Updated June 2016 with current links
After months of frustrating mornings filling and often refilling the rabbits water bottles we decided it was time for a new rabbit watering system. We decided on a 5 gallon DIY watering system that we had seen on several sites for the past year or so.
Check it out!
Here it is in all its glory:
Super simple and basic. We whipped these each up in under ten minutes once we had all the parts so don’t be intimidated by it!
Tools You Need:
1/2 inch drill bit
Petroleum Jelly or Plumbing Tape (optional)
Here is our parts list and cost breakdown:
(Prices are from our local Home Depot but we linked to Amazon in case you can’t find the stuff locally or want an upclose picture of the parts)
UPDATED JUNE 2016: The Brass Barb’s size was incorrectly listed backwards on here and has been updated with correct measurement and links. All other parts are accurately reflected here.
A clean 5 gallon bucket per waterer – Free or under $5 new x 2
Rabbit watering nozzles – $8.95 for 10 of them (we used 1 for each waterer)
3/8″ by 1/4″ clear vinyl tubing $3.11 (Enough for 2-3 waterers)
Brass Barb 3/8″ x 1/4″ Amazon or Home Depot $3.40 x 2 (3/8″ is the large end and 1/4″ is for tubing barb end NOT the other way around!)
Brass Hex Bushing 1/2″ x 3/8″ $2.80 x 2
1/2 inch Zinc Conduit Hub $2.98 x 2
Total Cost for our 2 Waterers: $30.42 plus $2.13 tax= $32.55
Total Cost per Waterer: $16.28
Making Sure You Have the Right Size Parts:
The process of this is 1/2″ zinc hub —> 1/2″ Hex Bushing step down to 3/8″—-3/8″ Fitting step down to 1/4″ hose barb—-1/4″ Inner Diameter tubing—>Rabbit water nozzle.
Note on tubing size: All the rabbit nozzles say they use 5/16″ tubing but are prone to complaints of leaking at that diameter. We used 1/4″ tubing with great success, takes a bit of work to get them on but they don’t leak.
These are easily worth twenty times the cost for the amount of peace of mind they provide in knowing your rabbits will have adequate water all day, especially during the hot summer. They could easily be the deciding factor on whether a rabbit will survive through our summer heat here.
I have to admit I was a bit skeptical when Kevin picked these out because I thought it looked a lot more complicated and a smidge more expensive than the ones I had seen around. Turns out he was right and this is a super fast and simple way to hook it up. It was totally worth not having to mess with silicone or any other adhesives by going this route.
The rabbit nozzles come with springs for the cage and red T’s to split the hose for more nozzles. We have had no problems with having a single nozzle for up to 10 rabbits in the same cage as the water is always available so they don’t overcrowd it all at once like they do when you refill the water bottles.
Simply drill a hole in the bucket about an inch up the side (to prevent any little bits of grit from clogging the line), and pop the back end of the electrical piece through the hole. You may need to widen the hole a smidge to get it through.
Then twist on the front half.
Add the converter and the brass nipple. This area does leak a little for us on the one I put together, so you may want to try a little petroleum jelly or some plumbing tape on these threads and a pair of strong hands to really get it nice and tight.
Connect the water line.
And measure out how long you need the hose. Then cut and attach the water nozzle. If you have multiple cages this is when you would add the splitters and run the hose out to various nozzles that could be attached to the individual pens. We have large communal pens so we currently just use the one nozzle per waterer.
After that its as simple as hooking the spring on the cage and pulling it tight to hook it on the wire! Viola! No more messing with those silly little water bottles ever again!
Once you get it setup be sure to hold down the nozzle to release the air in the line and get the water flowing. You will also need to show a few of the bunnies how to get it going for a minute or two by holding down the nozzle so they see the water dripping. All of ours picked it up really quickly but leaving a water bottle on the cage for a day or two just as a precautionary measure is never a bad thing either in case one doesn’t figure it out.
Hope you love them as much as we do!!