Winter Water Land...

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by MrsFarmerWilly, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. MrsFarmerWilly

    MrsFarmerWilly Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    131
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    The time has come for me to head back to work. I'm concerned about my rabbits, ducks, geese and chickens though, how do you all keep your water from freezing during the winter so that the animals have something to drink while we are at work 12-18 hours a day? We have no electric lines leading to the chicken/rabbit house, nor do we have water lines in YET! I know there are others out there that have to work that have conqured this problem, so any advice you have to offer will help.
    Thanks,
    MFW
     
  2. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    11,280
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
    Yes, winter water is a problem, especially if you don't have electricity in the animal shelters. Can you run a heavy duty extension cord to the coop? That would take care of the poultry if you got heated water dishes and buckets. It is just soooo much easier that way.... although you need to make sure those geese can't get at the cord! Mine chewed through an extension cord last year, copper wire and all. Mercifully it was not plugged in!

    Rabbits are more problematic because there are so many individual cages. There are systems with heat cables (electic again!) but I find it simpler just to bring my rabbits indoors for the winter. They will use a litter box if it is provided (all but one buck) and I put the cages in the laundry/furnace room and the mudroom. No frozen water, no popsicle kits and it gives me a break from carrying food and water down to the rabbitry. I keep only three or four does and a maximum of two bucks over the winter. Might be a problem if you have a large rabbitry.

    One last idea.... there are solar water heaters that could help you handle this. I don't know a lot about them, but you might try posting on the alternate energy forum. If you find any good info, please post it for the benefit of all who share this perennial problem.
     

  3. CountryDreams

    CountryDreams Well-Known Member

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    246
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Southern Missouri
    We keep double the water bottles that we need and we rotate them out twice a day. That way the rabbits get plenty to drink when the bottles first get put up and they can drink until the water freezes. We've never lost a rabbit in the winter, a few litters of new kits but never any weaned bunnies or adults.
     
  4. Lilandra

    Lilandra talk little, listen much

    Messages:
    1,696
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Location:
    IOWA
    We don't have electricity out in the barns for the birds and buns and have never lost anyone in the winter either (we're gone 8-12 hrs daily between work, school and afterschool activities)
    What we do is give water twice a day - same as summer - BUT we feed apples, citrus fruits and grapes to everyone. High water content foods make up the difference in not having water always available for us. Citrus fruits also help with fur balls in the rabbits and resp. diseases in the birds when they are shut in for the winter.
    We free range the birds in the summer and feed fresh clover and apples to the bunnies so its not a major change in diet come winter. Gradually start feeding the fresh fruit to the animals otherwise you could see loose stools or other health issues develop.

    hope this helps
    4HMom