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Hey hi hello everyone, I'm new to rabbits and excited to get started. Primary goal is meat production for my family and pets. Because I'm in Central Arizona I'm taking these summer months to make sure I can adequately climate control my shed space. The plan is to get our first trios in early October. I feel lucky to have been introduced to Nick Klein from The Hostile Hare who lives in my area so I have a local resource - it seems difficult to find a lot of good info for how to keep them from dying in our weather climate.
 

eco2pia

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Welcome! That sounds like a challenging climate for sure. Good job doing your homework in advance. The only way I (a northerner) can imagine surviving your summers would be underground or with the AC set to max!
 

Scooter1A

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Hey hi hello everyone, I'm new to rabbits and excited to get started. Primary goal is meat production for my family and pets. Because I'm in Central Arizona I'm taking these summer months to make sure I can adequately climate control my shed space. The plan is to get our first trios in early October. I feel lucky to have been introduced to Nick Klein from The Hostile Hare who lives in my area so I have a local resource - it seems difficult to find a lot of good info for how to keep them from dying in our weather climate.
welcome. I'd go underground, but what about snakes?
 
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welcome. I'd go underground, but what about snakes?
Yeah, between caliche and snakes underground is not a good option! I'm finding out about the soil composition where we are the hard way. And unfortunately we have some experience with rattlers - one of our dogs was bitten by a juvenile Western Diamondback when we first moved onto our place - he survived with antivenom but we were (and still are) all a little traumatized!
 
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Welcome! That sounds like a challenging climate for sure. Good job doing your homework in advance. The only way I (a northerner) can imagine surviving your summers would be underground or with the AC set to max!
I love it. I'm made for desert heat - I grew up in the pacific northwest (a ten minute drive from Canada) and it about broke me but when we moved (first to California then fled to Arizona) I realized: I'm solar and heat powered. I'm the weirdo you'll see outside doing manual labor in 110 o_O probably singing all the while 😂
 

eco2pia

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I am in seattle today. the AC is out in the office where I am, and I think I am dying a little while I type this. It is maybe 80-85 in here? I did not used to be as bothered, but I also would have chosen less heat trapping clothes than typical office wear. :)
 

CedarRidge

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Welcome to the the world of rabbits. Lots of good advice here. Everyone is civil, and eager to learn. We started our Silver Fox rabbity 4months ago here in North Central Tennessee and learned quickly the heat was going to be a problem. Started with a portable AC in our rabbit house (400 sf insulated outbuilding) but that just wouldn’t cut it. Fortunate for us I built a modular system on wheels and were able to move the entire setup into our home’s HVAC cooled Garage when heat Index hit 100. Will move it all back to the shed this fall, then go about the business of installing a window unit that can meet the task. Getting a cool environment has been the most costly expense of our rabbit endeavor.
 
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Welcome to the the world of rabbits. Lots of good advice here. Everyone is civil, and eager to learn. We started our Silver Fox rabbity 4months ago here in North Central Tennessee and learned quickly the heat was going to be a problem. Started with a portable AC in our rabbit house (400 sf insulated outbuilding) but that just wouldn’t cut it. Fortunate for us I built a modular system on wheels and were able to move the entire setup into our home’s HVAC cooled Garage when heat Index hit 100. Will move it all back to the shed this fall, then go about the business of installing a window unit that can meet the task. Getting a cool environment has been the most costly expense of our rabbit endeavor.
Thanks. I still haven't installed the cages, so hearing this from you now is good. I may have to think about making the cages mobile. My shed conversion has included insulating the walls and most of the ceiling, painting the roof with elastomeric solar shield, and we bought but haven't yet installed some attic foil. There's a portable AC in there that we plan to use but until all the insulating is done I can't run it to test the cooling power! In a way I'm glad I'm doing this now in July & August, our hottest months - if I can make it cool enough now, I'll be golden for next summer. If I can't make it cool enough now, I have until Spring to figure something else out (and save the money to afford the Something Else). Right now I'm considering installing a small mini-split system. We have them in the house and they are so much more cost effective as far as energy consumption! 'Cause it gets wicked expensive in summer.
 

CedarRidge

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Biggest problem we found with our portable ac is they create a negative pressure area inside the shed. Which means warm air will be pulled into the shed from any crack, attic space, etc. Dual hose portable acs are supposed to fix this but cost as much or more as a window unit of comparable size. I'll pay some pics of our modular system in a day or so.
 
