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

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MaggieJ

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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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This is an excellent set-up and the photographs and write-up show everything one needs to know to make a similar one. Thank you for posting, HT Acres.

~ Maggie
 

eco2pia

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It's hardly ever hot in Western Washington. But last week it got up to 91F. Unfortunately the rabbits get afternoon sun and the vines haven't grown in yet to shade them so I ended up hanging an old curtain panel that I use to line my trunk against hay seeds. That gave them some shade and then I sprayed everyone down with the hose on mist setting and froze bottles for the following even hotter day. The following day they were much better off. Naturally that means it started raining and now it's barely above 60 F.
 

HTAcres

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It's hardly ever hot in Western Washington. But last week it got up to 91F. Unfortunately the rabbits get afternoon sun and the vines haven't grown in yet to shade them so I ended up hanging an old curtain panel that I use to line my trunk against hay seeds. That gave them some shade and then I sprayed everyone down with the hose on mist setting and froze bottles for the following even hotter day. The following day they were much better off. Naturally that means it started raining and now it's barely above 60 F.
I'm trying to imagine. Really trying. lol
So glad your buns were okay!!
 

eco2pia

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I know it must sound almost dumb, but the funny thing about cooler climates like mine is that they are all still wearing most of their winter coat--they are a fur breed and their coats are so thick. It is not like they are mid shed and I can pull off handfulls--the coats are firmly attached and I came home to rabbits panting so hard that their chests were wet. I have never seen that before. It was kinda scary! It may be a breed issue, as I just got this breed last year.
 

BuffBrahmaBantam

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I know it must sound almost dumb, but the funny thing about cooler climates like mine is that they are all still wearing most of their winter coat--they are a fur breed and their coats are so thick. It is not like they are mid shed and I can pull off handfulls--the coats are firmly attached and I came home to rabbits panting so hard that their chests were wet. I have never seen that before. It was kinda scary! It may be a breed issue, as I just got this breed last year.
What breeds do you have?
 

eco2pia

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What breeds do you have?
I used to have mutts or nz red or Californian. But now I have American chinchilla, a heritage breed originally bred for the fur trade. I have found them to be prolific and excellent moms but they seem to hold their winter coat very late. I can see how that would have been an advantage in a fur breed.
 

BuffBrahmaBantam

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I used to have mutts or nz red or Californian. But now I have American chinchilla, a heritage breed originally bred for the fur trade. I have found them to be prolific and excellent moms but they seem to hold their winter coat very late. I can see how that would have been an advantage in a fur breed.
Wow. I didn’t know American Chinchilla was grown for it’s fur. We are new to rabbits and got Rex so we could use their fur - in addition to meat. We are starting small with a Rex buck and doe but hoping to expand in the future. I will look into American chinchillas.
 

rockyhillrabbits

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I bought 3 rechargeable fans from Walmart and use them on days there's barely any wind. On high, the fans will run for about 5 hours, so not too bad. I take them down about 2 and by 6 it's starting to cool off to just 100. This summer has been the hottest and driest since 2008. We haven't had rain in over a month and even then it was just a sprinkle. Everything is dead. Going to have to buy hay already because we have no pasture left. I can't even find grass to pick for the rabbits. At 7am the temps are upper 80s and feel like upper 90s. I am very surprised I haven't lost any rabbits. Today it is supposed to be 102 and heat index of 117.
Tomorrow and Sunday will be better with high of 91....woohoo a cold front! lol
My husband's family lives in Maine and they think 78 is hot. Jeesh.

I also have bowls in every cage and give fresh cold water twice a day because after just 30 minutes, the water in the bottles feels hot. In this heat they drink better from the bowl and a couple even stick their feet in it. I mist ears, use the fans, give frozen bottles twice a day and they eat more hay than pellets. They look miserable but I keep telling them "survive today and it'll get cooler, I promise" lol. I think we are all looking forward to fall. Summer stinks.
 

