I raised meat rabbits on the farm. I got my rabbits at the first small animal and bird sale I could find the very first spring on the farm. They have been with us the past 14 years now. I range between three breeding does with one buck to six breeding does with two bucks and anywhere in between.
One of the things should never overlooked on the returns for keeping rabbits is their manure. If you garden, its outstanding manure. Its a cold manure in the sense that you do not have to compost their little pellets before use in the garden.
From my reading it would appear that it is Typical N.P.K. analysis of 2. 1. 1. It can be used directly by just taking the dry rabbit poo and putting it on top your soil and then lightly mixing it in and just going from there. I am willing to do this in my flower beds and in my gardens in the fall so that it will have the late fall and winter to break down.
I personally do not do this directly in area’s that I will be growing my fresh eating plants. I prefer to do a quick compost of the poo before using it in those garden beds, or if I need it faster, I make a bucket of manure tea.
Because I have outdoor rabbit hutches that are year round use, I have quite a pile of a mix of rabbit poo, straw bedding and bits of hay. The straw is from their back sleeping area’s but they always get some thrown out and down.. The hay is because I give them free choice hay in winter to snack on daily. plus they are messy creatures and there is costly rabbit feed in there as well..
This means that these piles are self composting in place, filled with worms and in the spring I will let the chickens dig in these to help make the top loose and workable and I then take it away to finish composting it and then let the chickens back again.. It does take a bit of time but done daily, it adds up to a good amount of workable compost in a pretty fast time overall.
So lets get back to the manure tea. I take one of my six gallon buckets. I added in two big shovel full of the premixed by the chickens of the composting rabbit poo but also took the freshest that day rabbit poo (I want that fresh poo because its loaded with microbes) Then because I could, I took out two shovels of one year composted chicken-duck compost. That pile had been done over the summer and late fall and had been composting out for six to eight months give or take.
Both of these are very rough composts and compared to what I see on the net, would have everyone in bit of.. but its not ready.. and that is my point in this post.. at least for the rabbit compost or the direct rabbit poo.. its always ready! Its normal for the poo pellets to float when freshly stirred. they will break apart quite quickly as it works its magic.
I added four gallons of rain water to the bucket and gave it a stir.. I stirred once a day for three days and then strained it.. all the bits went back to the compost pile.. the liquid was split between two five gallon buckets and then topped up with water to the four gallon point in each bucket and used on my berry bushes.
If you have rabbits on the farm, I am willing to bet that you use their poo in your gardens already but have you thought about it as a way to make a little extra money?
At least locally, a 3/4th filled mix of raw rabbit poo manure blend is worth ten dollars when picked up at the farm. Its a good little seller to the local gardeners in our local towns and city.