Keeping rabbit water bottles and chicken water fountains thawed in winter is a real headache. I used to have doubles of everything. Early morning would find me making my rounds with filled water bottles and swapping them out for the frozen ones. Same with the chicken fountain. Then the frozen waterers came inside to thaw.
Over the summer, I did some reading about water bottles and how rabbits don’t drink as much from them as they do if supplied with water bowls. The water doesn’t flow freely in the bottles and they give up working at the nozzle before they are completely hydrated. It is easy for them to lap water from a dish. There was also information about a correlation between bunnies getting enough to drink and increased growth. Darn, I’d spent quite a bit on bottles, but wanted what was best for my rabbits. We changed to dishes. The regular rabbit crocks are ideal, but I wanted to be thrifty and rounded up every little dish I could find.
Watering rabbits and poultry in winter
The bonus came this winter when I discovered how much time and work using water dishes saved me. It is so easy to take a bucket partially filled with hot water and a couple of 2 liter bottles of water out on my rounds. I just drop the frozen water dish in and the ice slides right out. I refill from the soda bottle and replace it in the cage. The dish is now also clean. No need to have double the dishes.
The same can be done for chickens. Instead of a fountain, set out a water dish small enough to fit in your bucket.
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