Since a significant part of the rabbits ’diet is made up of green foods and succulent root crops, the question often arises – what is the animals’ need for water and how to drink them properly? The opinion that animals draw all the moisture necessary for the body from succulent food is incorrect, especially if there are a lot of dry food on the rabbits menu. Let’s see how and what to feed the rabbits to create optimal living conditions for them.
What to feed rabbits
The role of water in rabbits
The animal’s body is seventy percent fluid. Water plays a significant role in such important life processes:
- digestion of food;
- absorption of nutrients;
- the allocation of metabolic products;
- maintaining body temperature.
Lack of fluid for rabbits results in digestive upset, kidney disease, impaired blood composition. Not getting enough drink, rabbits can eat newborn rabbits. In order to avoid such cases it is necessary to know what determines the need of animals for water.
Rabbits need water
So, the amount of fluid needed is determined by:
- the proportion of dry feed in the diet of rabbits;
- season and temperature;
- age, breed and physiological condition of the animal.
On average, drinking rabbits with water is enough twice a day – in the morning and evening. On hot summer days, you can drink three times – in the morning, in the evening and at noon. Before watering rabbits with water, filter it or stand for a day.
Drinking should not be cold – it can be slightly warmed up to about room temperature. Do not take water from open water bodies (lakes, rivers, ponds). It is better to take it from a clean source, a well, or even from a tap (by filtering).
In winter, melt snow can be used as a source of water. Remember that you need to drink young rabbits more than older ones. Pregnant and lactating females (from a liter to two and a half liters per day) also need more plentiful watering.
If dry feed predominates in the rabbits ’diet, then they will need more water (from a liter to two water per kilogram of dry food). In the fall, when juicy greens and root vegetables are abundant, the amount of fluid must be reduced, otherwise rabbits may have an indigestion.
Water with additives
For prophylaxis in water of young rabbits, just deposited from a rabbit, you can add a few drops of iodine. Water young animals with iodine water for two weeks. This prevents disease and the fall of animals.
It is also good for prevention every six months for two weeks to solder adults with iodine with water. Instead of iodine, a slightly pink solution of potassium permanganate is sometimes used as an additive.
What to feed rabbits
Of course, to water rabbits, you can use the most ordinary bowls or other containers common in everyday life. But, although these animals do not have a constant habit of violently rampage in the cells, sometimes they can be upset: turn over the bowls and wet the litter. In addition to the fact that rabbits deprive themselves of this way of drinking, they are also at risk of soaking their paws, which can lead to limb diseases.
In open bowls, wool, garbage, pieces of food, and even animal excrement often get caught. Such a drink does not contribute to good health and quickly turns sour – you need to change it very often.
Best to use a drinker
Much better than ordinary bowls will be fixed drinkers that cannot be turned over. Another great option is nipple drinkers, purchased or made with your own hands. Such a drinker is a bottle filled with water and hung on the door of the cage or on the net. The rabbit gets its drink by pushing its tongue on the nipple (ball or spout of the drinker). Water in a closed container is not contaminated and does not evaporate; animals cannot overturn it or wash its paws in it.
There is also a simpler version of the device of a closed drinking bowl – vacuum. The bottle must be inserted into the fixed bowl with water at the very neck.
As the animals empty the cup, the liquid gradually flows into the container (the pressure difference does not allow it to pour out immediately). There is a small chance that the water will still leak, but it is a very cheap and easy option for drinking.
Both species have a common drawback – in winter, the water in such bottles may freeze. To get rid of it, you can apply heating technology (for example, as when heating floors) or stock up on a thermostat.