How Do You Get Water To Your Rabbits?

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Ice

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I am planning on using stacking cages in a shed (I would be using an automatic watering system) and I am wondering what to use for getting my rabbits water to the shed, originally I was planning on just using a hose, but almost every source I've found says that hose water is bad for animals. So how would I be able to safely give my rabbits water? It would be nice to not have to go in the house, so that I don't have to go back and forth or try to tote them in and out of the house.
 

HHR

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I am planning on using stacking cages in a shed (I would be using an automatic watering system) and I am wondering what to use for getting my rabbits water to the shed, originally I was planning on just using a hose, but almost every source I've found says that hose water is bad for animals. So how would I be able to safely give my rabbits water? It would be nice to not have to go in the house, so that I don't have to go back and forth or try to tote them in and out of the house.
I have seen the automatic waterers come with clear hoses and reservoirs. Most farmers swap the clear for black to avoid algae growth in the lines. In many cases different containers are adapted as reservoirs to.
The reservoir is usually installed at some height above the cages so as to utilize a gravitational flow system. I have even seen the reservoir retro-fitted with a bouyant float control valve system. The float control is usually used when the reservoir is hooked up directly with the pipe-borne home water system. If however you intend on hooking up the automatic water nipples directly to the pipe-borne supply. You will have to install a pressure regulator between the automatic nipples/waterers and water source. Most nipples function at low pressures. Operating at higher water pressures than suggested will shorten the life of your nipples.
 

Preitler

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About the hose water, you mean the hose from the tap to the reservoir/system? Why exactly why is it said to be bad? I reckon plastic garden hoses do smell pretty bad.

If you plan to fill up a reservoir I would water the plants first (I planted jerusalem artishocks around the hutches for shade/cooling) to rinse the hose, then fill the container, crocks or whatever.

If you plan to permanently connect the system to a hose, I would use small diameter food grade tubes that runs covered/underground to the shed.
 

Ice

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About the hose water, you mean the hose from the tap to the reservoir/system? Why exactly why is it said to be bad? I reckon plastic garden hoses do smell pretty bad.

If you plan to fill up a reservoir I would water the plants first (I planted jerusalem artishocks around the hutches for shade/cooling) to rinse the hose, then fill the container, crocks or whatever.

If you plan to permanently connect the system to a hose, I would use small diameter food grade tubes that runs covered/underground to the shed.
The sources I've found say that the hose is the problem.
"Drinking from a hose is unsafe unless the hose is rated as safe for drinking. This is because many hoses contain lead, which gets into water that flows through it. Also, water sits in hoses and can breed bacteria." Does running the hose keep it from getting the lead?
 

Preitler

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Lead? Never heard that, and don't think that's the problem - but cheap, soft plastic is loaded with chemicals, softeners and whatnot, so, anyway, that's why I would use small diameter food grade PE tube, and cover it up. Small diameter for little volume that is changed continously and is rinsed quickly, and protection from light to keep algea from growing.

It takes time for any stuff to seep from the material into the water, so rinsing will get rid of that stuff and whatever grew there while stagnant, the fresh water passes through rather uncontaniminated, but those the smell of a garden hose puts me off.
 

Ice

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Lead? Never heard that, and don't think that's the problem - but cheap, soft plastic is loaded with chemicals, softeners and whatnot, so, anyway, that's why I would use small diameter food grade PE tube, and cover it up. Small diameter for little volume that is changed continously and is rinsed quickly, and protection from light to keep algea from growing.

It takes time for any stuff to seep from the material into the water, so rinsing will get rid of that stuff and whatever grew there while stagnant, the fresh water passes through rather uncontaniminated, but those the smell of a garden hose puts me off.
Thanks, that is very helpful!
 

Zee-Man

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Cold water is no problem. Hot water will leach lead into the water. So the summer time sun baking the water inside the hose could present a problem. So running the hot water out of the hose eliminates lead contamination from the water. It does however put into your yard, garden, etc. Watch out for PVC (Vinyl) hoses. Polyurethane hoses may be a better choice.

But don't stop with your garden hose! If your home was built prior to 1986 you may have lead in your copper solder joints. Homes built before 1978 may have lead paint.

