Newsletter • May 2012

A publication brought to you by Purina Mills, LLC

Rabbit Tips:
Beating the Heat

The warm summer months are finally here, and keeping your rabbit cool is more important than ever. The warm weather can be tough on animals, sometimes causing them to overheat, which can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke or even death. Following these tips will help them enjoy the summer months as much as you do.

Fresh, Cool Air:
Proper ventilation is important for rabbits throughout the year, but that can be a little more difficult to maintain in the warm summer months. Replace stale air with natural ventilation or, if needed, use a fan. Buildings without windows, such as garages, are generally poor homes for rabbits, especially in the summer.

Provide cool, clean, fresh water at least twice a day during the summer. Though it may seem like a frozen water bottle would help keep water cold, they're not worth the trouble and cause extremes in temperatures. It may also mean that the water is not available (still frozen) when the rabbit is wanting to drink.

Feeding smaller amounts of feed multiple times during the day will reduce the amount of heat generated during the digestive process. This process will also help to condition your show rabbits coming out of the summer in preparation for the fall show season.

Summer Babies:
Does and their new litters born during the summer are extra vulnerable to heat exhaustion. To keep them comfortable in the heat, remove excess hair from the nest, use larger nest boxes with wire floors, and consider removing the nest box when the kits are 14 days old and moving them to nursery boxes to provide a cooler, more open environment.

Product Spotlight:
Get to Know Purina® Rabbit Chow™
Garden Recipe® Natural AdvantEdge®

Purina® Rabbit Chow™ Garden Recipe® Natural AdvantEdge® rabbit food is not only fun for your rabbit to eat, but it also provides the wholesome blend of pellets, nutritious vegetables, fruits, and seeds it needs to stay healthy. Its special formula is great for all breeds and ages of rabbits.
  • The Natural AdvantagEdge® Formula—superior, consistent, natural* nutrition FREE from all fillers, preservatives and artificial colors.
  • Complete, natural nutrition—requires no supplements.
  • Variety of textures—dehydrated carrots, dehydrated papaya, oats, black oil sunflower and dehydrated celery for healthy teeth and enrichment.
  • High-quality plant protein—loaded with natural nutrients found only in plants that optimize vitality and support immune function.
  • Chopped timothy hay—for optimal digestive tract function.
  • Stringent quality standards—ensure many of the industry's highest quality ingredients are used.
  • Constant nutrition formulation process—compensates for naturally varying nutrient levels in ingredients for greater nutritional consistency bag after bag.
  • Total rabbit nutrition formulation system—considers all key nutrient levels in ingredients and their interactions with each other to better support overall rabbit health.
As always, when changing your rabbits from one feeding program to another, make the change gradually, over a five to seven day period. Mix the new feed with the old, gradually increasing the amount of the new feed (it's always important to allow time for the rabbits' intestinal flora to adjust to any new feed.) Continue to feed at the same time each day—evening is best. Clean the feeding dish daily so uneaten food does not become stale and moldy. And always provide plenty of clean, fresh, cool water to rabbits at all times.

*with added vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients


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