winter and the crisp air hints at colder weather to come. As you move into winter with a cozy jacket, help your pooch conquer the cold and welcome in the new season by your side. Follow these tips for transitioning your dog into winter and watch them wag their tail goodbye to crunchy leaves and hello to snow-filled strolls.
How cold is too cold?
Most dogs can tolerate cold temperatures pretty well – they do have a built-in fur coat, after all. But how do you know when winter cold is too much for Fido? The best way to temperature check your dog is by looking out for these signs:
- Sitting in a hunched position with their tail tucked in.
- Whining incessantly – this is usually dog speak for “I’m cold – let’s go get warm”.
- Reluctant to go on a walk when they usually love being outside.
These breeds were made for winter
All dogs need some extra care and warmth during the winter months but certain breeds are more susceptible to becoming too cold. Those most likely to need the help of a winter coat are the smaller, short-haired breeds like beagles, pugs, and chihuahuas. Hardier dog breeds such as Siberian huskies and malamutes, on the other hand, fare much better in cooler climates.
Don’t be fooled by their size – there are a few larger dog breeds that struggle in the winter, too. Great Danes, Salukis and German shorthaired pointers are a few examples that are more averse to chilly temperatures due to their shorter coats or minimal body fat.
You’ll want to pay close attention to your dog’s body language on cooler days. Temperatures of 45℉ or below can become risky for long walks or extended outdoor play for dogs susceptible to getting too cold, including older dogs as well.
Winter entertainment essentials
Cold-weather walks around the block may suffice in some parts of the country for dogs this winter, but when the temperatures start to plummet too low, it’s time to move the exercise indoors.
Keeping your dog stimulated indoors is important all year round but especially when conditions mean daily walkies might be off-limits. Here are a few ways to keep your dog active indoors when it’s too cold to play outside:
- Toys, toys, and toys. Whether plush or hard, squeaky or silent, dog toys are an excellent way to keep your dog’s playtime going when indoors. Plus, a game of tug of war or indoor fetch are great bonding activities for you and your pet.
- Hide and see the treats. One of the best ways to get your dog moving is to have them hunt for hidden treats throughout the house. This game doubles as brain training too, so your pup will be able to get both a physical and mental workout in.
- Have a playdate. When it’s too cold to meet up at your favorite dog park, consider having a dog friend over instead to burn off some energy.
- Training and tricks. Take advantage of the extra time with your furry friend by teaching them a new trick. Keep sessions short and be sure to use plenty of treats and praise to get Fido motivated.
Creating your dog’s winter wonderland
To make sure your dog stays snug this season, create a winter wonderland inside by cozying up your quarters. Winter proofing your home for your dog has never been so easy with Omlet’s range of ingeniously designed products to take you through the year.
Nothing’s better than coming home to a warm bed after being outside on a winter’s day. And with Omlet’s Topology Dog Bed not only will you provide your pup with an unparalleled sleep experience on a supportive memory foam mattress, but you can customize their topper from a variety of options that keep them warm and cozy all winter long. Simply zip on a new topper when it’s time to get comfy and zip it off to clean those muddy paw prints with a quick spin in the machine.
Choose from the Sheepskin topper for the ultimate snuggly soft sleep, or for post-snowy walkies, the Micorfiber topper is quick drying to get them feeling warm again in no time.
To take their bed to another level of comfort, layer up with the Omlet Luxury Faux Sheepskin Dog Blanket. Or place the plush throw on your bed or couch so you can share a snuggle together. Plus, with three sizes to choose from, you can choose a blanket big enough to wrap around any dog.
Should your dog’s diet change in winter?
While humans may sometimes gain an extra layer of warmth during the holiday seasons, be careful your dog doesn’t follow suit. Just like us, dogs may try and consume more calories during winter to try and create an extra layer of warmth. But, overconsumption of food can lead to health complications in the long run if not watched carefully.
If your dog is active the rest of the year but they start to slow down during winter, you’ll want to maintain a steady calorie intake to not add too much weight. Speak to your veterinarian about switching their diet away from foods high in carbohydrates and more protein and fiber-rich foods to keep them fuller longer.
An extra helping of omega-3 will also be beneficial for your pup this season. This will help with keeping their skin and coat in top condition, free from flaking and itching. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you what they think is best for your pet, but dog-friendly omega-3 supplements are readily available online or in your local pet store.
Omlet and your dog’s winter
Winter can be one of the best seasons, especially with your dog by your side. While you might be spending more time on the couch and less time out on adventures, with products like the Topology Dog Bed, Luxury Faux Sheepskin Dog Blanket and dog toys from Omlet, transitioning into this wonderful time of year has never been easier.
This entry was posted in Dogs
Winter is highly anticipated by some, and a source of apprehension for others. Depending on where you live, your outdoor rabbit could fall into either category! Rabbits that live in states that experience long, hot summers look forward to winter with glee. However, bunnies living in states that experience bitter cold in the winter may not share the same excitement with their neighbors to the south. The good news is that rabbits are naturally able to handle the cold better than excessive heat, and with a helping hand from their human, they’ll be ready to withstand the cold winter months.
Your pet rabbit’s wild counterparts have multiple ways of managing their wellbeing in the cold. For instance, rabbits have a burrowing instinct, as the underground is more insulated and temperature-regulated than the outside air and at the mercy of the weather. But since burrowing down in the ground all winter isn’t an option for most domesticated rabbits, we’ve created rabbit hutches and accessories at Omlet to simulate the ideal conditions for your rabbit to withstand wild weather of all varieties!
With a few minor adjustments to your rabbit’s diet and routine, along with products designed by Omlet to keep the weather out and the warmth in, your rabbit can spend the winter months in their element – safe from the elements!
Rabbits have dense coats that insulate them from both heat and cold. In the summertime, you’ll notice your rabbit “blowing” their coat frequently in an effort to release their dense undercoat in favor of the longer “guard hairs” on top. As the days shorten and grow colder, outdoor rabbits will shed less and grow out their insulating undercoat once again in preparation for winter. You’ll notice your bunny looking particularly poofy by the time cold weather sets in!
Once they’ve donned their winter coats (courtesy of nature!), bunnies are right at home in the cold! Like their wild counterparts, most pet rabbits will appear more energetic and playful in the colder months. But their increased activity isn’t just out of joy for the season – it’s also to create more energy and heat to warm themselves up. Nevertheless, it’s fun to watch pet rabbits increase their body temperatures through zoomies, hopping, binkies, and social play!
Multiple factors such as breed, size, housing conditions, and age need to be taken into consideration when determining how cold is too cold for your rabbit. As a general rule, most rabbits should be comfortable in temperatures above freezing. Once the weather hits 32℉, it’s time to evaluate how your bunny is faring.
For more frequently asked questions regarding keeping your pet rabbit outside during the winter, visit: Will My Rabbits Be Ok Outside in the Winter?
Blizzards and bunnies
Rabbits don’t mind a little snow, but if you’re in an area that experiences hard frosts and blizzard conditions, you’ll need to bolster your bunny’s shelter!
One of the best ways to keep your outdoor rabbit warm is to mimic their natural tactics in the wild. Bunnies burrow, nest, and huddle together for warmth – all of which you can recreate for your pet rabbit. Insulation, both in the wild and in your backyard, is a rabbit’s best friend in the cold.
Think of your rabbit’s hutch as their burrow. At Omlet, we’ve invented all of our rabbit products to maintain ideal temperatures and conditions for rabbits – just like they seek out in the wild. By selecting a well designed home for your bunny, such as the Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch, they will have an insulated hideaway from the cold that provides ample ventilation without sacrificing warmth. But unlike a bunny-engineered burrow, the Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch is waterproof and predator-resistant for when critters come lurking.
For frigid cold snaps, an Extreme Temperature Blanket is an excellent added layer of insulation for your rabbit’s hutch. Like any good insulation, the material won’t become waterlogged when the snow begins to melt, and traps extra heat underneath to further warm the hutch.
Wild winter weather
The winter season is unpredictable at best, and downright wild at its worst! Cold fronts can come out of nowhere, bringing temperature drops and heavy sleet or snow.
Rabbits, being the intuitive and sensitive animals that they are, can sense when a storm is coming. They can sense atmospheric pressure changes, which will drive them to seek shelter and hunker down. When seeking shelter, rabbits will choose the closest cover available. By placing a few Zippi Rabbit Shelters in their run, you can make sure your rabbit has ample opportunity to escape from the elements.
But you can also create a silver-lining to those winter storm clouds by creating a winter wonderland play-scape for your bunnies! By using a combination of Zippi Rabbit Tunnels, Zippi Rabbit Platforms, and Zippi Rabbit Shelters, you can design a winter-friendly playground that will make your bunny binky with joy!
Health and dietary considerations for winter
Rabbits need different care in the cold months vs the warmer months. You’ll want to inspect your rabbit’s coat before the first cold snap of the season. Check to make sure their undercoat is thick and healthy, and that they don’t have any patches where their hair has not grown in fully (rabbits may have bare or thinned patches of fur from rubbing, playing with each other, or from nervous grooming habits).
