Dealing With Summer Heat

Summer can be a tough time in some of our member’s climates. For those of you with air conditioned barns, then this article is not for you. Here in Sacramento, summer can be brutal. For instance, yesterday’s high was 108. We are in the midst of a heat wave here. Usually fans and misters do the job in my barn. However, when it gets up over 90 (depending on your location), extreme measures must be taken. If possible, rabbits are brought in the house where there is air conditioning. Since that is not always possible, I look for signs of stress and bring in the rabbits that show any possible sign. Wet noses and rapid breathing are two for starters. Also, rabbits in coat should be watched carefully.

Bungalow Farm’s Hummdinger shrouded
in a gentle mist and feelin’ pretty good!

With rabbits, heat kills. Know the signs, know your rabbits, and prepare for heat waves.

If you live in a warmer climate, get the coats off before the hot weather hits. Keep the coats off all summer if you have too. Losing a coat is better than losing the rabbit.

Tips to Avoid Summer Heat Stress:

  • Keep coats short
  • Use fans and misters or other cooling measures in your barn
  • Use spray bottles to mist ears frequently
  • Use water bowls in addition to bottles if you only use bottles as rabbits tend to drink more from bowls
  • Also, if you are using bowls, watch for signs of wet feet as rabbits will use their bowls to cool themselves–another sign of heat stress
  • Keep a thermometer in your barn
  • Visit your barn frequently during hot days and keep an eye out for signs of heat stress
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