high heat and rabbits

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by eeyore, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. eeyore

    eeyore Monkey+++

    Came home from work last night and found that i lost 2 rabbits. We have two 100 degree days in a row and the night temps in the 80's. In the past i have rabbits that have handled it (or simular), not sure what happened. But the heat is deadly if precautions are not taken. Mine were in a opened on one side shed, with 3 inch air space around them. Really thought with the open front they would get the breeze and with the wide roof area (6 feet coverage for a 2 foot cage) would be sufficient to keep them out of the direct sun light.
    Guess i will never know for sure. The third one is fine and in the house now, for the duration of the hot weather.
    The only other observation i have is that the two that died, one was gray the other was black. The one that lived was white.
  2. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Temps in the mid to high 90's can do in your rabbits no doubt. I have used 2 liter bottles of water frozen well, and one place in each breeders cage for them to nestle up to. I also have used fans. I have considered timed misters. Even with all of the above, on rare occasion in high heat you will still lose a breeder. Does seem to be more susceptible to heat stress in my experience.
    eeyore and Falcon15 like this.
  3. NCGunDude

    NCGunDude Monkey+

    With the forecast over 100 today, and near it tomorrow, our two rabbits are coming in for the duration of the heat.

    I've got an misting hose on order.

    The rabbits are on our mostly North facing back patio, and have done OK up to this point, but definitely heat stressed.
    eeyore likes this.
  4. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    We have three methods for keeping the rabbitry cool. These methods are in addition to building the rabbitry in the shade of a huge oak, and designing it with air flow in mind (ie. at least 12 inches above each cage for maximum airflow and therefore cooling). Keep in mind, I live in the Houston area, where the daytime temps get over 100 degrees and the humidity varies between 39% and 100%.

    1: High flow fans. Regular high air flow fans blowing through the rabbitry keeps the air moving. This alone helps the rabbits cool themselves. if the humidity is low enough, we hang damp towels halfway down the fan face or across the top of the cages. The evaporation of the water from the towels cools the air passing over or past them. Since cool air is heavier than warm air (more dense), we find the towels on top of the cages work exceptionally well as long as the air flow is good! You should re-dampen the towels every few hours (wet but not dripping), or as they dry, whichever comes first.

    2: A misting system. Yes, misting. When the humidity is low ( the lower the better) the mist sprayers can lower the air temperature sometimes by as much as 20 degrees. I bought my misting system (flexible 10' hose with nozzles, mounting clips etc) from Ace Hardware for 16.00 FRNs for one set.

    3: Frozen 1 gallon jugs of ice. We recycle milk jugs for this use. We place one in each cage. Also we hang some jugs in front of the fans so as the air blows across, it cools the airflow. Tejas A/C baby.

    Additionally, if we have the time we take a damp cloth and gently wipe the inner ear surfaces of every pregnant doe. Seems that pregnant does run hotter than usual, and the heat can stress them more. Wiping their inner ears is important to help cool them rapidly, as the ears are Rabbit Radiators. Be sure that if you use a misting system the rabbits are not getting wet. Damp fur gets matted, and traps more body heat. If you have a rabbit that gets wet, just pop them out, dry them off really good, adjust the mister, and put the rabbit back in his/her cage. Et Viola, you 'ave the Falcon Clan rabbit cooling strategies.
    ditch witch and eeyore like this.
  5. eeyore

    eeyore Monkey+++

    Thanks for the tips, thought about the fans, but have in perm power out there, will have to consider all the options now.
  6. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Fans can be run with a decent solar rig. We are installing our rig sometime in the next few weeks. Now, being unemployed, I am going inexpensive to start, as cheap as I can, so I will post reports on my attempts at solar generation later.
    eeyore likes this.
  7. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Add salt to the water cooling bottles

    eeyore likes this.
  8. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    we moved our rabbits into cages in the basement. it was just too hot out side. 95+ with high humidity.

    they really enjoy the cool 60's in the basement.
    Falcon15 and eeyore like this.
  9. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    I live in Coastal Texas. If we dug a basement, we'd need scuba gear to use it.
    Sapper John and VisuTrac like this.
  10. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    we always gave our rabbits HUGE ceramic water dishes for summer and kept them filled with cool water
    when they got too hot theyd wade in
    was also an exhaust fan blowing out heat from the ceiling with inlets for air near the floor on the north side of the barn
    barn rarely got over 70 inside no matter how hot it got outside
    ive always wanted to make a type of swamp cooler for the barns, just never got around to it, if done right it wouldnt only keep it cooler in summer but warmer in winter, using ground temp as a stabilizer
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