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How hot is too hot?

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How hot is too hot?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Catherine99 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:03 am


We have a angora rabbit. Who lives outside in a wooden hutch as it too hot for metal cages.

He spends most hot days under him sleeping area as quite activity at night.

So how hot is too hot for a rabbit to live outdoors?

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Re: How hot is too hot?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby heritage » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:15 pm


Catherine99 wrote:We have a angora rabbit. Who lives outside in a wooden hutch as it too hot for metal cages.

He spends most hot days under him sleeping area as quite activity at night.

So how hot is too hot for a rabbit to live outdoors?

Catherine


I don't know the exact tempteratures you are experiencing right now, but they are pretty good to show you when it's too much. There is a post on here showing rabbits in stages of heat stroke... that can lead to death if not taken care of. I almost lost my whole starting heard to heat when it got unexpectedly hot one morning (stepped out from church around noon and went "uh oh!" :shock: Scrambling around in my nice clothes and shoes to take care of them!).

Do you have shade for him, or is he in direct sun? That makes a big difference. I don't have angoras, but mine have made it through stretched of (humid) triple digit (Fahrenheit) heat without issue since being tucked back under some shade trees... I also run a fan in the summers - I know they don't sweat for that to cool them down, but it keeps the stagnant hot air from building up at least. They flock to it when I turn it on. Look for panting, sprawled out, head tilted back. You can give them bottles of frozen water so they can use them if they need to cool down. If you find any in the midst of heat stroke you can quickly cool them off by cooling down their ears. I wetted my hands and rubbed them down, then put a fan on them. Other people have taken ice cubes and either wrapped them up in the ear or just rubbed them on them.
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Re: How hot is too hot?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Homer » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:17 pm


I started having heat related problems with my Flemish Giants around 85 (f). Moved them into my insulated shop and turn fans on when needed.
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Re: How hot is too hot?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Catherine99 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:43 pm


We had a heat wave last week with temperature between 30C to 38C. The has cooled down quite lot now this week is has high of 23C to 31C.

Yes we do provide shade and the really hot days 38 + will move him into deep shade. The really hot/extreme days are 45C. These are the I am concerned about.

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Re: How hot is too hot?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby heritage » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:07 pm


Catherine99 wrote:We had a heat wave last week with temperature between 30C to 38C. The has cooled down quite lot now this week is has high of 23C to 31C.

Yes we do provide shade and the really hot days 38 + will move him into deep shade. The really hot/extreme days are 45C. These are the I am concerned about.


How often do you hit the extreme highs? Is it rare, or for days on end? Do you have a lot of humidity as well? 38C is warm, but with shade it sounds like he is doing OK.
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Re: How hot is too hot?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Preitler » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:08 pm


With temperatures like this I would think about digging an underground place for the rabbit, mine like their tunnels, and I can't remember seeing any wild rabbits outside their burrows in hot weather.

A wooden box, burried with at least half a feet of soil above it in a shady place, upside down, with an access tunnel made with boards would be my take on this if mine wouldn't dig anyway. With a fence around hutch and hole so the bunny can go wherever it wants.
Just an idea, didn't try it myself.

At 38, or above I would worry fans being more heaters than cooling, since they cant sweat and that is above body temperature.

When I can't let them out in the heat I give them a cold stone to lie on, a flat slab of stone or tile on a styrofoam box containing frozen thermal packs or water bottles. I also use those flat metal jerry cans, 10 and 20 liter, filled with cold water for that.
post305953.html#p305953

Here it doesn't get over 35C often, but above 30 I try to let them out of their hutches, they can go into the house, basement, their tunnels, dig their belly-cooling-pits under trees, or whatever they want.
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Re: How hot is too hot?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:44 pm


Lots of good suggestions already! :)

It's true that rabbits cannot sweat, nor do they pant like a dog, but in hot weather the veins in their ears dilate and that helps a bit to disperse heat. This can be increased by misting the ears with a spray bottle and putting on a fan. If the rabbit objects to direct spray, try misting just over its head so the mist drifts down onto their ears.

I've never had Angoras, but I think with their thick wool they would suffer more than short-haired rabbits. Another consideration is that their wool holds moisture and wet wool could lead to fly strike. Please be vigilant.

If you have just the one rabbit, perhaps moving it indoors during the hottest weather would be the safest way to go.

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Re: How hot is too hot?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby BlueHaven » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:59 pm


I really think if your going to raise a long haired breed, you should consider an indoor set up for your rabbits. We were going to raise our rex outdoors but about that first windy 20 degree day last winter, we bit the bullet and bought a small outdoor shed. We insulated it and add a tiny air conditioner in the hottest days of summer and a small electric heater in the winter. Not only can we forget about dealing with frozen water bowls we can breed year around.

