Water Consumption in Rabbits
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The purpose of this study is to measure water consumption of rabbits under Ad Librium and restricted conditions. During the winter, animals raised in agricultural settings may have limited access to water under freezing weather conditions. This study was conducted to determine if a restricted water supply affects overall water consumption over a 24 hour period. To mimic living conditions where ambient temperature drops below freezing it was determined how long it took to freeze the water in the drinking tube of a rabbit water bottle. The drinking tubes froze in 2.5 hours. Rabbits were then allowed access to water for this time period twice in 24 hours (approximately 12 hours apart). On different days the same rabbits were allowed continuous access to water. Three New Zealand rabbits were used; two does and one buck. Water consumption was monitored for 4 consecutive days under each condition. Total water consumption each day was statistically analyzed using the Wilcoxon Signed Rank test for paired data. No significant difference was detected (p = 0.067). In conclusion, these findings indicate that rabbits adjust to a restricted water regime and consume approximately the same amount of water whether restricted to 2- two hour periods per day or is available free choice.