If you keep rabbits, there will be a significant difference in how they will behave in winter compared to summer - and that’s even before the issue of breeding comes up.
In the wild, rabbits will enjoy the long, warm summer days by getting above ground when its safe, revelling in the pleasant conditions, although dusk and dawn will remain prime feeding times.
In winter, they will naturally spend less time above ground and, in conditions where snow cover makes grazing hard, rely on staying below ground and chewing pellets. They won’t be hibernating, but they will certainly be living differently. Appetites will be less and they will stay still more to conserve energy.
For a domesticated rabbit, life will be different. After all, with products like Bunny Munch rabbit food you can bring them the very best of nutrition at any time of year. While they may still not be keen to get out on the grass when it is cold and frosty - and still less in snow - you may find spaces indoors for them to run around and have some bunny fun.
Now spring is here, however, the warmer weather and increasingly long days mean the norm should be for your rabbits to be outdoors.
In nature, this is the time when rabbits are not just breeding a lot, but enjoying the arrival of all kinds of plants that sprout up and provide more food. With grass no longer frosted and lots of lush vegetation about, every day is a feast day.
Whether your rabbits are simply running around the back lawn or a dedicated rabbit run, or living in morant hutches, they will be spending much of the next few months with natural food literally growing between their feet. This begs the question of how such abundance affects their consumption of other food.
The answer is that, while grass is a staple for wild and domestic rabbits alike, they can always benefit from the extra nutrients and vitamins of certain other foods. For instance, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and courgettes provide extra water and vitamins.
Other kinds of fruit can also be fed, but beware that apples and summery delights like strawberries are more sugary, so give these sparingly to avoid tooth decay.
At the same time, you can add some fibre and also the nutrients rabbits can get from things like wood bark. It is also good for their teeth to have wood to gnaw on anyway, as these prevent them growing too long.
You also should give them plenty of hay to nibble on, as this has the same effect as wood, is a normal part of their diet and they will still need to keep warm at night, as spring evenings in particular can still be chilly.
Finally, don’t forget to ensure your rabbit gets plenty of water. Drinking bottles mounted on hutches or on the wire of a run are ideal, but keep checking to ensure there is enough water and that they haven’t been knocked over an enthusiastic rabbit from inside the fence or another animal, like an inquisitive cat, from outside.