Big Mac

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Today it was 106 in central Texas, my neighbor lost two TAMUK Does to heat stress. Please when people buy your rabbits instruct them in the proper way to protect them form the heat.
my neighbor did not take the necessary precautions to protect his rabbits in my opinion. Even though they are food you have a responsibility to take care they do not suffer unnecessarly .
peace and blessings
 

Big Mac

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I bought 3 rechargeable fans from Walmart and use them on days there's barely any wind. On high, the fans will run for about 5 hours, so not too bad. I take them down about 2 and by 6 it's starting to cool off to just 100. This summer has been the hottest and driest since 2008. We haven't had rain in over a month and even then it was just a sprinkle. Everything is dead. Going to have to buy hay already because we have no pasture left. I can't even find grass to pick for the rabbits. At 7am the temps are upper 80s and feel like upper 90s. I am very surprised I haven't lost any rabbits. Today it is supposed to be 102 and heat index of 117.
Tomorrow and Sunday will be better with high of 91....woohoo a cold front! lol
My husband's family lives in Maine and they think 78 is hot. Jeesh.

I also have bowls in every cage and give fresh cold water twice a day because after just 30 minutes, the water in the bottles feels hot. In this heat they drink better from the bowl and a couple even stick their feet in it. I mist ears, use the fans, give frozen bottles twice a day and they eat more hay than pellets. They look miserable but I keep telling them "survive today and it'll get cooler, I promise" lol. I think we are all looking forward to fall. Summer stinks.
Saw some 12 volt fans that you can run on solar panels
 

Big Mac

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Giving this some thought think you should put your rabbits underground.
build a box frame the size of a nest box put it under ground with about 8” of soil on top build a tunnel big enough for the rabbit.
in the corner of the nest put a piece of 4” pvc pipe vertical, this is for the ice bottle. Shave half of the pipe away so the ice bottle is exposed to the nest. This will give cool to the underground nest with the ground temp being less than the ambient temperature, and a still air place for the cold to settle. Change the ice bottle as needed. What do you think? This is obviously have the rabbit pen on the ground.
oh and you have to have a cap on the pvc pipe
 

HTAcres

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Today it was 106 in central Texas, my neighbor lost two TAMUK Does to heat stress. Please when people buy your rabbits instruct them in the proper way to protect them form the heat.
my neighbor did not take the necessary precautions to protect his rabbits in my opinion. Even though they are food you have a responsibility to take care they do not suffer unnecessarly .
peace and blessings
I think it is important for any breed that buyers are planning to use a similar setup as what you are using. It is something I discuss with those buying my Tamuk breeders. They are heat tolerant not heat impervious. That are still rabbits. And sometimes even with the best of intentions, setups fail. I had a lovely buck die soon after sell because my buyers had moved and hadn't completely figured out the direction of the sun in their new home. And these are top grade buyers with the best of intentions that I had sold to previously and would sell to again.
 

Big Mac

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I think it is important for any breed that buyers are planning to use a similar setup as what you are using. It is something I discuss with those buying my Tamuk breeders. They are heat tolerant not heat impervious. That are still rabbits. And sometimes even with the best of intentions, setups fail. I had a lovely buck die soon after sell because my buyers had moved and hadn't completely figured out the direction of the sun in their new home. And these are top grade buyers with the best of intentions that I had sold to previously and would sell to again.
I know, and when you sell a rabbit or anything else once you shake on it There is a bargain struck. It is no longer yours, sorry it makes me angry to see anything neglected. Rabbits are such lovely creatures and so important.
 

rockyhillrabbits

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I want to do solar panels and maybe hook up lights but I think solar panels are too expensive. I don't have electricity or water ran down to the barn so I carry water down in big jugs every day. We just don't have the extra money for anything beyond the necessities.
 

Big Mac

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I want to do solar panels and maybe hook up lights but I think solar panels are too expensive. I don't have electricity or water ran down to the barn so I carry water down in big jugs every day. We just don't have the extra money for anything beyond the necessities.
Look at used solar panels, I see them on Craigslist for 50$.
also run 12 volt fans . That price is Craigslist Temple Texas.
 

rockyhillrabbits

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Bic mac, I'll have to do some research into solar panels because I thought you still need some sort of electrical hook up to make them work. The barn is in direct sun, no shade trees around it so solar would work well I think. It would be awesome to have fans and lights that run off solar panels lol
 

Big Mac

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Bic mac, I'll have to do some research into solar panels because I thought you still need some sort of electrical hook up to make them work. The barn is in direct sun, no shade trees around it so solar would work well I think. It would be awesome to have fans and lights that run off solar panels
Don’t know what it would take, depends on design
 
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