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Bunnies are adorable – we can probably all agree on that. But when it comes to raising these furry creatures, there’s nothing worse than having rabbit poop fly all over the place.
I’ve been raising rabbits for a few years now and have tried different methods to collect rabbit poop. I’m going to share those with you in just a bit.
Facts About Rabbit Poop
First, let’s talk a little bit about the rabbit manure itself. One of the good things about rabbit manure is that they are pellets which are small in size, and perfectly round. They’re dry and have little to no odor. Meaning that collecting rabbit poop isn’t as bad as dealing with manure from other animals.
Rabbit waste is a great fertilizer and can be used all over the garden. Many rabbit farmers actually sift the fur and hay out of their rabbit’s waste and sell it to gardeners.
I found a great video online about sifting rabbit poop and selling it. This farmer fills a 50lb bag of rabbit feed with rabbit poop and sells it for $5. That’s a 33% return on that bag of feed – which is pretty awesome. Check out the video here:
So, now that you know what rabbit manure is like, and what you can do with it, let’s look at a few different ways you can collect rabbit poop.
This was the first method I ever used to collect rabbit poop. The concept is pretty simple. All you do is line large bins on the ground, under your raised, wired bottom rabbit cages, and the waste falls right in it.
To keep the smell down and flies away you should empty and clean out the bins every couple of weeks. A water hose and a bleach spray is a good cleaning solution to use. You may also need a scrub brush.
The ramp or slope technique uses gravity to eliminate rabbit waste from wired bottom cages. Under the elevated cages is a ramp, and when the poop hits the ramp it slides down and lands in a bucket or bin. For this method, you’ll need to build a stand out of 2 x 4s that the ramp will sit on. As far as what to use for the ramp, a roofing panel works great. If your ramp has grooves in it, just make sure that the grooves are slanted the way that you want the poop to roll. Here’s a great example of the ramp technique.
This method I still use today. It works great for me because it doesn’t require building or buying costly materials. It’s easy to clean, take down, and re-assemble. All you need to make your hammock is a tarp, some bungee cords, and a tub to collect rabbit poop. The products linked here are exactly the ones I use. The concept with this method is simple. The waste falls through the wired bottom of the rabbit cages, and the tarp catches it all. Every couple of weeks I unstrap the hammock and let the manure (and hay) fall into a bin. I do as I wish with the waste, then clean the tarp and bin with the same cleaning supplies mentioned earlier. And voila! It’s done! Here’s a picture of my set up.
4. Litter Box
Did you know that rabbits can be trained to use a litter box? I know – when I first heard that, I thought it was crazy. After raising rabbits for some time now I’ve come to realize that they’re actually a lot smarter than I would have guessed. Most rabbits designate a certain area of their pen to use as their bathroom – to identify it, just look for a collection of poop, fur, or urine. This will be the spot where you want to place the litter box.
5. Chicken Pen
In my last blog post, I explained how I clean my dirt floor chicken coop. In that article, I showed a picture of my chicken pen and in the photo, you can see some of my rabbits. These are my grow-outs. My breeders, I keep somewhere else and use the hammock technique with them (that’s them in the previous picture).
Anyway, this method doesn’t allow you to collect rabbit poop, so if that’s what you’re wanting to do, choose one of the other techniques instead.
When keeping rabbits in a chicken coop, the bunnies cages will need to have a wired bottom. Basically, the waste falls out of the cage and onto the ground where the chickens scratch through it.
The birds can eat the rabbit poop (yes, rabbit manure is edible for other animals). Also, they eat the hay and spread everything around for you.
Some cool facts about this technique:
- When the waste mixes with the barn lime that’s in the chicken coop (read my previous post about this), the waste will breakdown fast.
- Allowing the chickens to eat the hay that comes through the bunnies cages, along with the rabbit poop, will cut down on your chicken feed cost.
- The chickens and rabbits feel comfortable around each other and the rabbits love it when I let them out of their cages to run around the coop. (I wish I could just raise my rabbits all together on the ground and not have to keep them in cages, but my bucks always fight. 🙁 )
Whichever method you decide to go with should work well because I’ve tried them all. If you’ve used one of these techniques to collect rabbit poop or have any other suggestions, please, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Have a fluffy day!