Make sure all water bottles or crocks are either insulated or heated to prevent freezing. Heating water on the stove or in the microwave several times a day to add to your rabbit’s watering device is another way of keeping their water thawed and palatable.
Rabbits also ramp up their metabolisms in the winter, and they’ll need more calories to support and maintain their increase in body temperature. They may pass on a hot cup of tea or cocoa, but your rabbit will thank you for extra hay and hay-based pellets during cold weather! You can give treats as usual, but additional treats aren’t necessary. Thanks to their unique digestive system, rabbits benefit the most from foods high in fiber – the longer it takes to digest, the more heat gets generated. Timothy hay, orchard grass, oat hay, and meadow hay are all energy-lending options that should be available at all times to your rabbit. Pelleted feed made primarily from hay should be free-fed as well. If you’re feeding your rabbit a blend (feed that has colored pellets, cracked corn, or seeds) once or twice a day, you’ll want to transition to feeding a pellet feed before the winter. You can save their blended feed for a special treat to be given in small amounts a few times a week!
It’s important to remember that rabbits do not hibernate. In fact, they become even more active during the colder months! If you notice your rabbit acting lethargic or sluggish, bring them inside and contact your veterinarian. An underactive bunny in the winter is either too cold, or will become too cold very quickly!
It’s all in the design
Preparation is the best method for caring for your rabbit in the cold months. But wouldn’t it be nice to have rabbit-housing solutions that work not only in the cold, but also in the heat?
We don’t want you to have to swap out setups every time the seasons change! That’s why we’ve invented one-product-suits-all solutions for caring for and enjoying your pets.
The Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch was designed to keep your rabbit’s thermostat at an even level all year long. And, with an added Extreme Temperature Blanket, you’ll give your bunny the highest level of comfort possible to not only endure the winter months, but to enjoy them!
And don’t forget that while creating a happy winter-home is important for your rabbit, playtime doesn’t have to fall to the wayside just because it’s chilly! An Outdoor Rabbit Run gives you plenty of space to create a fun playground for your rabbit that you can walk in and enjoy with them!
No matter where you spend your winter, Omlet is here to help you and your rabbit enjoy this season together. Whatever the weather – from temperate to frigid- we’ve thought up the products to cover your rabbit from every angle!
This entry was posted in Rabbits
Winter is here, and the chilly weather means that our pets could all benefit from a bit of our help to try and keep snug. As a dog owner, you may be wondering what exactly you can do to keep your dog warm this season. How about investing in an extra cosy dog bed? Or maybe you’ve considered buying them a jacket for them to wear on walks? But have you ever thought about getting your dog their own blanket?
Will all dogs benefit from a blanket?
Some dogs struggle to regulate their body temperature more than others, which means they need extra warmth from a blanket, especially in the colder weather. Older dogs, in particular, have a weaker immune system and are more likely to develop joint pain such as arthritis as they get older. As a result, they have a harder time trying to stay warm, which is why they’d often rather stay out of the cold weather and relax inside under a dog blanket to keep toasty.
Smaller dogs, especially toy breeds such as Toy Poodles and Yorkshire Terriers, can also have a hard time over winter. This is because bigger dogs have a smaller skin surface area to body weight ratio in comparison to smaller breeds. Put simply, this means that small dogs lose heat at a quicker rate. Furthermore, finely boned dogs that weigh less like Greyhounds and Whippets also feel the cold more, as they have less fat to keep them insulated.
When it comes to the cold, the general rule of thumb is that if it’s too cold for you, then it’s too cold for your dog to go outside. Most dogs are happy to be outside for long periods of time until the temperature drops below 7°C but with vulnerable dogs, it’s important to be even more cautious with taking them outside during the winter. You can read more about this on our previous blog Is My Dog Too Cold?.
All dogs, however, can benefit from having a warm blanket, even if they don’t fall into the vulnerable category of being susceptible to finding the cold weather particularly difficult. The Omlet Luxury Faux Sheepskin Dog Blanket is a great option to go for if you’re looking for a suitable blanket to meet your pup’s needs, regardless of size or age. The throw is available in three different sizes for you to choose from, making it the ideal pet blanket for any dog.
If a dog’s fur keeps them warm, then why do they need a blanket?
Whilst it’s true that one of the main purposes of dogs’ fur is to keep them protected from the outside elements such as the weather, this doesn’t entirely stop them from feeling the cold altogether. A good way to think about this is how we also need the help of a few added layers of warmer clothing in colder weather. It’s also important as dog owners to remember that some dogs’ fur makes them more equipped to handle the cold than others, just as age or body weight can have an impact. For example, dog breeds such as Huskies and Saint Bernards have particularly thick coats, which provide them with an extra layer of warmth, making them the best dogs for tolerating cold temperatures and snow. Some breeds have shorter, thinner coats, so will benefit more from the warmth of a dog blanket.
Are dog blankets only for winter?
Just like us, dogs still need a comfortable place to rest all year round and a blanket offers more than just warmth over winter for our furry friends. Did you know that it’s a natural instinct for dogs to ‘nest’, or create their own den, which they can seek shelter under, the same way in which they use a blanket? However, we’ll look more closely into the other benefits of dog blankets below.
What are the benefits of dog blankets?
A great night’s sleep for your dog
Dogs love to snooze, and having a comfortable spot to rest their heads is key to a great night’s sleep. Providing your pup with a cosy blanket for their bed or on top of where your dog sleeps will guarantee the deep, dreamy sleep they deserve, particularly on cold nights!
Can help relieve your dog’s anxiety
Dog blankets can be taken anywhere, meaning that they can be a useful tool for reducing your dog’s anxiety. Giving your dog an item that they associate with their home from the smell and feel of the blanket will provide them with a sense of security in new environments when they feel nervous.
Protects your furniture
As well as dog blankets benefitting your dogs, they can benefit owners, too! Pet blankets can be placed on furniture around the home where your dog usually relaxes, meaning that your couch or bed can be protected from muddy paws and fur.
Keeps your home looking stylish
Dog blankets can also add a stylish look to your home! The stylish design of the Omlet Luxury Faux Sheepskin Dog Blanket is perfect for complementing any home decor!
Comfort is key for our beloved dogs, and we only want the best for our pets. So now we know why dog blankets are so important to our furry friends, who wouldn’t want one?
This entry was posted in Dogs
Will my chickens get too cold over winter?
Chickens acclimate themselves very well to the cold weather – and actually fare better in the cold than they do in the heat! As long as they have an insulated coop like the Eglu Cube Chicken Coop to keep them snug, you won’t need to worry about them becoming too chilly over the winter. You might notice some behavioural differences in your chickens during the cold months, such as fluffing up their feathers or huddling together to share body heat and keep warm. Like many other species of birds, chickens also often adopt the ‘one leg’ look, tucking one of their limbs up into the warmth of their bellies. This reduces overall heat loss and stops feet and toes from freezing on the icy ground.
Can chickens get frostbite?
While it’s unlikely that your chickens will become too cold when they’re kept in appropriate winter-weather housing, it’s possible for them to experience frostbite and hypothermia. These are usually the result of excess moisture in their chicken coop as opposed to low temperatures. Make sure to opt for a coop with draft free ventilation to help with this. Breeds with large combs and wattles in particular are susceptible to frostbite on these sensitive body parts during winter. To combat this, you can gently apply Vaseline daily to their combs and wattles.
Do I need to insulate my chicken coop?
Well-insulated chicken coops like the Eglus will keep your chickens warm in winter by capturing the heat from the chickens’ bodies within the interior walls, without allowing any cold air to pass through the exterior walls. They are also designed to let air flow through the coop to prevent a build up of moisture, without any chilly drafts. You can increase the level of protection against even the most extreme temperatures with Omlet’s line of insulating blankets and jackets. If you do not have a cozy Eglu, a wooden coop can be insulated with bubble-wrap, cardboard, or old rugs, carpet remnants, and blankets.
Should I heat my chicken coop?
Did you know that heating your hen house can prevent your chickens wanting to go outside? If their coop is too warm, they will struggle to acclimate to the cold weather outside. By electing to stay in the balmy warmth that a heat fixture provides, chickens will be less likely to venture out into the fresh air for the exercise and entertainment they need to stay healthy and happy! Furthermore, your chickens also run the risk of going into shock at a sudden drop in temperature, which could occur should you encounter a power outage during a winter storm. Heat or brooder lamps and panels pose a significant fire hazard, and chickens can actually overheat in a well-insulated chicken tractor even during the cold weather. Any other heat sources such as electric heaters, gas-powered heaters, or open flames should never be used around chickens.
What should I feed my chickens in winter?
