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Minimum and maximum temperatures?

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Minimum and maximum temperatures?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby mi_ku » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:37 pm


So, I still don't have my rabbits. A lot of stuff came up this past year and I didn't get a chance to go to any local Rabbit Shows (or dog shows), etc. I'm kind of glad b/c the weather in Texas this year has been insanely hot and dry. I think it would've been too hot for outdoor rabbits w/o air conditioning. The garage that I plan on keeping them in does stay much cooler than the outdoors though. So, I'm wondering just how hot is too hot for rabbits and how cold is too cold? It doesn't get terribly cold here and they'll be indoors so the wind won't be an issue. However, I'm in the Panhandle, probably the coldest part of Texas. I plan on starting w/ Holland Lops and/or English Angoras. I'm thinking a breed w/ a shorter face and one w/ lots of wool are probably going to be more succeptable to the heat. Fans are definitely a possibility and I could spring for an AC unit is absolutely neccessary.

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Re: Minimum and maximum temperatures?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby eco2pia » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:00 pm


In your area I don't think there is a "too cold".

Up here mine ignore -10 degrees in outdoor hutches with just a box and some hay for sleeping in. However the hottest weather we get is like one or two 90+ degree days a year...Mine aren't acclimated, so I fuss over them each August. I hear that they manage fine elsewhere though, though you wont want to breed in the summer months.

Someone else will have to give you a max temp, but with frozen water bottles and shade and wetting down the ground around the hutches, mine make it thru so far. I think I worry too much actually, they never seem heat stressed, but I am!! :)

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Re: Minimum and maximum temperatures?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby akane » Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:06 pm


Yea mine didn't care too much about -20F here either and with them in a building and some straw they didn't even seem to care when it hit -30F for a week. Cold is unlikely to be a problem. I don't think you can claim one max temp since some have lost rabbits in the high 80s and others have them regularly survive well over 100. At around 90F (again in a building so complete shade) some of mine start to get uncomfortable but we've made 102F without losing any even on days we did not give them ice. I only check them every 2-3 days since they are a 30min drive away. Everyone has multiple water bottles or containers even if they don't drink both in case one fails/gets knocked over and unlimited hay to avoid problems but I cross my fingers every time it tops 100F here on days I don't go check on them so can't give them ice or splash water on them. I've held my breathe walking in to the stable a few times after a heat wave until I confirmed all the rabbits at least had their heads lifted off the ground.
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Re: Minimum and maximum temperatures?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby ilovehome » Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:21 pm


I live in AR and it was 102 today, but we deal with high humidity here, too. My buns receive a lot of shade from a tree and a hill that is beside the rabbitry. The walls are chain link fence. I can use a misting fan inside because I have dirt and gravel floors. It was about 90 degrees in there today, but all the rabbits were fine. The adults were fine in the winter at 0, too although I did lose kits that were born on the wire.

I would not put bunnies in an enclosed garage type environment in this heat unless it was air conditioned. I do not think a fan is enough. I prefer having excellent ventilation and air movement (I like it when the wind blows! lol), especially in the heat, so I probably will never have rabbits in a garage or enclosed shed anyway, but that is just me.
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Re: Minimum and maximum temperatures?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby eco2pia » Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:38 pm


MaggieJ, this is good info and a good question...Maybe it can be stickied?

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Re: Minimum and maximum temperatures?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Legacy » Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:03 am


I'm in North Texas and we have gotten up to 106 this month. It is hard keeping rabbits outside in this heat but I haven't lost any due to heat yet. The rabbits got used to the heat over time. Anything 100 or less, I don't worry about at all now. My rabbits are used to that. Anything over 100, I make sure they have frozen bottles or mister/sprinkler on them.

I was bringing the boxed babies in during the middle of the day but now they are out of the box most of the time so they can get a breeze too and aren't subject to the heat of the box. I don't bring them in anymore.

It will probably be Sept before we can breed again though.
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Re: Minimum and maximum temperatures?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Frosted Rabbits » Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:41 am


Some rabbits just seem more tolerant of heat than others-- I have had rabbits get super heat stressed before the temp could climb above 75-- while others, at 90 degrees, were still active. I would be more concerned about the brachycephalic breeds. The wooly breeds-- as long as there are no matts, they are clean-- the wool will actually insulate against the ambient temp-- no matter which way it goes.
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Re: Minimum and maximum temperatures?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby SatinsRule » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:50 am


I would have thought having an "outdoor" facility for a rabbit show in the summertime would be a bad idea, too. Let me tell you that having now been to 2 of them in 90+ temperatures, I wouldn't go to a summer show in an AC facility over an open-air show provided that the latter has proper fan setups. The one I attended yesterday in TN was one of the better shows I've been to in terms of climate tolerance, and there wasn't an air conditioner in sight.