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Re: How hot is too hot?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Catherine99 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:17 am


Although our temperatures are hot in summer. Our temperature range is quite small.

We rarely get temperatures close to zero. It does not snow.

We have 30 days higher than >30, 10 days >35, 2 days >40

Each other year we have a day over > 45

Captain is inside with us when we are home on hot days. When my children are back at school I will come home at lunchtime in check on him on hot days.

We have cooling which when on maximum can only bring the temperature down 10C. It can't be left on when we are not home. So our home is actually hotter than outside.

Rabbit shows are cancelled in our state when the forecast temperature for the day is 30C or higher.

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Re: How hot is too hot?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby AnnClaire » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:53 am


Hi Catherine, welcome to Rabbit Talk!

I live in NW Oklahoma where we get weeks of temps above 100F!! And I raise English Angoras too!

What I have found to be most effective in keeping my buns cool in the heat:

1. Positioning the hutch under a shade tree makes a big difference, but I also recommend a wire cage rather than a wooden hutch.

2. Watering under the hutch/cage and around the tree in the morning helps lower the temperature and also helps the tree with convection cooling.

3. If at all possible, a ground pen that gets shade the majority of the day will help most of all. It allows the bun to move around to seek out cooler earth (even if they have to dig for it).

As for angora fur, it insulates "both ways" ... keeps the cold out in the winter and can keep the heat somewhat moderated in the heat.

You can also shear the bun, or at least take off some of the belly fur. Yes, most of the heat is dissipated through the ears, but they also can gain cooling through the belly.

When my buns are in the runout pen, they dig under some planks I fastened together lengthwise and laid upside down. I also made a square from leftover tin that is laid over the planks with a large tree stump to support the free end. The buns love to tunnel under that, but they can also be seen dancing around on top when it rains!! :P

Good luck!
cheers - AnnClaire

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Re: How hot is too hot?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Homer » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:19 am


You've had some good advise on keeping our friends cooler in the summers heat. The only problem I see is you can't always be home to take action when it's needed. I came across an article years ago that might be right up your ally. Use the earth to keep the temps down. I've not tried them but it sure makes sense to me. Have a look here: http://www.raising-rabbits.com/support-files/rabbitbreedingsystemforhotclimate.pdf.
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Re: How hot is too hot?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby Winterwolf » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:01 pm


Thanks for the article, Homer! That would probably be a great idea here in the Midwest where summer temperatures generally hit around 90 - 100(F).
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Re: How hot is too hot?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:59 am


Homer! This is awesome!
An amazing system... easy to set-up... inexpensive and good for the rabbits!

Thank you for posting.
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Re: How hot is too hot?

Post Number:#14  Unread postby heritage » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:30 pm


How neat! The one toward the end (PDF pg 7, fig 7) looks doable for my set up - now... to see if DH's cousins by chance have a pile of dirt they need to move :lol: . They snitched all ours that was cleared out from our driveway several years ago :angry: - little by little the pile disappeared. In his family a lot of stuff like that tends to be considered fair game depending on which side of the fence you are on :roll: (quite literally... it was dumped in the cow pasture)... in their defense we had no use for it at the time...
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Re: How hot is too hot?

Post Number:#15  Unread postby shazza » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:01 pm


i love the idea of the buried pot system but unfortunately southeast texas has so many odds against it. half of the year we're baked by temps in the 90s, but the terrain here is nothing but flat swampland - so even if i rented the backhoe to dig up the dirt, i'd hit the water table like two feet down. maybe when/if we dig a pond it would be a good opportunity to build a hill and actually take advantage of the ground being a wet mess wherever i go to dig.

ultimately though, my plan is to build a barn or convert a shed into a rabbitry that i can put air conditioners in. right now i can only really breed between december and april, and that's probably pushing it, to be honest. it starts getting hot again in march. and this winter has been so warm down here i'm expecting summer to be absolutely miserable.


fortunately southern rabbits are bred to be heat-hardy so i don't really start seeing signs of real heat stress til it's well above 85F. i have a battalion of gatorade bottles i kept frozen for them, and if it was in the 90s they got misted a few times a day, and had a large box fan blowing across the front of the cages constantly. it still was pretty rough since we don't have trees in our yard, so there wasn't that extra layer of shade. we're moving this summer - hopefully before the extremes - so here's to hoping there's at least more trees in the yard it put the rabbits under.
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