Over winter, it’s a good idea to continue to feed your chickens a diet of high-quality layer pellets to keep them healthy. They usually eat more during cold weather to fuel their metabolism and stay warm, so you’ll want to add in a little extra to their usual feed. Providing your chickens with additional vitamins and minerals will help to keep their immune systems up to scratch over the winter. Additionally, make sure to watch your chickens’ water. Be prepared to break the ice, and have some spare water dispensers ready in case things freeze up entirely. Some low-risk electrical devices to keep your chickens’ water thawed include: heated dog water bowls, heated bases for chicken waterers, or submersible bird bath or aquarium heaters. Be sure to verify the number of gallons your chickens’ water supply holds so you get the correct sized product.
Will my chickens become under the weather over winter?
Just like us, some chickens can feel under the weather after exposure to the cold. Look out for coughing, sneezing, lethargy, or other signs of illness in your chickens. For more advice on chicken ailments, you can read the Omlet guide on how to look after your chickens’ general health.
Do chickens roost for longer in winter?
Chickens love to roost, and during winter, they’ll be doing a lot more of it. You’ll find that they huddle together into one feathery ball, which helps them to keep each other warm – especially at night. Roosting rungs or perches need to be wide enough so that they can cover their toes with their feathers. To prevent their feet from getting too cold on the frosty ground, you’ll need to give your chickens a place to perch in both their coop and their run.
How can I keep my chickens entertained during winter?
Winter is the time of year when backyard chickens might need a little bit more entertainment. There are fewer bugs to chase around, less vegetation to nibble, and shorter days in the colder months. Fortunately, you keep your chickens happy with a few boredom busters such as peck toys, perches, chicken swings, and the Omlet Pole Tree. Alternatively, a pile of leaves or compost will provide your chickens with hours of fun and keep them occupied. Toss in some chicken treats for an enticing scavenger hunt they can scratch and peck around in.
Will my hens still lay eggs in winter?
The time of year can actually have an impact on how many eggs your chickens are producing! This is due to a hen’s hormonal response to how much light they are exposed to. They’ll typically need between 12-14 hours of daylight each day to produce eggs, and 16 hours for optimum production. This phenomenon is actually nature’s way of telling a hen to rest! Shorter days means colder weather is coming, and egg production takes a large energy-toll on a hen – energy that is better spent keeping a hen warm during the winter. Therefore, for most breeds, hens will either stop or drastically reduce their egg production during the winter months, and will resume their regular laying schedules in the spring when the days grow longer once more.
This entry was posted in Chickens
For any animal living outdoors, winter is likely to be the most challenging time of year, and chickens are no exception. The days are short, there aren’t as many bugs and plants to peck at, and the humans they like following around the garden tend to spend less time outside. The days can get a bit repetitive, and even more so in years with avian flu outbreaks, when hens are not allowed to roam free in the garden.
Chickens will do their best to find ways to entertain themselves, but there is only so much excitement they can invent before they turn to pecking their friends or eating feathers and eggs. That’s why it’s important for you as an owner to step in and make sure your flock has enough stimulation and entertainment in their run to make it through to warmer weather and longer days.
Here are some suggestions on how you can keep your chickens fit, healthy and entertained this winter:
One of the best things you can do to enrich your hen’s environment is to invest in a range of perches. Perching is an extremely relaxing and stimulating activity for chickens and having perches at different heights in the run will make their day much more exciting.
Omlet’s Chicken Perch is perfect for this. You can accessorize with as many perches as you want to keep your feathery friends entertained.
Make sure there is enough space for the whole flock to perch and customize the position of the perches to make sure they fit the age and ability of your pets.
Having more space to move around on will, unsurprisingly, encourage chickens to exercise and explore. As you might not be able to let your flock free range at the moment, providing them with a bigger run is a good solution. The Omlet Walk In Run can be customized to fit the space you’ve got and will hinder all types of predators from getting to your hens. You can also accessorize it with covers to stop rain, and visits from wild birds.
If you already have a Walk In Run, remember that you can extend it at any time with easy to add panels. Use the handy extension configurator on our website to see what opportunities you have to make your run bigger!
Straw or hay bales
You might have seen your hens absolutely demolish a pile of leaves as you were raking the lawn this fall. They hate piles and mounds and will do their very best to level anything they can to the ground, while also looking for yummy bugs and seeds.
Place an appropriately sized bale in the run, and your chickens will immediately jump on top and peck away!
(Please note that to limit the spread of avian flu, it’s important that you get your bales from a place where they have not been in contact with wild birds or other poultry.)
Like with dogs and small children, the right toys will keep your hens occupied for hours! Peck Toys, like Omlet’s Poppy or Pendant, are slow release treat toys that randomly scatter treats, corn or grit as the chickens peck them. The Poppy is pressed into the ground and sways as it’s pecked, whereas Pendant is hung from the run or any other structure.
Give your flock a couple of peck toys to play with to minimize the risk of the dominant members of the flock having all the fun!
Of course, you don’t want your chickens to overeat at a time when they are not as active as they might be during the warmer months and providing hens with a balanced diet is the best thing you can do to keep them fit and healthy. With that being said, occasionally giving them high quality goodies can help them stay warm, while also activating their mind and bodies.
Some seasonal fruits or veggies fit perfectly into the Caddi Treat Holders, which can be hung from the roof of your run, or a high perch. As the chickens peck the tasty balls, the Caddi will swing and create a rewarding challenge for your flock – it will keep them going for hours!
This entry was posted in Chickens
A luxury dog bed with a super snug topper is perfect for dogs over winter.
With the holiday season winding down, it’s always a struggle to get back into a routine and avoid the winter blues. This also applies to pets as well as their owners.
By spending quality time with our pets and making the most of our friendship with them, we can all find the joy and energy to beat the blues.
Healthy food for pets
Animals often need more food in the winter months. This is because they spend a lot of energy on keeping warm, and they need the fuel to feed that energy (just like a boiler that needs to work harder to heat the house during cold snaps). Always give them the correct, high-energy foods to get them through the cold spell.
Keeping moving is important all year round, but for dogs the winter walks may be shorter or less frequent than in the warmer months. Bear in mind that for a dog the need to exercise doesn’t change with the seasons – they’ll love sniffing through the snow every bit as much as they love chasing the scents of summer. If they have a space outside to run around in, this can help them let off steam before the next walk. You could try keeping a shorter walk interesting by taking it in a new location, or one you haven’t visited for a long time.
Exercise is important for all other pets, too. If you keep rabbits or guinea pigs outside, adding some excitement to their runs with a tunnel system adds hours of fun and exercise to those short winter days. Zippi runs for rabbits and guinea pigs are an ideal way of keeping these small pets content. You can add shelters and all kinds of twists and turns to keep them stimulated and happy.
Keep your pet’s brain active
By spending time with your pets, you can keep their minds active in various ways, depending on the pet. Talk to your pet birds; play with your dogs and cats; and give your hamsters, gerbils or other small mammals some stimulating new toys. Budgies, finches, canaries and parrots will enjoy getting to grips with a new bird toy, too. Nothing like a new cerebral challenge to beat the winter blues!
The toys will also help your pet entertain itself once everyone is back into their routines and the house falls quiet again after the holiday season.
It’s possible that your pet dog has been missing those trips to the park during the holidays and the cold weather. If you have a sociable dog, a trip to the park for a sniff around and perhaps a meet-up with some old friends will give an added boost to the day. A doggy play date is another great way of combining socializing, fresh air and lots of moving around.
Keep your pets warm
In the average home in winter, some parts of the house or flat are warmer than others. Make sure your pet bird, hamster or gerbil isn’t in a cold or draughty corner, as a drop in temperature takes its toll on a small animal’s health and its ability to keep warm.
A sophisticated, cozy cat bed that fluffy friends can’t resist!
Extra bedding does the trick for rabbits and rodents. With cage birds, you need to keep a regular room temperature. You’ll notice when they’re cold, as they’ll fluff out their feathers and will be less active than usual to conserve energy. Covering the cages at night helps to retain heat.
A dog or cat is spoiled for choice when it comes to comfy corners and snug blankets. You can give your pet a real treat by ensuring maximum comfort with a Topology dog bed or Maya donut cat bed. Cats and dogs that really feel the cold can be dressed in winter coats.
Rabbits and guinea pigs that live outdoors will need an insulated hutch to keep them snug during the winter. The Eglu rabbit hutch and the Eglu guinea pig hutch are the perfect choices here, as they keep your pets warm in the winter with a twin-walled insulation system, (and these hutches keep them cool in the summer too).
Keeping the indoor environment safe
When the winter winds and horizontal snow restricts you to the great indoors, you’ll need to keep the room warm, but not too dry. Spending all day in dry air can dry out an animal’s skin (and yours too). An open fire should always have a fireguard on it, and hot radiators and wood burning stoves need shielding from pets, too. Dogs and cats can easily scorch themselves by getting too close to the hot spot.
Keeping old dogs comfy
Cold weather has a tendency to make common conditions such as arthritis worse than usual. An older dog may need to take it easy for longer than usual after a run around in the park. Again, a super-comfy dog bed is what you need here, and some nice soft dog blankets.
Keeping yourself and your pets warm, active and healthy in the winter months is a surefire way to beat the winter blues!
