Summer is in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere! Rabbit owners in the hottest climates may be struggling to keep their rabbits cool. Intentional rabbit breeding may have been halted entirely until the weather has cooled, unless the breeder has found a way to keep temperatures in the rabbitry under 85 F or so (29.4 C).
How are YOUR rabbits doing in the heat? Here are our tips on keeping rabbits cool.
The Holland Lop Rabbit is one of the most popular pet rabbit breeds in the United States, and not without good reason. Holland Lops are the baby rabbits that look like they never grow up, causing anyone who lays eyes on them to go “aww”. Their endearing lop ears and small stature are some of the many characteristics that make them such a popular breed among kids and adults alike.
Their typical adult weight is under 5 lbs and can live for about eight to ten years, or longer. They come in a full assortment of colors, and have almost limitless possibilities. They have a friendly temperament and are great for children. Their compact shape allows for kids to easily handle and feed them with a reduced risk for injury than a larger rabbit.
Get lots more info on Holland Lops and all rabbit breeds in the United States and even some around the globe, by clicking here: Breeds of Rabbits
Antibiotics as a treatment for bacterial infections have saved lives of both humans and animals. But today, you and I are facing a threat of superbugs from both animal and plant food sources. A study conducted in 2011 found that per year, about 24.6 million pounds of antibiotics are used in livestock agriculture (Chattopadhyay, p.1). The majority of those antibiotics are used for the promotion of growth and not for treating the infectious bacteria in livestock.
At the root of the problem is the misuse of antibiotics in agriculture. Overuse of antibiotics in agriculture has led to the development of bacteria that can resist, or survive, the presence of antibiotics, leading to dire consequences in all living species.
How? Antibiotics will generally kill off most of the harmful bacteria found in livestock, however, it is incredibly likely that the strongest of the bacteria will remain. Then, these strong bacteria multiply, rendering the antibiotic ineffective. When the livestock are eventually processed, the now-antibiotic-resistant gut bacteria tend to contaminate the meat and then enter the human food chain.
This is how humans eventually fall sick to germs that cannot be treated by the normal arsenal of antibiotics. We know these germs as "superbugs" because they are so difficult to treat.
And what if the manure from cattle infected with superbugs is used in crop fertilizer??
Yep - now our produce becomes contaminated. We've heard an increasing number of news stories featuring human deaths from a superbug strain of E. coli, the latest story featuring contaminated fields of romaine lettuce in California.
Since many pet owners ask, we are happy to report that antibiotics are NEVER used in rabbit feed. Additionally, rabbits destined to feed dogs, cats, or humans, are NEVER medicated with antibiotics.
Rabbit digestion is completely different than dog or cat digestive processes. Because they only eat plants, rabbits require certain kinds of healthy bacteria which break down the cellulose that they consume (Patry, p. 104). Introducing most types of antibiotics into their diet would kill these bacteria, causing a lethal maldigestion, leading to severe diarrhea and death.
Veterinarians are often highly educated on cats and dogs, but may be unfamiliar with treating rabbits. They may not realize that prescribing antibiotics to rabbits can actually be lethal. Thankfully, there are certain antibiotics (if prescribed in certain ways) that will prevent or cure certain illnesses without killing the rabbit.
Ask your vet if he or she is fully versed in the care of rabbits, or as we say, rabbit-savvy. Your sick bunny's life might depend on how your vet answers that question.
For more information on feeding rabbits naturally, check out this eBook: https://store.raising-rabbits.com/feeding-your-rabbits-with-or-without-pellets-ebook/
Rabbits Find their Niche in the Market
Farmers in Africa are creating their own source of income by raising rabbits. The author of the article “Rabbit Farming is a Developing Viable Business” (now offline) made their own unique business by selling rabbit meat, and even rabbit urine. They describe how they used social media platforms to spread the word about their rabbit products and to market their business.
If rabbit farming interests you perhaps you will find inspiration through this article.
Maybe your friends would too...
Your friends at Raising-Rabbits.com wish you a wonderful July 2019.
Enjoy your rabbits!
Chattopadhyay, Madhab K. "Use of Antibiotics as Feed Additives: a Burning Question." Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media S.A., 2 July 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4078264/.
Editors of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "Food and Food Animals | Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance | CDC." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Sept. 2018, www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/food.html.
Patry, Karen. Et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.