Author Archives: Ellyn Eddy

Choosing Your Rabbit’s Ear Number – An article on Rabbit Ear Numbers and Rabbit Tattooing.

Rabbit Ear Numbers

Both new and old-timer rabbit breeders often scratch their heads wondering what to tattoo in their rabbits’ ears.  Is there any system you need to follow?  Are there things you can and things you can’t use as a rabbit tattoo?  Well I’ve got good news for you:

You can tattoo anything you want in your rabbit’s ear.  It’s your rabbit.  You can tattoo a butterfly perched on a Ferrari in his ear – though I don’t in any way recommend it.

But if you’re going to show your rabbit, your options become slightly more limited.  To explain, let me tell you a story.

Back in the early days of rabbit tattoos, people used clamps.  The clamping tongs had a slot where you could slide in letters and numbers.  Most people only had a set with one tile for letter and one or two tiles for each number – so their options for ear numbers were fairly limited.  For instance, you didn’t have enough tiles to give your rabbit the ear number BOBBY.

But nowadays, most rabbit breeders (wisely) have switched from the clamp to the battery-operated tattoo pen.  This electric pen is not only safer than the clamp, but it allows you to tattoo anything you’re capable of in your rabbit’s ear.  And breeders loved it.

Rabbit Tattooing Pen

People started showing rabbits with all kinds of interesting tattoos.  They sometimes used special characters – such as a heart or smiley face— that, if not practical, were definitely cute.  The problem is that show secretaries had to enter those tattoos into their computer systems….and I can’t find the butterfly-perched-on-a-Ferrari key on my keyboard.

So the ARBA – that is, the organization that governs rabbit shows – made a new rule.  A couple of years ago they came out with the rule that all rabbit tattoos have to be alpha-numeric for the rabbit to be entered in an ARBA show.  In other words, you can only use the letters A-Z and the numbers 0-9.  (No bicycles, dollar signs, or hawks – sorry.)  They also mentioned that the letters you choose can’t spell anything profane or distasteful – but hopefully not too many people were doing that anyway.

So the bottom line is that it’s up to you.  You can tattoo your rabbit A1, Z9, OKLAHOMA5582684383, or anything in between – as long as you’re only using letters and numbers.  (And as long as it will fit in your rabbit’s ear.)

Does the ARBA assign rabbits tattoo numbers?

So that’s it, you might ask.  You don’t have to register your rabbit with the ARBA to get an official tattoo number?  I wondered this myself when I was starting, but the answer is no.  You get to choose your rabbits’ ear numbers.  The ARBA does NOT assign which number goes in your rabbit’s left ear.

So you’re free to develop your own system.  Many people like to spell out the rabbit’s name in the ear. Their tattoos look like LILY and LUCY and LOU.  Other people like to use a fancy code that gives some information about the rabbit.  A common example is that people use the parents’ initials in the tattoo, so like Fluffy and Puffy’s babies are FP1, FP2, and FP3.  You might also use a number to indicate the month the rabbit was born, or whatever information is relevant to your breeding project.

The rules don’t say you can’t get fancy.

Even though you’re only allowed to use letters and numbers in your show rabbits’ ears, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the tattoos pretty.  Some people will put flourishes on the letters, or, if they’re very talented, write the tattoos in a fancy font.  (I mean, Lucida Calligraphy is going to exude more class than Arial any day.)  So, if you’re a creative person, get creative.  Its flexibility is one of the beauties of the battery-operated tattoo pen.   My only caution is that you must not let your creativity get in the way of legibility.  If the judge cannot clearly read your rabbit’s ear number, he or she is allowed to disqualify it from competition.  Other than that, have fun!

Lastly, for those of you who don’t have an electric tattoo pen to play with, come and join us!  I recommend the KBtatts Complete Rabbit Tattoo Kit.  It contains the battery-operated pen (in a snazzy choice of colors), a replacement needle, and all the accessories you need to make your tattooing experience a breeze.