This entry was posted in Pets
Izy Hossack is a London based chef and baker, food stylist and food photographer, as well as author of the books Top with Cinnamon and The Savvy Cook. Izy has created two deliciously festive recipes for the Omlet Advent Calendar, you can find her Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake here.
This layer cake is the perfect Christmassy bake to impress. Inspired by the flavors of eggnog, the cake and frosting are flavored with vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and rum for a slightly boozy, warmly spiced dessert.
The frosting is an interesting one to try – if you usually find standard buttercream too sweet, you’ll love this version (and it doesn’t require icing sugar!). The base is a cooked custard, thickened with corn flour and egg until very viscous. This is then whisked into softened butter until fluffy and creamy. It can seem a bit dense if the butter or custard are too cold so you may need to add a little bit of boiling water to help it fluff up properly. It’s definitely worth the extra effort over a standard buttercream as the texture is so smooth and light with the perfect level of sweetness.
For decoration, I like to keep the frosting simple with a thin layer around the outside and a slightly swoopy texture on top. For the toppings, I look for edible bits to give the cake a festive look; Woody herbs like rosemary, thyme or sage (as I’ve used here) are lovely as are chopped/flaked nuts. A sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg are a finishing touch and boost that eggnog flavor.
300g granulated sugar
140g unsalted butter, softened
60ml vegetable oil
4 medium eggs
150ml natural yogurt
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
330g self-rising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp fine table salt
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
80g granulated sugar
20g corn flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
200g unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp dark rum
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease, line and flour three 18-cm cake tins.
- In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. Beat in the oil then eggs, one at a time.
- In a jug, combine the yoghurt, milk and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, place the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and bicarbonate of soda and stir to combine.
- Add 1/3 of the yogurt mixture to the butter mixture and stir to combine. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir to combine. Repeat in this alternating fashion until you’ve mixed in all of the yoghurt and flour mixtures and have a smooth cake batter.
- Divide the batter evenly between the cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
- Run a butter knife around the inside edges of the cake tins and then leave them to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting:
- Combine the milk and vanilla in a small pot and place over a medium-low heat on the stove until gently steaming.
- In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, corn flour, egg, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until smooth.
- Pour a little of the hot milk into the egg mixture and quickly stir with a whisk until smooth. Stream in the remaining hot milk whilst stirring to combine. Pour the contents of the bowl back into the pot and return to the heat.
- Cook over a medium-low heat, stirring with a whisk, until the mixture becomes lumpy and thick. Keep stirring until it looks smooth and glossy, about 1 minute, then remove from the heat.
- Spread the mixture out in a shallow bowl and pop into the freezer for 5-10 minutes until cooled. Alternatively, chill the mixture in the fridge for around 1 hour.
- Beat the softened butter in a large bowl with an electric whisk (or in a stand mixer) until smooth then gradually add the cooled egg mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally.
- Add the rum and keep whisking until the frosting looks aerated and light. If it seems too dense still, add 1-2 tbsp of boiling water to help soften the butter which should help the frosting to achieve the correct texture.
- Cut off any domed tops from the cooled cake layers using a serrated knife and peel away the baking paper from the bottoms.
- Place one cake layer onto a serving plate and spread a few heaped tablespoons of frosting over the top of the cake. Top with a second cake layer and repeat.
- When you’ve placed on the final cake layer, place ½ of the remaining frosting onto the cake and spread it thinly over the top and sides of the cake. Using a warm palette knife can be useful here (warm it up by placing into a jug of boiling water and wipe clean as needed).
- Place the cake into the fridge for 10 minutes to harden this initial layer of frosting.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and add the remaining frosting to the cake, using it to decoratively frost the top and sides as you like.
- Decorate the cake with any toppings you want – I’ve used grated nutmeg, ground cinnamon, sage leaves and flaked almonds here for a festive feel.
This entry was posted in Food
Izy Hossack is a London based chef and baker, food stylist and food photographer, as well as author of the books Top with Cinnamon and The Savvy Cook. Izy has created two deliciously festive recipes for the Omlet Advent Calendar, starting with this Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake, perfect for the Christmas party!
Ginger and chocolate make the perfect combination in this festive Bundt cake. The batter is very easy to make as it’s a melt-and-mix situation, so no electric mixer is required! The golden syrup and treacle bring a soft, squidgy texture and boost the warming flavors of the spices. The ganache is best made with a bitter chocolate as this helps to tame the sweetness of the cake. For a pretty (and delicious) decoration, a simple sprinkle of crystallized ginger chunks is the perfect touch – you can find them in the baking aisle of most large supermarkets.
175g unsalted butter, plus a couple of tablespoons for the tin
150g golden syrup
120g light brown sugar
3 medium eggs
200g natural yogurt
250g plain white flour
60g cocoa powder, plus more for the tin
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp fine table salt
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa content)
100ml double cream
3 tbsp crystallized ginger chunks
To prepare the tin:
- Place a standard Bundt tin into the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a medium pot (we’ll use this pot later for the batter too) over a low heat.
- Generously brush the inside of the Bundt tin with the melted butter, making sure you get into all of the crevices.
- Dust the tin with cocoa powder, tapping it around the tin to coat all over then tip out any excess (if you collect it on a plate, you can use the excess cocoa powder in the cake batter).
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take the same pot you were using earlier and add the 175g of butter, the golden syrup, treacle and light brown sugar. Place over a low heat on the stove and cook, stirring often, until the butter has fully melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- To the cooled butter mixture, stir in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the yoghurt.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir with a whisk until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before tipping out onto a cooling rack.
For the ganache:
- Place the chocolate into a small, heatproof bowl. Pour cream into a small pot and place over a medium-low heat. Once the cream is gently steaming, remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate in the bowl.
- Allow to sit for 10 minutes then stir to get a smooth ganache.
- Drizzle the ganache over the cake (which can still be warm when you do this) allowing it to drip down the sides. Decorate with crystallized ginger while the ganache is still warm.
This entry was posted in Food
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Some dogs love rolling in the snow, while others are happy to sit out the cold weather in the comfort of a centrally heated house. For the snow-lovers, thick fur is definitely an asset. Breeds such as Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, bred for life and hard work in cold climates, will have no problems at all with the average Winter temperatures.
Hardy breeds with thick coats, such as German shepherds, Poodles and Golden retrievers, will love their cold weather walks, too. Thin coated breeds such as Greyhounds and Whippets, and small dogs such as Chihuahuas and Yorkies need to be protected from the cold. Puppies, older dogs, and ill dogs may need extra care in the Winter, too.
Whatever the breed, never leave it outside in very cold weather, as even a hardy dog can succumb to the chill if its body temperature gets too low.
How do you know if it’s too cold for your dog?
You will soon be able to tell if your dog is feeling the cold, as it will simply tell you! Dogs will be reluctant to go on a walk or will not be as active as usual during the walk, sitting down in a sheltered spot or walking much more slowly than usual. Cold dogs may become anxious, whining and walking by your side, looking at you pleadingly. Smaller dogs will begin to shiver very quickly in the cold, and even larger breeds may shiver after a while. If there is snow underfoot, a dog may limp if it feels uncomfortable with the ice in its toes.
It will not often come to this, though – certainly not in healthy dogs. They will do so much running that they will not feel the cold unless the snow itself becomes a problem in their fur or between their toes.
How cold is too cold for a dog?
Generally, 45°F is a minimum temperature, at or above which all dogs will be comfortable. As the temperature dips towards 32°F, less hardy dogs will need to wear a dog sweater or coat. In extreme cold, all breeds other than those super-hardy Huskies, Malamutes, Samoyeds and Newfoundlands are in danger of becoming too cold.
How do you know if your dog needs a coat?
The question of whether it is too cold for your dog is largely down to breed and is also influenced by the age and health of your pet.
Dogs with fine hair and/or thin body types (e.g. Greyhounds) will need to wear a coat outside when the temperature dips. If there is snow on the ground, small dogs and puppies will need a coat during walks or playtime in the park. Being small, they become cold quicker than larger dogs, and their undersides get cold quickly too, simply because their bellies are closer to the ground.
Older dogs and young puppies have relatively weak immune systems and can become ill if they get too cold. Old dogs with arthritis suffer in cold weather, too, and may even require a coat indoors during the winter to ease their sore joints.
Lighter-furred dogs may benefit from a dark coat to soak up a bit of Winter sun heat. If the wind is strong and icy, a coat can make things much more comfortable for any breed (with the exception of the dogs bred for harsh conditions).
Even a hardy dog can become very uncomfortable in the snow, as their fur may accumulate the frozen stuff. Dogs will instinctively try to clear their snowed-up muzzles and heads by rubbing them on the ground – thus gathering even more snow! A dog’s toes can get iced up to, which is clearly uncomfortable for them.
The snow can be removed periodically during the walk (although it will sometimes form ice and cannot be immediately removed). A good thaw-out back home will cure the problem, though.
