How cold is too cold to kindle?

At what temperature range would you decide not to kindle?

  • 50°F to 59°F

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 40°F to 49°F

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • 30°F to 39°F

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 20°F to 29°F

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • 10°F to 19°F

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 0°F to 9°F

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • -10°F to -1°F

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • -20°F to -11°F

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • -30°F to -21°F

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Colder than -30°F

    Votes: 1 20.0%

  • Total voters
    5

Edge of the Wilderness

Ridin' The Range
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I am trying to work out a breeding schedule, and I have seen various opinions on this topic. I've seen people say below 0°F is fine, while I think I read on ARBA not to kindle below 60°F.

Here are my parameters. I live in a zone 3. We get sustained temperatures in the -20°F to -30°F range with occasional dips down to the -40's (definitely hit that with windchills). We typically will have a week or two where temperatures do not get above 0°F. We only get 100-120 frost free days a year. We will be working with a couple different NZ crosses for personal meat production, and the rabbits are getting setup in a shared enclosed, unheated animal building. Last year, the temperatures inside the building seemed to stay at 0°F or above during the coldest part of the winter. This past winter we had about 8 days with non-windchill temp highs at 0°F or less and 22 days with non-windchill lows at -20°F to -34°F. I hope I am not overwhelming with information, but I find that my experience of "winter" and "cold" do not always equate to the average experience and information of others on the internet.

At this point, I do not intend to run heaters or bring litters into the house. What temperature do you think is too cold and would you base this on daytime high or nighttime low? Our day/night temps can have a 40° difference.

Thanks for your feedback!
 

Sundragons

Loving the herd life
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Following out of curiosity. I live in the desert and this is a non-issue for us, but I'd like to learn.
 

promiseacres

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I try to not have too many winter litters. I do use heat lamps in any case to keep water from freezing so many days so I occassionally will attempt breedings in the winter. We are get freezing weather and sustained days 10-20 but not too many under 10. I also wouldn't be opposed to bringing in boxes to the house and taking them back to be fed twice a day
 

Pastor Dave

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I'm with promiseacres and we both live in the same state. If I decide to breed in winter, I like to shoot for an above average day like 45 or 50degs if possible. You may not have the high temps to deal with, but I wait for a break in the heat too and shoot for a 70deg day especially if it's been 80+ or 90's for a stretch. Males will have a tendency to go sterile in the heat until it cools down for a spell. I do not add heat or lamps in winter. You may have to do something as far North as you are. My advice I received was that if power fails and the rabbits were used to warmth from a heat source, it could be detrimental by the next morning when I find it. Litters will keep each other warm. Singles get straw and if it gets real cold a box to hunker in with straw. Just my 2 cents.
 

Marie28

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The way our cages are set up they are made for winter breeding. We have a nest box area built into the cage, 3/4ths of the cage are soild wood (in the summer we take off a wall to allow air movement) and our current does do really good with making a warm nest with lots of fur. With that said I prefer it to be no colder than -10 the coldest of the night.
 

Tale of Tails Rabbitry

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It depends so much on your set up. I live in the southeast so our winters usually do not have temperatures around 0 degrees for very long, but we had have winters that hung in the teens for a few weeks in many years. I breed all winter regardless and not at all in the summer.

We have a kindling suite with a drop nest in the hutch side, which we keep warm with a warming pad under it and insulating cardboard wrapped around when temperatures dip. As soon as their eyes are open, they usually have enough fur and mobility to get warm when they need to so they are moved out of the kindling suite to a cage with a nest box and the nesting materials from the other or with clean extra fur I collect. The next doe due is moved into the kindling suite that same day. We have not yet lost a kit to hypothermia since using this set up.

We have used heat lamps with sigh vinyl as winter breaks in the past, which was great for keeping the water bottles from freezing. But, still lost a few kits that got out of the nest, which is why I dearly love the drop nest.
 
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