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Tom in Kingman

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Hello, my name is Tom and I live just off Route 66 about 15 miles east of Kingman AZ. I want to get going with meat rabbits since I'm a Prepper and they are a perfect fit. I am trying to set everything up before I make the "leap". I have been a member of the ARBA for 4 years and attended 2 conventions here in Kingman at The Fairgrounds. I was all set to go last year and once again speak at length with Ray Stacy (head of District 2) but we all know why that DIDN'T happen. Hopefully we will return to some sort of normalcy sooner than later. Until then I am trying to figure out the BEST place to raise them on my property, the housing, water supply and a jillion other things. I already raise Compost Worms and am having a hard time every year keeping them cool in summer. I believe rabbits are a challenge also where heat is involved. So I'm still watching You Tube and looking around. I got a great idea on You Tube from a guy called JNULL0. He made some really good cages out of Closet Maid shelving. Strong, easy to clean and gives easy access to the rabbits from the top. Right now I'm thinking Florida Whites but that could change. They would be convenient because of size since we are only 2 people . Any ideas are welcome and anyone from my area is always welcome to give me some pointers. Thank you.
 

bighairbuns

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IMHO A big part of heat tolerance is going to be a genetic component. The best thing you can do is make sure you buy local stock from a breeder who keeps their rabbits the way you intend to keep them.

Shade and good air circulation is going to be another big part of keeping your rabbits cool. If you have good stock this is really the only thing you should need for a meat breed.

If you don't have a sufficiently shadey spot on your property, maybe consider installing 4 posts around your whole set up so you can hang something like an aluminet shade cloth over the whole set up.

You may also want to consider your set up being somewhere where you can run electricity. Fans for air circulation and a bit of a breeze during the warmest months and lights for when you need to check on them at night. These are more of a luxury but something I wish I did when I had my outside buns. If it gets really bad and you had the ability to run fans near your hutches you could macgyver a swamp cooler for them as well.

Other than that you can offer them ceramic tyles or frozen water bottles to keep them more comfortable.

Have you looked into putting the worms under the rabbit hutches? I understand that is pretty popular. Then you would only have to worry about keeping one area cool.

And totally spit balling ideas here - something I was considering when we move and I have to set the rabbits up all over again - Doing a living roof on my cage/hutch. Could grow greens right above the buns and keep them a little cooler all in one shot.
 

Preitler

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There are other concepts about housing rabbits in hot climates, I can't remember where but I saw illustrations from an older book with underground housing.

ah, well, a little search turned this up:


 

northernnevadahollandlops

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I'm in northern Nevada, where though not quite as hot as Kingman, we do usually have a week or so of triple digits. I raise Holland lops tho, so not quite as hearty. Mine came from outdoor stock and were born outside. I haven't lost one to heat yet. Mine free roam and have lots of options to find shade. An underground option or access to dirt would be nice bc they can dig and turn up cooler dirt. I second the air circulation, lights and frozen water bottles. I will also freeze water in reused sour cream size containers and put those in their water crocks. My rabbits love sprawling out on our covered concrete patio.
 

Zee-Man

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Tom! Kudos on the prepping!

Air circulation and shade are, as others have stated, the key element. In Delaware we don't get above 100 but very rarely. But 95ish is not uncommon. We have a lot of humidity, though. My hutches are elevated with wire floors. Dosidoe sprawls and pants. The hutch is very airy with a nice roof to provide shade. She has torn her insulating cardboard from the walls of her hide to make a floor in it. I found it interesting that on some of the hottest days she would lay out in the hide rather than in the open air.

N. I am thoughtful of the misting idea. I have some notion that it is better to keep rabbits dry. Let's keep in mind that rabbits can suffer hypothermia in summer just like humans can.
 
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