How are you keeping your rabbits cool this really hot "summer" so far?

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Tommy

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Yes, it can get pretty cold--also hot, though not so bad here in the Black Hills at 6,000 ft elevation. Some years there's hardly any growing season, but then the days are super long in summer, so that helps.
That’s the beautiful part of the state. When I moved to SD I wasn’t prepared for how flat it really is east of the river. Nor was I prepared for cold weather. Met some very nice people though.
 

Cindy in SD

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It's 87° today. 🥵 I've got the greenhouse open all-round, so it's cooler in there than it is outside. My new bunnies are sitting in the buck cage in a raised bed. Last week we covered plants at midnight to keep them alive. Today I have Colorado potato beetles. 🤷‍♀️ I will spray them with Neem this evening because the chickens weren't being as helpful as I had hoped.

Anyway, I've decided to put the bunnies in the back of the barn. I'm sure they'd be fine in the greenhouse over winter, but it will be nice not to have to walk so far through the wind and snow. But dang. Spring was delayed by winter and now it's full-on summer.
 

HTAcres

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We hit 102 the other day here in Delaware. The wet bulb temp was nicely low though. The rabbits took it in stride. They didn't even really hit their water bottles. They get mostly green fodder this time of year though. Their hutch is very much open to the air but otherwise isn't special. They just stretch out and look relaxed.
More and more I think the green stuff helps with heat. We just decided on example of someone else to leave off pellets in the AM and just do the forage then and feed the pellets in the PM. I used to live in Seaford DE BTW.
 

HTAcres

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Thank you sooo much for you kind note. I am new to Texas (from North Carolina), and came here knowing I wanted Silver Fox. It was after I started my herd that I found out about Tamuk. The one thing I started 2 days ago - which has been the most successful so far - is I purchased 12"X12" ceramic tiles from Home Depot for $.59 each. I put them in the freezer and take them out and give them to each rabbit around 4pm when I turn on the misting system. My biggest Doe, Stella, jumped on the tile and by the time I had given them out to all of the other rabbits, I went back to her cage and she was fully laying on it and had her eyes closed and was asleep. Her breathing had slowed way down. All of my rabbits lay on the tiles. I bought enough so that I can take out the tiles in the morning and put them in the freezer, and then take out the "frozen" tiles to give to them later in the day. The test will be tomorrow onward when the temperatures are supposed to climb to 102-106.
Thanks again - if I decide to change breeds, I will certainly let you know!
Funny, I have lived a number of places but happened to move here after 8 years in the Charlotte area. And I really need to get some tiles!
 
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It's been 97 with heat index up to 117 here in northeast Arkansas. I have been doing frozen bottles and misting ears. Can't afford fans. Next week it's supposed to get 102 and our heat index then will most likely be 120.
Because of the heat, I now have bunny daycare inside my home. My Rabbits come inside at 10 am and go back out around 5 pm. They pretty much sleep all day inside their old cages.
 

Big Mac

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It's been 97 with heat index up to 117 here in northeast Arkansas. I have been doing frozen bottles and misting ears. Can't afford fans. Next week it's supposed to get 102 and our heat index then will most likely be 120.
There’s a guy on YouTube who uses 12 volt fans, the type in desktop computers and he powers them with a solar panel.
he has one fan on each cage, looks like a good solution.
 

Cindy in SD

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I just moved mine out of the greenhouse into the barn. Everybunny seems curious but content. I don't have enough room for the three cages though, so I'll have to figure that out. (I converted the manger into a cage platform, but it's not quite long enough.) I've had all three in the buck cage up until now as they seem peaceful together. They were sitting on a bed I want to plant, and it does get a bit muggy in there when the sun heats it up, even with all of its skirts raised up around its knees.

It froze last night, but apparently not for long because there were only a few soggy-looking potato leaves at the tops of a few plants and the occasional nip on a pole bean top. I still have bush bean seedlings to plant, plus a few flower starts and then I'm caught up (aside from finishing my drip irrigation in the outside part of the garden. I have one left-over bed in the green house. I think I'm going to plant it with tomato suckers once I have some that are big enough. Unfortunately the greenhouse is not heated, but fortunately we have really long days this time of year and that helps the plants to grow faster. It usually doesn't freeze quite this late, but I guess that's global warming for you. 🤷‍♀️
 

Mama.

