Although most rabbit owners prefer keeping their pets indoors, some have no choice or prefer to keep them outdoors. Regardless of your circumstance, keeping your bunny outdoors entails providing them with a safe and secure living space. However, not all bunnies are created equal since the best outdoor rabbit breeds are well adapted to living outside than others. Below are some of the rabbits that are better suited to living outdoors.
The Belgian hare is one of the best outdoor rabbit breeds since they’re able to live in both hot and cold climates. In other words, they can easily live outside all year round since they molt during summer and grow a thicker coat in winter. The Belgian hare has an arched back with a long muscular body that averagely weighs between 6 to 9 pounds. Lastly, this particular bunny has a reddish-orange colored coat and they’re quite an active breed.
Californian rabbits are another popular outdoor breed. They essentially do well in a spacious outdoor enclosure since they averagely weigh around 11 pounds and they’re also quite active. Californian rabbit has a friendly and mild temperament and their coat is white with dark distinct markings.
Among the best outdoor rabbit breeds to keep is the checkered giant. Weighing on average between 11 to 12 pounds, this giant breed is known to be heat tolerant and will essentially do well in hot outdoor climates. All they need is a larger secure enclosure and a spacious backyard to exercise or play in. Checkered giants have a fully arched body with a white coat that has distinctive black or blue markings. Generally, this particular bunny has an affectionate and friendly temperament.
Silver fox rabbit
Although the silver fox rabbit is nowadays primarily bred as a show bunny, they ideally make great outdoor pets. Weighing on average 9 to 12 pounds, this particular bunny is in the giant category and essentially needs a larger backyard and hutch. The silver fox has a unique color coat that resembles that of the arctic silver fox. When it comes to temperament, they’re quite docile and friendly making them great outdoor pets.
Dutch rabbits are great outdoor pets since they are heat tolerant. However, they need a living space that’s secure and spacious due to their energetic nature. The Dutch are also affectionate bunnies that weigh averagely between 4 to 5 pounds. This miniature bunny has a distinctive coat with white markings. To be precise it has a white-collar, white blaze on its nose and a saddle mark on its back. The Dutch have a rounded balanced compact body that has different colors such as blue, black, chinchilla, gray, chocolate, tortoise, and steel.
Fauve de Bourgogne
The Fauve de Bourgogne is another rabbit that’s well adapted to living outside. They have a sweet and docile temperament making them ideal pets for first-time owners. The Fauve de Bourgogne is a medium-sized rabbit that weighs between 7 to 8 pounds and it comes in a red or orange coat. When it comes to their living space, their enclosure should be at least twice their size in terms of height, length, and width.
Weighing between 10 to 15 pounds, this giant rabbit is another great outdoor pet. French lops have floppy long ears that help regulate their temperature, making them easily adapt to the outside environment. In addition, their pliable coat also helps keep them cool throughout the year.
This gentle and affectionate giant has various coat colors such as white, black, blue, cream, opal, fawn, brown and broken. The rule of thumb is to provide your French lop with a spacious hutch. In other words, their ears shouldn’t touch the ceiling when they’re standing, and also their cage should be spacious enough for them to turn in.
The other gentle and mild-tempered bunny that makes it in the best outdoor rabbit breeds list is the Flemish Giant. Weight between 15 to 22 pounds, this giant breed needs a larger enclosure and plenty of space to exercise. To be specific, their hutch should measure at least 24 x 48 x 30 inches.
Although this particular breed is well adapted to living outdoors, always avoid keeping them in very humid environments or in temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Lastly, Flemish giants come in a variety of colors such as white, black, blue, light grey, fawn, and steel.
Weighing around 7 pounds, the Havana rabbit is another adorable pet that will do great living outdoors. This particular breed is affectionate and energetic thus making them great backyard pets. Just ensure that they have a comfortable and secure living habitat. Additionally, their cage should have a wire mesh surface that’s slightly raised off the ground. The reason being is that they have short legs which can easily make them stand or sit on their filth. Lastly, Havana rabbits have four main colors namely black, blue, chocolate, and broken.
New Zealand Rabbit
This particular bunny is well adapted to both hot and cold environments. Weighing between 10 to 12 pounds, New Zealand rabbits make great outdoor pets due to their laid-back temperament. This bunny has four main colors namely white, black, blue, red, or broken. Since the New Zealand rabbit is a large breed they’ll essentially need more space to keep their environment more conducive.
This particular rabbit is also better suited to live outdoors since it can live in both cool and warm weather. Ideally, the English Lop is able to withstand temperatures that range between 50 to 75 degrees. However, in winter provide your bunnies with extra blankets to keep them warm.
During hot summers provide them with plenty of water, and also keep them in a secure shade. Lastly, English Lops have distinctive huge floppy ears, weigh between 9 to 11 pounds, and are a laid-back breed.
Rhinelander’s are also among the best outdoor rabbit breeds worth keeping. Although they’re tolerant to hot climates, constantly supply them with fresh drinking water. In other words, Rhinelanders are an active breed that can easily get dehydrated especially in hot summers.
Weighing averagely between 6 to 10 pounds, Rhinelanders have a full arch body with unique markings on their body. This large rabbit breed is easy to handle since it has a calm and friendly temperament. Their coat color is usually a mixture of white and black markings or orange with blue or white/fawn.
Finally, the last but certainly not least outdoor rabbit on our list is the Satin. Weighing between 8 to 11 pounds, this particular breed is well suited for outdoor environments. The Satin is an ideal outdoor pet since its heat-tolerant with a calm and friendly temperament. They have a commercial-shaped body with a primarily white coat that comes with a blend of colors such as black, white, blue, chocolate, red, copper, Siamese, or otter.
All the rabbits mentioned above can essentially live outside throughout the year, thanks to their hardy nature. However, it’s worth pointing out that under extreme temperatures, they’re highly likely to suffer from heatstroke or frostbite. Additionally, their enclosures should be spacious and secure enough to keep predators away or prevent them from escaping. Lastly, your yard or outdoor garden/bunny exercise area should be rabbit-proof and free from toxic plants.