If you didn't know already, hot weather is worse for rabbits than cold weather. For Angoras, rabbits covered in thick coats of wool, hot summer days are even more troublesome.
Here are some tips for keeping your wooly bunnies happy during these dog days of summer.
We built our hutches so all four walls are lined with hardware cloth; this allows for good air flow. (During the winter months we add a back wall to the hutch.) Also, we built our hutches twice as large as what is recommended by the American Rabbit Breeders association. Angoras are a larger breed of rabbit; they need a lot of room to stretch out.
Our hutches are placed in the shadiest place of our yard, and we've had to move them a few times as the sun moves to make sure they are in constant shade. We don't want to keep them in an enclosed barn, as air flow is important for them.
As the day begins to heat up we add cold marble tiles to each hutch (we keep marble titles in our freezer), and sometimes if the day is super hot and humid we'll rotate cold tiles from the freezer a few times a day.
We made slots on the inside wall of each hutch out of hardware cloth to hold freezer packs; this allows the rabbit to lay against them to keep cool, but not chew through the wire either and chew the freezer packs. We'll also throw in frozen water bottles. Our rabbits love licking the cold condensation.
In the heat of the day we give our rabbits fresh greens or carrots from the refrigerator so the rabbit can have a nice cool snack to help them cool down.
Its important to keep the rabbits' hair trimmed short or very well groomed/thinned out during these hot months as well.
Watch for signs of over heating throughout the day and season; rabbits pant heavily when they're hot, and if you see bloody noses take action immediately to cool down your rabbit.
Our doe rabbits stay inside their nesting boxes during the day but stretch out to lay their heads on the cold marble tile. Our buck rabbits jump right on the frozen marble tiles as soon as we lay them in their hutches. They all stretch out and love when it's windy outside. They all really love their cold "freshies" (greens or carrots) too.
We hope these tips and knowing what we do to keep our rabbits healthy and happy help.
Feel free to comment below if you have questions. And let us know what you do to keep your rabbits cool during the summer.