Do Rex rabbits survive cold winters?

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BuffBrahmaBantam

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Someone once told me that Rex rabbits do not do well in cold climates due to lack of guard hairs. Is this true?? What is the coldest climate that you’ve known Rex to survive over winter?

I know rabbits are hardy animals in general and prefer cold to hot, so this comment surprised me when I heard it and I’d like input from experienced rabbit raisers.
 

Keag

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There seems to be plenty of Rex Meat Rabbit breeders here in Maine. This will be my first winter with Rex & Satin so we shall see.
 
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We've raised Rex along with Satins, Polish and Mini Rex in Alaska for over a decade. In Anchorage, where winter temps are usually 15-25 degrees F but with some periods of 20 below zero, we kept the rabbits in wire cages in a semi-enclosed shed (roof and walls, but not closed all the way to the roof). Where we live now it gets down to 20 to 30 below zero, and we have the rabbits in a 20' x 26' barn that is insulated but not heated. For the smaller rabbits, e.g. Polish and Mini Rex, we'll give them wood or cardboard boxes stuffed with hay or straw when the temps get really low. But we've never had any trouble with adult rabbits from the cold; lost some kits to popping out of nest boxes but that isn't related to the breed. The only trouble we've had with the Rex is that some lines seem to have a tendency to sore hocks. No problems with the cold, though. Their guard hairs are short but their coats are denser than normal fur.
 

BuffBrahmaBantam

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We've raised Rex along with Satins, Polish and Mini Rex in Alaska for over a decade. In Anchorage, where winter temps are usually 15-25 degrees F but with some periods of 20 below zero, we kept the rabbits in wire cages in a semi-enclosed shed (roof and walls, but not closed all the way to the roof). Where we live now it gets down to 20 to 30 below zero, and we have the rabbits in a 20' x 26' barn that is insulated but not heated. For the smaller rabbits, e.g. Polish and Mini Rex, we'll give them wood or cardboard boxes stuffed with hay or straw when the temps get really low. But we've never had any trouble with adult rabbits from the cold; lost some kits to popping out of nest boxes but that isn't related to the breed. The only trouble we've had with the Rex is that some lines seem to have a tendency to sore hocks. No problems with the cold, though. Their guard hairs are short but their coats are denser than normal fur.
Thanks for the details! We rarely get below zero at our place so it sounds like my Rex should be perfectly alright.
 

Estrella

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While i no longer have a Rex, it wasn’t one of my top breeds for cold hearty winters. I live in WI ( with it actually getting colder than Alaska these past few years thanks to polar vortexes!) but the top two breeds that continued to show up throughout research are Silver Fox and New Zealand’s.
I suppose it also depends on if your rabbit has been housed outside and if it’s used to temperatures fluctuating, or if it’s been always kept indoors and attempted to move outside. The later would stress a bun out if not used to outside temps.
 

HTAcres

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While i no longer have a Rex, it wasn’t one of my top breeds for cold hearty winters. I live in WI ( with it actually getting colder than Alaska these past few years thanks to polar vortexes!) but the top two breeds that continued to show up throughout research are Silver Fox and New Zealand’s.
I suppose it also depends on if your rabbit has been housed outside and if it’s used to temperatures fluctuating, or if it’s been always kept indoors and attempted to move outside. The later would stress a bun out if not used to outside temps.
On the flip side of that, I have one Rex pair alongside my Tamuk and I would like to get another Rex doe but it is hard to find someone else here raising them outside. The people I know raising Rex here have them inside in AC. BTW, I lived in Waukesha for 6 years back in the 90's and one of my favorite places to live other than the sheer length of the winter (for someone who grew up in north Florida). I still miss my tulips!
 

BuffBrahmaBantam

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On the flip side of that, I have one Rex pair alongside my Tamuk and I would like to get another Rex doe but it is hard to find someone else here raising them outside. The people I know raising Rex here have them inside in AC. BTW, I lived in Waukesha for 6 years back in the 90's and one of my favorite places to live other than the sheer length of the winter (for someone who grew up in north Florida). I still miss my tulips!
Where is Waukesha?
 

Zoey2145

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Yes, they can. Rabbits have adaptations that help them survive the cold, such as thick fur coats and fur pads on their feet.you can find more information about rabbits on rabbitinform.com
 

Preitler

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Yes, they can. Rabbits have adaptations that help them survive the cold, such as thick fur coats and fur pads on their feet.you can find more information about rabbits on rabbitinform.com
Well right, but the question here was if this special type of fur compromises those adaptions, since it was bred for different reasons.
I like forums better than Infosites, here you get several opinions and viewpoints, on a website just one opinion, which often can be not accurate to the specific question, or just one of several valid or oposing opinions.
 

BuffBrahmaBantam

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Well right, but the question here was if this special type of fur compromises those adaptions, since it was bred for different reasons.
I like forums better than Infosites, here you get several opinions and viewpoints, on a website just one opinion, which often can be not accurate to the specific question, or just one of several valid or oposing opinions.
Preitler, I agree with you. I’ve learned much more from rabbittalk than any website, which I find are maybe 50% accurate on average. There is a lot of misinformation out there on the internet. Here on rabbittalk, people can compare their different experiences and discuss the pros and cons of different approaches.
 

Scooter1A

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My sweet doe, one year old is Rex/NZ cross. She likes to sit in her box with alot of hay and she did just fine blocked from the wind in her hutch. My Cali white seemed to handle it better as I don't see him in his box as much. We are finally warming up with some snow. I may turn them out tomorrow and let them get some exercise....if they want.
 

BuffBrahmaBantam

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Hi everyone, the original question was about Rex rabbits with their lack of guard hairs. I know rabbits can withstand cold. The original question was answered months ago so we can drop this thread. Plus, we ate our Rex rabbits - about 3 months ago. They had other issues we didn’t have time to deal with. I don’t know why this thread was resurrected.
 

ladysown

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My mini rex did just fine in an enclosed (unheated) outdoor area. They were protected from wind but not temperature. Did excellently, kindling good litters too!
 

Keag

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Hi everyone, the original question was about Rex rabbits with their lack of guard hairs. I know rabbits can withstand cold. The original question was answered months ago so we can drop this thread. Plus, we ate our Rex rabbits - about 3 months ago. They had other issues we didn’t have time to deal with. I don’t know why this thread was resurrected.
I think it raises an interesting thread. I am sure it will keep going because there are always new rabbit breeders, ones that are adding too or switching breeds. It is great to get people's experiences.
 

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