Saturday, July 7, 2012

Preventing Heat your rabbits.

So in the South it is like 1000* lately!  Not really, but seriously with the heat index we have been seeing triple digits!  When it's that hot you can imagine that your critters may experience some discomfort.

I try to check on my animals at least twice a day.  ESPECIALLY in the Summer time!

I look for signs of heat exhaustion:

* The rabbit refuses to eat or drink.

* The rabbit has rapid or labored breathing.

* The rabbit's tongue is hanging out.

* The rabbit is lethargic/won't move.  

If you suspect that your rabbit is having a heat stroke, immediately take the rabbit into a cooler area.

You can also wipe the ears with a cold cloth.  I personally will dip mine into cool (NOT COLD) water up to the neck.  (I know some people don't approve of this method, but I've never had any bad experiences doing it.)  Do not submerge the rabbit completely in the water.

If they don't respond pretty quickly you should seek the help of a vet!

Now, a few things that we do to help prevent heatstroke in our bunnies is to place frozen 2-liter coke bottles in their cage (a GREAT tip that I got from a fellow homesteading friend).

We change the bottles out twice a day.

We provide them with PLENTY of fresh water!!  We put two water bottles on each cage.  You can see the two bottles on the middle cage, especially when you have multiple rabbits in a cage.  (We actually have 3 bottles on this particular cage.  These babies where slowly being weaned...a little late I might add, but we had just moved them to the new cages and didn't want to change everything at one time, ya know?!)

We also made sure that we built our cages to have proper ventilation:

The air can flow through all sides of the cages making sure that the rabbits can catch a nice breeze from all angles!

We also made sure to put the cages in an area that is shaded at all times.  As you can see in the picture above, most of the cage is shaded, with the exception of a small area that is only in the sun for about 2 hours of the day.

You can also put a fan pointing towards the cage, but not directly on the rabbit(s).

So, that's how we do things.

How do you keep your critters cool in this crazy heat??  I can't wait to hear all your great tips and tricks!


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