Wild rabbits survive the winter by creating burrows in the ground or using thick shrubberies to protect themselves from the cold temperatures. Some rabbits create their own burrows, while others will utilize abandoned burrows created by other rabbits or small creatures.
A rabbit's food source diminishes in winter, with most vegetation dying off after the first snow or ice storm. A rabbit may rely on the bark of trees and small woodsy plants to survive during the winter. The highest mortality rate for rabbits is the winter time as food becomes scarce. Rabbits are also at a higher risk from predators that are also struggling to find food sources in the winter.
Rabbits kept in captivity should be kept indoors during the winter. Unlike their wild counterparts, captive rabbits cannot create adequate burrows for warmth and could die from hypothermia if left outdoors during the winter months.