Rabbit Tattooing

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Grab the KBtatts Complete Tattoo Kit from PremiumRabbits.com!

This is part 2 of our series on rabbit tattoos.  Don’t miss Part 1 –“The Why’s and How’s of Rabbit Tattoos” and Part 3 — “10 Steps to a Great Tattoo.”

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The Why’s and How’s of Rabbit Tattoos – An introductory article on the subject of Rabbit Tattooing.

Rabbit Tattooing

My first-ever rabbit was named Bumper.  And if I had put a name tag on him, he would have chewed it off.  Immediately.

It wasn’t a big problem, because I wasn’t going to forget who my Bumper was.  But what if I had taken him to a show, with lots of other opal Mini Rex?  What if the judge had shuffled the bunnies around, and some stranger had claimed Bumper as theirs?  How could I have proved that he was really mine?  And what would I have done without my bunny?

All the sudden, Bumper needed a name tag.

And so I gave him one — but not one of those paper stickers that say “HELLO MY NAME IS.”  This tag was a tattoo in his left ear — a permanently one, so that nobody could confuse my bunny with theirs.

Much like cattle ranchers put plastic tags in their cows’ ears, or like people microchip their pet poodles, rabbit breeders identify their rabbits through ear markings – also known as tattoos.  This greatly helps with record keeping, and helps us keep our rabbits safe by not confusing them with one another.  Although most breeders can tell their brood stock apart by looks, a permanent ear mark ensures that we keep it straight, and can track the health history for each bunny, or don’t accidentally breed rabbits that are too closely related.

If you want to show your rabbits, the American Rabbit Breeders Association requires that they have a permanent tattoo in their left ear.  If you register your rabbit, the registrar will put an additional tattoo – either the registration number or that funny registered trademark symbol you see on packages — in their right ear.

How do you tattoo a rabbit?  We’ve got a new answer.

When rabbit tattoos were first invented, the popular method was to use a pair of tongs called a clamp that you could slide tiles into.  The tiles had needles in the shape of letters and numbers.  You would puncture the ear, then spread ink in the holes, then seal it with petroleum jelly while it healed.    Although it didn’t last long, this method caused a sharp, sudden pain to the rabbit.  But now, thankfully, we have a new way to tattoo bunnies that is much less painful and much more safe.

We have the battery operated tattoo pen.  This pen has a cluster of needles at the end which– with a very similar motion to that of an electric toothbrush – inserts ink just below the surface of the skin.  The needles do not go all the way through the ear, and seem to cause no pain greater than a tickly irritation.

The process is very safe and controlled.  If you have a partner hold the rabbit while you perform the tattoo, it’s very quick, and the result is usually much neater, cleaner, and more legible than that of a clamp tattoo set.

These battery-operated tattoo pens took the rabbit world by storm as soon as they were introduced.  If you’d like to get one for yourself, there are a number of brands to choose from.  If I may make a recommendation, I’d suggest the Complete Tattoo Kit from KBtatts, available at PremiumRabbits.com.

First of all, the KBtatts pen was designed by a tattoo artist/rabbit breeder team, so it draws on experience in both areas.  Second, the complete kit comes with a pen, a replacement needle, ink, an inkwell, and multiple other accessories at a lower price than you could get them for separately.  In fact the whole kit costs under $50.

Rabbit Tattooing

If you’re new to the world of raising or showing rabbits, I want to assure you that –due to new and innovative equipment– tattooing rabbits is a humane and low-stress way to help keep them as safe as possible.  If you’re an old hand at rabbit breeding, and are still using the clamp method, I’d strongly encourage you to check out the KBtatts kit.  In addition to being safer and neater, it gives you much more flexibility.  You might even find yourself getting a little artsy!  For instance, I tattooed a heart in Bumper’s right ear.  I definitely loved him permanently.

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Grab the KBtatts Complete Tattoo Kit from PremiumRabbits.com!

