Drinking bowls for rabbits are an important element in their nutrition. There are several types, some of them can be easily built on their own, some are more complicated and more expensive. The article discusses various options with detailed instructions.
Characteristics and requirements
When manufacturing, you need to take into account the nuances:
- Safety for animals. On bowls there should be no pricking and cutting elements, sharp corners so that the animal does not get scratched. Tin cans are not suitable (or you need to process them so that there are no teeth).
- Pure water. Fluid quality is important for the well-being of rabbits. It should not be dirty; garbage and grass are excluded.
- Simplicity and comfort. It should be easy for the rabbit to use the drinker. Make sure the animal can reach the water.
- Rollover exception. Animals are very mobile, so the device is securely attached to the cage or to the floor.
For the production of drinking bowls, plastic, metal or stainless steel is suitable. You can use a plastic bottle with a cap. Metal troughs will do.
They are calculated from the amount of water that rabbits need. Depending on the number of pets, make a series of identical devices. The calculation for one animal is one and a half liters of daily moisture.
Varieties of drinking bowls for rabbits
Consider what types of drinkers exist.
The advantage is the large capacity, as well as the convenience in cleaning and topping up water.
There are several disadvantages:
- rollover. Animals are very mobile, the bowl does not stand still for a long time. To do this, fix the bowl against the wall.
- fast pollution. Since the tank is open type, grass, dirt and stool fall into it. A couple of times a day, such a drinker needs to be washed.
An important aspect: rabbits like to chew on any plastic objects, and metal containers are very cooled in winter.
How to make such a drinker?
Suitable metal bowls and bowls, preferably stainless steel. Check the surface, it should be smooth without any sharp elements that could harm the animal. If there are sharp teeth, file them with a metal file. Fasten the bowl to the wall of the cell, fill the container with water.
The device uses a special nipple for drinking bowls. When you touch the ball or rod with your tongue, a drop of water appears.
The main advantage of such drinkers is that they cannot be turned over. In addition, the water is protected from dirt, does not spill and you do not need to constantly change the water and often top up.
- with a large livestock, significant costs will be required, since the covers of such drinkers are short-lived and quickly begin to leak, moreover, rabbits like to gnaw plastic and rubber parts of the drinker;
- in nipple drinkers, water is supplied little by little, because of which the rabbits can drink for a long time, creating a queue or just get tired, or even refuse to consume liquid, as a result they may develop dehydration.
How to make a similar drinker?
The container is attached to the cage with clamps or wire above and below, so that the drinker does not move. If the dishes are plastic, then it’s better to fix them on the outside of the cage so that the animals do not gnaw them.
PVC pipe drinker
The advantage is that this drinker itself is replenished with liquid, and also the water is protected from dirt and does not spill. The design is stable and quite simple, so you can easily make such a drinker yourself.
- if you use a small bottle, you often need to add water;
- rabbits can nibble on the drinker;
- the bottle shrinks when filling the system (it is better to take a bottle made of hard plastic or, for example, a high glass jar of pomegranate juice);
- at low temperatures, the liquid quickly freezes.
How to make such a drinker?
Prepare the following materials:
- piece of sewer pipe;
- sewer corner;
- plug for pipes;
- plastic bottle.
Cut a rectangular hole in the pipe. Install a blanking cap on one edge and a corner on the other. Insert the bottle into the free hole of the corner so that its neck is immersed in water and the water does not pour out over the edges of the pipe opening.
The drinker is filled with water outside the cage, and then they just put it in the rabbits, otherwise everything will be wet. Or they fix the drinker outside the cage.
Vacuum drinking bowl
The device works due to the pressure difference. The bottle is tipped down with the neck, placed in the bowl. Water will evenly fill the bowl as it empties.
The advantage of this design is that it is a simple and cheap device, and it is easy to make it yourself, because for the manufacture of the drinker does not require special materials.
The disadvantages of this type of drinking bowl:
- leaks when installed incorrectly;
- dirt and grass get into the bowl, so the drinker must be washed often.
How to make a vacuum drinker?
Prepare everything you need:
- plastic bottle;
- not high capacity, for example, a can;
Put a tin can in the cage, and install a plastic bottle on top so that the neck does not touch the bottom of the can. Securely fasten the bottle with clamps. Some water will pour into the container and close the neck of the bottle. The pressure difference will not allow water to flow out over the sides of the can. Thus, the jar will be filled with liquid as soon as the rabbits drink it.
Rabbits love to chew on everything. To make the drinker last longer, make a stainless steel protective box, the sharp edges of which should be filed, otherwise the animals could get hurt. Or install the drinker outside, as shown in the photo above.
Autonomous drinking bowl
Water from a large tank (1) through a hose (3) first flows into the tank (5). The float (4) in the tank controls the liquid level. When there is not enough water in the drinkers (8), which are in the cells (7), the system is automatically replenished with liquid without any effort.
Additionally, you can install a filter (2) at the outlet of a large tank to purify water (if tap water is used or from a silt well). As well as a drain plug (9) at the end of the main pipe (6) so that you can drain the water and clean the tanks.
The advantage is the convenience and autonomy of the drinker. If you have a large number of rabbits, then you should think about a car drink. Animals always have a fresh portion of liquid, and the time required to maintain such a drinker is minimal.
The disadvantage is the high price (for small farms the device is unprofitable) and a complex design to do it yourself.
Making a stand-alone drinker
If you decide to make an autonomous drinker with your own hands, then such elements are needed:
- large capacity;
- float system, as in a flush toilet bowl;
- plastic hose or tube;
- small diameter plastic pipe;
- drinking bowls ("glass");
- filter (if necessary).
The water tank is set above the level of the cells so that the liquid can drain down. From the distribution (trunk) pipe is diverted to each cell along the tube, which are mounted in drinking bowls.
In the cold season, rabbits need warm water. There are several devices that can help warm water:
Thus, rabbits will drink water that is comfortable in temperature even in winter.
Care and cleaning of drinkers
Place the drinkers so that it is easy to add water and wash the containers. Do not place the bowl in the far corner of the cage.
In the case of cup and vacuum devices, they must be cleaned a couple of times a day, as they are instantly contaminated. Nipple, bottle and stand-alone drinkers do not require frequent maintenance, and they need to be washed only as necessary.
How to teach rabbits to use a drinking bowl?
The use of cup drinkers should not cause difficulties. But the rabbit needs to be accustomed to the nipple water supply system. To do this, follow these tips:
- First of all, make sure that the device is working. Touch the ball, see if drops of water come out.
- When the rabbit has just settled in the cage, give him time to get comfortable. Enough for a few hours.
- Carefully take your pet, try not to scare him. Place the animal next to the drinker. Carry out the sequence of actions: touch the ball, wet your finger with water. Lubricate the nose and mouth of the animal. Repeat one more time.
- It may happen that the animal does not fit the drinker. Then grease the nipple with something odorous that might attract the rabbit. It can be carrot juice or milk.
- In the learning process, it is forbidden to shout at the animal. A raised voice scares him, which can lead to the fact that the rabbit will no longer come to the drinker. Successful learning requires patience and desire.
- Keep track of the amount of water. If it does not become smaller, then the animal does not drink. He may die from dehydration. In this case, you need to check the operation of the nipple and observe whether the rabbit has learned to use the device.