How to water rabbits in winter if the water in the drinkers freezes

How to water rabbits in winter, to organize watering in the cold season on a rabbit farm is an important and difficult task. Water is the most important feed resource, which cannot be replaced with succulent feed. Without drinking water, the rabbit’s body absorbs food worse.

How to water rabbits in winter if the water in the drinkers freezes

A photo. The need for water in rabbits does not disappear in winter

Do rabbits drink water?

In the wild fauna, rabbits live in hot, arid regions. They have enough fluid in the plants. Do not confuse rabbits on a farm in cages and free life in burrows. Water for rabbits on a farm or decorative is necessary. In the bound (intracellular) state it is the main substance of the body, up to 60-70% of body weight. In rabbits, water is unevenly distributed in organs and tissues:

  • Bones 22.0%
  • Muscle tissue up to 60.0%
  • Fat up to 30.0%
  • Internals (liver, heart, kidneys) up to 90.0%

Water is necessary as a solvent (vitamins, amino acids, hormones, enzymes). She is involved in the transport of nutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates). Water maintains the acid-base balance of the blood. Water is involved in the thermoregulation of the body. The rabbit’s water intake depends on the season of the year. In the summer, rabbits drink more water or eat succulent food. In winter, rabbits drink less. Lack of water in the diet of rabbits:

  • leads to a decrease in weight gain in fattening animals;
  • Frozen females leads to eating rabbits
  • leads to a decrease in breast milk production.

Rabbits drink more water with various inflammatory diseases. Sometimes rabbit water can be a source of transmission. Drinking water in the water supply to ensure rabbits in the drinkers can be contaminated with microscopic algae, an excess of minerals.

How long can a rabbit live without water?

The survival rates for rabbits in a state of exicosis (dehydration) do not exist in veterinary pathological physiology. Research how long a rabbit will live if it is not watered inhumane. Meanwhile, negative water balance (dehydration) is easily diagnosed by simple clinical methods. In antiquity, physiological saline was injected intradermally. A water ball formed in the skin, which normally absorbed in 10-15 minutes.

  • faster. hypohydria (dehydration), a sign of imminent death from cardiac arrest or breathing;
  • slower. hyperhydria (violation of homeostasis), signs of metabolic diseases.

A modern village vet will accurately detect dehydration without a blood test. From experience, I’ll say that a sick rabbit with signs of dehydration lives for no more than 3 days (winter and summer). There may be options.

Norms of water for drinking rabbits

Water is distinguished into two types: drinking and technical. In veterinary reference books on designing a rabbit farm, the norms of 3 liters / day for one rabbit are indicated. These figures reflect the need of the rabbit farm for industrial and drinking water. The norms of drinking water are different.

Many rabbit breeders believe that rabbits should not be drunk, it is enough to introduce succulent feed into the diet. This may make sense only during the cool season when feeding mash ups on the water. In other cases, water is needed.

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Rabbit’s water intake in summer is twice the weight of the feed

Approximate standards for drinking rabbit water

  1. The combined type of feeding the grain mixture, coarse and succulent feed up to 0.2-0.4 l / day.
  2. With a dry type of feeding (granular feed) up to 0.5-1.5 l / day.
  3. Tribal males (regardless of the type of feeding) up to 0.5-0.9 l / day.
  4. Nursing rabbits (regardless of type of feeding) up to 2.0-3.5 l / day.

Drinking water rates for rabbits in winter

With industrial content in a controlled microclimate, watering rates vary slightly and are determined based on the type of feeding and feed formulation. An average of 0.5-0.9 liters / day. With home fattening (warm mixers), succulent feed slightly reduces the need for feed. Some rabbit breeders try to give water in the form of a wet mash, or drink warm water at a certain time in a dose of up to 0.2 liters / day.

Make comfortable drinking bowls that rabbits cannot climb into their paws

Can rabbits be given snow instead of water?

How to drink rabbits in winter? Heated water or put ice (snow) in the drinkers. Many rabbit breeders believe that watering in the winter is an unreasonable technological solution to the organization of keeping / feeding rabbits. In winter, there is no alternative, only snow, and the water still freezes. Snow is water in a different state of aggregation.

Replace domestic rabbits with water for snow

Better to give clean snow. Since precipitation can be various industrial pollutants, especially if the farm is located near the industrial enterprise.

Is it possible for rabbits to snow instead of water?

Please note that the young man probably lives in the south of Russia, where winter lasts a month for strength. The guy even the rabbit on the street quietly feeds the rabbits. Try in Siberian frosts to leave dairy rabbits under their mothers on the street. In severe frosts, ice and snow to quench your thirst for rabbits is not always a good solution. Maybe just for the winter to remove all the eared ones from street cells? I think that rural Russia keeps on such guys.

Can rabbits be given ice on a home farm?

Some rabbit breeders suggest freezing ice from drinking water in containers of different sizes. 5-10 liters of table salt are added to the water. Do not overdo it with salt, it even improves the taste of water and in general it is a feed supplement, but in large quantities it causes thirst.

In winter, snow and ice can be given to rabbits instead of water but only in the household

Is it possible to snow rabbits on a commercial farm?

