Friday, April 11, 2014

Pet Rabbit Manure: gardener's best free fertilizer

The Circle of Life for a Lettuce Plant
This is what it looks like: lettuce from garden to bunny to poop to fertilizer to garden to growing lettuce again!

Rabbits eat veggies, grass and grass pellets - so when they do their bizness, their manure is ready to harvest, or so to speak. According to The Vegetable Gardener website, when using chicken, cow or other animal manures for the garden, they need to compost or break down for months so not to burn your plants. On the other hand, rabbit manure is one of the best fertilizers. The rabbit poop pellets don't need to break down before adding it to your garden. This is great news, in addition, it rarely smells unless you leave it in a wet place without any oxygen, even then it's very clean compared to other manures you can add to the garden.

Boo Bunny eating fresh lettuce from the community garden he contributed his "stuff" to.
In the rabbit litter box I use a pellet that breaks down to dust when it gets wet and is safe to use in the garden so when I change out ole Boo Bunny's litter box I just dump the entire little pellets/dust into 5-gallon buckets, along with the grass he eats and other biodegradable products that might be in his pan. When the buckets are full I can take them to my community garden plot and layer it like I would in the Back to Eden Film system or I can use them as a bottom filler in the container gardens I have at home. I then top it with compost soil from the landfill and top with potting mix before planting.

So you see, the rabbit eats lettuce from the garden, he poops or pees and that goes into the compost/fertilizer back into the garden. In addition, it seems that red worm wigglers also like rabbit manure so I can put some of it in their worm bin but because the bin tends to be very moist in will smell so I don't do that as often, the worms get more than enough vegetable scraps to munch on. 

So if you're thinking of getting a pet and you have a garden, just remember you can't use dog or cat feces in the garden because they usually eat meat products and you don't want that in your vegetable garden. Cows and chickens aren't allowed in most residential housing areas and a bunny doesn't or rarely makes any noise, usually doesn't need special permission to live with you and when I have time, I'll share my DIY on building your bunny his own condo on wheels. #ML

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