How to keep your dog warm throughout the Winter
Knowing your own dog’s needs is key to knowing if the dog is too cold. Dogs do not need to be cozy/warm at all times, and you may have noticed how they will sometimes seek out a cool part of the floor to lie down on, especially when the central heating is switched on in the Winter. It is a fact that overheating is, in general, more of an issue than feeling the cold.
Dark-furred breeds benefit from Winter sun, being able to absorb what little heat there might be in the sun. Lighter colors reflect the light, and the heat too.
If your dog needs a coat in the cold, that’s a simple remedy against the Winter chills. A cozy bed is important, too, to keep your dog warm at night.
Avoiding severe doggie haircuts in the Winter is a good idea, as a drastic trim is not going to help in the battle against the cold!
How do I know if my dog is too cold at night?
As long as your dog has a soft bed to lie on, and as long as the room temperature remains above freezing, dogs are unlikely to get too cold. The dog will curl up and snuggle down, its own body heat sufficient for a good night’s sleep.
Making sure you have a dog bed that’s fit for every season is important. It doesn’t get much better for dog when they have a cozy bed to relax in after a long Winter Day. A bed that can be raised off the ground, to improve ventilation and prevent the bed from becoming too hot on a warm floor or too cold on a chilly one will benefit your dog.
A high-quality dog blanket can help, too – especially if your dog has a kennel or crate outside. Your dog will snuggle under it, or push it aside, just as you might do with a quilt, helping to keep the perfect temperature throughout the night.
Note: only very hardy breeds can cope with an outdoor crate or kennel in the Winter, even if it is fully weatherproofed.
What happens if dogs get too cold?
The main signs that your dog is too cold are shivering and whimpering. A dog who is shivering should be wrapped in a blanket and taken somewhere warm as soon as possible. That will usually do the trick.
If a frail or small dog is too cold, it can become ill. The cold lowers their immunity, giving diseases the chance to gain a foothold. If, during cold weather, your dog is constantly sneezing or has discharge from the eyes and/or nose, it could be a sign of dog cold or dog flu, canine influenza or other illnesses.
Dogs with hypothermia
Although highly unusual, it is possible for a dog to suffer hypothermia. This is when its body temperature has fallen from the normal range of around 101°F to 102.5°F to (99°F) or lower. Such a plummet in temperature can prove fatal, even if you manage to get your dog quickly back to a warm spot.
You can tell if your dog has hypothermia, or is in danger of succumbing, by watching how it behaves. The symptoms include lethargy or sleepiness, clumsy movements, stiff limbs or breathing difficulties.
Prevention is the only remedy here. Know your dog, know their physical limitations, and use your judgement to prevent putting the dog in an environment that might mean your dog is too cold and could thus lead to hypothermia.
Dogs with frost bite
Frostbite is another cold weather risk. In extreme cold, a warm-blooded animal’s body protects its vital organs, redirecting blood flow there. This means that extremities such as ears, noses, tails and paws are at risk of freezing. If any of those parts of the body is bright red or black, your dog could be suffering from frostbite and should be warmed up immediately.
If your dog’s ears or tail feel ‘like ice’ when you hold them, it’s probably time to cut the walk short and head indoors.
In general, if you feel cold outside, in spite of your coat, hat and gloves, your dog will be feeling the cold pinch too. Common sense plays a big part when trying to tell if your dog is too cold in the Winter, and an animal as intelligent as a dog will certainly let you know if the cold weather is making it feel uncomfortable.
This entry was posted in Dogs
How cold is too cold for chickens? Chickens can tolerate cold weather, however, baby chicks are less likely to do so. The primary concern in cold temperatures is whether your chickens are becoming wet. If they are and cannot dry off, this can be cause for concern.
Our guide walks you through the optimum temperatures for chickens, how to care for your hens in winter, and which breeds are the most hardy.
How cold is too cold for chickens?
Chickens will regulate their temperature and behavior accordingly, so wherever humans can live, chickens can thrive too. Chickens can tolerate cold even under freezing temperatures. This makes caring for chickens in winter relatively simple, as only a few adjustments to your usual routine will need to be made. It is the combination of cold and wet that can prove fatal, so it’s vital to ensure your hens have a dry chicken coop. Any of your birds that become soaked should be toweled dry. Applying Vaseline to their combs will prevent frostbite and help them tolerate the cold.
Ideal temperatures for adult chickens
While chickens can tolerate the cold, their preferred weather is in the 70 degrees Fahrenheit range. You’ll find that your adult chickens can survive cold temperatures into the teens. However, we recommend keeping a thermometer in your coop to track its temperature. You should find that the insulation of your coop and the warmth created by the chickens themselves is enough to help them tolerate the cold.
Ideal temperatures for baby chicks
Baby chicks are far more sensitive to cold temperatures and are not able to tolerate them as well as full-grown hens. This is both due to their smaller size and the fact their feathers are not yet fully developed to keep them warm. When your chicks first hatch you should keep them at around 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit. After this you can reduce the temperature they’re kept at around 5 degrees a week until you get into the 70 – 75 Fahrenheit range.
Keep your chickens’ coop warm & cozy
The type of coop you have makes a big difference in how cold your chickens will tolerate. In really cold winters, a wooden coop with a drafty coop door can soon become damp and semi-frozen – not to mention very drafty. This dampness combined with the cold weather will make winter more difficult for be more tricky for your flock to tolerate.
On the other hand, a more robust state-of-the-art chicken coop such as the Eglu will keep out the cold and damp – enabling chickens to tolerate the cold weather after a busy day in their run. You’ll find that an Eglu will stay much warmer during the winter than a wooden coop. The temperature in the Eglu will remain moderate when all the hens are tucked in at night. Our Eglus are insulated by design, but if the winter becomes colder than usual you can easily add extreme weather protection to further insulate your coop.
You can help your backyard chickens keep warm in the frost and help them weather the cold by making sure the coop is clean and dry. Clear out any snow dragged in on the hens’ feet and keep an insulating layer of straw on the floor. Doing this will help your chickens to tolerate the colder weather. If you also insulate your chicken runs, there should still be some ventilation, to allow the gasses released from the birds’ droppings to escape.
An automatic door will help keep the living quarters cozy, too. It’s not advised to install a coop heater – even those rated for hen houses. Hens may get used to being overly warm all the time, which could be disastrous if the heater fails. Heat-pampered poultry can die of shock when introduced to lower temperatures, as they will not have become acclimated to tolerating the cold.
4 signs your chicken is too cold
When ensuring your chickens will tolerate the cold, it’s important to know the signs for when the weather may have made them uncomfortable. Here’s what to look out for:
- Ruffled feathers
- Perched off the ground
- One leg tucked up
- Wattles and combs are paler than usual
These are not signs of distress, and as long as the chicken is only having a brief rest, rather than staying hunkered up for the whole day, you don’t have to worry. If hens go off their feed, appear to be in shock, or have discolored (blue or black) combs, wattles or feet, it’s time to bring them inside to warm up slowly.
Keeping chickens dry in cold temperatures
While chickens can tolerate the cold, they should not be allowed to remain soaking wet. This is more dangerous than the outdoor temperature or the falling snow – and in extreme cases will result in hypothermia. Any affected hens will be stiff and cold to the touch, with their eyes wide and unblinking, or closed. If you find one of your chickens in this state, take them indoors and wrap them in a warm towel. When they recover, put them in a bedding-lined box in a warm spot for a few hours.
What happens if a chick gets too cold?
Chicks are less tolerant of the cold and are more susceptible to lower temperatures than adult chickens. If a young chicken has its full coat of feathers, it will be as tolerant of the cold as the older birds. Chicks, however, will need protection from the cold, and should be kept under an appropriate heat lamp. Any chick left to fend for itself in cold weather will die.
Tips for cold weather chicken care
Chickens can usually tolerate adapting to colder climates, but how can you tell when your flock needs a bit of help keeping warm? The following tips will help you keep happy, healthy chickens this winter:
- Prevent water from freezing – Check it at least twice a day to keep it clear of ice. If a freeze is forecast, bring the chicken waterers indoors at night. If possible, buy a water heater designed for the job of preventing freezing. Ping-pong balls in the water can also prevent freezing.
- Chickens usually return to the coop at dusk, but in the winter, you may find your birds trying to get more pecking time from the short days. If your hens tend to wander in the dark, a high visibility hen coat will help you locate them. The coats also keep the birds cozy, so it’s a double blessing in the Winter to help chickens tolerate the cold.
- Providing weather-proof shelter in the chicken run will give the hens some respite while tolerating the cold. You can use chicken run covers to do this.
- Some extra corn offered as a chicken treat before the hen’s bedtime will stoke their internal heater as the chickens digest it overnight. In general, hens will eat more food in the cold months to tolerate the cold, as more of their energy is spent keeping warm.
- Protect combs and wattles – from frostbite with petroleum jelly or Vaseline.
- Specially made coop heaters or brooder plates can be placed in enclosed spaces such as barns or garages for hens that are struggling in the cold, but should be used sparingly. And, these should only be used for a short amount of time, and only if someone will be home to avoid a potential fire-hazard.
