Summer heat kills. Summer heat kills rabbits, in particular. When temperatures reach the high 90’s or into the 100*F degree range it becomes harder and harder to keep the more sensitive critters alive. Every June I shear all of my wooled rabbits and any day where the outdoor temperature is above 85*F, all of the rabbits get a frozen water bottle to lean against. Fans are always going; some pushing hot air out, others circulating what is left of the cool air. But sometimes it just gets too hot. All you can do at that point is hope that everyone makes it through the day.
Saturday was especially warm here, reaching 100*F around 2:00pm. We had had a week of somewhat mild temperatures ranging in the mid to high 80’s. Once in awhile I will notice that a couple of the animals become heat-stressed, like the rabbits and chickens. Saturday we lost Bunaby Jones to heat stress.
As you may know, he was born and raised here like his father before him. He was my main “herd sire” for my breeding program. Bunaby was also my prized Orange Agouti rabbit with perfect coloring, perfect temperament, and an abundance of easily managed wool. It would be an understatement to say that he will be missed. I am rather sore that I did not save any of his offspring to continue his line. Now I will have to attempt to bring back my Orange line using Bunaby’s littermate. The problem is that this littermate is a ruby-eyed white (albino) so there is no way to tell if he carries the agouti gene.
Good thing I was waiting to process several rabbits once they were all of a proper weight instead of butchering the one ruby-eyed white on his own. I now need him to continue my line from Seven of Nine. Lucky rabbit, that one. He skips the butcher block once again.
RIP Bunaby Jones.