Summer & Rabbits

Weather is an important subject when you have a rabbit. Heat can be a problem. Coldness down to about 15 degrees is not a problem with rabbits (except for newborn kits). I do not know if rabbits can handle temperatures colder that 15 degrees.

Dealing with Summer:
Rabbits can not handle heat very well. If you live where it is dry they can handle higher temperatures than if you lived somewhere where it is humid and moist.

The ideal temperature for rabbits is 55 degrees but they can handle up to 85 degrees. Anything above 85 degrees is time for concern. Rabbits can die because of heat. They can get heat stroke. There are several ways to keep a rabbit cool and it is suggested that steps be taken to try to keep the rabbit as cool as possible.

Bucks can become temporarily sterile in temperatures above 85 degrees. They do not always become sterile but there is a possibility that they might. Some say it can take 3 months to become fertile again.

Keeping Rabbits Cool:
Here are a variety of cooling technics to try:
* The most common way of keeping them cool is to keep frozen soda bottles on hand. When it is hot outside give the frozen bottle to the rabbit and most rabbits (some rabbits just won't lay next to it) will lay next to the bottle to cool off.
* Another way is to keep tiles in a freezer and give them to the rabbit when it is hot.
* Another thing which helps a lot is to take old rags or jeans, cut them up, and get them completely wet. Then place them in the rabbits cages for them to lay on and/or in. These work very well.
* Wet Burlap sacks on the rabbit's cage or in the rabbit's cage. We have used a big 20" industrial fan with burlap sacks hanging in front of it with 3 drippers dripping on the sack to keep it wet. This helps but, if you have lots of rabbits in a barnyard setting you might want to put more drippers and another fan or two to keep it real cool. When we were doing this in our barn it was at least 5 degrees cooler.
* A swamp cooler in the barn is also very effective. This method kept our barn 15 degrees cooler. Currently we have an air conditioned, insulated barn.
* Another good thing to do when dealing with heat is to keep the rabbits drinking water cool. In order to do this just change the water several times a day. I have done this especially with rabbits who can't handle the heat as well as others. Another way to keep the rabbits water cool is to put ice cubes in their water.
* Rabbits cool themselves through their ears. Getting their ears wet will help cool them. I have done this and it really does help. I have seen, with some of the rabbits who are hot, when I spray their ears they cool off and start moving around more.
* Another good idea is to bring a pet rabbit or just a favorite bunny into the house so it does not get hot.
* It is best if the rabbit is not in direct sunlight especially in summer. It is best to keep the rabbit in the shade. Shade helps alot with the heat.
* You can also build underground hutches or barns.


Back to Rabbit Care