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I Miss My Plum

by Robbie - June 27th, 2011.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

Around 3 weeks ago we got hit with the first real heat of the year.  I thought I was ready for this.  You have to be ready for it if you keep Angora rabbits, because their fur is SEVEN times warmer than wool and they overheat very easily.  It’s not hard to kill an Angora-just expose her to temperatures above 72 degrees for long enough and you’ll either execute her or stress her out so badly that she dies of something minor.   This is NOT what I want.

I stocked up on some devices that I thought would help keep her body temperature down when the heat hit:

Water bottles to freeze and keep in her cage, frozen fan inserts and a spray bottle to spray her ears when it got really bad…(rabbits use their ears for body cooling, so evaporative cooling this way helps)…also, sunshade material to drape over the cage when needed.  You can see her cage in this next pic full of my cooling hopes:  the digital thermometer to keep track of the temp in there, the frozen water bottles, 2 frozen fans going, big bowl of water, and her favorite toy, Timothy hay in a paper tube.  The poor thing barely had room to move…

Not that she had a ton of energy, either.  The heat was getting to her, and the temperature on the thermometer in the cage was too high.  It was just Too.  High.  And I couldn’t get it down.  I started thinking about how rabbits go underground to cool off in the wild, so I thought I might make a kind of cave she could go into, lined with cold water bottles, and I got all these materials out and was wrestling with them while I was spraying her ears every five minutes.  I was in a state of near-panic…

And then the reality hit me.  I was not prepared.  I was not taking proper care of this animal and she could be in danger if I kept her here.  So I called my breeder and asked her if I could board Plum with her for the summer.  She was wonderful about it.

So, Plum and Peaches, my two French Angoras, live at the breeders for the summer.  It’s great that I have that option and that my bunnies can be kept at about 60 degrees and they are comfortable through the summer.

And I MISS them.  Especially Plum.  She was a baby when I brought her here, and growing so fast.  And so pretty.

Plum was the opposite of affectionate.  She was a scratching’, scrappin’ little bottom-of-the-food chain animal who was just starting to get used to being handled all the time.  But I really got attached.  When I dropped her off at the breeder’s, I cried.

I need a shed to house my rabbits properly and to keep them cool enough.  I won’t be able to afford it for a few months.  But I learned a lesson.  Band-aid solutions are not enough for extreme conditions.  I’ll be much more careful about that next time.

Plum used to love it when first thing in the morning, after letting the dog out and then back into the house for breakfast, I’d put her in her outdoor pen in the shade on the cool grass.  It was her favorite thing.  She’d leap and whirl around in “bingies”, which is a term to describe the helicopter-like 180-degree mid-air turns rabbits do when they’re playing.  It was so cute I almost got high blood sugar from it.  Anyway, here are pics of Plum in her favorite space…and I can’t wait to have her back home with me…

 

 

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