Be sure to watch for parts 2 and 3 of our series on rabbit tattoos, “Choosing your Rabbit’s Ear Number” and “10 Steps to a Great Tattoo.”

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Rabbit Care in the Winter – Seven Important Tips for Caring for Rabbits in the Winter.

Winter Rabbit Care

Rabbits are amazingly hardy.  Different rabbit species can live the most varied of the world’s climates, be it the desert, the mountains, the swamps, or the bitter cold.  The rabbits we keep as pets descended from the wild rabbit of Europe.   Thus, pet rabbits are built to be able to live outside in the winter – even in sub-freezing temperatures – as long as you provide the right care.

In fact, I write this from my home in northern Michigan.  It’s December, and there are sixteen inches of snow on the ground outside.  The thermometer hasn’t touched above 32*F in two or three weeks, and yet the bunnies outside are doing fine.  All your rabbits need in the winter is a little extra attention.  So, based on my experience, here are my top tips for winter rabbit care:

1. Make sure your rabbits have water around the clock.  This is the number one rabbit care tip any time of year, but it’s especially important in times of weather extremes.  If deprived of water, rabbits will not eat.  If they do not eat frequently, their digestive system – used to digesting high fiber foods slowly but steadily – will become static.  This can morph into a serious problem very quickly.  Besides, if a rabbit drinks lots of water, its coat will become extra soft and shiny.  True story!

2. Use the right watering equipment.  This is essential to accomplishing point #1.  Water bottles do not work well in freezing temps.  (Freeze = expand = crack…pretty obvious.)  The spout on a water bottle will freeze first, which means that even though the water in the bottle might still be liquid, the rabbit cannot access it through the frozen spout.  Instead of bottles, use hard plastic or stoneware crocks.  Hard plastic is better, because it won’t crack as easily when dropped.  (And trust me, when your hands are numb from the cold, you do drop crocks.)

3. Have two water dishes for each rabbit.  Not two dishes in the cage at once, but one in the cage while the other is in the house thawing.  When I go out to water the rabbits, I remove their frozen water dishes (usually containing a semi-solid ice cube) and throw them in a five-gallon pail.  Then I replace it with a fresh dish of water, and take the bucket of frozen dishes in the house to thaw.  Next time I go out, I can make the swap again.  My water crock of choice is the EZ-crock, because I’ve tossed dozens of frozen EZ-crocks into a bucket, one on top of another, and never had one crack yet.  Besides, the rabbits can’t spill them, which is an obvious bonus.

4. Full-feed in the winter.  Moving on from water, let’s talk feed.  To “full-feed” your rabbit means to give it enough pellets that it will have some left over every time you come to do chores.  I’m usually very wary of recommending this.  Rabbits will not gorge themselves to death if given the chance, but they usually do put on some excess weight if they are full-fed.  However, when the daily high temperature is 20*F or less for weeks at time, rabbits burn so much energy keeping warm that I think full-feeding is warranted.

5. Don’t use electronic heating devices.  I understand wanting to help your bunnies stay warm.  I understand touching their ears with your fingertips and bemoaning that they feel like ice.  But I also understand that it’s better for a rabbit to be chilly than to be roasted alive.  Do NOT use electronic heating devices such as warming pads, heated dishes, or heat lamps.  Rabbits can outside in freezing temperatures all winter and be just fine.  The wild rabbits do it; they don’t hibernate like the bears and chipmunks.  Anytime you use electronic devices outside in the weather, they are at risk of shorting and catching fire.  Rabbits will chew on every electrical cord they can find.   Even if the heating device is outside the cage, close proximity to straw or wood shavings in the cage can quickly cause fire.   Trust me: we used heating pads with our first rabbits, and though we were very careful to protect the cords and electrical connections, they caught fire.  We barely had time to rescue our bunnies.

6. Don’t cut off the ventilation.  Bunnies that don’t live in an environment with good airflow are susceptible to snuffles and other respiratory problems.  In the winter we batten down the hatches in an attempt to keep heat in and drafts out, and while this is good, make sure you still allow plenty of airflow.