- If you do not have a cozy Eglu, a wooden coop can be insulated with bubble-wrap, cardboard or old carpets or blankets.
- Extra bedding on the floor of the coop will help the chickens tolerate the cold, too.
- Some owners like to supplement their chickens’ diets with extra protein or a little suet, to increase their fat levels for the Winter. Fat retains heat, and the whole bird benefits from the added nutrition.
How do chickens naturally keep warm in the winter?
The chicken’s secret to tolerating the cold is natural insulation. Their feathers help them retain body heat and warm the air trapped beneath their downy base feathers. When they’re at rest, a hen’s body temperature is 104–107F, with their heart rate of around 400 beats per minute – evidence of a high metabolism that sets up the birds very well for winter weather.
Watching hens scratch at the frozen ground or strut through the snow, you might wonder how chickens manage to keep their feet and legs warm. After all, this is one part of their body with no feathers to keep it cozy (unless you happen to have a feathery-legged breed such as the Cochin, Brahma or Silkie). The answer lies in the chicken’s leg scales, which retain heat to a certain extent. The average chicken will always be on the move, not keeping all its toes on the ground for too long.
Does perching help chickens tolerate the cold?
Like many other birds, chickens often adopt the ‘one leg’ pose in the winter, tucking one of their limbs up into the warmth of their bellies. This reduces overall heat loss and stops feet and toes from freezing on the icy ground. Like all birds, chickens are warm-blooded, and their own body heat soon works its magic to help them tolerate the cold.
Perching is the most effective way for a chicken to retain body heat and tolerate the cold. Hens hunker down when roosting, with their feathers fluffed up and their legs tucked into her warm body. If space allows, install a flat perch in your coop or run. This will enable the hens to roost without having to curl their toes around the roosting bar, which will prevent their toes from freezing in very cold weather. An upturned pot, a log, pallet or other slightly elevated space will give the birds a flat surface to perch on, to escape the ice and snow.
Can chickens freeze to death?
Chickens can usually tolerate cold conditions and will not die, as long as they have a warm coop to retreat into when the weather becomes extreme. Cold hens may be more susceptible than usual to illness and parasites, though, and their egg production will fall. But, most chickens will simply hunker down on chicken perches and in nesting boxes, with their feathers fluffed out to weather the winter.
The best chicken breeds for cold weather
While most chickens can tolerate the cold, there are some chicken breeds that are more suited to cold climates than others. Here are the top 5 for cold temperatures:
Introducing Omlet pet care
Omlet can help you care for your chickens and ensure they’re enjoying each season to the fullest. From chicken pens to run around in, to toys such as chicken swings to keep them entertained, you’re sure to find everything you need to keep your flock healthy and happy all year round!
This entry was posted in Chickens
In December, Santa Barbara and her team of Elves helped us say a big thank you to our pets and all they have helped us through in the past year. We’ve been in touch with some of the lucky winners from around the world to see how their pets are enjoying their special prizes…
Bella had a super comfy Christmas in her new Bolster Bed – the perfect place to wind down from all the excitement and festivities!
Princess Penny, Lady Henney and Madame Francis D’Borah have given their new Eglu holiday home the stamp of approval!
These 5 wyandottes moved from a wooden coop to the Cube in Summer, and now have the luxury of an Autodoor thanks to Santa!
Miny and Résy are very pleased with their brand new Autodoor from the Omlet Grotto. No more waiting to be let out to play!
Clare now has a second Qute Gerbil Cage from the Omlet Grotto, so she can expand her clan of gerbils!
Since receiving the Eglu Cube from Santa, Cinnamon has been gifted three new hen friends to play with!
Skye is super happy with her new Geo Bird Cage from the Omlet Grotto and can’t wait to have a new friend in February!
Lady, Stephanie and Freya are loving the new Autodoor for their Eglu Go UP in sunny Sydney!
This entry was posted in Competitions
Photo by Jasmin Schuler on Unsplash
Holiday Animal Quiz: Can you Identify the roles of these animals in these holiday movie favorites?
1.What does the Grinch tie to Max’s head in the movie?
A. A twig
C. A bell
2.What does the Grinch steal from a mouse when he is stealing from the Who’s in Whoville?
A. A piece of cheese
B. A cookie
C. A candy cane
D. A crumb
3. Who provides the voice of Rebecca the Hen in the 2017 holiday movie “The Star”?
A. Mariah Carey
B. Keegan Michael Key
C. Aidy Bryant
D. Gina Rodriguez
4. In “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, why is Snoopy decorating his dog house?
A. For Charlie Brown
B. For a holiday contest
C. For Santa
D. For Woodstock
5. In the movie “Annie”, what is the name of her beloved Dog?
6. In the movie “The Holiday” what is the name of Kate Winslet’s Dog?
7. What animal says the line “Bye Buddy, I hope you find your dad!” in the movie “Elf”?
A. A whale
B. A seal
C. A narwhal
D. A polar bear
8. What is the name of Snoopy’s bird sidekick in “A Charlie Brown Christmas?”
9. What is the name of the famous red-nosed reindeer?
10. How does Rudolph help Santa on Christmas Eve?
A. His nose helps detect rain or snow
B. His nose detects which houses are on the naughty or nice list
C. He flashes his nose to the airplanes to make way for Santa
D. He guides his sleigh
Answers: 1.A, 2. D, 3. A, 4. B, 5. C, 6. A, 7. C, 8. D, 9. A, 10. D
This entry was posted in Christmas
The holidays offer a great opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends – and that includes pets. But, it’s also important to remember that what we enjoy about the festive season isn’t the same for our furry or feathered friends. With a bit of care and consideration, though, you can make sure the holidays are a fun time for your pets too. These ten top tips for helping your pets to have an amazing holiday break will set you on the right track.
1. Turn down the volume
Christmas and New Year are noisy, with people, music and games all adding to the decibels. For cats and dogs, it may simply be a case of looking for a quiet spot, although many dogs will even be perfectly happy at the center of the party. Caged pets such as budgies, finches, parrots and small mammals, though don’t find it so easy to escape the noise.
If possible, cages should be placed in a quieter part of the house if there’s a party taking place in the main room. The Omlet Qute Hamster Cage is the perfect home for one Syrian hamster or two gerbils, with optional wheels to make moving their space from one room to another easy.
2. Forgo the fireworks
The biggest bang comes from fireworks. While some pets will simply head for a safe corner, others are absolutely terrified. If you’re the owner of a nervous pet, speak to your veterinarian as they may be able to prescribe medication to help them relax. For cats and dogs, you can also try pheromone diffusers a few weeks before the fireworks begin. Take a read of our pets’ guide to surviving fireworks blog for more tips on pet safety during this time.
3. Go easy on the treats
There’s lots of food around at Christmas. Your dog will be more than happy to eat leftovers and treats all day, given the chance, but this doesn’t make it a good idea. As far as your dog is concerned, it’s best to treat Christmas and New Year like any other day, perhaps with a simple treat such as a few slices of plain turkey with the evening meal.
The same applies to other pets, and you’ll also need to make sure that everyone knows the rules. A well-meaning guest might try to feed pretzels and salted peanuts to the hamsters and gerbils, or pieces of Christmas cake to the pet birds. These human snacks will bring no benefit to your pet, and some items are even highly toxic. You can find our series of pet-safe festive foods here:
Christmas foods to avoid giving kitty
Thanksgiving treats for rabbits and guinea pigs
Holiday food do’s and don’ts for dogs
4. Hang on to some routine
During the holiday season, it’s easy to lose your routine. You’ll probably be in bed later than usual, enjoying a few too many lie-ins, and preoccupied with children and guests. With everything else going on, there’s a chance that daily tasks such as refilling your pets’ food bowls, closing the hen house door or even skipping the dog walk can fall off the radar.
Most pets will already be thrown by a change of environment from all the Christmas decor, so it’s important to minimize stress as much as possible and keeping their routine as familiar as possible will help.
5. Visitor pep talks
Some dogs love crowds and attention from new people, but even the most sociable of canines need time to chill. Chances are, you’ll have plenty of visitors over the holiday season and some pets won’t appreciate all the extra fuss.
Speak to guests beforehand about your pet’s temperament and what the boundaries are. If there are young visitors, be wary of potential cage-rattling and chasing pets. You also need to remember that birds like to have lights out in the evening, so make sure your late party doesn’t turn into an all-nighter for the budgies, finches and parrots, too. If the room isn’t too noisy, a bird cage cover might suffice; otherwise, relocating the pet cage will be the best option.
6. Keep the pets at home
If you’re traveling away for Christmas, arrange for someone to look after your pets. Consider a cat sitter or chicken sitter if you’re planning on an extended trip away. If this isn’t possible, look into local catteries and kennels.
You can consider taking your dog with you if you’re heading away for the holidays, though. Fortunately, there are many dog-friendly vacation spots available, meaning Fido doesn’t have to miss out on the fun.