AC shows tend to be hot and/or muggy/stuffy because of the type of traffic that regularly goes into and out of the show building between smoke breaks, visitors, exhibitors going in and out, etc. In other words, the AC units on most buildings just cannot keep up with amount of air temperature changes due to the in & out traffic.

Open-air buildings seem to work extremely well for rabbit shows, provided that they are well-circulated. If the show is advertising the use of industrial fans for the show, they're on the right track. As long as you keep the air circulating instead of stagnating, it will be tolerable and enjoyable. Absent of that, summertime is no time to be having a show.

It got me to thinking, and now I believe that having an open-air building for a rabbit barn is equally a good idea, as well, provided again that it is well ventilated. Does that mean that you have to have huge industrial fans or blowers for it to work? Not necessarily, unless you have a HUGE barn. Standard box-style fans that are properly placed will work wonders for keeping down odors and flies while keeping temperatures down. Setting fans near the roof at each end of the barn with one pulling in air and the one at the opposite end blowing out is one way to do so. You may wish to consider larger fans for the floor area, as they will keep the ground surface inside the barn cooler.

Man, those pole barns are sounding like a better and better option with each passing day. :P
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Re: Minimum and maximum temperatures?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby ladysown » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:32 am


part of what you want to do is breed what can handle the environment that you are in.

so yes... you can breed through the summer...and keep the kits and does that survive doing that. same ways with the winter. breed for your extremes and the rest will fall into place.

I don't breed in the summer for two reasons.
1. I don't need to.
2. I choose NOT to breed for summer heat. My choice. I lost one doe to heat from pregnancy and since I don't NEED to breed for the summer, I choose not to make that risk. Others will have different needs.

Should I ever have need to breed for summer babies I simply would do so. But I don't need to so it's not a weighed risk for me. Someday I hope to have a bigger place with more chances of raising a variety of rabbit breeds, but at this point and time it's not a weighed risk I need to make with breeding.

I have learned that most anything rabbity can be bred with rabbits. My focus is health...and I'm getting stricter with it as time goes on. But it's always a weighed risk. Do you want to risk losing pregnant does and/or to heat? Do you want to have to supplement them with extra care (aka air conditioning and what not)? How did they raise rabbits in Texas before air conditioning? Was there more weighed risk OR did they have some tricks to the trade that haven't been figured in?
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Re: Minimum and maximum temperatures?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby eco2pia » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:38 am


I like that--breed for it. I love how rabbits can be adapted in just a few generations to so much...Thanks Ladysown.

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Re: Minimum and maximum temperatures?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby SatinsRule » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:47 am


Very well stated, Ladysown. There's also the factor of getting rabbits used to 65-70 degree temperatures all the time, then exposing them to travelling and sitting for several hours at a show where the average temperatures run north of 90 degrees fahrenheit.

It's neat to think a person could control their environments and keep the rabbits comfortable, but there are simply factors which we cannot control. One which comes to my mind is the loss of electrical power during a severe storm. That's would be a devastating event short of having a permanently installed emergency power generation unit which kicks on immediately once main power is lost.
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Re: Minimum and maximum temperatures?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby ilovehome » Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:17 pm


I watched chickens roost in a tree this past winter in below freezing weather (a bobcat had visited at dusk and scared them out of their coop), with no serious damage to any of them. I came to the conclusion that we underestimate the ability of animals to manage their own bodies. And I purposely pursue fresh air animal housing due to the humidity here. Ventilation is the priority, not managing the heat or cold.
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Re: Minimum and maximum temperatures?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby Legacy » Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:31 pm


My chickens didn't manage their own bodies during the winter. A few froze to death and few lost feet and toes because they were used to roosting in the barn yard rather than the barn. It was horrible trying to get them in the building in the very cold wind.

Rabbits however would have the ability to manage their heat if they weren't trapped in a cage.
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Re: Minimum and maximum temperatures?

Post Number:#14  Unread postby ilovehome » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:01 pm


Ouch! Sorry about your losses. Maybe I was just lucky then...I prefer they go into the fresh air housing we built, but those chickens do not always listen. I'm sure I would build differently if I lived somewhere else.
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Re: Minimum and maximum temperatures?

Post Number:#15  Unread postby SatinsRule » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:10 pm


ILH, you're exactly right about managing airflow thru the barn. If you can do that effectively and take a few small steps (i.e. building an attic, properly insulating it, and installing exhaust fans) the use of any kind of AC unit is unnecessary.

I'd rethink the pole barn concept if I still lived in Alaska, but it would have less to do with the weather and everything to do with predators. Aside from the bear populations up there, the state also has a rather considerable population of wolves, coyotes, and foxes. The bears alone would necessitate the building of something a bit more sturdy than a simple pole barn structure IMHO, especially if a person lived in an outlying area.

BTW, what part of AR do you live in? I'm interested in trying to get together enough breeders in the state to start a club.
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