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Reader's Stories



Diary of a New Rabbit Breeder


Lynn Wheat and Spunky Bunnies are located in East Texas, where it's hot and beautiful. Lynn's children, Haley and David, got the family started with rabbits as 4-H projects, and now they both want to breed rabbits.

5/25/01      Gearing Up for the Heat

It doesn't seem like it has been all that long ago that we were trying to keep the new babies from freezing. Well, in Texas there are only two seasons, December and summer, so now we're looking at heat again.

I put an awning up around the perimeter of the porch, which is where we keep our rabbits. This has really cut down on the sun and the heat. We have a breeze that comes through often, and most times it is pretty bearable out there. However, it's only May, which means August is not far off. I have already begun to freeze 2-liter Coke bottles three-quarters full of water and will be using them later.

Beginning next week, I will put an oscillating fan on the porch and have it blow across the top of the cages. Hopefully, that will be enough for June. When July rolls around, I will begin putting the frozen bottles in the cages with the rabbits. I have enough frozen so that I can put a new one in when the first one thaws out. There was a recent discussion on the Rabbit Web Discussion Board about putting wet towels in the cages. I learned that this was not a great idea because the towel soaks the rabbit deeper than the bottles do and a wet rabbit can be susceptible to flystrike. Anybody wanting more information on that can look up the "wet towel" discussion in the archives of the message board.

I did learn something else from a friend that I may try. Sometimes flooring centers have ceramic tiles that are discounted because they're mismatched or they're clearance-priced for other reasons. These can also be frozen, and the rabbits can lay on top of those. I will call around later and see if I can find some ceramic tiles at good prices. I'll freeze these and use them in the late evening during the hot months.

The most important thing to remember is that the rabbits can't take a lot of heat. Remember, our bunnies are already wearing a fur coat. I know some breeders lost quite a few rabbits last year to the Texas heat. I don't want to join those ranks if I can prevent it.

Read more of Lynn's diary.





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