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Yeah, between caliche and snakes underground is not a good option! I'm finding out about the soil composition where we are the hard way. And unfortunately we have some experience with rattlers - one of our dogs was bitten by a juvenile Western Diamondback when we first moved onto our place - he survived with antivenom but we were (and still are) all a little traumatized!
I live in the high desert in SoCal. 2 hours drive to Yuma, 5 miles to the US/Mexico border. We had rattle snake problems til we got Peacocks. They took care of my snake problem in 1 year. Maybe that could work for you.
 

Scooter1A

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Yeah, between caliche and snakes underground is not a good option! I'm finding out about the soil composition where we are the hard way. And unfortunately we have some experience with rattlers - one of our dogs was bitten by a juvenile Western Diamondback when we first moved onto our place - he survived with antivenom but we were (and still are) all a little traumatized!
I can imagine the trauma. I honestly wouldn't know what to do. I suppose keep snake antivenom on hand at all times. GAAAA I despise snakes. Our owls keep me snake free and they totally cleaned out my pesky chipmunks this year. Owls in the trees every night picking them off. Atta boy.
 
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I can imagine the trauma. I honestly wouldn't know what to do. I suppose keep snake antivenom on hand at all times. GAAAA I despise snakes. Our owls keep me snake free and they totally cleaned out my pesky chipmunks this year. Owls in the trees every night picking them off. Atta boy.
I didn't know either, so we took him to the emergency vet. I wasn't even sure it was a rattlesnake - I always thought it was uncommon to run across one. Guess we're just "lucky." They generally say you should have your pet at a vet within a couple of hours (you have more leeway with a bigger dog and depending on where the bite was - Ronin got it right on the muzzle. Would've been a bigger urgency if it was a front leg or chest). I don't generally mind snakes, because they help control the small rodent population but we 100% yanked out the bush that the snake had been living under! (don't get me wrong I absolutely jump and flinch when I see one but I'm not like my husband, who shrieks and will hurt himself in his haste to run away - or like his mom, who passes out)
 

CedarRidge

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My Brittney had been bitten 3 times in 10 years. I've never seen the snake, but if he makes it through the night we know it was a copperhead. If he doesn't, it was a rattlesnake... no antivenom within 120 miles of here. We now just give him benadryl and hope for the best. So far so good.
 
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My Brittney had been bitten 3 times in 10 years. I've never seen the snake, but if he makes it through the night we know it was a copperhead. If he doesn't, it was a rattlesnake... no antivenom within 120 miles of here. We now just give him benadryl and hope for the best. So far so good.
Not having access to antivenom/vet services would scare the crap out of me. I'm working to become self sufficient in many regards but I"m nowhere near there yet and sure as heck not with major stuff like pet medicine. For better or worse, I'm having to learn it all now in my mid-40s. Until I butchered my quail last month I'd never processed any animal ever (though I did grow up on a dairy farm). Divorcing myself from the idea of small animals as pets is more effort than I suspected it would be, I have to continually remind myself. Our 3 dogs are all pets and always have been so I couldn't make my brain do "he FA, now we are all gonna FO" especially since he's my son's heart and soul.
 

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First time he got bit 3 times while head was in a brush pile. I saw a little blood on his nose and thought it was from a thorn or something and the yip I heard was him being pricked. 15 minutes later while walking home I noticed he was wobbling as he walked. Check him over, found the bites (twice in neck and once on nose) and headed for the closest vet. Was on a weekend and since we were new to the area, went to the first vet that had after-hours care. They kept him overnight, gave him fluids, Benadryl, and antibiotics, and said if it was a rattlesnake he’d die, if a copperhead he’d likely live. (No anti-venom close enough to make a difference). Oh, and I got a $350 bill. (Doesn’t seem much now but this was 10 years ago before inflation.) A few days later and after his head became the size of a small watermelon, he started to improve and regain some mobility. A week later he was good as new, with a new respect for snakes. Fast forward a year later, and another snakebite. This time we’d been in the area a while and had found another vet with a more down-to-earth approach - a local vet not affiliated with the high-dollar chain. She gave him Benadryl, charged us $40, and said “if it was a rattlesnake he’d die, if a copperhead he’d live..” and next time just keep him home, make him comfortable and give him Benadryl. So' that’s what we did when he was bit a third time 4 weeks ago. Hardest part is not knowing if he’d be alive or dead when we got up the next morning. I don’t want you to think we go for the cheapest option, or that we don’t value our dogs (which are our companions). As a matter of fact, if anti-venom was available and I knew for sure he was bit by a rattlesnake, I’d pay the price, whatever it was, to use it. So far God has spared him a rattlesnake bite (I’ve only seen 3 rattlesnakes here in 10 years) and he seems to handle the copperheads pretty well (probably seen 50 in 10 years.). Best of luck as you learn the ropes. I’ve hunted, fished all my life, raised quail, chickens and turkeys, and now rabbits. It still pains me to take a life, under any circumstance.
 