PEX and sharkbites make plumbing very easy if you are going to bury a water line. Design your outside system so you can blow the water out prior to freezing temps or go the expense of pipe heaters. Personally I find that way more expensive than carrying a gallon of water out each day.
 

Olbunny

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They make food safe hoses for campers. Usually white colored. I put up a rain trough and catch the rainwater from the shed roof. Our greenhouse for one barrel.
How many rabbits. I'm just now getting my water system in. Going to use a dark 5 gallon bucket black tubing n stainless nipples. 5 gallons should last a few days. Then add fresh
 

Deer Heart

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I built my bunny barn (actually a carport) directly next to my well. I run a drinking water safe hose from the spout to a suspended (above the rabbit cages) 5-gallon bucket using toilet float mechanics to keep it topped up (yes, one of the newer toilet floats that are tube-shaped - just install it like the bucket is a toilet tank). The 5-gallon bucket gravity feeds lines of PVC that run above the cage rows. The PVC has Edstrom flex tubing and fixtures all along it and I clip my drinkers to each individual cage. I keep a valve at the end of these PVC lines so I can open them up to flush them (It also gives me a quick water source).

It's a lot less complicated than it sounds. This system has been going for 4 years now. The float bucket was inherited second-hand from an old NZW farmer who retired so who knows how old it was before I got it.
 

hotzcatz

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Boat supply stores also carry the food grade hoses and they're usually white there, too. The automatic water system here is about seven years old and it's about time to renovate and restore it. The plastic bucket used as the reservoir was originally a laundry detergent bucket and it's degrading somewhat. Also several of the water nipples have become clogged with some sort of gunk. So, it's about time to flush and clean the system but it's saved enough time over the years that even if it takes several days of cleaning, overall it's still a big time saver.

I did have a toilet tank from a two piece toilet that looked like an interesting thing to use as a reservoir, but my SO decided that should go to the dump instead. Hmpf! Guess I'll have to scrounge around and find another plastic bucket so in another six or seven years that will need to be replaced again.
 

Florida Jeff

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I built my bunny barn (actually a carport) directly next to my well. I run a drinking water safe hose from the spout to a suspended (above the rabbit cages) 5-gallon bucket using toilet float mechanics to keep it topped up (yes, one of the newer toilet floats that are tube-shaped - just install it like the bucket is a toilet tank). The 5-gallon bucket gravity feeds lines of PVC that run above the cage rows. The PVC has Edstrom flex tubing and fixtures all along it and I clip my drinkers to each individual cage. I keep a valve at the end of these PVC lines so I can open them up to flush them (It also gives me a quick water source).

It's a lot less complicated than it sounds. This system has been going for 4 years now. The float bucket was inherited second-hand from an old NZW farmer who retired so who knows how old it was before I got it.
Deer Hart: My concern would be how your rabbit waste is disposed of. Being directly next to your well. If urine and Berries are on the ground they could leech into well water. 100 ft from well is the code for any septic system. Just food for thought. I like the toilet float idea. I may have to try that. I use a 5 and 10 gal. Cooler and hand fill every 3 to 5 days. More often for the grow outs.
 

RabbitsOfTheCreek

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Deer Hart: My concern would be how your rabbit waste is disposed of. Being directly next to your well. If urine and Berries are on the ground they could leech into well water. 100 ft from well is the code for any septic system. Just food for thought. I like the toilet float idea. I may have to try that. I use a 5 and 10 gal. Cooler and hand fill every 3 to 5 days. More often for the grow outs.
They made that comment 1.5 years ago
 

hotzcatz

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I should get some pictures on the bunny website so you can see it, but the ceramic toilet tank works great! It's one of those two piece types, so it's just the tank with the ceramic lid. Got some plumbing fittings that go from the bottom of the tank to the PVC pipe to the bunny hutches. The supply line for the tank has a fitting that allows for a garden hose to be connected. No mosquitos inside the tank, no sun damage and it mostly hides in the shrubbery so a toilet tank mounted to a fence post doesn't look too odd when it's hidden in the shrubs.
 

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