How do you keep rabbits cool in hot climates?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by strikit, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. strikit

    strikit New Egg

    Sep 20, 2016
    Odessa, Texas
    Soon I'll be adding meat rabbits to my tiny pseudo farm. I live in west Texas, where winters are short, the wind can be strong, and temperatures don't get below 90 all summer. We regularly get over 100. Naturally, heat is a major concern. I've done research, but every piece of advice is something like "put them under trees". Have they ever seen the desert? [​IMG]

    I have to build an entirely new structure for them and they can't come in the house except for maybe rare extreme conditions. My current plan is to erect an open-sided wood framework with a corrugated plastic roof spray painted white to reflect the sun. The sides will be protected from intruders with some kind of wire "walls". The roof will extend several feet over the cages on each side to provide shade. I'm thinking about making the west wall solid plywood to keep the afternoon sun from hitting them directly.

    During the summer I'll have two or three large coke bottles or milk jugs per rabbit, prefrozen with backups to change them out as needed throughout the day. Each cage will have two large water bottles, checked changed and refilled if needed when the ice jugs are switched out. Since they'll be in wire bottomed cages, part of the cage floor will be covered with ceramic tile. This should provide a nice resting place and keep from hurting their feet.

    In extreme conditions I could run an extension cord out and hang a fan, but if there are better ways I'd prefer that. Does anyone have any advice or experience in this? I can't put the setup right next to the house and again, there are no trees.
  2. balloonflower

    balloonflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2016
    All sounds good to me--I would consider a nipple water system with a water bottle backup rather than dual bottles. But, I'm just heading into my first summer with my buns, so have no practical experience.

    The other thing I would consider is the breed of rabbit--mine are Silver Fox (black with long fur) which don't sound like a good match for you. I also seem to think I've heard of a commercial breed developed to Texas conditions, but can't remember anything more than that. Anyone else know more, or is my brain confusing me?
  3. balloonflower

    balloonflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2016
    Also, a bit of a thread hijack, but could pertain to the OP, so I'll ask. Does anyone use misters to help cool buns in heat? Been considering it for mine this summer.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  4. Sherloki

    Sherloki Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2016
    We used frozen waterbottles and had to change them out frequently, would sometimes spray them down with a small spray bottle, and had fans on, never lost one to heat.

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