*Posted July 29, 2022*
This has been a very tough week for our “In-Stead”, (My wife’s play on our lifestyle).
First the Blessing. Our first Doe to have kits had three kits. All born healthy and plump.
Then the heat wave started. By day 4 after the birth temps were hitting 107 degrees. The kits did well until day 5 and 108 to 110 heat. I had broke down and bought a 24″ Dewalt variable speed fan that seemed to be working. When I got home on their day 5, I found all three had died due to heat exhaustion.
Then yesterday night, I got home (I get home from work at 1230 AM), I found our buck and a pregnant doe who was going to get her nesting box put in on Saturday, had both died of heat exhaustion. I was ok, but unhappy at the loss of the kits, but the loss of our only buck and my favorite doe hit pretty hard. Especially this close to the birth of her kits.
To make matters worse today, After I left for work, my wife had to rush one of our two dogs to the vet. He had gnawed on some bones and apparently they created a severe blockage in his intestines. We lost him a few hours ago.
I am well versed that if you have livestock, you WILL have some dead stock also…….
But the combination has left both my wife and I pretty devastated. We lost over half of our rabbitry this week. We also lost a loved member of the family.
We are, of course pushing on, because time is very short. I located a 4 month old Rex buck that I will pick up on Monday. I put our remaining two does in the house in cages because our 114 degree weather is here for a few more days, and I simply can’t handle the emotional strain of coming home to more dead rabbits.
I was thinking about this a bit more, because one of the group members in this group mentioned they didn’t use fans, misters, or frozen water bottles.
As I considered this, I realize that rabbits in the wild have the advantage of getting into the cool hole in the ground to avoid extreme heat. Our rabbits in cages do NOT have any natural way of cooling off, so in Cuniculture, we need to be responsible caretakers and provide fans, misters, iced water bottles, or if needful, bring them into a air conditioned home.
I’ve learn a hard lesson, and I am sharing it with this community. Be responsible and consider…..how HOT is it going to be today, and how are our rabbits going to stay cool when their ears are the sole way they are able to cool their body?
God Bless folks,
Please educate yourselves on how best to care for your livestock, so that it doesn’t become dead stock, like we have happen this week.