Updated: Mar 12, 2022
I get a lot of questions about whether or not the rabbits can handle the Florida summer. The short answer is no, not without some preparations. Anything above 80 degrees is bad for rabbits, they prefer cooler weather and anything above 85 degrees will kill them. They don’t sweat and you can’t get them wet so high heat and high humidity are a dangerous combo.
Don‘t worry, here are a few tips and tricks to help beat the heat if you plan on keeping your rabbits outside:
1) Build a burrow- burying a burrow even 1 ft. Deep can keep rabbits 10 degrees cooler. If you are in a flood zone or sloped ground you might want to consider building an above ground burrow.
2) Frozen water bottles- frozen water bottles are easy to make and the rabbits will lay next to them to cool off. Water bottles are small and freeze quickly. Two liters freeze slowly but last much longer.
3) Tiles- ceramic tile flooring stays cooler and you can even combine it with frozen water bottles by burying the bottle underneath the tile.
4) Fans- I hear from a lot of pro Rabbitry and Rabbit farmers that you just need box fans and shade, but these individuals also have barn setups with good insulation. Box fans are cheap and easy, but temperatures over 90 degrees will just have you air frying your rabbits. Again you can combine fans with other tools like frozen water bottles and make a poor man’s air conditioning.
5) Misting systems- misting systems can be very effective against the heat lowering the temperature up to 10-15 degrees depending on humidity. There are some drawbacks though such as you can’t let the rabbits get soaked. This will make it hard for them to regulate their body temperature and since they have sensitive skin the water will wet and clump the fur making their skin exposed and soft and tear easily. Each nozzle of a misting system uses 1 gallon of water per hour which is efficient, but can be costly over the summer. Even though you only need 1-2 nozzles to cool a hutch that’s 8-16 gallons of water a day in the height of summer.
6) Ice cubes in water and cold treats- freezing the top half of their water bottles works longer than ice cubes and giving the rabbits vegetables out of your fridge can help cool them down.
Ill expand this list as I find more effective ways to beat the heat or remember things I forgot. This is ordered from most effective to least effective. I try to lead with inexpensive options too and show the positives and negatives.
I hope this helps you and your buns beat the sun :)