7. Winter weather safety
If you’re planning on keeping your pets in another room for the Christmas party, or if they are kept in the backyard all year round, you need to take special measures to ensure they remain warm.
Cats and dogs will benefit from a super cozy pet throw such as the Faux Sheepskin Dog Blanket and Super Soft Cat Blanket from Omlet. Opt to place them on your bed or theirs for optimum comfort and warmth.
For smaller pets kept outside, take a read of our Will my rabbit be okay in winter? guide and our How to prepare guinea pigs for winter blogs. Chickens might be kept outside whatever the season and are hardy pets, but extra precautions should be taken over winter. A well-insulated chicken coop such as the Eglu Cube will go a long way in keeping your flock toasty but they’ll also appreciate an extra layer of protection on their coop from temperature protection jackets.
8. Clean up time
The Christmas season tends to involve lots of pet hazards – wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, tinsel, and bits of plastic to name just a few. To avoid these items ending up in your pet’s mouth or wrapped around their legs, be sure to get everything tidied away once the presents have been opened.
9. Christmas tree watch
A Christmas tree can easily be bashed by wagging dog tails and adventurous cats attempting to climb. For one, it’s a good idea not to have heavy decorations high up on the Christmas tree, as these could easily fall and break, and nothing fragile (or valuable) should be kept within reach of an excited tail.
If your cat’s fascination with the tree doesn’t wane, get them a Christmas tree of their own with the Switch Cat Scratcher. Put simply, it’s the coolest cat scratcher since time began. With the help of tech and tireless testing from our in-house cats, we’ve designed a cat scratching post that your Christmas tree definitely won’t be able to compete with.
With over 1,200 irresistible light modes, the Switch is attractive to our eyes as they are fascinating to feline ones. Plus, with a bamboo base that lasts indefinitely and 100% biodegradable sisal sleeves, your cat’s Christmas wish will be granted all year long.
10. New pet? No worries
You’re probably familiar with the saying that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas, but the same applies to any pet. If you’ve carefully considered that pet ownership is right for you and you have the resources to do so, bringing them in amongst the festive chaos isn’t the best time to put your plan into action But, if you have had a recent animal addition to the family in the past few months, navigating their first Christmas is something you need to account for.
First of all, make sure that new cats and dogs have been introduced to any other pets that could be joining you over the season to avoid potential confrontations. Also, ensure that your home is still pet-proof with any decorations you’ve added to your usual setup. This will likely be their first time experiencing a Christmas and New Year, so pay special attention to how they’re reacting, making sure to remove them from situations that are making them uncomfortable.
Omlet and your pet’s holiday
At Omlet, we know that pet ownership over the holidays isn’t always as glamorous as your festive family portrait might portray. Christmas tree chaos, gatherings and winter weather might be obstacles but with Omlet’s range of innovative pet products such as our Switch Cat Scratcher, easy clean Eglu Cube Chicken Coop and cozy Faux Sheepskin Dog Blankets, we can help make the holidays as smooth sailing as they can be.
This entry was posted in Christmas
Are you planning on finally giving up on your rotting chicken coop and getting an Eglu? Do you want to give your rabbits more space to play? Are you getting a parakeet or a hamster in 2021? Or would you just like to treat your pets to something special for the holidays?
This is the time to do it! Take the opportunity to save up to 15% on some amazing Omlet products until the 30th of November. Here are some of our staff picks:
Our bestselling chicken coop Eglu Cube in green is now 10% cheaper! This revolutionary chicken coop is super quick to clean, extremely secure and really easy to adapt to your flock and your backyard. This is an offer you don’t want to miss out on!
Geo Bird Cage
The inventive geodesic design of this cage makes it a striking feature of any home, while also providing pet birds with a practical and comfortable home. It can also be customized with different base and mesh colors, stands and a beautifully designed night cover. Get 15% off your Geo in the Omlet Black Friday Sale!
Outdoor Pet Run
Some of our very popular Outdoor Pet Runs are now discounted by 10%; perfect if you want to connect your Eglu to a Walk in run to make it easier to spend time with your chickens, or if you want to give your guinea pigs a bit more secure space to run around on in the backyard. At the moment you get 10% off all 2×2 runs, in both full and lower height.
Qute Hamster and Gerbil Cage
If your son or daughter has finally convinced you it’s a great idea to get a hamster or a gerbil you will not want to miss out on this chance to get 15% off this amazing cage. This multi-level hamster habitat lets your pets live out their natural instincts, like burrowing and tunneling, and allows you to keep your pets’ home clean and hygienic with absolutely minimal effort. The pull out bedding tray does not only mean the cage is super easy to clean, it also makes it much more convenient for your child to spend time with their furry friend!
The Zippi range is a fantastic way of giving your rabbit or guinea pig a bigger and more stimulating home. The Zippi Tunnels makes it super easy to connect your hutch to a run or playpen, so that your pets can run through and explore the burrow-like system whenever they like. You can extend and expand your system whenever you want, but Zippi Tunnels are now 15% off, and you get 15% off the Zippi Runs and Playpens!
Terms and Conditions
The promotion runs from 11/27/20 – midnight 11/30/20. No promo code required. Subject to availability. 15% discount applies to Eglu Go Chicken Coop & Hutch, Zippi Tunnels and Runs, Peck Toys & Caddi, Geo Bird Cage, and Super Soft Blankets. 10% applies to Eglu Cube Chicken Coop, Walk In Run 2 x 2, & Fencing, Fido Nook & Studio, Maya Nook, Perch and Swing. Offer excludes Go UP, Walk in Run extensions and runs bigger than 2 x 2, Autodoor, Run Covers & Extreme Temp Jackets, Feeders/Drinkers, Geo Paper liners, perches & covers and Run Handles. Omlet ltd. reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any point. Offer is only valid on full priced items and cannot be used on delivery, already discounted products or in conjunction with any other offer.
This entry was posted in Offers and Promotions
Zippi Tunnels, Play Pens & Runs
Zippi is the perfect way to enhance your pets’ life. The amazing tunnel system allows you to create a burrow-like path in your backyard that your rabbits and guinea pigs will love exploring. Expand with corners and T-junctions, and add intrigue with hayracks and lookout towers!
The Zippi Tunnel System also makes it super easy for your pets to independently move between their hutch and a remote run or playpen, so that they can come and go as they want throughout the day.
This is the perfect opportunity to extend an existing system, or to start a completely new one with the Zippi Run and Playpens.
Caddi Treat Holder
The Caddi is the perfect stocking filler for any small animal lover. This interactive treat holder can be hung from the roof of any hutch or run, and can be filled with fresh vegetables or hay for rabbits and guinea pigs to enjoy.
It’s super easy to refill, will keep the pets’ snacks fresher for longer, and they will love the challenge of the swinging Caddi as they go in for a bite!
This entry was posted in Gift Guides
Fido Studio & Nook
Is someone in your family getting a new puppy that they are planning to crate train? Or have your parents got a nervous rescue dog that feels most secure when they have their own space away from all the hustle and bustle? Then we have the perfect gift for them, human or canine.
The amazing Fido Studio is a dog crate that looks like piece of modern furniture, so that it doesn’t have to be hidden in a corner somewhere. The Fido Studio is also available with an optional and extremely practical wardrobe where all the dog’s things can be stored!
In addition, the Fido Nook offers a stylish, sensible space for your pet to call their own
Super Soft Blankets
Upgrade your dog’s bed for Christmas to make sure it’s ready for the year ahead. Omlet’s super soft blankets will make the bed extremely warm and cozy for your pet after long Winter walks, and is perfect for putting on sofas or car seats to keep them free from hair and mud.
New Bolt Bite and Triangle Tug
From Wild One, Omlet brings you these versatile and durable dog toys that are functional and stylish in any home. They are simple, classic, and minimalist. The bolt bite is great for storing treats or peanut butter in each end that is open. You can also put it in your dishwasher for easy cleaning! It also comes in this festive red color that is perfect for the season.
The Triangle tug boasts two shapes, two textures, and is perfect for tug-of-war. If you’re in a household with multiple dogs or if you’re at the other end of your pups tug-match, the Triangle Tug is made for you.
The triangle is 100% natural rubber with a reinforced core for added strength. The rope is 100% natural cotton with a 7x looped seam and reinforced stitching throughout. Both of those toys will be a hit with your canine companion for the holidays!
Any of these toys would make an amazing gift for your pet at the end of the day. The question is which one is the best choice for you and your furry friend?!
This entry was posted in Dogs
Eglu Cube / Eglu Go / Eglu Go UP
This is the ideal time to treat yourself to that chicken coop you have been dreaming about! If would like to start keeping chickens in the new year, the Eglu Go or Eglu Go UP are brilliant starter coops for 3-4 hens. If you currently have a smaller Eglu, or keep chickens in a coop that is starting to look a bit worse for ware, you might want to consider investing in an Eglu Cube, our largest chicken coop with space for up to 10 small bantam hens.
All Eglus are super safe, very easy to clean and can be moved around the backyard as often as you like. This makes life easier and more relaxing for both you and your pets!
