Rabbit breeding is not only fascinating, but also very profitable, but you should not think that everything is easy and simple in this matter. Any breeder must have certain knowledge before deciding to buy animals. With the onset of winter, many farmers, especially those living in areas with harsh climatic conditions, face such a problem as freezing water in drinking bowls.
Rabbits, like most other pets, need constant access to water. Restriction in drinking leads to the development of various ailments in the livestock. To avoid this, you need to equip the cages with drinking bowls that have heating.
Features of drinking rabbits in the winter with freezing drinkers
In most cases, animals can get enough fluid in a limited amount: they get it from succulent feeds (fresh vegetables, fruits, etc.) or by eating snow and ice. However, the question arises of what to do in this case with the puppet and lactating rabbits, which will not be enough small amount of water. There are several ways:
- Regular change of water. This technique is suitable for farm owners with a small number of animals and having enough time to provide rabbits with warm water up to several times a day.
- Drinking bowl insulation. Here you can use any means at hand: rags, industrial heaters, straw. The option is economical, but not suitable for areas where the temperature drops to 10 ° C during freezing.
- Organization of liquid heating by electric energy. Such drinkers are not very expensive, but you still have to pay for energy consumption.
Using warm water as a constant topping
This method is relevant for owners of a small number of rabbits, as well as in the presence of a large amount of free time. Water begins to freeze at 0 ° C, and as soon as severe frosts strike, the liquid will be covered with ice in a matter of minutes. It is important here not only to pour warm water into the drinkers, but also to make sure that the rabbits had time to quench their thirst before the glaciation began.
Winter drinkers and their features
As mentioned above, in regions with small frosts, you can use improvised materials for warming drinkers. However, if severe frosts are coming, then you should consider buying containers that have special heating; they come in the following varieties:
- the use of lamps for heating drinkers. A positive feature of such an aggregate is the minimal consumption of electricity, and a negative feature is the presence of constant monitoring by a person;
- the presence of a built-in thermostat. The heating is fully automated and begins to work at the moment when the water temperature falls below the established norm. Such a device is one of the simplest and most convenient to use;
- the use of warm supports, on which containers with water are installed. Work takes place on the principle of a "warm" floor. Most often, this technology is used in cages where rabbits are sitting with young animals. In addition to heating water, this stand allows you to maintain optimal temperature in the cage with animals. It is worth considering that this device uses a large amount of electricity.
Vacuum-type winter drinker
It is very simple to make such a drinker with your own hands:
- A plastic bottle is filled with water and secured in the cage with the neck down.
- A container is attached under the lid (from where the rabbit will drink) so that the lid is in maximum proximity with the bottom of the bowl, but does not reach it.
- The cap is slightly unscrewed to fill the container with water from the bottle.
- A lamp is installed above the drinker, heating the drinkers.
Should I use ice and snow
There is no unambiguously positive or negative answer to this question. Some rabbit breeders are of the opinion that in natural conditions no one will warm water to animals. This is partly true, but wild rabbits have a stronger immune system, it is not weakened by breeding.
When rodents consume snow or ice, they have a decrease in body temperature. To warm itself, the body will begin to expend energy reserves, which means the animals will need additional feed.
If there is no possibility to equip the cells with drinking bowls with heaters, then rabbits are watered according to the schedule: from 2 to 4 times a day. It is recommended to give a warm liquid (22-24 ° C) 20 minutes before the distribution of feed. To prevent ice formation in the tanks, it will be necessary to pour out the water after some time.
When replacing water with snow, you need to remember that rabbits are susceptible to colds. Snow can be given, but only clean.
You can use ice making. Add a little potassium permanganate to the slightly salted water, pour the liquid into the tins and put in the freezer. Also, for more convenient operation, wire loops can be put in molds, for which ice is hung in cages. Such a trick allows you to keep the ice clean: it will not get the rest of the feed or waste products of rabbits.