7. Observe your rabbits often.  Look at them.  Watch them eating or playing.  Take them out and run your hand down their coats.  Turn them over and check for signs of illness.  You can usually tell if a rabbit is ill if you take the time to watch and handle it.  But if you just breeze by it, give it feed and water and skip out, it could be silently suffering and you wouldn’t know till it’s too late.

Here’s wishing you and your bunnies a wonderful new year!


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Written By: Laurie Stroupe

Rabbit breeders can be very particular about the type of rabbit nest boxes they like. What works great for me might not be what quite suits you best. But regardless of the type you like, there are several things that are common to all.

Rabbit Nest Boxes

Rabbit Nestboxes Must be Easily Sanitized

First and foremost, nest boxes must be sanitized between uses. That doesn’t mean just brushing them out or even spraying them out. They must be either bleached or sanitized with an iodine-based biocide. If my husband Andrew prepares my nest boxes, which is normally the case, he sprays them off and removes any old hay. Then he dips them in one part bleach and five parts water. After twenty minutes or so, he rinses well and then puts them into the sun to dry, if the weather cooperates.

If I do them, I spray them off like he does, but then I saturate them with a diluted iodine based biocide. Then I place it in the sun to dry. I’m sensitive to bleach but not iodine.

I once got caught short without a nest box for a doe that needed one. So I took one that wasn’t visibly dirty, but used, and placed it with the doe. I thought that it wouldn’t hurt “just this one time.” Everything seemed to be fine. The kits didn’t die from a mysterious illness or anything. But when I took the doe out to see if she was in good enough condition to rebreed, I found a huge lump under one teat (golf ball size). I took her to the vet and he told me it was the worst case of mastitis he’d ever seen. It had to be lanced in two placed. Then I read that mastitis was one of the things that could happen if you don’t sanitize your nest boxes. Boy, did I feel terrible. I will never do that again.

(Ed. Note: Metal Nest boxes are very easy to sanitize and won’t harbor bacteria or debris like wooden ones can.)

Choosing the Right Rabbit Nesting Box

The box should be comfortable to the doe. Rabbits can scrunch into much smaller areas than we give them credit for. All the same, different does prefer different things and your nest boxes should accommodate different preferences.

The box should also protect the kits. I like boxes with a shelf above so that the kits can be nestled underneath and protected from the dam’s jumping in and out. The kits need to stay close together in a protected part of the nest box.

The nest box should keep hungry kits from wandering out in search of a midnight snack. We learned this with our first litters. We bred two does and had no idea what we were doing. I put a hole in end of a plastic shoe box for a nest box. The doe loved it and climbed right in. She had lots of privacy and was very snug. But when I swept the dining room the next day, I found a kit 16 feet away behind a basket of books! The box should allow the doe to get in and out easily. It should allow older kits the ability to get back in when they are not quite ready to graduate the nest box, but it should keep tiny kits inside.

The nest box should allow urine to flow through and not build up in the nest box. This point is especially important with big litters that need to stay in longer because of cold weather. A lot of urine can build up on a solid bottom in a hurry.

A good nest box, in my opinion, should not over bake babies in the summer or chill them in the winter.

Finally, when you’ve selected the nest boxes you like, the final thing to remember is that it must be added to the doe’s cage on day 28. I was late one time and didn’t get it in until day 30. The doe delivered an hour later. You can just imagine her in her cage with her legs crossed wondering where the heck her pet person is with that box!


Looking to purchase rabbit nest boxes? Visit: http://premiumrabbits.com/ and checkout their selection that we recommend.


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It’s hard to do anything the first time – even to buy rabbit equipment.  What sounded like a simple shopping trip can turn into an overwhelming experience as you realize how much rabbit equipment is available and how many choices you can make.  What supplies do you really need?  What accessories do you want? How do you choose the right brands?  This quick shopping guide can help you get started.