Omlet’s amazing range of Chicken Toys and Accessories make great holiday gifts for chicken keepers of all ages. Interactive food toys like the Poppy and Pendant Peck Toys and the Caddi Treat Holder that can be filled with fresh produce and hung from the roof of the run will entertain chickens during the cold Winter months, as will the super fun Chicken Swing and the more traditional Chicken Perch.
This entry was posted in Chickens
As November and December start to roll in, the cold weather will come with it. You may have already purchased the Omlet Eglu Cube or Go-UP to keep your chickens cozy during these cold nights. However, who said you do not want to spoil your chickens even more over the holiday season?! It is the season of giving after all! Below is some information on feeding your chickens in colder months and some “egg-cellent” treats that you can surprise your hens with on a cold, blustery day that they will absolutely love!
- How often should I feed my chickens during Winter?
- What is the most comforting treat?
- What are the easiest treats to prepare?
- What are the most nutritious treats for your flock?
1. How often should I feed my chickens during Winter?
During the colder months it is normal that other animals hibernate and usually stock up on food for the Winter. With your chickens it may be helpful to feed them a little more than their usual ration, especially if you are planning to have your chickens continue to lay eggs throughout the colder season. A good rule of thumb is if you feed them 1 time a day, give them half of an extra ration in the Winter.
2. What is the Most Comforting Treat?
If you have already bought some pumpkins to paint or to decorate your doorstep with in the Fall Season and are wondering what to do with them here is a solution, Pumpkin Puree! This is a great treat for your hens that you can easily whip up in minutes.
All you have to do is scoop out the seeds and cut the pumpkin into small enough pieces that they can be put in a food processor or a blender. Then, just blend it up until it is a nice, smooth consistency for your chickens. After you have pureed the pumpkin, take it straight out to your chickens and add some chicken feed and they will go crazy!
Another option is also to warm up the Pumpkin Puree for a warm treat on a colder day! Make sure that the puree has cooled down to a comfortable temperature before you feed it to your hens.
3. What are the easiest treats to prepare?
Sometimes simpler is better and these treats will definitely keep your hens happy and maybe give you a little laugh in the process.
One easy treat to give your hens is leftover pasta! Who knew that chickens like to load up on carbs in the Winter as well! If you have some leftover spaghetti or penne toss it into the chicken pen and you will get a good laugh watching the chicken have noodles hanging from their beaks.
Another easy treat is warm oatmeal! Just add hot water and stir. You can also add some chicken feed or any nuts and seeds that your chickens prefer. You will be amused watching your chickens try to slurp up the warm oatmeal. Again, make sure the oatmeal is at a comfortable temperature to serve to your hens.
4. What Winter Foods Are Healthy for my Flock?
For those of you that like to keep your flock in tip top shape here are some ideas for healthy treats. One food that helps with egg production and is very nutritious is scrambled eggs! I know it sounds crazy, but it provides your chicken with needed protein and vitamins during the Winter months.
Also, egg shells believe it or not will provide your chickens with extra calcium and nutrients that they will need even more during the colder months. After you have used one of your chicken’s eggs just break up the shells into small pieces and feed it to them. They will love it!
All of these recipes can be found from this great website: https://morningchores.com/chicken-treats/. Go check out her page for more ideas on treats for your chickens and help your chickens stay warm and cozy this season!
Psssst… Read More About Fun Pet Tips and Tricks Here: https://blog.omlet.us/
This entry was posted in Chickens
We often get questions about whether rabbits will be okay outside in the winter. The simple answer is: yes. But things get a little more complicated when you consider the specific climate, individual rabbits, and their setups. We’ll share how you can safely keep your outdoor rabbits outside during the winter, and how to determine if and when it’s time to bring them inside.
Can rabbits live outside during the winter months?
Rabbits that are accustomed to living outdoors are well-equipped to handle the winter months. At this point in the year, you’ve probably noticed your outdoor rabbits’ fur looking mottled due to a process called molting. Molting in rabbits is a natural process that prepares their coats for the winter months ahead, and is triggered by the amount of daylight. So, if your rabbit is outdoors during summer and fall, the dwindling daylight hours signal them to start shedding their thinner summer coat in order to regrow a more dense coat for the winter.
Once they’ve donned their winter coats, your rabbits can withstand the colder outdoor temperatures quite well. In fact, rabbits are much more comfortable in the cold than they are in the heat. But, in order for their natural insulating layers to be effective, bunnies need dry, clean areas to shelter in.
In the wild, rabbits will warm up in underground warrens, or burrows, and huddle together for warmth. Domesticated rabbits need a similar environment – a draft-free, dry hutch to warm up in. The Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch was designed with this in mind. The twin-insulated walls offer protection from drafts while containing the natural body heat of your rabbits within. And, our hutch is designed to provide ample ventilation to prevent moisture buildup, which is especially important during the winter months.
But will they be happier inside?
It may be tempting to bring your outdoor rabbits inside for the winter, but the trouble with this is threefold:
- Bringing your bunnies inside for more than brief visits acclimates them to your home’s interior temperature. This makes it more difficult to move them back outside without shocking their system.
- The artificial lighting in your home will disrupt their biological clock, which may cause them to shed their winter coat too early.
- They will need indoor accommodations away from the hustle and bustle of your home activities. Rabbits may become stressed by stimuli such as televisions, radios, children playing, or other loud noises – especially around the holidays.
Rabbits that are well adjusted to their conditions and schedules outside will thrive much better staying in their home all year round – including during the winter. If your rabbits have lived outside for the rest of the year, save for a couple of caveats.
How cold is too cold for rabbits?
Rabbits don’t adhere to a particular rule when it comes to temperatures. What is true for most bunnies might not apply to others. Observe your bunnies as well as the weather in order to gauge how cold is too cold for your rabbits. If temperatures have been gradually declining over several weeks, your rabbits’ coats should be sufficient to keep them warm enough in even sub-zero temperatures. But, here is where the first caveat of bringing your bunnies inside comes in:
- If the temperatures have been mild for weeks, and your area experiences a sudden and brief cold snap, you may want to consider bringing your rabbit indoors.
This is because a rapid and temporary drop in temperature can be too much for a rabbit that hasn’t finished growing its winter coat. However, the addition of extreme temperature protection on your rabbits’ hutch is enough to bolster your bunnies through a quick cold spell. You can also move your rabbits to a sunnier area of your yard, or under the shelter of a garage or shed in the event of freezing precipitation.
The other caveat to leaving your bunnies outdoors is their health:
- Older rabbits, or those with health conditions that may affect their coats or metabolisms should spend seasons with extreme temperatures indoors.
They don’t have to miss out on all the fun though. Rabbit runs and playpens can be utilized both indoors and outdoors to create safe spaces. On mild winter days, your rabbits will appreciate a romp outside in the sunshine.
What can I do to help my rabbits in winter?
This advice applies if you keep rabbits in an outdoor rabbit hutch and run. If you’re moving your pets inside you won’t have to worry too much about protecting them from bad weather.
Regularly checking in on your rabbits is one of the best ways to ensure they’re in good health, and give you an idea of how well they’re handling the weather. But, there are some other ways you can help your rabbits through the winter.
Exercise helps ramp up your rabbits’ metabolisms to help keep them warm during the winter. Make sure they have plenty of space and opportunity to stretch their legs and generate heat. Connecting their hutch to a Zippi Rabbit Playpen via our Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System gives them plenty of room to burrow, explore, and play.
Keep your rabbits’ hutch in a place that receives as much sun during the day. Use clear rabbit run covers during the winter months to allow warming rays of sunshine in for your rabbits to stretch out. If your area receives a lot of snowfall, the addition of wheels and handles to your rabbit hutch allows for quick and easy movement to shelter or shoveled areas.
You’ll find your rabbits spending more time in their hutch during the winter due to both decreased daylight hours and temperatures. Make sure to change their bedding frequently to keep them clean and dry. Choose a thick bedding like straw and provide a thick layer for your bunnies to burrow into.
Your rabbits should have unlimited access to timothy hay all year round, as well as a serving of quality pellets daily. To stoke their metabolisms during the winter, gradually add in alfalfa hay or pellets into their diet to provide extra energy. Other treats like leafy greens can be served in a Caddi Rabbit Treat Holder to keep it up off of the frozen ground.
You’ll also want to switch to a crock or bowl for their water during the winter months to prevent bottles from breaking in freezing temperatures. A bird bath heater or plug-in heated pet water bowl can be used to keep their water thawed – just be sure that the cords are not within your rabbits’ nibbling range.
Your outdoor rabbits with Omlet
Don’t stress over your rabbits during the colder weather. With our Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch, Zippi Rabbit Runs and Playpens, and Zippi Tunnel System, you can create a winter wonderland that both you and your rabbits can enjoy. With dry, insulated dwellings, your bunnies will boldly take on the chilly temperatures – and you will rest assured knowing they’re comfortable and happy not just during this season, but all year round.
This entry was posted in Rabbits