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I just added a large flat bottom bowl of ice water to each of my cages. One bunny already put his two front paws and stood that way for a solid minute. Then cleaned himself. I think the others will do the same. I have box fans and do frozen water bottles. I have to remember to pull them when they thaw otherwise they chew holes in them.
 
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We live in the Bryan/College Station, TX area, which is between Austin and Houston. Last year, the year I started in the early winter breeding Silver Fox Rabbits, we had a very mild summer - not even a day in the high 90's or 100's. This year, I have 4 Breeding Does and 2 Breeding Bucks and 13 grow out kits. It is HOT here! It was still 82 when I went out to replace their water and check on their feed at 10pm.
Here is what I have been doing so far:
I have box fans on every two cages (there are 12), and two high velocity fans blowing on the area too. My rabbits are outside, however, their hutch area is under a huge carport, and they never get direct sun. I have started giving them frozen water bottles around noon, then at 4:30 I go out and collect all of the melted water bottles and give each of them an ice block (made from those square "to go" containers. The cages with 2-5 grow outs in it get 2 or 3 ice blocks. I also turn on the mister system which is above the cages. Still my adults, especially, are not eating their favorite things for breakfast - organic kale or cabbage and thin sliced apples. I feed their Pellets & Organic Oats, and as much Timothy Grass as they want. Anyway, their not eating favorite foods tells me they are not doing well. It is supposed to be between 98-102 for 4-5 days next week - I am really concerned about them.

What do you do to keep your outside rabbits from dying in the heat of summer?

I have 2 breeder friends who have already lost rabbits to the heat.
Thanks for ANY advice you can give to me. I really appreciate this Forum!
Hi donnak,
We live in Valdosta Georgia, a wee bit north of the Florida line. We too have a carport type structure but we had an insulation company come in and spray thick insulation under the roof. We have two large fans on stands that blow in air from the north. In the heat of the day, I go out to the Rabbitry with ice cubes and I rub the rabbit ears with ice cubes. Even the somewhat shy does close their eyes and are very still as they seem to enjoy the refreshing cool on their ears! Our temperatures last week were in the 100s with the heat index of 104 to 108. We even had some 12 week old youngsters but everyone is just fine. This week the afternoon rains are coming every day so the temperatures are lower even though the humidity is way up there! Thankfully we have never lost a rabbit and we had a harvest of 30 something this spring and summer.
 

Rabbits by Accident

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It's been 97 with heat index up to 117 here in northeast Arkansas. I have been doing frozen bottles and misting ears. Can't afford fans. Next week it's supposed to get 102 and our heat index then will most likely be 120.
If you can hang wet burlap or old towels on the cage, it really helps. @MaggieJ suggested it to me (thanks!) and it really made the biggest difference I think. You only have to get them wet once in a while. I have a misting system, but there is one rabbit (new to me) whose cage doesn't get misted, so I just spray him with my hose set to 'mist'. The first couple times, he wasn't a fan, now he likes it LOL. However, I have really hardy rabbits, so you may not want to try that. You could spray 'around' the cage once in a while. The trick is to use the 'misting' setting on the hose nozzle, not the spray setting.
 

HTAcres

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We just finished a fairly simple DIY evaporative cooling apparatus.

There is a bucket with a water supply and a small pump in it along with a float that stops the water to a certain fill line. The water is pumped up to a PVC pipe across the top that has holes drilled in it. It then runs down through the matting that is basically stuff that you replace in an evaporative cooler. It's squeezed between two pieces of cow panel. And lots of zip ties were used. Don't get too lost in all my technical terms! Haha


There is a larger PVC pipe at the bottom that has a slot cut in it that collects the water except what was lost through evaporation and returns it to the bucket. This apparatus works often by just the wind but we also have a large fan that we can use. We have a little more cleanup to do, hang it a little better etc, but it's working very well.


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Preitler

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Today one doe cooled down accidentially. I have an old bathtub to catch rain water from the roof, normally covered with plywood. I removed it while watering the garden, and one of my does jumped straight in :D, sorry, no picture, I was busy getting her out.

Otherwise, mine have cool places in the garden like the Topinambur plot, or that hidey house under the huge lilac with concrete slabs as floor. They can also go down to the creek.
 

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