winter watering

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by SherryR, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. SherryR

    SherryR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    490
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Hi, I live in Maine, soon the rabbits' waterer & bowls will freeze. What I did last winter (before I had multiple rabbits) was water them 2 or 3 times daily. I think at night I left water bowl in the cage. It always froze naturally, by morning. would it be ok to give them drink at4 or 5 when I feed them, then empty it when I shut lights off a couple hours later? I dont want to leave them without water, but if it freezes, what good will it do them & it's harder to water in morning. (because have to get the ice out of the bowl)

    thanks
    Sherry
     
  2. ONThorsegirl

    ONThorsegirl Fergusons Family Farm

    Messages:
    1,326
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern Ontario
    If your rabbits are all together there is a pretty neat Idea that I think I'm going to use. There is a heated water bowl for cats a dogs at the local Co-op on sale. It is a big size for $24.00. I think for the sake of not having to keep emptying the water out I might get this for my group of rabbits. I have 3 males together in one pen but I have one female by her self, so I will still have to use a normal dish and keep it emptyed.

    Good Luck, I live in Ontario so we get some nasty cold weather too.

    Melissa
     

  3. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

    Messages:
    9,818
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Location:
    Powhatan, AR
    Melissa, please be careful that your rabbits can't chew on the electrical cord to the warm water bowl. You'll have to be pretty ingenious in figuring out a way to keep it out of their reach - ;)

    If you have only a few rabbits, and I do, this might work well for you. I have two sets of water bottles. The five cages each get a fresh water bottle in the morning, and the frozen bottles go in the house with me to thaw, then be rinsed out & refilled for next morning. This can be a pain in the butt, though, if you have a bunch of bunnies to water.

    If you think your rabbit(s) won't be able to drink from a bottle since they're not used to it, never fear; when they get thirsty they will figure out where the water comes from. (I have found that the crocks tend to crack when the water freezes in them.)

    I have quite a few tops from water bottles as I used to raise A LOT of rabbits. I have found you can use those screw-on drinker tubes with plastic soda bottles.

    I hope this helps a little.

    NeHi Mama
     
  4. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    474
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Sherry, we use metal dishes for water in the winter. Last winter we just took a hatchet and hit the bottom of the dishes with the back (flat side) of the hatchet. The ice came out pretty easily with almost no denting of the metal dishes. This year I have started filling the dishes about half way, then the next time I go out I take a couple of jugs of hot water. I add the hot water to the dish, filling it about 3/4 full and the hot water usually melts some of the ice already in the dish- unless it is really, really cold. I find that if I don't fill the dishes all the way, there is usually room in them the next time I go out and I can just add a little more water without having to remove the dishes every time. Of course, we are home most of the time so I can check on them and water frequently throughout the day.

    I am really looking forward to our upcoming move- we will be installing our new automatic watering system with heater and pump. I just hope it will work in our cold climate.

    I would leave the bowls in the cages at night- I notice that even when the water freezes, the rabbits will chew on the ice and eat some of it. If it is a real hassle for you to thaw the bowls maybe you could get an extra set and rotate them- how many rabbits do you have?
     
  5. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

    Messages:
    3,067
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    Central Florida
    This was posted by QTee on the poultry forum. If I lived in an area that freezes I would adapt the idea by putting this setup in a wooden 5 sided box and mounting it outside on the bottom of the rabbit cage with the waterer in the cage directily over it.

    Seems to me that it would generate enough heat to warm a bowl of water the same or near the same size of the bowl and the electrical cord would be outside the cage. There seems to be little risk of fire from this setup. Of course I wouldn't recommend this for a big rabbitry but for the person that has a few rabbits to feed the family, this might be ideal.

    Thanks QTee for this idea. I plan on making this setup for our chickens and rabbits before this coming winter. I prefer them to have warm water rather than cold.

    http://www.website-design.ca/chickens/water.html
     
  6. ihedrick

    ihedrick Can't stop thinkin'

    Messages:
    1,267
    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia
    We have the mutliple bottle thing going on here too. It just seemed easier to havea bucket full of fresh water bottles and replaced the frozen bottles. Inside the house they thaw and then get cleaned and ready to go to replace the next batch of frozen ones.
     
  7. SherryR

    SherryR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    490
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    thank you all for your input. . . Bearcreekfarm, I have about 14 adult rabbits, plus a few in a grow out cage. It wont be so hard to get a 2nd set of dishes/water bottles. Was just curious about how others do it.
    thank you all!
    Sherry
     
  8. rzrubek

    rzrubek Flying Z

    Messages:
    645
    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    http://www.klubertanz.com/Catalog.htm Go to Feeding and watering on the left side and then supply line heat cables and heaters under automatic watering and look at what is available.

    I can't live without my automatic watering system. If you decide to put one in let me know and i'll give you some tips on how to save a lot of money. I ony have 9 does and 3 bucks and it was well worth the money.