Feeders & Water Bottles
We’re changing the barn around as we added on to my little one to make room for my daughter’s rabbits. I originally had 6 holes with room for 6 more which would have been OK for me for quite a while, but certainly not enough for 2 of us. In the process, we’re cleaning and re-organizing to make the best use of the space. In doing do, we changed out some of the feeders yesterday. I love the hard plastic E-Z crocks and J-feeders. We had a couple of babies get cut on metal feeders and switched to the E-Z brand several years ago. As I was “doing dishes” yesterday washing the crocks and stuff, I realized I missed the dishwasher. You see, we used to throw the crocks and feeders in the dishwasher. They come nice and clean, and it’s quick and easy for me 🙂 The J-feeders have small holes drilled in the bottom so the little bit of dust from the feed falls through.
We also use wide mouth Lixit water bottles (16 and 32 ounce sizes). Individual rabbits have 16 ounce bottles while does with litters and/or weaned litters that are still together get the big bottles. It works well to put 2 of the 16 ounce bottles on doe/litter cages also. These run through the dishwasher really well, too. We try to “do dishes” the first part of every month. It keeps them from getting all gunked up even with our hard water.
Even when my daughter had 50 holes, we preferred water bottles. They take longer to fill than crocks but don’t take up space on the cage floor and babies can’t accidentally fall in them. The water stays clean as the rabbits can’t play “in” it like with crocks. We talked about an automatic system a couple of times, but we like to know how much water each rabbit is drinking as water is a critical component to herd health. I know that rabbits that aren’t drinking typically won’t eat and problems can be addressed. But when a rabbit stops eating, it’s hard on it’s digestive system and bottles let us see immediately if a rabbit’s drinking habits have changed and we can catch issues BEFORE the rabbit goes off feed.
We used to have a 3 gallon insulated metal drink dispenser but got rid of it when we got out of rabbits several years ago. I found a 2 gallon jug that works for now. The spigot on the bottom allows for easy filling of water bottles. The jug also keeps the water cool in the summer time. It’s easy to add the vitamins and Acid Pak or any treatment meds for worms and/or coccidiosis. It’s lots easier to figure the dosage for a couple of gallons rather than each individual water bottle.
Maybe this musing will be helpful to someone.
NOTE: This was originally posted in 2009 and our “set up” has changed but the information is still accurate.