RabbitsOfTheCreek

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First time he got bit 3 times while head was in a brush pile. I saw a little blood on his nose and thought it was from a thorn or something and the yip I heard was him being pricked. 15 minutes later while walking home I noticed he was wobbling as he walked. Check him over, found the bites (twice in neck and once on nose) and headed for the closest vet. Was on a weekend and since we were new to the area, went to the first vet that had after-hours care. They kept him overnight, gave him fluids, Benadryl, and antibiotics, and said if it was a rattlesnake he’d die, if a copperhead he’d likely live. (No anti-venom close enough to make a difference). Oh, and I got a $350 bill. (Doesn’t seem much now but this was 10 years ago before inflation.) A few days later and after his head became the size of a small watermelon, he started to improve and regain some mobility. A week later he was good as new, with a new respect for snakes. Fast forward a year later, and another snakebite. This time we’d been in the area a while and had found another vet with a more down-to-earth approach - a local vet not affiliated with the high-dollar chain. She gave him Benadryl, charged us $40, and said “if it was a rattlesnake he’d die, if a copperhead he’d live..” and next time just keep him home, make him comfortable and give him Benadryl. So' that’s what we did when he was bit a third time 4 weeks ago. Hardest part is not knowing if he’d be alive or dead when we got up the next morning. I don’t want you to think we go for the cheapest option, or that we don’t value our dogs (which are our companions). As a matter of fact, if anti-venom was available and I knew for sure he was bit by a rattlesnake, I’d pay the price, whatever it was, to use it. So far God has spared him a rattlesnake bite (I’ve only seen 3 rattlesnakes here in 10 years) and he seems to handle the copperheads pretty well (probably seen 50 in 10 years.). Best of luck as you learn the ropes. I’ve hunted, fished all my life, raised quail, chickens and turkeys, and now rabbits. It still pains me to take a life, under any circumstance.
Poor guy (at least, I think you mean the same rabbit got bit multiple times)
 
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First time he got bit 3 times while head was in a brush pile. I saw a little blood on his nose and thought it was from a thorn or something and the yip I heard was him being pricked. 15 minutes later while walking home I noticed he was wobbling as he walked. Check him over, found the bites (twice in neck and once on nose) and headed for the closest vet. Was on a weekend and since we were new to the area, went to the first vet that had after-hours care. They kept him overnight, gave him fluids, Benadryl, and antibiotics, and said if it was a rattlesnake he’d die, if a copperhead he’d likely live. (No anti-venom close enough to make a difference). Oh, and I got a $350 bill. (Doesn’t seem much now but this was 10 years ago before inflation.) A few days later and after his head became the size of a small watermelon, he started to improve and regain some mobility. A week later he was good as new, with a new respect for snakes. Fast forward a year later, and another snakebite. This time we’d been in the area a while and had found another vet with a more down-to-earth approach - a local vet not affiliated with the high-dollar chain. She gave him Benadryl, charged us $40, and said “if it was a rattlesnake he’d die, if a copperhead he’d live..” and next time just keep him home, make him comfortable and give him Benadryl. So' that’s what we did when he was bit a third time 4 weeks ago. Hardest part is not knowing if he’d be alive or dead when we got up the next morning. I don’t want you to think we go for the cheapest option, or that we don’t value our dogs (which are our companions). As a matter of fact, if anti-venom was available and I knew for sure he was bit by a rattlesnake, I’d pay the price, whatever it was, to use it. So far God has spared him a rattlesnake bite (I’ve only seen 3 rattlesnakes here in 10 years) and he seems to handle the copperheads pretty well (probably seen 50 in 10 years.). Best of luck as you learn the ropes. I’ve hunted, fished all my life, raised quail, chickens and turkeys, and now rabbits. It still pains me to take a life, under any circumstance.
I so did not mean to imply you don’t value your pups, not at all. I just know that for many, dogs are both workers and companions, and I was trying to draw the distinction that mine have never been expected to be working animals. They’re like spoilt children in a way.

I’m way softer with them than is probably practical, because of where we live and the inherent wildlife dangers. Of which I was reminded last night, when the littlest dog decided to have a lick of neurotoxic toad {sigh}. Fortunately the first aid for that is rinse mouth, gums with running water for several minutes, then observe the comedy that is a dog on a wild acid toad trip.

I totally added Toad Hunter & Assassin to my resume after he was back to normal function. Found two hiding on the patio & dispached them.
 
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