"Raising good Hollands requires good herd management which is based on common sense. It doesn't matter what breed you raise, or in fact what animal you raise. When you choose to have an animal that is solely dependent upon you for it's food and shelter, then you are responsible for that animal's well being.
Some things are obvious. Use good clean water, and dust and mold free food. But did you ever think of timing and consistent care? When you realize that rabbits are nocturnal and eat at night, it makes sense to feed at approximately the same time each night. Especially during the heat of summer when feed can break down faster or become moldy and stale during the humidity of the day. During very hot weather bunnies are off feed anyway, conserving their energy during the day, becoming more active at night as it cools down.
In housing your bunnies you should be very careful that you have good ventilation and air flow. In cold weather you do not want direct drafts blowing on your bunnies. In summer you have to protect from heat stress. Since rabbits cool down through their ears, if you find a bunny panting excessively and very wet around the face, move it to a cooler spot, ice down its ears (ice cube rubbed over them), put an ice bottle in the cage or wet a piece of carpet for the bunny to lay on, keep fans moving the air, and disturb them as little as possible. This is not the time to play with the babies, either!
Consider lighting in your barn. You would not want to live day & night in a dark hole. Don't go to opposite extremes - they do not need direct sunlight on them in summer. A caged animal can die if left in the hot sun, even for a short time. Cars are death traps in summer months.
Special care should be given during times of molting. Brush out that excess hair and get it out of the cages and the water dishes. Molting is a stress on the rabbit's system. Adding heat stress may just push your bunny over the edge.
Watering systems are easy, and convenient, but in the heat of summer I challenge you to be outside, very hot and very thirsty and try to quench your thirst from a dripping faucet! Common sense tells you the bunny will drink better from the crock and will also lay against it, deriving some relief from the heat.
Cleanliness is sure to be a high priority for good health. If you had 15 people using the same bathroom for a week and never flushed the commode it would get a bit rank. Likewise if you smell ammonia fumes it is past time to clean! Ammonia fumes sear the lungs, causing respiratory problems, and harm the eyes. It not only annoys you and your neighbors but is harmful."
This article was taken from the HLRSC website. Written by Terry Pierce
My name is Holly.
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