Rabbit Equipment

First things First – The Cage

The most important thing you buy for your rabbit is its cage.  Even if you plan to house-train your pet bunny, he needs a cage that he can call his home and shelter.  You’ll have the choice between wire and solid bottomed cages.  In most cases, go for wire.  Rabbits have thick fur on their footpads and don’t mind living on wire floors, and it is actually much healthy for them, since they won’t be sitting in their own urine and feces.  The Supreme Rabbit Home line of cages comes complete with a tray that slides underneath to catch the droppings.

You also need to pick a cage size.  A pet rabbit needs about 1 square foot of cage space per pound of body weight.  An 18” x 24” cage works great for single rabbits of dwarf breeds, and a 30” x 24” cage is ample size for a large bunny.

The Carrier

Taking your rabbit home in a cardboard box isn’t safe or secure.   You should use a special carrier made for transporting bunnies.

Rabbit Feeding Equipment

Everybunny’s got to eat, right?  There are two common ways to provide rabbits with pellets.  One is the J-feeder.   This includes a tray that sits inside the rabbit’s cage to hold the pellets, and a hopper that sits outside the cage to hold an extra amount of feed.  J-feeders are most commonly used by breeders who have several rabbits, because they can be quickly filled from outside the cage.  The disadvantages to J-feeders are that they can be difficult to clean, and you need to cut a hole in the side of your cage for them to work.  If you have a lop rabbit, make sure to buy a “Wide Mouth” feeder to allow him to eat from it comfortably.

The alternative to a J-feeder is a crock or dish.  This is a good choice for any pet bunny, as long as you get one like the EZ-crock that attaches to the cage so your rabbit can’t tip it over.

Rabbit Watering Equipment

The big debate about rabbit watering equipment is bottles vs. bowls.  Water bottles can hold more water at a time, and keep it cleaner.  However, they can be a hassle to fill and some will drip.  Most rabbit owners try both bottles and crocks and decide for themselves which works best for their bunnies and lifestyle.  There is a good selection of both rabbit water bottles and bowls at PremiumRabbits.com.


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Is it really cost effective to build your own rabbit cages?

Rabbit Cages

Lots of rabbit owners like to build their own cages.  There’s a real sense of accomplishment in seeing the cage you built all finished and ready for your new pet.  But, you might wonder, is it really cost-effective to build your own cages?  Well, that depends.

A 100ft roll of galvanized wire can make about 6-8 rabbit cages, depending on their dimensions.  If you price a roll of wire against the price of 6-8 pre-built rabbit cages, it looks pretty good.  It definitely seems like you can save money by buying the wire, clips, and trays separately and assembling them yourself.

But there’s a hitch: You need more than one type of wire to build a rabbit cage.  Most rabbit cages are built of 1” x 2” mesh wire on the sides and roof of the cage, but that’s not tight enough to support rabbits’ feet.  The floor of the cage must be a much tighter mesh: ½” x ½”.  That means, unfortunately, that to build even one rabbit cage, you need TWO types of wire.  Add a second 100ft roll of floor wire to your shopping cart, and suddenly the bottom line doesn’t look so good anymore.

But don’t worry, there’s a way around.

Pre-cut Floors make All the Difference

At PremiumRabbits.com, you don’t have to spend over $150 on a roll of floor wire.  The solution: pre-cut floors.  Buy your roll of side-wire, and then order the floors you want separately.  We’ll send you a piece of ½”x 1” wire cut to the right dimensions – and instead of $150, you’ll pay under $10!  Now you can have fun designing your own cages and putting them together, while still keeping the costs down.

A Double Function – Replacement Floors

Our pre-cut floors can also replace rusted floors on older cages that you purchased.

Note: Other floor sizes may be available in addition to those listed on the PremiumRabbits.com website.  If you need a size that you don’t see here, just ask if we have it!


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Rabbits don’t need to have 24/7 access to food (in fact, that’s not even good for them!) but they should have constant access to good, clean water.  Since water bottles can drip and be difficult to fill, many people turn to bowls or dishes – commonly called crocks– as simple ways to offer rabbits water.

