The Secret of the Drippy Bottle
If you use water bottles, you know about the occasional bottle that just keeps on dripping which makes it completely worthless. Or does it?
We decided early on in our rabbit habit to use water bottles. We knew all about automatic water systems … we had managed cattle ranches, boarding stables, and hog farms. But we liked knowing exactly how much each rabbit was drinking and knew at a glance when we looked over the cages IF a rabbit was drinking … no wondering or waiting for the rabbit to go off feed.
Learning where the water comes from was no problem for rabbits raised in our barn. But sometimes when a new rabbit came in, it was used to crocks and we hated that it sometimes took several days for the new bun to figure out the bottle thing. We often had a water cup and the bottle in the cage for several weeks before they really “got” it. That is until we discovered the secret of the drippy bottle.
With a regular bottle (one that didn’t drip), the rabbit seemed to take forever to figure out where the water even was. But if the bottle dripped consistently, the rabbit would discover it pretty quickly. Problem was, it often meant we had to clean the tray every day due to the bottle dripping it’s contents from one feeding to the next. We discovered that the solution was to combine the water bowl and the drippy bottle.
We would place the water bowl (or a carrier cup) under the nipple of the drippy bottle. As the bottle dripped, the bowl would catch the water. The rabbit was familiar with drinking from a bowl/cup and discovered the nipple on the bottle much faster. In only a few days, we could remove the bowl and replace the drippy bottle with a good one.
I’d forgotten all about this until one of the new bottles we just bought last week turned out to be “drippy”. I was thinking about taking it back for a new one when I remembered that we “might” need it soon as we’re just getting back into rabbits and acquiring our stock. That drippy bottle will likely make our life a whole lot easier and allow a new rabbit to transition to a new environment with a lot less stress. And that’s a very good thing 🙂
So, keep a drippy bottle (or two). You never know when you might need them.