Access to clean, fresh drinking water at all times is a matter of course for responsible rabbit owners. However, a water bowl in the rabbit hutch is rarely the right solution for these purposes. Too quickly, the water is contaminated by food, hay and bedding and must be constantly renewed or is simply knocked over during high-spirited jumps of its stable inhabitants.
The ideal solution for watering rabbits are drinking bottles. They form a closed system in which the water remains clean and hygienic, and can be quickly and easily installed in the hutch using appropriate devices. Drinkers for rabbits are available in different variants as a free-standing solution or for mounting on bars or the wall of the hutch.
Material and size for rabbit drinkers
Rabbit drinkers are available in different materials, with the most common and cheapest rabbit drinking bottle mostly made of plastic. Drinking bottles made of glass and metal are also available in specialized stores and depend on the requirements and tastes of the rabbit owner.
A good cleanliness of the materials is, however, equally given with all materials. Drinking bottles for rabbits are usually manufactured in such a way that they can be screwed on like a conventional bottle and cleaned with appropriate brushes. This variation also allows for easy and quick refilling.
Instead of a conventional bottle cap, rabbit drinking bottles have a stainless steel tube through which the water passes from the bottle to the respective cap. So that nothing drips, the rabbit nevertheless always has the possibility of taking up water, many drinkers are equipped with a metal ball. If it is pressed by the rabbit by licking the end of the tube into the tube interior, the water can flow from the bottle and be taken up by the long ear. In addition to this classic ball drinker, there are also drinkers that have a small pin instead of a ball, which works on the same principle.
Also the so-called cup drinker, with which the water stands permanently from the bottle into a small collecting bowl and runs automatically after, without overflowing, belong to the well-known and practical drinker systems for rabbits.
With different capacities of individual water containers from less than 100 milliliters to well over a liter, there is a solution on the market for every rabbit size and number of rabbits kept.
Mounting variants of rabbit drinkers
Drinking bottles for rabbits are often attached to the bars of the rabbit hutch from the outside with a simple wire loop or a rotating plastic disc, with only the stainless steel tube pointing inside the cage. This makes it quick and easy to remove, clean and refill the containers. Even more convenient are the water containers that can be filled through a removable lid without having to remove the drinker.
Another variant is especially designed for attachment to smooth surfaces. By means of suction cups, the water bottle is held, but this is often an unsatisfactory solution, because the suction cups detach themselves from the surface.
The specialized trade also offers a free-standing device for hanging conventional drinking bottles. While this is a nice alternative, it makes it necessary to always reach into the enclosure to remove the entire rack and refill with water.
Alternative drinkers for rabbits
Stainless steel bowls for hanging in the bars of the cage are not a particularly attractive alternative to the water bottle, even if they are relatively quiet stable dwellers. The lightweight bowls are quickly levered out of their holders and spill water on the litter. Likewise, they quickly become contaminated by litter and co. even when hung relatively high.
For larger rabbit populations the specialized trade holds bowl drinkers ready, which promise a constant water level in the bowl over a low-pressure hose system and with appropriate float valve equipped. An unintentional disassembly by the rabbit is not possible, but the cleaning is more complicated and the contamination by litter materials is also given, as with the drinking bowl.
Rabbit drinking bowl in winter
Rabbit owners who keep their rabbits outside in winter should think about a frost solution for their drinking water in good time. A good and inexpensive option here are thermal sleeves specially developed for drinking bottles, which are simply pulled over the bottle. They not only protect the water from frost, but can also be used in summer to prevent the water from heating up too much. However, they can be used only at low minus temperatures, otherwise the ball system will also freeze.
Heated drinkers for winter
A good solution that keeps the water frost-free for the rabbits even in very freezing temperatures are heated small animal or rabbit drinkers. The double insulated drinking bottle along with the bowl is equipped with a heating element and keeps the water frost-free.
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