On an industrial farm, where year-round, rather than round, round-trips are practiced, still warm water is better. However, it is extremely difficult to heat water on the street in sheds, cages, aviaries. Sometimes unprofitable. Therefore, think for yourself what to do in a particular case.

If rabbit breeding is not a hobby, but an enterprise for obtaining products, then it is better to drink water

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Ice instead of water when drinking rabbits in winter

A good suggestion than watering rabbits in winter if the water still freezes. The author enthusiastically tells how he solved the problem of winter drinking. However, do not forget that in this case rabbits visits once a week. That is, it does not plan to receive winter auspices and simply contains them.

If keeping rabbits is just a hobby, and not a way to make money, then ice molds with salt are a justified substitute for drinking water.

Ice rabbits instead of water with pit content

A cheap solution in a primitive pit maintenance, especially if winter colds of up to. 15 degrees Celsius do not last long. At temperatures of 30 and below, try giving ice to quench your thirst and breeding, not keeping rabbits. Although in the pits it is impossible to organize industrial breeding of rabbits. Therefore, replacing rabbits’ watering with a summer house of ice, an optimal yield with a pit content.

The effect of snow or ice in quenching thirst for rabbits

The Internet is full of enthusiastic videos about the benefits of ice or snow when drinking rabbits in winter. If you carefully analyze the video about replacing water with ice and snow, then usually the authors of the video live in the southern regions or in the middle zone of Russia.

Therefore, just in case, still remember the possible health effects

In some veterinary textbooks you can find such horror stories about the dangers of replacing warm water with snow or ice. You can believe it, or you can’t believe it, your rabbits.

  • Termination of sexual hunting in females and males at a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius or lower;
  • Increased risk of diseases of the teeth and gums;
  • Cost overruns to maintain the energy of freezing rabbits;
  • Gynecological diseases of females (long-term causes of infertility);
  • Decreased milk production is mastitis, hungry rabbits bite female nipples;
  • Hungry rabbits. this is a low profitability of their cultivation;
  • Colds in the respiratory and digestive systems.

It may be an exaggeration, but the risk of disease increases unequivocally.

Properly organize rabbit watering all year round

Modern rabbit farms are closed-type enterprises located in livestock buildings with controlled climate. In the conditions of industrial rabbit breeding, watering rates do not depend on the season change. Watering is the same all year round.

Watering when keeping rabbits outdoors year-round

When keeping rabbits in street cages, in cell batteries in sheds, aviaries and pits. In such cases, summer watering is arranged either with the help of a temporary water supply, or the water enters the cells from the tank and is supplied to one or more drinking bowls.

  • First way. Drinking bowls, nipple type, work on the principles of gravity. Vacuum drinkers for rabbits. this is not the right name. The principle of operation of the drinking bowl, based on the difference in atmospheric pressure, is not used in rabbit breeding. If only in space.
  • The second way. More simple. Water is poured into cup-type drinkers and poured as water is consumed.
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How to water rabbits in the winter on the street?

In countries with cold climates, this is a very significant winter breeding problem. Watering rabbits with ice water or snow will inevitably slow down the fertilization of females. Historically, there were three systems of winter watering of rabbits on the street, such as:

  1. the laborious manual method of distributing warm water into cages with rabbits once or twice a day;
  2. mechanized supply of warm water from individual heated bunker drinkers;
  3. mechanized centralized supply of drinking water through an insulated external water supply system;

Mechanized water distribution inside insulated industrial rabbitry, a modern system of year-round watering

How to water rabbits in winter when kept outdoors

There are three ways to organize winter drinking. The main difference is in plumbing systems and methods of supplying water directly to rabbits. Watering systems will satisfy the needs of a beginner rabbit breeder and an advanced, wealthy farmer.

  1. The easiest way. Refuse to keep rabbits in winter. As a last resort, leave the tribal core. To organize water supply in this case is not necessary or not difficult. This method used to be very often practiced in primitive rabbit breeding in a climate with harsh winters.
  2. Filling cup drinkers with warm water at certain hours. This method was used on collective farm farms. Rabbits get used to the regime. After quenching thirst, drinkers are removed. The method of dosed drinking is now practically not used on farms. Can be recommended for beginner rabbits breeders at home breeding. This is the cheapest way of winter water supply.
  3. The cells of Mikhailov. Individual heated drinking bowls at one time had progressive significance. Self-taught Mikhailov I.N. "Wiped his nose" to professors in the sense of expanding the possibilities of mating rabbits in the cold season. Imagine that before Mikhailov’s cages, winter rabbit breeding was not widely practiced. In modern conditions, individual heating is recognized as not rational (energy-consuming), fire hazard, etc.
  4. Winter drinking bowls for heated rabbits. Heating the pipeline around the perimeter, which is held on the street. Modern industry offers a system of thermal cables that are mounted in the inner diameter of the pipe. Outside, the pipes are insulated, mounted in an arcuate manner, so that when the water pressure is turned off, it flows by gravity into the warm room of the pumping station.


How to water rabbits and water for rabbits is a necessary link for proper feeding. The profitability of the all-weather maintenance of rabbits depends on the quality and temperature of water in winter. It is certainly possible to replace water with snow, but waiting for good weight gain and a quality offspring of young animals is not worth it. Without water, in winter, females suffer from a lack of milk production. Males mate badly.