Many rabbit breeders are familiar with the situation when an eared ward drinks little, or even refuses water because of unusual equipment.
Even if you have not yet encountered this problem, it is always useful to know how to accustom an animal to a drinking bowl and what designs will be preferable for him.
Rabbit ration water
The effects of water scarcity on a young rabbit are far worse than malnutrition. According to veterinarians, the reason for this lies in the high percentage of fluid in the body, as well as in active metabolic processes.
Experienced breeders know that there should always be fresh drinking water in wards of the wards. If you do not change it in time, animals that are sensitive to various infections will become ill and may die.
A similar thing can happen with dehydration. as a result of poor assimilation of the food eaten, the eared soon withers. Succulent females in such situations eat their offspring.
Some owners mistakenly believe that succulent feeds completely replace water for pets. In fact, leaving animals without drinking is strictly prohibited. Even if berries, vegetables, fruits and herbs prevail in the rabbit diet, the contents of the drinker can be reduced only slightly.
And when the rabbit feeds mainly on dry, roughage, its body needs large volumes of fluid.
Rabbits should be fed daily, at the same time. in the morning, before feedings and in the evening. In the heat, the procedure is speeded up. But to guess the physical needs of the eared is almost impossible.
Indeed, depending on the temperature, humidity, diet and general health, body weight, its need for drinking is changing. Therefore, the animal must always have access to clean water.
In the summer season, a female with a dozen rabbits daily drinks about 1.5 liters of water. And when the kids grow up to a month old, 2 liters will be enough for them per day. Experts advise growing young animals to pour 0.1 l of liquid per kilogram of live weight.
In hot weather, the amount of water is calculated based on the ratio of 1.15 l / kg.
On average, rabbits need 60 to 130 ml of water per 1 kilogram of body weight. Adults can absorb 700–900 ml per day.
Bowl or drinker
Some breeders, to save on the purchase of a factory drinker, offer their ward to drink from a bowl. According to experts, this option is permissible only in the presence of the owner, but is not at all suitable for constant drinking.
The fact is that during the game an impromptu drinker can tip over and the animal will be left without water, which threatens him with dehydration. In addition, the owner cannot constantly sit above the rabbitry, controlling the liquid level. In such cases, a great threat to the health of the wards arises when the rabbit breeder is not at home.
It is easy to solve this problem with the help of purchased containers for drinking. Today they are presented on the market in the widest assortment. Nipple and nipple drinkers are especially popular with breeders.
They are convenient in that:
- completely prevent tipping and spontaneous leakage of water;
- easy to attach to the cage and easy to maintain;
- animals always have access to them;
- it is possible to dose drugs and vitamin-mineral supplements;
- when consuming liquid, the animal does not touch its mouth, so it always remains clean.
Along with these positive qualities, a drawback should be noted: both versions of drinking bowls for drinking require pressing a special ball. Eared people do not always understand how to extract water from ingenious equipment, therefore they may not use it.
How to teach a rabbit to a drinker
It takes time and patience for the animal to learn how to use the nipple device. The first thing a rabbit breeder should do is to exclude alternative sources of drinking from the access area of the eared pet. Otherwise, all your efforts will be in vain.
Be prepared that, having become accustomed to the bowl, the rabbit will continue to look for it in its environment. Experts advise from the first days to teach the rabbit to the right container. Retraining an adult animal is almost impossible.
To achieve a quick result, follow the following recommendations of professionals:
- Do not make the eared drink immediately. Give him time to get comfortable in the new cage and make sure of his safety. You can start training when you notice that the animal is trying to feed or it has recklessly spread out on the floor of its monastery.
- Carefully put your hand into the cage, let the rabbit smell it (to establish contact with him, you can offer some goodies). After that, take it in your hands and bring it to the drinker by pressing the ball so that water drips from it. Put a drop on his nose. Act very carefully so that the rabbit is not afraid. otherwise the lessons will end with aggressive attacks of the ward in your direction. In no case do not touch it while sleeping or eating.
- Return the pet back and see if it can independently obtain water after a certain period of time. If necessary, repeat the acquaintance with the drinker again.
- If your friend will continue to ignore the nipple design, grease the tip with carrot juice or milk. Surely, smelling the pleasant aroma of goodies, the rabbit will want to lick it and, when touched, he will learn how to independently extract water from the drinker.
Never yell at a pet for mistakes and do not slap it. Such actions can frighten the animal, and subsequently he will stop any attempts to get drunk. The rabbit should not be allowed to live in constant fear or stressful situations.
After all, not all mammals are equally smart. All difficulties in learning need to be experienced in a friendly mood.
In addition, it does not hurt to verify the free movement of the nipple. Sometimes he sits very tightly in the nose, which complicates his movement. If this happens, expand the opening of the structure with small scissors. And also take into account the fact that the liquid may not flow due to mistakes made during the installation and fastening of the drinker.
Check if its angle corresponds to the permissible value. If the problem persists, the inventory must be replaced.
To avoid such embarrassment, experienced rabbit breeders advise:
- when buying, check the serviceability of the nipple device (let the seller fill the flask and tap the ball for 30 seconds. there should be no leakage);
- make sure that when turning the drinkers in the water tank, air bubbles rise up (their absence indicates a tight nipple that is unlikely to be accessible to the rabbit);
- check the hole on the rubber gasket on the inside of the cover (it should not be too narrow);
- choose the size of the nipple according to your pet (large balls will be too much for decorative animals);
- Before drinking for 2 minutes, tap the ball with your finger. it happens that the water stops flowing;
- monitor the water level in the flask (so you can understand how much water your eared friend drinks and whether he uses a drinker at all).
So, water for rabbits of any age is very important. Even a short-term deprivation of their access to drinking is fraught with dehydration, illness and death. Therefore, the training of wards for drinking should be given due attention.