It's another frozen winter day out there, this morning. I'm just glad that this is the low of the day, not the high, like we had a month or so ago. Brrr!
|My path to the rabbitry.|
|Lavender's winter eye circles and darkened dewlap.|
For many rabbit-raisers, winter is the most challenging time. The root of the problem is usually in making sure that the rabbits have a constant enough supply of water.
A lot of people prefer to switch to crocks during winter, but I really can't bring myself to switch to them. A few reasons I haven't switched to crocks is that I would still have to either bring the crocks in, or else bring out a pitcher (several times, since I have a couple dozen cages to deal with) to fill them up. In addition to that, I would have to unlatch each cage and negotiate around nosy rabbits in order to retrieve each crock, which would undoubtedly add several minutes to my watering routine. Another reason is that when the crocks do thaw, it's not uncommon for rabbits to get themselves wet (especially if the crocks aren't secured), which can be very dangerous. Also, crocks tend to make people lazy. Many people get into the mindset that since the rabbits still have ice, they have access to water. They don't. Ice requires precious calories in order to melt, especially if that energy is applied by licking the ice, which requires a lot of muscle movement. They'd be better off eating snowballs than licking an ice block. That's not to say that using water bottles doesn't have its downsides during winter, but it works for me.
|Bottles thawing on the counter.|
|Running hot water onto bottles for faster thawing.|
|Icicle where a water bottle dripped.|