The presence of clean water is a prerequisite for keeping rabbits. These animals have a very weak digestive system, and they can not do without water. In order for an eared animal to always have access to water, he needs a convenient, reliable and safe drinking bowl.
Drinking bowls come in three types:
- various types of car drinkers;
A drinking bowl is the easiest and most affordable option. In fact, this is the most ordinary cup (ceramic, plastic or tin), fixed in a cage.
Automatic drinking bowl
A cup drinker is easy and convenient to use. It does not need to be installed. It rarely breaks. You can always replace with a new one. If clogged, it is easy to wash and disinfect.
But she also has flaws. The water in the cup drinker remains clean only for the first 5 minutes. And if the cup turns upside down, which happens quite often, the rabbits will be left without water for a long time.
Such a drinker consists of two parts: a bottle and a special cup. A water bottle (usually plastic) is placed with the neck down on the cup. The cup is made in such a way that water from the bottle is poured only to a certain level. Thus, the drinker is automatically filled when the rabbits drink water.
The water in the automatic drinker is always clean, since it is much smaller than a regular cup and it is difficult to put it in it. Depending on the amount of water required, bottles of different capacities can be used. Due to the transparency of the vessel, it is always easy to understand whether water needs to be changed. Another plus is the low cost.
There are no obvious flaws. But with an unreliable design and a careless installation, the bottle can turn over and greatly scare the inhabitants of the cell.
On large rabbit farms, car drinkers with a rather complicated design are used. Water is stored in a large stainless steel tank, to which a small distribution tank with a float is connected. From a small tank through many tubes, water flows into the cells for the rabbits, or rather, in the cup drinkers. Thanks to the float system, each cup is automatically filled when the water level drops.
Nipple drinkers are the safest and most comfortable for rabbits. Water is supplied through the tube and only when the rabbit touches a special ball.
Water in a nipple drinker is completely protected from pollution. The tube is made of stainless steel. Thus, pets are protected from many diseases. It is also easy to feed with vitamins or medicines through a nipple drinker.
Nipple drinkers are more designed for home use. Therefore, they have a small volume, which is a drawback for those who have a lot of rabbits. Another disadvantage is instability to severe weather conditions. At low temperatures, water freezes in the drinker and the lids wear out. But in order to feed rabbits in the winter, a heating cable can be installed in the drinking bowl.
How to make a drinker yourself
Even a child will make a cup drinker. The main thing is to know that the rabbits will be turned upside down, broken and wounded, and the wooden or plastic one will be bitten.
To make an automatic drinker you will need a little more skills.
Automatic drinker with regulator
For a drinker with a regulator, you will need a plastic bottle with a lid, a piece of thick rubber and a screw.
First you need to take a plastic cover and make a hole in it for a screw with a small gap. Then take a piece of rubber and cut it so that it fits in the lid. In this piece of rubber, you also need to make a hole for the screw, but so that the screw holds tight. It remains only to insert the screw into the cover so that the head looks out. And then put a rubber valve on the screw. Done.
Now you need to fill the bottle with water and fix it upside down. As soon as the rabbit touches the regulator (screw), water will flow.
A simple home made rabbit drinker. Photo: krolikovodam.ru
How to water rabbits in winter
Water is always a very important part of a rabbit’s diet. Especially if most of the feed is dry. Lack of water greatly affects the pet’s appetite. A rabbit that reluctantly eats quickly loses weight and becomes an easy target for disease.
Ice and snow
In winter, drinking rabbits is especially difficult. When the temperature is below zero, all the water instantly turns into ice. But ice is not an obstacle if it can be reached.
Wild rabbits eagerly eat ice and snow when there is no usual source of liquid. Therefore, in winter, you need to change the nipple drinkers and drinkers for the bottle to a primitive cup. But you must make sure that the snow and ice in the drinkers is clean.
Domestic rabbits are still not the ones in the forest. Most will not eat ice and snow. And some will, but they will fall ill. A less risky but more troublesome way is to bring warm water to the rabbits from time to time.
In cold weather, even hot water instantly freezes. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that rabbits have time to drink enough water.
It is worth saying that not everyone will like this method. Yes, and decent skill is needed. For those who cannot or do not want to run around all day with warm water and alarms, there are electric drinkers. They keep water in good condition all the time.
How to feed rabbits?
First of all, rabbits should always have water. Many believe that in the summer these animals do not need to put water, as they get enough fluid from succulent feed. This is one of the biggest misconceptions. Rabbits always need water. Without it, they cannot digest food.
This coin has two sides.
Rabbits should not be fed with feed alone. It is useful to give them twigs of fruit trees. they have a lot of vitamins, boiled potatoes and cabbage. Rabbits are very fond of cabbage, but it must be given in medium quantities. If the rabbit eats too much cabbage, it "inflates" and swears.
Eared animals are very fond of a variety of herbs: wormwood, burdock, plantain, thistle, clover, wheat grass. This is good for them. And some herbs need to be circumvented in a roundabout way: lily of the valley, raven eye, liveliness, poisonous milestone, caustic buttercup, hellebore, euphorbia and others. They are poisonous for rabbits.
The weak digestive system of rabbits involves constant feed intake. If the rabbit does not have access to food, its digestive system will fail. You need to constantly plant grass and hay.
For a rabbit to be healthy, he should receive only good and fresh food.
Nutrition for rabbits is very important. But, like other living things, they need love and affection. Be kind and attentive to your pets, and then they will always delight you.