With spring finally showing itself and the temperatures on the rise there are a couple things you can do to help your rabbits beat the heat. Rabbits do much better in the cold than in the heat. This is especially true if, like us, you are raising fluffy Angora rabbits. Angora wool is up to 7 times warmer than sheep’s wool and Angoras like the temp between 55 and 60. When temperatures get up over 85 degrees, rabbits can start to experience heat related stress, rabbits can die from heat stroke, so it is important to help your rabbit stay cool in the summer. If your rabbit is in distress from overheating it is important for you to act quickly. Immediately bring her into a cool, air conditioned room (DO NOT SUBMERGE THEM IN COLD WATER!). Apply cold compresses to her ears, and possibly to her entire body if needed. Emergency vet care might be needed if you can’t lower her temperature quickly.
It is much easier to prevent heat distress than treat it so here are some ways to keep them cool.
1. Keep them in the shade, and out of direct sunlight through windows. If you don't have natural shade make some for them.
2. Give them a shearing, the less hair they have the cooler they will be, we plan on shearing beginning-mid June then again in August for all our rabbits. It has been found that they don't produce their maximum wool weight in the warm months. Keep them happy and cool. granted you will loose the summer growth but they will survive much easier.
3. Keep frozen water bottles with them, and a set in the freezer to exchange once of twice a day.
4. Ceramic tiles are great, put them in the freezer, they stay cool and allow the rabbits to lay on them, plus they are easy to clean.
5. Plenty of fresh greens will supply them with extra hydration.
6. Changing out the water not only keeps it fresh but cool as well, add some ice cubes to their water to help keep it cool longer
7. Set up a fan or AC but not blowing directly on them. An inexpensive homemade AC is a Styrofoam cooler with a fan blowing in a hole smaller than the fan, a piece of 90 deg PVC facing out away from the fan with ice in the cooler (maybe $10-$15 to make).
We would love to hear any suggestions you have, what you have found to and not to work.
So I've finally gotten the website set up after 8 months, but like everything else in my life it's a work in progress. We (mom and I) are hopeful that what we put up is helpful to those just starting out, and those that have been involved with rabbits for a while will comment so we can all learn a little more.
I guess the first thing I want to talk about is Mites, they may be small but they are mighty that's for sure...I was wondering there for a while if I was actually allergic to these wonderful little bunnies. But I've found that it is only those under a year that when shearing I seem to get bitten. I'm making the assumption it's because we hadn't vaccinated them with Ivermectin yet (partly because I'm terrified of needles and I don't want to hurt them). However I can tell you after the fourth time of feeling like I'm being eaten alive (only on the side that I hold them on) these little darlings are now getting their shots. I know there are some that disagree with this but I'm sure they are more comfortable and not scratching or matting their hair.
If you don't use Ivermectin I would love to know what/how you are able to deal with the mites. I personally would love to be able to keep anything unnecessary out of the rabbits.
Hello!!!! A little something about me... I'm a single mom of three (19, 17, 9), I have a full time and a part time job, thankful for the help of family in both my personal life and also running Growing Rabbit Tree(GRT) with my mom and the help of my kids when its convenient for them we are growing and having a great time learning.