Pet Rabbit

But some rabbit dishes are definitely better choices than others.  It sounds like a simple task to pick out a water dish, but you might be surprised at how much there is to consider.

 It can’t just be a crock – it’s gotta be fantastic

The description of a good rabbit water crock can sound like the description of a super hero.  It’s gotta be spill-poof, freeze-resistant, resilient if dropped, sanitary, washable, the right size, and made of safe and sturdy material.

Being Spill-proof is one of the most important features of a good crock.  Rabbits seem to delight in tipping over their dishes if that’s at all possible.  They can tip surprisingly heavy crocks – so just weight isn’t enough.  The bowl has to actually attach to the side of the cage if it’s to be entirely spill proof.  Thankfully, rabbit cage dealers know all about this and have developed some great solutions like the EZ-crock and the Quick-Lock Crock from PremiumRabbits.com

Freeze Resistance is another important qualification if you keep your rabbits outside.  Rabbits can live in freezing weather just fine, but their ceramic crocks are much more likely to break when the weather gets cold.  If you’re going to be using crocks outside in the winter, you’ll want to use hard plastic or metal dishes that you can easily bring inside to thaw. (Check out the Galvanized Coop Cup if you need a metal dish for occasional use.)

When buying any rabbit equipment, always consider sanitation.  Can the crock you’re looking at be wiped out daily with a clean cloth to keep it fresh?  Does it have any rough edges or deep corners that could hold dirt or algae?  Is it dishwasher-safe?  Not everyone will want to run their rabbit dishes through the dishwasher, but if that’s cool with you, the plastic dishes from PremiumRabbits.com are completely dishwasher-safe!

What size water bowl should my rabbit have?

The final consideration is size.  Even when you pick out a style of water crock you like, it will probably be available in more than one size.  A 10-ounce dish will hold all the food or water that a single average-size rabbit needs in a day, and a larger dish will just collect debris.  But if you have a giant bunny, or two rabbits living together in a cage, you might want to jump up to the 20-ounce size.  Smaller dishes, such as the 4-ounce Lixit Cup, are too small to provide your rabbit’s sole water supply, but are super handy to keep around for offering treats or supplements.

But what about does with litters?  You might think that female rabbits and their litter of growing babies should have big dishes, but that’s not always the case.  Baby rabbits can drown in large water bowls, and will climb in and soil large food dishes.  So you’re actually better off using more smaller dishes with a doe and her babies.


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If it’s your first time shopping for rabbit equipment, you might be surprised and how many decisions there are to make.  It’s not as simple as just buying a water bottle; you have a choice of different brands, sizes, and nozzle types.  This guide can help you select the best kind for your beloved pet.

Pet Rabbits

What size water bottle does a pet rabbit need?

They say that the average rabbit will drink five ounces (5 fl oz) of water per day, but of course this varies a lot by the season and the individual.  Also, you needed to make allowances for water that will be wasted.  Almost all water bottles will drip for a little while after a rabbit drinks from them, as the nozzle doesn’t seal instantly.  Some rabbits like to lean up against the nozzle and let the water run over their bodies.  Considering this, it’s important to select a bottle that offers quite a bit more water than your rabbit will actually drink.

PremiumRabbits.com – a great place to buy rabbit products online – offers water bottles in several different sizes.  The 8-ounce size works great as a take-along water bottle for one-day trips, but it’s not big enough for everyday use.   The 16-ounce and 32-ounce bottles are the best for daily use for single rabbits.  Which size you select should depend on how often you are available to check on your rabbit and refill the bottle if necessary.  If two or more rabbits share a cage, you will definitely want a bottle that’s at least 32 ounces, or maybe even the giant 64-ounce Lixit brand water bottle at PremiumRabbits.com

Are glass or plastic bottles better for rabbits?

