Time and time again, rabbits have proven themselves an ideal livestock choice for small farms. Rabbits are the perfect hobby-farm livestock, as they require very little space, are easy to care for, and offer so much in return. Even hobby farms located in suburban and urban neighborhoods find small-scale rabbit keeping an easy endeavor.
Rabbit raising requires little financial resources and most specialized equipment is unnecessary. They can provide meat and fiber (wool) as well as companionship or keep you in the show ring (yeah, rabbit shows are kind of a big deal). But one of the most valuable by-products that this small livestock supplies is top-of-the-line manure for your garden and compost piles. Rabbit manure is widely recognized by gardeners as the most nutritionally balanced manure of all the herbivores. (It’s also an excellent medium for raising fishing worms!)
In my opinion, there’s literally no manure better for the garden than rabbit poop and they have a distinct advantage over other animal manures. Manures such as horse, pig, cow, and chicken require many months to compost properly until they can be added to the garden bed; rabbit poop is the only manure that can be added directly to the garden without fear of burning your plants (although, if you’re worried about pathogens, you might want to compost the poop before adding it to food plants).
All other animal manures require many months to compost properly until they can be added to the garden bed. Another plus is that red wiggler worms gravitate to rabbit manure immediately, bringing with them their own positive influence on the soil and garden.
Rabbit poop’s positive effects on the garden bed are extensive. As they break down, they build soil structure, improve soil porosity, soil stability, and hold nutrients for not only plants, but other soil organisms. Gardeners everywhere sing the virtues of rabbit manure added to their flowers and vegetables, or compost. It’s often referred to as God’s gift to the gardener, “magic pellets”, garden gold, and rabbit gold among other glorifying labels.
As far as how the manure is applied, there are two different schools of thought on this:
1. Some gardeners apply the pellets directly to the soil, and swear by this system.
2. Others are more cautious about possible pathogens, and prefer to add it to the compost heap as a precaution as far as adding it to food plants such as tomatoes.
Rabbits being kept for meat, fiber (Angoras) manure, or for showing can double as 4H projects and family pets.
Just spreading the bunny gospel over here.
Photo by Robobobo