Most rabbit water bottles are plastic, and they work fine.  But if you want to bump up the class a little bit, you can try the glass water bottles by Lixit.  Some users report that glass water bottles seal a bit better than plastic ones, and thus are less likely to drip.  Also available at PremiumRabbits.com, these bottles are topped off with a cute plastic “floating turtle” indicator to help you see the water level at a glance.

Is there more I should consider when buying a rabbit water bottle?

Actually there’s a lot more things to think about!  One of the most important is how the bottle is filled.  On most water bottles, the nozzle unscrews from the bottle, so that in order to fill it, you have to take the entire bottle off the cage.  This isn’t always the case, though!  The SuperPet Top-fIll water bottle has a flip-open lid, so that you can leave it attached to the cage and quickly fill it with a pitcher.  The one disadvantage to this system is that you need to make sure the lid is tightly closed when you’re done filling it, or the bottle won’t seal and may drip.

Before making your final selection, you may also want to look at the way the bottle attaches to the cage: how securely it stays, and how easy it is to remove.   Thankfully, the one thing you won’t have to worry about when buying water bottles is the cost, since all of the bottles (at least at PremiumRabbits.com) are very reasonably priced.

 

 


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When children show their rabbits in 4-H, the judge will often ask them, “What is the most important thing you can give your rabbit?”  Though several answers may come to mind, the one that judges are looking for is water.

Rabbit Dishes

We all know the importance of water to human health, and rabbits need it just as much.  If a rabbit is not able to drink, it will not eat either, and quickly fade into serious condition.  Since you probably can’t visit your rabbit every hour of the day, you need to be certain your equipment will guarantee him constant access to fresh water.

Water Bottles vs. Crocks – Pros and Cons

Breeders who have many rabbits will often use an automatic watering system, where a network of plastic tubes carries water to each bunny’s cage.  But for pet rabbits, water bottles and bowls are much more practical.

Why use a Bowl to Water Rabbits – and Why Not.

Bowls that supply rabbits with water are commonly called crocks.  They can be made of metal, plastic, or ceramic.  Crocks give you peace of mind because you know they won’t drip, and you know your rabbit will learn to drink out of them.  If you keep rabbits outside in the winter, crocks are the best choice for water, because they won’t break when they freeze, and you can bring them inside to thaw.  They are quick and easy to fill, quick and easy to clean, and inexpensive to replace.

On the other hand, water evaporates much more quickly in a crock than in a bottle.  It can also become soiled with bedding, hay, or urine.  In the summer, if left unchanged, it can also collect bugs or algae – and nobody wants that.  Most importantly, rabbits can (and will) tip over and play with their water dishes if they are not secured to the cage.

Overall, crocks are a very good way to supply your rabbit with fresh water…if the following points are met:

1. You clean the crock regularly

2. You change the water twice daily

3.  You get a crock that clips to the cage.

Expert Tip: We recommend the EZ-Crock, sold at Premium Rabbit Supplies, as the best rabbit water dish on the market.

Pros and Cons of Rabbit Water Bottles

If taking care of crocks sounds like a lot of work, you may prefer using water bottles to provide your pet with water.  Bottles usually only need to be refilled once per day.  They keep water clear of dust, fungus, and debris.  Also, bottles are better to travel with since they won’t slosh and spill in the car.

There are a few disadvantages to bottles, however.  For one, they take a bit more effort to fill than crocks.  They must be tied to the cage very tightly, or else a rabbit can pull it over from the inside or a passerby can knock it over from the outside.  Almost all rabbits will adjust to a bottle eventually, but it can take a few days if your pet was previously used to a water dish.  Finally, the biggest concern with water bottles is that some will drip.  Always monitor bottles closely to make sure they are not leaking.

Expert Tip: The Lixit Glass Water Bottles at PremiumRabbits.com tend to be less likely to drip than plastic water bottles.

In conclusion

Both water bottles and crocks can be effective ways to provide your rabbit with water, but they both take a little managing.  Most rabbit owners give both a try and end up settling on whichever one suits their bunnies and their lifestyles better.


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